Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Forward profiles ATFP. Israeli trade with Egypt may buffer strains. UN officials meet prisoner families in Gaza. Israel demolishes a Bedouin village for the 16th time, and six are wounded in the incident. Unrest in Egypt impacts peace talks. Palestinians deny negotiations are being resumed. Israeli intelligence talks of a security "earthquake" in 2011. Anshel Pfeffer says the Israeli religious right is like the Muslim Brotherhood. Israel is removing a checkpoint between Nablus and Ramallah. Israelis are warned not to travel internationally. Nechama Duek says Arab democracy would be good for Israel. 70 rabbis rally behind an extremist colleague. Deputy PM Meridor says Israel seeks alliances beyond the US. Harriet Sherwood recounts the ordeal of entering Gaza from Israel. George Hishmeh says despite complicating factors, Israel won't find a more forthcoming Palestinian leadership to deal with.

Task Force Changes Mideast Debate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - February 9, 2011 - 1:00am

As developments in Egypt move many Israelis to become more wary of a peace process that will require them to give up occupied land and Jewish settlements on the West Bank, Palestinian advocates for a two-state solution in Washington are struggling to persuade Israel’s supporters that the opposite is true.

Israel-Egypt trade links may help limit any rupture in ties
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - February 10, 2011 - 1:00am

Even as most of Israel frets about the possibility that a new Egyptian government might downgrade the bilateral relationship, one group remains upbeat. Israeli businessmen with activities in Egypt still believe that the economic foundation of the peace between the two countries will help stave off a rupture in ties.

UN commissioner meets prisoner families in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 11, 2011 - 1:00am

Relatives of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails urged the United Nations on Thursday to exert pressure on Israel to respect their human rights. In a memorandum to visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, the families asked her to "to take necessary measures and actions to activate the protection of human rights and set upon a monitoring system to ensure that Israeli government abides by these human rights principles."

Israel demolishes Bedouin village for 16th time
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 11, 2011 - 1:00am

Dozens of Palestinians were injured Thursday morning as Israeli forces raided the Al-Araqib village in the Negev and demolished it for the 16th time. Forces raided the village and used metal bullets and tear gas grenades. The forces also attacked the villagers after demolishing their houses. Dozens were injured including three women. One woman was critically injured. Israel views the village as illegal and lacking appropriate permits.

Mideast upheaval to alter peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Adam Gonn - February 11, 2011 - 1:00am

With the world's media focused on the street protests in Egypt that now has entered their 17th day, observers are asking whether the Israeli-Palestinian peace process will be put on the backburner because all eyes are on Egypt. Following the successful ousting of Tunisian President Zine al- Abidine Ben Ali three weeks ago, a wave of popular protests have been sweeping the Middle East with large-scale demonstrations in Egypt, Jordan and Yemen calling for regime change.

Palestinian official denies contacts to resume peace negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 11, 2011 - 1:00am

A senior Palestinian official on Thursday affirmed that there were no contacts with Israel to resume stalled peace talks. "There has been no sort of contacts with the Israeli government recently," said Nabil Shaath, a member of the Palestinian negotiation team. Shaath was commenting on Israeli media reports that staff from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' office and officials at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office exchanged messages to discuss the resumption of the negotiations.

Israeli intelligence forecasts security "earthquake" in Mideast in 2011
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 11, 2011 - 1:00am

The Military Intelligence (MI) of Israel Defense Forces assesses that dramatic strategic changes in the Middle East will unfold in late 2011, Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot reported Thursday. In the wake of mass demonstrations in Egypt against President Hosni Mubarak's regime in recent weeks, MI's analysts predict a weakening of the security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, alongside a hardening of Palestinian demands for renewing the stalled peace process.

What do the Muslim Brotherhood and the ultra-Orthodox religious-right have in common?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - February 11, 2011 - 1:00am

A few months from now, Egypt may come under the rule of a government dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, whose supreme spiritual leader said just a few years ago that God would "destroy the seed of the Jews and extirpate them from the world. These Jews are accursed scoundrels, crying crocodile tears while they murder people; it is forbidden to have any mercy on them. We have to destroy them with great missiles."

IDF to remove major West Bank checkpoint to enable Palestinian movement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - February 11, 2011 - 1:00am

The Israel Defense Forces yesterday advised the Palestinian Authority that it is removing the Hawara checkpoint, near Nablus. The measure, which is to go into effect next week, will enable the nearly unrestricted movement of Palestinians between the West Bank cities of Nablus and Ramallah.

Israel issues alert over Hezbollah plans to attack or kidnap Israelis abroad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 11, 2011 - 1:00am

The Israel Counter Terrorism Bureau issued a warning Friday morning to Israeli travelers in anticipation of threats resulting from the anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah officials Imad Mughniyah and Abbas al-Masawi, both of which were allegedly perpetrated by Israel. The bureau cautioned the Israeli public that because of the increased threat of terror attacks against Israelis abroad, travels certain destinations should be avoided, including Egypt, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritania and Venezuela.

Clashes in Bedouin village leave 6 wounded
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ilana Curiel - February 10, 2011 - 1:00am

Residents of al-Arakib, the Bedouin village not recognized by the State of Israel, clashed Thursday with police forces and JNF officials who came to plant trees in the area. Four women and two men were lightly injured and three people were arrested on suspicion of hurling stones. The wounded were taken to the Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba. The clashes broke out after residents and activists disrupted JNF forestry work in the area.

Arab democracy good for us
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Nechama Duek - (Opinion) February 10, 2011 - 1:00am

The images we receive from Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen make me happy. They indicate that the Arab world is finally joining the global trend of shifting from dictatorships to democracies. As we know, democracy isn’t perfect, yet a better alternative has yet to be invented.

70 rabbis protest arrest warrant against Rabbi Dov Lior
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jonah Mandel - February 10, 2011 - 1:00am

Nearly 70 prominent national religious rabbis signed a letter of protest published in a Friday newspaper, over the police’s announced intention to arrest Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi Dov Lior if he continued to ignore their requests to present himself for questioning about his endorsement of the book Torah Hamelech.

Israel Seeks to Widen Strategic Partnerships Beyond the U.S., Meridor Says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Arieh O'Sullivan - February 10, 2011 - 1:00am

While America remains Israel’s strongest and most important ally, the Jewish state needs to explore widening its strategic partnerships to other countries in the Middle East and with the world’s emerging powers, Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor told The Media Line. “The world is changing and moving. China is growing we need to have good relations with them,” Meridor said. “China is beginning to play a more important role in foreign policy. India is an important country. We are no longer enemies with Russia, of course, and Russia is an important.”

Crossing borders: the long, lonely walk to Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - February 10, 2011 - 1:00am

I've been in Gaza this week, and - as always – found the experience of crossing from Israel into the Strip and back again unnerving. The vast Israeli terminal, reminiscent of an international airport, is almost deserted. It was planned at a time when thousands of Palestinians crossed in to Israel each day to work. Now very few Palestinians can leave through Erez, and no Israelis are allowed to enter. So it's pretty much the preserve of journalists and NGO workers.

Complicated factors
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by George S. Hishmeh - February 11, 2011 - 1:00am

Why is Benjamin Netanyahu (and many other Israelis) behaving like an ostrich, digging his head in the sand and wondering why the escalating Egyptian uprising, triggered by the recent Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, has engulfed the Middle East and posed a threat to Israel?

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017