Middle East News: World Press Roundup

ATFP President, Ziad Asali speaks at the University of Oxford about the State-Building Program. Israel seems more relaxed about Egypt's future and Tom Freidman says it should be happy with the outcome though it does not seem to be. The head Palestinian negotiator resigns. The PLO announces elections by September, but Hamas denounces the plan. The PA cabinet will resign in preparation for a reshuffle. Pres. Abbas calls for an end to attacks on Qatar. Israel still has major input on Palestinian security measures. Calls are issued to investigate an extremist rabbi's possible ties to the assassin of PM Rabin. Shlomo Avineri says peace with Egypt is essential for Israel. The Jerusalem Post says Palestinians can learn lessons from the Egyptian experience. PM Fayyad says he does not know of any state that opposes Palestinian independence. Patrick Seale says Egypt's relationship with Israel will become more distant.

Asali speaks at the University of Oxford about State-Building Program
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Ziad Asali - February 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Click here to see Dr. Asali's remarks in Arabic from Annahar. For decades, the political process simply meant negotiations about the often-repeated final status issues. Hopes were raised and then dashed in extended clusters of negotiations, numerous international conferences, TV appearances and commentaries by politicians and pundits that yielded no meaningful progress toward resolution of the conflict.

As Egypt Calms Down, So Do Israeli Nerves
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - February 13, 2011 - 1:00am

As Israelis began to adjust to the departure of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, their staunchest and longest-standing regional ally, the alarm and anxiety that Israel has been projecting seemed to give way on Sunday to more nuanced tones, as well as some hints of admiration for the Egyptian people and sympathy for their cause.

Postcard From Cairo, Part 2
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Thomas L. Friedman - (Opinion) February 13, 2011 - 1:00am

For anyone who spent time in Tahrir Square these last three weeks, one thing was very obvious: Israel was not part of this story at all. This was about Egypt and about the longing of Egyptians for the most basic human rights, which were described to me by opposition Egyptian newspaper editor Ibrahim Essa as “freedom, dignity and justice.’’ It doesn’t get any more primal than that. And when young Egyptians looked around the region and asked: Who is with us in this quest and who is not?, the two big countries they knew were against them were Israel and Saudi Arabia. Sad.

As Egypt tumult spreads, top Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, resigns
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ben Lynfield - February 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Top Palestinian peace negotiator, Saeb Erekat, has resigned after embarrassing depictions in media leaks of his posture towards Israel, saying he hopes his stepping down will set a model of transparency for the young Palestinian state-in-the-making.

Palestinian officials pledge to hold elections by fall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - February 13, 2011 - 1:00am

A day after watching Egypt's regime collapse, Palestinian officials promised Saturday they would elect new leadership in presidential and legislative elections by September, and said that their chief peace negotiator had tendered his resignation. The shakeup appeared to reflect an attempt by the Palestine Liberation Organization to navigate the tidal wave of democratic upheaval spreading through the Arab world and, if possible, to use its momentum to draw international attention to the Palestinian bid for self-determination.

Abbas asks Fayyad to form new government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 14, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad tendered his government's resignation Monday, just months before local and legislative elections are expected to be held. The move, which was announced during an early-morning cabinet meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, had been discussed since June, with officials saying the latest delay was due to the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, officials said.

Palestinian PM to resign for reshuffle: sources
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will resign Monday to open the door for reshuffling his West Bank-based government, sources said Sunday. The sources told Xinhua that Fayyad would form and lead the new government. Months ago, Abbas declared that the government would be expanded and modified. The news about the new government followed several decisions made by the Palestinian leadership to settle a state of internal split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where rival Hamas movement holds sway.

Abbas orders Palestinian media not to attack Qatar
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday ordered Palestinian media and official spokesmen not to attack Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. The order, published by official news agency Wafa, bans official media, spokesmen of Palestine Liberation Organization and Fatah movement from harming Qatar and its Emir. According to the order, the spokesmen can respond to Al-Jazeera 's campaign against the Palestinian leadership "by refuting the lies and claims."

For Palestinian police in West Bank, Israel is still laying down the law
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - February 14, 2011 - 1:00am

Last week's column, which in Hebrew was titled "Dispersing a demonstration with a French scent," prompted a visit to the headquarters of EUPOL COPPS, the EU Police Coordination Office for Palestinian Police Support, which trains the civilian police force in the West Bank. The initiative was theirs, and the perfume, it turns out, was Jean Paul Gaultier.

Top Israeli intellectuals to state: Probe rabbi's alleged link to Rabin assassination
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Lis - February 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Leading Israeli intellectuals and Israel Prize laureates demanded the immediate firing of a top rabbi accused of supporting a book justifying the killing of non Jews on Saturday, urging the state to investigate him for his alleged role in the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Last week, police issued a warrant for the arrest of Dov Lior, the head rabbi of Kiryat Arba and a senior figure in religious Zionism, following the rabbi's refusal to appear for questioning on the support he gave for the controversial book "Torat Hamelech."

For Israel, peace with Egypt is not just an asset
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shlomo Avineri - (Opinion) February 14, 2011 - 1:00am

In wake of the upheaval that has swept through Egypt and much of the region, it is important to remind ourselves that peace with Egypt is not only a strategic asset, but a moral value as well. Recently, we here were presented with a rather problematic choice: Do we support democracy, or do we support the Israeli interest in maintaining security and stability? When a moral value (democracy ) is thus posited against realpolitik (stability and security ), it is easy to lapse into the argument that Israel supports despotism.

For valid elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) February 13, 2011 - 1:00am

The ripple effects of Hosni Mubarak’s ouster over the weekend are being felt all over the region. The message being sent out from Tahrir Square is that Mideast leaders who want to stay in power must garner legitimacy through a fair, democratic election process.

Fayyad: I don't know any country against Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
February 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad gave an interview to The Washington Post Thursday, before Hosni Mubarak stepped down as Egypt's president, in which he discussed what regime change in Egypt would mean for Palestinians and the Arab world, and his plans for the creation of a Palestinian state.

Democracy Is Coming Again to Palestine -- Hamas Permitting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - February 13, 2011 - 1:00am

More than five years after the Hamas movement was swept into power in an upset election victory, the Palestinians will going back to the polls again – or not. The Palestinian Authority (PA) said last week it planned to hold municipal elections this summer and on Saturday announced that it would also conduct voting for president and parliament by September. But Hamas immediately said it would refuse to participate, a stance experts said precludes the prospect of elections for now.

Future of Israel-Egypt treaty
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Patrick Seale - (Opinion) February 14, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel has been unnerved by Egypt’s Revolution. The reason is simple: it fears for the survival of the 1979 Peace Treaty — a treaty which by neutralising Egypt, guaranteed Israel’s military dominance over the region for the next three decades. By removing Egypt — the strongest and most populous of the Arab countries — from the Arab line-up, the treaty ruled out any possibility of an Arab coalition that might have contained Israel or restrained its freedom of action. As Israel’s Foreign Minister, Moshe Dayan, remarked at that time: ‘If a wheel is removed, the car will not run again.’

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