Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israeli Amb. Oren says Egypt must hold the treaty with Israel. Palestinians protest the US veto of a UN resolution on settlements though Pres. Abbas says Palestinians will not downgrade ties to the US. Daoud Kuttab says the vote was on the wrong side of history. Pres. Obama reportedly tried to convince Palestinians to withdraw the resolution. Aaron David Miller says US Mideast policy has become deeply complicated. Palestinians discuss a possible unity government. Netanyahu adviser Uzi Arad resigns. British novelist Ian McEwan criticizes Israeli settlement policy. Israel’s Attorney General says a probe into left-wing groups could violate human rights. The UN says settlements complicate Palestinian state-building. A Knesset committee is looking into a bill to thwart future settlement freezes. Ha’aretz says the US veto is a warning to PM Netanyahu. A tear-gas launcher hits a home in Silwan. The Media Line interview FM al-Malki. Palestinians in Nablus wonder if Egypt-style protests are possible.

Will Egypt Be a Partner in Peace?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Michael B. Oren - (Editorial) February 19, 2011 - 1:00am

FOLLOWING an uprising in Cairo, Israel’s prime minister told the Knesset that he “wishes to see a free, independent and progressive Egypt,” and that “the stormy developments there may contain positive trends for progress.” The prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, spoke on Aug. 18, 1952, shortly after a young and seemingly moderate officer, Gamal Abdel Nasser, came to power.

Palestinians protest U.S. veto of resolution condemning Israel's settlement policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - February 20, 2011 - 1:00am

Angry Palestinians staged a protest here Sunday against the United States' veto Friday of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel's settlement policy, with participants denouncing President Obama and predicting that the move will harm Washington's standing across the roiling Middle East. The gathering, attended by about 300 supporters of the ruling Fatah party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and government employees, reflected broader public disappointment here with the veto, the first cast by the Obama administration at the United Nations.

U.S. faces rocky road ahead in Middle East Read more
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Aaron David Miller - (Editorial) February 18, 2011 - 1:00am

When it came, President Barack Obama handled his 3 a.m. phone call from Cairo pretty well. As political turbulence sweeps the Arab world, bringing challenges to the old order and uncertainties about the new, the president’s phone may be ringing a lot. Bahrain today. Jordan tomorrow? At the heart of those calls will be the challenge of keeping up with, pre-empting and staying ahead of violent change. That could prove to be a mission impossible: Can we fashion a coherent policy when U.S. interests and values are at odds with its policies?

No objections from Hamas on unity govt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 21, 2011 - 1:00am

Hamas has suggested the formation of a unity government several times already, but always faced opposition from the PA, a senior party member in the West Bank told Ma'an Sunday. Hamas leader Ayman Daraghma did not rule out participating in a new Palestinian Authority cabinet, and hinted that the ongoing unrest in the Arab world might give Fatah, which leads the West Bank government, the motivation to end the Palestinian political crisis.

Report: Fayyad offers Hamas Gaza, unity govt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 20, 2011 - 1:00am

Appointed PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has reportedly offered space in a unity government to Hamas, the Associated Press reported Sunday. Fayyad told the news organization that the move was aimed at ensuring presidential and legislative elections would go forward by September, after Hamas earlier refused to participate in the PA-run call to vote. According to the AP report, Hamas would remain in power in Gaza under an agreement that it would see it maintain a ceasefire with Israel, while Fayyad would govern in the West Bank.

Obama's veto is the wrong side of history
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Daoud Kuttab - February 20, 2011 - 1:00am

US President Barack Obama was on the right side of history when he supported the young nonviolent protesters in Egypt. The Obama administration was on the wrong side of history when Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, raised her hand vetoing a UN Security Council resolution condemning Jewish settlements.

Palestinian offers Hamas unity deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - February 20, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinian prime minister appealed Sunday to the rival Hamas group to join him in a united government, offering to allow the Islamic militants to retain security control of the Gaza Strip until elections later this year. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's proposal to his Islamic militant rivals reflected the Palestinians' deep frustration over Washington's handling of Mideast peace efforts. That anger was underscored over the weekend when the U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Top Netanyahu aide quits after reported jobs row
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 20, 2011 - 1:00am

A senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resigned on Sunday after reports of a high-level dispute over whether he would be named the Jewish state's next ambassador to Britain. Uzi Arad, a former Mossad agent and ex-leader of a prestigious Israeli think-tank on foreign policy, asked to step down as national security adviser, "so that he could return to academia," a statement from Netanyahu's bureau said.

Novelist Ian McEwan criticizes Jewish settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
February 20, 2011 - 1:00am

Renowned British novelist Ian McEwan has accepted an Israeli literary prize in Jerusalem with harsh criticism of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. At an acceptance ceremony for the Jerusalem Prize, McEwan praised Israel's technological and artistic advances but asked: "Where is Israel's political creativity?" He criticized Israel's 1967 annexation of east Jerusalem, the part Palestinians claim as the capital of a future state. McEwan is the author of the best-selling book Atonement and has won numerous literary prizes for his books.

Palestinians will not spurn US despite veto - Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday he would continue to cooperate with the United States despite Washington's veto of a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements on occupied land. "We do not seek to boycott the American administration and it is not in our interest to boycott anyone," Abbas told Palestinian Wafa news agency in Ramallah. Abbas later told George Mitchell, the U.S. Middle East envoy, in a telephone call that he remained committed to the peace process with Israel, Wafa reported.

Israeli official warns over probe of leftist groups
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 21, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein said on Sunday that a planned Knesset parliament vote to set up a probe of funding sources of left-wing NGO's could violate basic human rights. The Knesset is set to vote next week whether or not to establish two inquiries panels to run such an investigation.

Settlements complicate Palestinian state's building: UN official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 21, 2011 - 1:00am

A senior United Nations official on Monday said that Jewish settlement complicates the process of building a Palestinian state. Maxwell Gaylard, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, reiterated the UN position that settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is illegal. "We don't only call for an end to settlement construction, we want them not to be in the Palestinian territories," Palestinian official news agency, Wafa, quoted Gaylard as saying, following a tour in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Israeli committee mulls bill to thwart future settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 20, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation debated Sunday a bill that would make it nearly impossible for defense chief to impose a freeze on settlement construction, local media reported. According to The Jerusalem Post, the committee discussed the bill that calls to apply Israeli law to Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which are currently subject to military rule.

Netanyahu should view U.S. veto at the UN as a warning
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Opinion) February 19, 2011 - 1:00am

After hesitating until the very last moment, U.S. President Barack Obama decided to have his envoy veto the UN Security Council resolution condemning the settlements. The Palestinian-initiated proposal would have declared the Israeli settlement enterprise in the territories illegal. Fourteen members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution, and only the U.S. veto kept it from being passed.

Accepting Jerusalem Prize, McEwan slams Israeli policies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by David Green - February 19, 2011 - 1:00am

British novelist Ian McEwan, this year's recipient of the prestigious Jerusalem Prize, used the opening of the the 25th Jerusalem International Book Fair last night to sharply criticize Israel's policies of "confiscation, land purchases, and expulsion in East Jerusalem," and a national policy that grants a "right of return to Jews but not to Arabs."

Tear gas launcher hits Silwan home
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yair Altman - February 21, 2011 - 1:00am

The occasional riots in Silwan have become a common phenomenon in east Jerusalem, but for 33-year-old resident Issam Qawasmeh, Friday's rally turned into a nightmare. When the riots began he and his wife and three small children decided to stay in the house so as not to get hurt, but at the end of the day Qawasmeh and his two-month baby found themselves in the hospital. On Friday evening young men began to stone houses in Silwan. Border Guard soldiers were called to the scene and tried to disperse the crowd using tear gas grenade launchers.

Palestinian Foreign Minister: Iran Controls Hamas; Statehood by September
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson - (Interview) February 20, 2011 - 1:00am

The Media Line: Yasser Abed-Rabo said to me the other day that Mahmoud Abbas will not run for president. So, who will?

West Bank youth watch Egypt and wonder: could it happen here?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - (Blog) February 18, 2011 - 1:00am

I went to Nablus in the West Bank this week to try to find out whether young people there were in revolutionary mood similar to their counterparts across the Middle East. But before I even spoke to anyone, I was struck by the bustling and relaxed atmosphere in the city, famous not so long ago for its suicide bombers and nightly incursions by the Israeli military to round up militants and demolish the homes of their families.

Obama tried to convince Abbas to withdraw UN resolution up until last minute - Sources
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Ali El-saleh - February 19, 2011 - 1:00am

As was expected, the US used its veto to put an end to a draft UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel's policy of settlement building on occupied Palestinian territory. This represents the 42nd time that the US has vetoed Arab resolutions condemning Israel. This resolution was voted in favor of by the other 14 UN Security Council members; however the US, as a permanent Security Council member, was able to veto it.

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