Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Facebook removes a page calling for a new Palestinian intifada. Mohammed Dajani Daoudi and Robert Satloff say it’s important that Palestinians learn about the Holocaust. Critics say Israel is undermining its democracy. Neither Hamas nor Israel seem to want a new war. Deputy FM Ayalon says Israel welcomes Arab democracy. Palestinians commemorate land day, and burn photos of FM Lieberman. A Hamas court sentences man to death for treason. One Palestinian is killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza. Israel is considering building an artificial island off the coast of Gaza. An arrested Palestinian calls Israel’s charges against him “a farce.” PM Netanyahu sues some media for libel. Israel makes it clear it supports the continuation of Pres. Assad in power in Syria. Palestinians ask for UN recognition in September. Israeli forces and settlers clash at a West Bank outpost. Analysts say the future of the peace process is ambiguous. Aluf Benn says Netanyahu spends all his time making excuses and avoiding peace. UNSG Ban calls the occupation “morally, politically unsustainable.” Four Palestinians are released after a boy admits lying they raped him. Amos Oz says Israel must talk to Marwan Barghouti. Jews in Arab countries facing unrest decline offers to go to Israel. Hamas believes it’s making progress with Egypt. Newt Gingrich claims the US is run by an “anti-Israel elite.”

Israel: Facebook Removes a Page Calling for Violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Jennifer Preston - March 29, 2011 - 12:00am

After complaints by Israeli officials and American Jewish groups, Facebook took down a page Tuesday by Palestinian supporters that called for violence against Jews and an uprising against Israel. The page, titled “Third Palestinian Intifada,” began this month as a call for peaceful protests in the occupied Palestinian territories, one of more than a dozen Facebook pages used recently to mobilize uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa. The unidentified advocates who managed the page initially removed comments that promoted violence, according to Facebook officials.

Why Palestinians Should Learn About the Holocaust
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Mohammed Dajani Daoudi, Robert Satloff - (Opinion) March 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Should Palestinian and other Arab schools teach their students about the Holocaust?

Do Israel's recent efforts to bolster security undermine its democracy?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - March 29, 2011 - 12:00am

A flurry of votes in Israel’s parliament on controversial legislation affecting the country’s Arab minority is reigniting a debate about whether the right-leaning majority is trampling democratic norms in an effort to bolster the security of the Jewish state. The parliament, known as the Knesset, on Monday night passed into law an amendment to the country’s citizenship law to allow the state to strip the citizenship of anyone convicted of espionage, terrorism, or "disloyalty" to the state.

Neither Hamas nor Israel seem to want new war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

After 10 days of strikes and counter-strikes, a sense of calm appeared to have returned to the tense Israeli-Gaza border over the weekend, despite an air strike on Sunday that killed two members of Islamic Jihad's military wing. Gaza's armed groups have agreed to observe a period of calm if Israel reciprocates, but a rocket fell in Israel late on Tuesday, prompting another air strike overnight which killed a third Islamic Jihad militant and threatened to see a return of the tit-for-tat violence.

Make peace between peoples
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The San Francisco Chronicle
by Danny Ayalon - (Opinion) March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

The recent events in the Middle East have been momentous and encouraging. No one who craves a better future for our region can be unimpressed by the resilience shown by those seeking an improved and enlightened future for its people. However, as many instill hope for progress in the Middle East, there are those who are trying to seize the revolutions to further establish their grip on parts of our region. We saw this with the Iranian revolution of 1979, when the short-lived democracy was hijacked by the Islamist theocracy that has brutalized and repressed its people ever since.

Palestinians commemorate Land Day
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Five hundred students were chased and beaten by government security forces during a Land Day protest in Gaza City on Wednesday, an organizer affiliated with the March 15 coalition told Ma'an. Officers were said to have dispersed the gathered young people, who were calling for unity and a return to the Palestinian national project in Tayaran (Aviation) Street in the center of the city. Activist Ihsan Abu Sharkh said the forces chased and beat demonstrators, spraying what appeared to be pepper spray at their eyes, and injuring at least one young man.

Gaza court sentences man to death
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

A military court in the central Gaza Strip sentenced a man to death by hanging on Wednesday, after a judge found him guilty of treason contributing to the death of a Palestinian. A second man was found guilty of treason and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. Both sentences were accepted unanimously by the military panel, but are appealable. Under Palestinian law, the death penalty must be accepted by the president. On April 15, 2010, however, the government in Gaza executed two men that had been found guilty of collaboration with Israel.

Early morning air strike kills 1
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli forces launched an air strike on the southern Gaza Strip shortly after the dawn prayer on Wednesday, killing one militant and injuring a second. In a statement from the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, officials identified the slain man as Mohammad Abu Mu'ammer, killed by an Israeli air strike near a mosque in the An-Nasser neighborhood in northeastern Rafah, near the refugee camp.

Israeli minister proposes Gaza artificial island
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Jeffrey Heller - March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel is considering building an artificial island with sea and air ports off blockaded Gaza, as a long-term solution to shipping goods into the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave, the transport minister said. Yisrael Katz told Army Radio on Wednesday he wants an international force to control the island for "at least 100 years" and for unloaded cargo to be brought into Gaza along a 4.5-km (3-mile)-long bridge with a security checkpoint to prevent arms smuggling. "The Israeli military would continue the naval blockade, but in a more localised way," he said.

Seized Gazan's lawyer says Israeli charges "farce"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Dan Williams - March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

The lawyer for a Gazan engineer held under secrecy in Israel accused authorities on Wednesday of concocting charges against him after seizing the Palestinian overseas. Relatives of Dirar Abu Sisi, a manager of the Gaza Strip's main power plant, say he was abducted from a train in Ukraine last month. Israeli officials have confirmed he is in custody but declined further comment, citing court-issued gag orders.

Israel's Netanyahu sues media for libel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli prime minister has filed $300,000 libel suits against an Israeli TV station and a newspaper over reports he allegedly took expensive flights, hotels and restaurant meals from wealthy associates. The suits were filed on Tuesday.

Israel not eager to see Syria's Assad go
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - March 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Syria has fought three wars with Israel and maintains close ties to its fiercest enemies in the region, including Iran and the Hamas and Hezbollah militant groups. So it may come as a surprise that many in Israel view the current unrest convulsing Syria with a wary eye, fearful that a collapse of Bashar Assad's regime might imperil decades of quiet along the shared border. Israeli leaders, who voiced fears — unfounded so far — that the earlier uprising in Egypt might spell the end of the two countries' peace agreement, are keeping quiet about the tumult that has spread to Syria.

Palestinians to ask UN recognition in September
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian leadership will ask the United Nations to recognize the Palestinian state in September despite Israeli objection, Foreign Affairs Minister Riad al-Maliki said Wednesday. The Palestinians will ask the U.N. Security Council to recognize an independent Palestinian state on the lands that Israel occupied in the 1967 war, al-Maliki was quoted by local Al- Ayyam newspaper as saying.

Israel police, settlers clash at West Bank outpost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli police arrested nine Jewish settlers in a violent scuffle at a West Bank outpost late Tuesday night, local media reported on Wednesday. Israeli police officers claimed to have been attacked at Givat Ronen, south of Nablus, when they attempted to carry out an arrest warrant issued against a resident. Some people hurled stones at the squad cars, breaking their windows and slashing tires, police said. In response, police fired tear gas to disperse the civilians.

Peace process between Israel, Palestinians ambiguous
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Emad Drimly, Osama Radi - March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

In recent days, the political threats between Israel and the Palestinians have mounted as the two sides are far away from the negotiation table due to complicated differences that made the future between them ambiguous. Although the United States had repeatedly attempted to bring the two sides together, the disputes over Jewish settlement still an obstacle before resuming the talks, which the Palestinians applied to the UN Security Council to condemn and finally vetoed by the U.S..

Netanyahu has time for excuses, but not for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Some people collect stamps or butterflies, some people grow orchids, others go skydiving or surfing. What Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu like to do is stay at luxury hotels at the expense of others. It's their hobby. Less dangerous than bungee jumping, less cruel than partridge hunting, less kinky than trading partners with other couples. At worst, they harm the environment by getting too much dry cleaning done.

UN chief: Israel's occupation is 'morally, politically unsustainable'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel Wednesday to halt settlement building in the West Bank and put a stop to all forms of violence and incitement, the UN News Center reported. Speaking in Uruguay at the UN Latin American and Caribbean Meeting in support of Middle East peace Ban said it was a "crucial time" for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Boy found to have lied about rape
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yoav Zitun - March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Police released four Palestinians residing illegally in Israel, who were arrested Tuesday on suspicion that they had raped an 11-year old Israeli boy, when it turned out the latter had been lying. The four men denied the allegations from the first, prompting police investigators to question the boy again before a scheduled lineup. During the second round of questioning, the boy admitted that some of the claims he had made were false, and also supplied a different description of the men.

'Burning Lieberman photos on Land Day is legitimate'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Lappin - March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Ahead of Land Day, in which Israeli Arabs carry out marches and rallies, police began to make security arrangements on Wednesday, described by a police spokesman as being standard deployments that are made every year. The majority of the arrangements were made in the northern district and the Jerusalem district, the spokesman added. MK Mohammad Barakeh (Hadash) said on Wednesday that burning pictures of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, as Arab protesters did at a Land Day protest in Lod, is legitimate.

Amos Oz: Israel will surely speak with Barghouti
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Internationally famed Israeli author Amos Oz said he is sure that Israel will negotiate with former Tanzim (Fatah youth movement) leader Marwan Barghouti, in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa. "I'm sure that someday we will speak with him," Oz said. "Some day Israel will talk to Barghouti, even if he was the instigator of the second Intifada and a large number of suicide bombings and many other terrorist attacks."

Despite volatility in Arab lands, Jews there stay put
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Shefler - March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Over the past several months a series of uprisings has shaken the Arab world, felling dictators and ushering in a period of great hope and fear for the future. But despite the growing political instability in the region, Jewish communities in Arab lands have so far chosen to stay. The remaining Jews in Tunisia, Yemen and Egypt – tiny remnants of once-much-larger communities decimated by decades of voluntary and involuntary emigration – have turned down repeated offers to leave by Jewish organizations and Israel concerned with their safety.

New Signs of Hamas headway into Post-Mubarak Egypt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - March 29, 2011 - 12:00am

A visiting Hamas leader to Cairo brought a conciliatory message amid signs ties between Egypt and the Islamist movement were beginning to thaw in the post-Mubarak era. "Hamas has not and will not tamper with Egypt's national security," Mahmoud Al-Zahar told reporters in Cairo Monday, referring to Egyptian accusations of Hamas involvement in the bombing of an Alexandria church on New Year's Eve. Hamas was cautious to comment about the Egyptian uprising that began on January 25, but was emboldened by the revolution's success to oust its arch-rival, President Husni Mubarak on February 11.

Gingrich: U.S. run by “anti-Jewish” elite
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
March 28, 2011 - 12:00am

The United States under President Obama is "dominated by a secular, anti-Christian and anti-Jewish elite," Newt Gingrich said. Gingrich, the onetime speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and a likely presidential candidate for 2012, spoke on March 25 at a meeting in Iowa of the American Family Association, Politico reported.

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