Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Pres. Gul of Turkey says Israeli-Palestinian peace will determine the outcome of changes in the Middle East political landscape. Speculation grows as to whether PM Netanyahu or Pres. Obama will be the first to introduce new peace ideas. The new PA development plan looks beyond independence towards building the new state. A new outpost is founded by settlers and immediately dismantled by occupation forces. Israeli tanks enter an industrial zone in Gaza. Sec. Clinton says there is an urgent need to return to negotiations, and Jordan’s King says an EU role is vital. Pres. Abbas reaffirms his opposition to another armed intifada, and PM Fayyad supports nonviolent protests. Ari Shavit says Israel is facing a last chance to make peace and establish its right to exist. Abbas seeks “advice” from France about Palestinian statehood. Gideon Levy says Netanyahu must explain his vision for the future. The family of a captured Israeli soldier accuses Netanyahu of exploiting them. Former Amb. Indyk says the UN may vote to recognize Palestine in September. Larry Derfner says the murder of settlers is unacceptable, but doesn’t justify building more settlements. The US tax-exempt status of the Jewish National Fund is being legally challenged because of its discrimination against non-Jews. JJ Goldberg says Israel is refusing to take yes for an answer from the Palestinians on peace. Daoud Kuttab asks when Palestinians will form new political parties. Basem Ezbidi says both Fatah and Hamas are exploiting the election issue for political purposes.

The Revolution’s Missing Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Abdullah Gul - (Opinion) April 20, 2011 - 12:00am

THE wave of uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa is of historic significance equal to that of the revolutions of 1848 and 1989 in Europe. The peoples of the region, without exception, revolted not only in the name of universal values but also to regain their long-suppressed national pride and dignity. But whether these uprisings lead to democracy and peace or to tyranny and conflict will depend on forging a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and a broader Israeli-Arab peace.

Invitation to Israeli Leader Puts Obama on the Spot
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Helene Cooper - April 20, 2011 - 12:00am

A Republican invitation for Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to address Congress next month is highlighting the tensions between President Obama and Mr. Netanyahu and has kicked off a bizarre diplomatic race over who will be the first to lay out a new proposal to reopen the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

WEST BANK: Palestinian development plan looks at period after state creation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - (Blog) April 20, 2011 - 12:00am

When Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad met the donor coordination group for the Palestinian territory, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), on April 13 in Brussels, he presented them with his new National Development Plan (NDP) 2011-2013, titled Establishing the State, Building our Future. In the foreword of the report, Fayyad wrote: “We stand today on the verge of national readiness for the birth of the State of Palestine. … The journey has been long and arduous, but the end is now in sight –- we are now in the homestretch to freedom.”

New settlement founded, dismantled
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 21, 2011 - 12:00am

The newest illegal settlement in the West Bank was dismantled overnight on Wednesday, hours after hundreds of settlers had gathered to announce the land grab. Settlers had arrived Wednesday afternoon at a patch of land east of Itamar, and named the outpost "Regev", according to reports in the Israeli press. The newest illegal settlement, however, was dismantled by Israeli forces overnight, a spokesman for the country's Civil Administration told Ma'an.

Tanks enter Gaza City industrial zone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Several Israeli tanks penetrated Gaza's border on Thursday morning, entering the Gaza City industrial zone where they demolished an unknown number of factories, all which had been closed since 2005. The industrial zone, near the now-closed Karni crossing, is less than a kilometer away from the border, and was set up near the crossing to facilitate exports.

Clinton: Resumption of negotiations an 'urgent need'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 21, 2011 - 12:00am

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Israel and the Palestinians to resume the peace talks immediately, Israeli Radio reported Thursday morning. In a television interview, Clinton said that the US administration did not support a unilateral Palestinian step to ask the UN for recognition. Her statement followed assertions by President Mahmoud Abbas indicating he believed the US would back him in the move for recognition.

Palestinian leader: There will be no new uprising
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Bouazza Ben Bouazza - April 20, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian president said Wednesday he is opposed to another armed uprising against Israel, even if faltering peace efforts fail later this year. Mahmoud Abbas told reporters in Tunisia that he remains committed to the U.S.-backed target of reaching a negotiated peace agreement with Israel by September. But with talks stalled for months, he repeated his plan to unilaterally seek U.N. endorsement of Palestinian independence in the absence of a deal.

EU role vital to resume Palestinian-Israeli talks: Jordan's king
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 20, 2011 - 12:00am

Jordan's King Abdullah II on Wednesday said Romania and the EU play a fundamental role in supporting efforts to attain lasting peace and security in the Middle East, the state-run Petra news agency reported. The Jordanian leader underlined the need for intensified efforts to help the Palestinians and the Israelis resume peace talks that address all final status issues leading to the creation of an independent Palestinian state that lives in peace and security along with Israel.

Palestinian PM supports non violence in struggle against Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 20, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Wednesday voiced his support for non-violent resistance against Israel. "The great power of our non-violence program gets us closer to the moment of freedom," Fayyad said during a conference to promote peaceful struggle in the West Bank village of Bilin. He reiterated that the non-violent struggle has become part of the Palestinian National Authority's plans to establish an independent state alongside Israel.

One last chance for Israel to reaffirm its right to exist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - (Opinion) April 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Just like the Palestinians, we never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Time after time, we reject the complex diplomatic proposal that has been placed on the table. Time after time, the next proposal is more difficult than its predecessor. Although time is against us, we recklessly refuse to realize this. We refuse today what we will ask for tomorrow and what will cause us regret the day after tomorrow.

Abbas seeks 'advice' from France on declaring Palestinian statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Danna Harman - April 20, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas will travel to Paris on Thursday seeking support for the expected declaration of statehood this September. "We are friends, so he can be sincere with us and to talk to us openly," Abbas said to the AFP last week, talking about French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who he is expected to meet in the afternoon. Abbas said he was planning to ask Sarkozy for “advice,” on the best approach to seeking recognition for an independent Palestinian state.

We have the right to know where Israel is going
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) April 21, 2011 - 12:00am

A word of warning: This article is being written without the slightest cynicism; this call on Benjamin Netanyahu is being written with due sincerity and seriousness. And I'm begging him to tell us and the world what he wants and where he is heading.

Zvi Shalit: Netanyahu uses us for PR
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ahiya Raved - April 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Zvi Shalit, grandfather of captive soldier Gilad Shalit, has expressed protest over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's publicized meeting with the soldier's parents. "You, Mr, Netanyahu are using my son and daughter-in-law with cruel cynicism to convey a sense of action when in fact nothing has been done to save my grandson," he wrote in a letter to Netanyahu.

Indyk: UN likely to vote in favor of Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
April 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Martin Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel and adviser to US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, said Thursday that if no changes are made between now and September, the UN will declare a Palestinian state. "Unless the US, Israel and the Palestinians have an alternative, the Palestinian plan can not be won," Indyk told Army Radio. "If there isn't anything else, then in September there will be a vote in the UN that will recognize a Palestinian state, just like the UN recognized Israel in 1948."

Rattling the Cage: Kids are innocent, settlements aren’t
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Opinion) April 20, 2011 - 12:00am

When settlers are suspected of murdering Palestinians, do the IDF, Shin Bet and police trash their settlements and beat up their neighbors until someone confesses, which is what just happened in the village next to Itamar?

JNF Challenged on Discrimination
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Forward
by Josh Nathan-Kazis - April 20, 2011 - 12:00am

A challenge to the tax-exempt status of Jewish National Fund’s American arm introduces a new wrinkle into an ongoing debate over how the Internal Revenue Service should treat charities whose foreign operations run counter to public policy of the United States. A coalition of anti-Zionist groups has claimed in its challenge that JNF ethnically discriminates by refusing to sell or lease its land in Israel to non-Jews.

As the Palestinians Pursue Statehood, Israel Won’t Take ‘Yes’ for an Answer
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Forward
by J.J. Goldberg - (Analysis) April 20, 2011 - 12:00am

This is a bit complicated, but it’s very important, so try and keep up. We’ll take questions afterward.

New political parties in Palestine - when?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) April 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Fateh, Hamas, PFLP, DFLP, Jihad Islami - these are some of the names of guerrilla movements that have dominated the Palestinian political scene. The modern Palestinian liberation movement began with various PLO factions; en route, it picked up Islamic anti-occupation movements. Each of these groupings has a military and a political wing. The public at large is often unable to distinguish between individuals and positions of the military and political wings.

Parochial aims mar Palestinian elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Basem Ezbidi - (Opinion) April 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Rumors of Fatah-Hamas reconciliation talks – whether in Cairo, Gaza or Istanbul – are once again rife. Driven by demonstrations calling for unity in Gaza and the West Bank, leaders of the two movements feel compelled to show readiness to break out of the cycle of contention that has held Palestinian politics hostage since 2007.

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