Middle East News: World Press Roundup

ATFP Board member Saliba Sarsar says Sari Nusseibeh is right that only a two-state solution can provide peace. Egypt’s new FM is likely to take a tougher line with Israel. The Israel-Lebanon border is quiet. Pres. Abbas gives PM Fayyad, whose national unity plan has divided Fatah, more time to form a cabinet. Food shortages grow in Gaza. Israel denies visas to an Anglican Bishop and to a Palestinian man married to a Jewish Israeli woman. PM Netanyahu says the world automatically sides with the Palestinians. Abbas says he won’t accept a state with temporary borders. A Palestinian worker is killed in a tunnel collapse. Jordan’s King says Israeli-Palestinian peace is the key to regional security. Israel plans work at a contested Jerusalem holy site. DM Barak says peace does not contradict Israeli security. Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters joins a cultural boycott of Israel. Israel is one of the least popular countries in the world. The Jordan Times says peace is urgently needed. Uri Avnery says Israel is placing itself on the wrong side of history.

A Way Forward for Israelis and Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Chronicle of Higher Education
by Saliba Sarsar - (Opinion) March 6, 2011 - 1:00am

"Is This Man Dangerous?" asks the headline on the cover of Haim Watzman's article on how the maverick Sari Nusseibeh is challenging Middle East orthodoxies (The Chronicle Review, February 4). The answer is a definite no. As a philosopher president (of Al-Quds University), he regularly floats ideas to question assumptions and authority, to think outside the box, in order to educate and to transform reality.

New Egypt foreign minister likely to be tougher on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Muhammed Mansour, Liz Sly - March 6, 2011 - 1:00am

Egypt on Sunday got its second new government in less than six weeks, including a new foreign minister who is expected to take a tougher line with Israel than the government of the ousted president Hosni Mubarak did. The newly appointed prime minister, Essam Sharaf, announced his new cabinet as tensions soared between pro-democracy protesters and the army in downtown Cairo, with troops firing live ammunition and civilians armed with knives and sticks dispersing demonstrators who wanted to storm a key security building.

All's quiet on the Israel-Lebanon front
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - March 6, 2011 - 1:00am

Something unusual is happening along Israel's border with Lebanon: nothing. The 49-mile stretch, one of the Mideast's most volatile areas, has been uncommonly quiet since the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. Even as both sides continue to build up arms and make war plans, it's been one of the longest lulls in fighting since Israel's founding. Not even a brief gunfire exchange last summer or the recent restructuring of Lebanon's government by Hezbollah have substantially raised border tension, as might have occurred a decade ago.

Abbas gives Fayyad more time to form cabinet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Re-appointed Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad requested on Sunday another two weeks to form a new government, the secretary general of the Council of Ministers said. Na’im Abu Al-Hums told Ma'an Fayyad made the request to President Mahmoud Abbas and it had been agreed, allowing the independent politician to continue a series of consultations with a range of Palestinian political parties.

Fatah scattered over Fayyad unity plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Fatah leaders are divided over re-appointed Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's plan to create a unity government as he re-assembles the resigned ministerial cabinet. Since handing in his government's resignation on 14 February and being re-appointed as Prime Minister, Fayyad has said he hopes to use the mandate given to him to reconstruct the cabinet as an opportunity to cobble together a body which would put an end to political infighting, and lead the way to municipal, national and presidential elections in the coming five months.

Gaza food situation tight as Karni crossing closed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 7, 2011 - 1:00am

The complete closure of the Israel-Gaza border crossing at Karni, announced on March 2, will make the delivery of food aid to Gaza more difficult, in an area where over half the population is estimated to be food insecure. The closure of Karni will also add 20 percent to the cost of aid delivery, said Chris Gunness, spokesperson for the UN Relief and Works Agency in Jerusalem, at a time when UNRWA is facing a budget deficit of over $50 million. Some 750,000 Palestinians receive UNRWA food assistance in Gaza, out of about one million refugees living in the territory.

Israel denies top Anglican Bishop residency visa
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
March 6, 2011 - 1:00am

The Anglican Church says Israeli officials are refusing to renew the residency visa of its top official in the Holy Land. Church spokesman Hussam Naoum said Sunday that Israel's Interior Ministry has refused to renew the visa of the Right Rev. Suheil Dawani since September. Naoum says the church kept the issue quiet while they tried to lobby officials, but decided to go public after receiving no response. Dawani, who is Palestinian, is remaining in Jerusalem illegally.

Israeli PM: World conditioned to back Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
March 6, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel's leader has accused the international community of automatically siding with the Palestinians. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the Palestinians are refusing to make peace overtures, "instead preferring to take advantage of the international community's Pavlovian reflex in their favor." Peace talks broke down in September. The Palestinians blame Israel for the stalemate, saying continued Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem is preventing the resumption of talks.

Palestinian leader: No state with temporary border
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - March 5, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinian president said Saturday he would not accept an Israeli peace initiative if it called for temporary borders for a future Palestinian state. President Mahmoud Abbas' comments were the highest official response so far to news of a peace plan that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to publicly propose in the coming weeks.

Palestinian PM-designate suggests forming unity gov't
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Fares Akram, Yang Yuanyuan - March 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister- designate Salam Fayyad said Sunday that after studying faults that led to the Palestinian division in 2007, he proposed to form a unity government which would include both Hamas and Fatah. The unity government that comprised the Islamic Hamas movement and the Fatah party of Palestinian National Authority (PNA) President Mahmoud Abbas collapsed in June 2007 "due to the absence of a clear security vision," Fayyad said during an interview with Xinhua.

Palestinian worker killed in tunnel collapse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 7, 2011 - 1:00am

An 18-year-old Palestinian worker was killed on Monday when a smuggling tunnel beneath Gaza's southern border with Egypt caved in, medical sources said. Hundreds of tunnels are located beneath the borderline, which were used for bringing in materials forbidden by Israel through the commercial crossing points with Gaza. Tunnel business flourished between 2007 and the middle of 2010, when an Israeli blockade against Gaza was in its highest level. Construction materials and petrol flow to Gaza mainly through the tunnels.

Fair solution to Palestinian issue key to Mideast security: Jordan' s king
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 7, 2011 - 1:00am

King Abdullah II of Jordan on Sunday said the key to stability, peace and security in the Middle East is to find a just solution for the Palestinian issue, the state- run Petra new agency reported. The solution, he said, should lead to the realization of the Palestinian hopes in establishing an independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories. The king made his remarks at a meeting with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Sunday, when the two sides looked into developments in the region and issues of mutual concern.

Israel plans work at contested Jerusalem holy site
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Allyn Fisher-Ilan - March 6, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel has given preliminary approval for renovations at a contested holy site in East Jerusalem where rebuilding has triggered violence in the past, a city official said on Sunday. Municipal planners last week approved the project to repair an earthen ramp near the Mughrabi Gate connecting the Wailing Wall remnant of an ancient Jewish temple to a complex revered by Muslims and Jews, both of whom claim the area as their own.

Barak: Mideast peace does not go against Israel's security interests
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
March 7, 2011 - 1:00am

A peace agreement with the Palestinians does not stand in contradiction with Israel's security needs, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio on Monday, saying that immediate action needed to be taken to advance peace efforts. Barak's comments came after sources in the Prime Minister's Office said last week that the PM was considering a plan to cooperate with the Palestinians on the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders, as part of an interim peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority that would be implemented immediately.

Palestinian with Jewish wife and IDF veteran son denied permanent visa
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yanir Yagna - March 7, 2011 - 1:00am

A Palestinian man who is married to a Jewish woman and whose son served in the Israel Defense Forces was recently informed that he is ineligible for a permanent visa to live in Israel. "I can't buy a home here like a human being, I can't open a business for fear that they'll soon kick me out," said Adel Hussein, who has lived most of his life in the West Bank city of Tul Karm, but now wants to live near his son in Israel. "There is no explanation as to why they're not letting me be a permanent citizen. My son served in a combat unit - is that not total loyalty to the state?"

Roger Waters voices support for Israel boycott
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
March 6, 2011 - 1:00am

Roger Waters, founding member, vocalist and bassist of the iconic rock band 'Pink Floyd' has voiced his support for a cultural boycott of Israel. The British musician performed in Israel in 2005, ignoring calls from Palestinian rights advocates to cancel. While in Israel, Waters visited Jerusalem and Bethlehem. He was taken to the controversial separation fence in the West Bank, which he called "an appalling edifice to behold."

Israel ranked among least popular states
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
March 7, 2011 - 1:00am

More than 28,000 people were polled between December of 2010 and February of this year in a survey designed to gauge attitudes towards various countries worldwide. Just 21% of those polled expressed a positive opinion of Israel, while 49% expressed a negative attitude towards the Jewish state. However dismal, the numbers are still an improvement from last year, when just 19% were pro-Israel.

Always time for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) March 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel says that now is not the time to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians, presumably because of the turmoil that has hit several Arab countries. The time to arrive at peace is always right, and Israel should not resort, once again, to procrastination or look for reasons not to agree to peace with the Palestinians where there are none.

Israel on history’s wrong side
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) March 6, 2011 - 1:00am

Of all the memorable phrases uttered by Barack Obama in the last two years, the one that stuck in my mind more than any other appeared in his historic speech in Cairo in the early days of his term.

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