Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Fatah says it wants PM Fayyad to continue in office but Hamas refuses. Analysts say this bodes poorly for national reconciliation. PM Netanyahu is mobilizing Europe against Palestinian statehood efforts at the UN. The White House discusses new peace ideas with leading Jewish Americans. Muhammad Dahlan is expelled from Fatah. A new arbitration agreement facilitates Palestinian-Israeli business links. Fayyad supports Stanley Fischer for IMF managing director. Women’s groups say the PA isn’t doing enough to combat “honor killings.” Egypt accuses an American man of being an Israeli spy. Living conditions in Gaza are slowly improving. COMMENTARY:Turki al-Faisal says US favoritism towards Israel is a failed policy. The LA Times hosts a debate between Mousa Abu Marzook and John Bolton on the UN role in Palestinian statehood. Akiva Eldar says Netanyahu ensures the world is against Israel. Merav Michaeli says the Israeli public is oblivious to the repression of Palestinian protesters. Jeff Barak says Israeli society has a long way to go before it becomes truly tolerant. The President of the European Parliament says there must be a peace agreement. Uri Avnery says Israel must make peace with all the Palestinians. Tony Karon says Palestinians doubts are Israel’s best weapon in September. Ha’aretz interviews French ambassador Valerie Hoffenberg on her government’s peace conference proposal.

Hamas Rejects Fatah’s Choice for Prime Minister
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
June 12, 2011 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Hamas militant group on Sunday rejected the rival Fatah movement's nominee for prime minister, complicating plans to unify the dueling governments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and jeopardizing international aid for the Palestinians.

Berlusconi receives Netanyahu, rejects unilateral solutions in Middle East peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
June 12, 2011 - 12:00am

ROME — Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi said Monday that Middle East peace can only be reached through negotiations, keeping to Italy’s position rejecting any unilateral actions such as recognition of a Palestinian state by the U.N. General Assembly. Berlusconi spoke at a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in Italy to rally opposition to Palestinian plans to have the General Assembly recognize a Palestinian state in September.

Israel, White House send signals on new peace talks plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Yahoo News
by Laura Rozen - June 10, 2011 - 12:00am

In a call with Jewish leaders today, new White House Middle East adviser Steve Simon laid out the state of play in the current U.S. effort to re-launch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks along the principles President Obama laid out in a series of speeches last month. According to notes from the call provided to The Envoy, the United States has received a mostly positive response to the U.S. proposal from the Palestinians and the Europeans, but is still waiting to see whether Israel will accept the framework for negotiations.

Fatah: Dahlan voted out of party
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 12, 2011 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Fatah on Sunday said it had ousted former party strongman Muhammad Dahlan from the movement over "criminal acts." President Mahmoud Abbas, the chairman of Fatah, has approved the decision of the committee, the Arabic satellite channel Al-Jazeera reported. Details remain scant on the investigation into Dahlan. Fatah affiliates in Gaza, however, said an emergency meeting had been called to "discuss the consequences of the decision of the central committee of freezing the membership of Mohammad Dahlan."

Hamas rejection bodes poorly for unity talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Josef Federman - June 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Ceremoniously announced last month, reconciliation between the two rival Palestinian leaderships — the secular Fatah and the Islamist Hamas — hit a serious snag Sunday, another sign that the effort is not going well. In the latest blow, Hamas on Sunday rejected Fatah's proposal that internationally respected economist Salam Fayyad remain prime minister. "Hamas will not agree to grant Salam Fayyad the confidence to run the national unity government," said Salah Bardawil, a Hamas official in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli, Palestinian businessmen to deepen ties via new arbitration arrangement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
June 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Despite a lingering freeze in the Mideast peace process, Israeli and Palestinian businessmen hope to strengthen working ties via a new forum, Israeli business daily TheMarker reported on Sunday. A draft underlining the terms of establishing a joint Israeli- Palestinian forum to arbitrate business disagreements was signed in Jerusalem last month under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the report said.

Palestinian PM supports Israel's Stanley Fischer for IMF top job
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
June 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer has a new and unexpected supporter in his bid to head the International Monetary Fund: the Palestinian prime minister. Salam Fayyad says Stanley Fischer would make a "great managing director" for the world financial body and is a "superb human being." The Palestinian Authority does not participate in the selection process, but Fayyad said if he had a vote, he would cast it for Fischer.

Is the Palestinian Authority doing enough to stop honor killings?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - June 12, 2011 - 12:00am

On May 7, the remains of a woman's body were found in a well, three kilometers from the village of Surif, northwest of Hebron. A quick examination by Palestinian police found that the victim was Ayah Barad'iyya, a 21-year-old English major at Hebron University. Her parents had complained to the police about her disappearance 13 months earlier.

Alleged 'spy' in Egypt is US citizen, IDF paratrooper
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - June 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Ilan Grapel, the alleged Mossad agent arrested on Sunday in Egypt, is an American citizen who served in the IDF Paratrooper’s Brigade during the Second Lebanon War and interned last summer at the Israeli Supreme Court. Grapel, originally from New York, moved to Israel after graduating from John Hopkins University in the US and enlisted in the IDF.

A Year After Mavi Marmara, Life in Gaza Eases
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Omar Ghraieb, David Rosenberg - June 12, 2011 - 12:00am

If you want to get a sense of how much has changed during the past year in the lives of ordinary people living the Gaza Strip, look no further than chicken.

Failed favoritism toward Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Turki al-Faisal - (Opinion) June 10, 2011 - 12:00am

President Obama gave a rousing call to action in his controversial speech last month, admonishing Arab governments to embrace democracy and provide freedom to their populations. We in Saudi Arabia, although not cited, took his call seriously. We noted, however, that he conspicuously failed to demand the same rights to self-determination for Palestinians — despite the occupation of their territory by the region’s strongest military power.

Palestinian statehood: What is the U.N.'s role?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
(Editorial) June 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook insists that a vote this fall in the General Assembly cannot be stopped. The Israeli prime minister's recent trip to the United States was a blatant effort to stop the march of history.

With Netanyahu, the world is always against us
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) June 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu really is no man's fool. Why should he miss a rare opportunity to remind the people of Israel that the world is against us and that we have to "join hands" in the struggle against delegitimization?

Palestinians march, Israelis repress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Merav Michaeli - (Opinion) June 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Sources in the Israel Defense Forces are of the opinion that the scenes of Nakba Day and Naksa Day are unlikely to repeat themselves. The marches undertaken on those two days by Palestinian refugees to the border with Israel, they say, were not an act of solidarity with the Palestinians and a demand to realize the Right of Return, but rather an attempt to divert attention away from what is happening in Syria.

Bright spots and dark horizons
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jeff Barak - (Opinion) June 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The story was shocking enough, but what really shocked me was the radio host’s line of questioning.

Under no illusions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jerzy Buzek - (Opinion) June 12, 2011 - 12:00am

I am a friend of Israel. These are not cheap words. As a Pole growing up in the shadow of Auschwitz, and as a European, I am all too aware that the fates of Europe and Israel hang together. Europeans have a special responsibility toward Israel: to remember what has gone before, and to act on these memories – to secure the right of existence for Israel at a time of tumultuous change. We take this moral duty very seriously. The European Union – whose citizens are represented in the parliament of which I am president – was created to prevent the recurrence of the nightmare of war.

A brown-haired young man
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) June 13, 2011 - 12:00am

My hero of the year (for now) is a young brown-haired Palestinian refugee living in Syria called Hassan Hijazi.

Israel's Best Hope to Thwart Palestinian U.N. Plan May Be Palestinians' Own Strategic Doubts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Tony Karon - (Blog) June 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel's government currently lacks a credible plan for getting it out of a diplomatic tight spot if the Palestinians go ahead with a plan to seek U.N. recognition of a state in September. But don't bet against the Palestinian leadership letting the Israelis off the hook as a result of their own divisions over whether to go the U.N. route.

Head to Head: Why does France want a peace conference now?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Adar Primor - (Opinion) June 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Valerie Hoffenberg, 47, a French Jew and a Zionist of Algerian-Tunisian descent, has for the past two years or so been serving as the French president's special envoy to the Middle East. "Sarkozy's turbo engine" is the term used to describe her. Hoffenberg, a lawyer by training, was asked by the president to help bring about Mideast peace "from the bottom up": to break through by means of the economy, education, culture, commerce and the environment. She is behind numerous regional projects and collaborative efforts, the pinnacle of which is creation of the industrial park in Bethlehem.

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