Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Palestinians continue to argue over who will be the next prime minister. Pres. Abbas and Hamas leader Mishaal will meet in Cairo to decide the issue. US officials try to resuscitate Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Israel says it expects the new Lebanese government to maintain the border truce. Israel’s navy prepares for the next Gaza flotilla. The head of the European Parliament says East Jerusalem should be the Palestinian capital. Ha’aretz interviews playwright Tony Kushner. A UN report says Syria encouraged border confrontations in the Golan Heights. PM Netanyahu says Palestinians won’t compromise even if their demands are met, and wants to form a block of 30 states at the UN to oppose Palestinian statehood. COMMENTARY: Etgar Keret says Netanyahu does not believe there is any possibility for a peace agreement. Leon Wieseltier says Jews must learn to trust their neighbors. Shaddad Attili says Israel’s water policies are extremely discriminatory against Palestinians. Avi Yesawich and Daniel Nisman say Israel’s 1967 borders are indeed defensible. Chris Gunness says attacks on UNRWA are unfounded. Jesse Rosenfeld and Joseph Dana say Palestinian nonviolence is their version of the “Arab Spring.” The Gulf News says Fayyad has been an excellent prime minister but Palestinian unity should not be derailed by disagreements over individuals. Jerome Segal says the UN should reestablish its Special Committee on Palestine. Immanuel Wallerstein says Israel faces severe diplomatic difficulties coming in September. Hussein Ibish says Arab-Americans should act as Americans of Arab heritage rather than Arabs living in the United States.

Hamas, Fatah fail to agree on prime minister
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - June 14, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM – Talks between the Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas on the composition of a shared government failed Tuesday to produce agreement on a prime minister, and the groups’ top leaders will meet next week in an effort to resolve the dispute, officials from both sides said.

Fatah and Hamas call their top leaders to the rescue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - (Blog) June 14, 2011 - 12:00am

Unable to agree on who will run the new Palestinian national unity government, the secular Fatah movement and the Islamist Hamas, two bitter rivals for years, decided Tuesday to call their top leaders to the rescue. After a meeting in Cairo to discuss government formation, the two main Palestinian political factions decided that it was time to have the Fatah leader, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and the Hamas leader, Khaled Mishal, to join the next “final and decisive” meeting planned for next Tuesday in Cairo.

US envoys try to renew Israeli-Palestinian talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Tia Goldenberg - June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Senior U.S. diplomats have returned to the Middle East for an unannounced visit to try to find a way to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that collapsed last year and now face new challenges. Dennis Ross and David Hale's visit, confirmed by an Israeli official Wednesday, is their first to the region since special Mideast envoy George Mitchell resigned last month after failing to break the negotiations deadlock.

Israel expects new Lebanese Cabinet to keep truce
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel says it expects Lebanon's new government to honor the truce that ended the 2006 summer war between Israeli troops and the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group. Lebanon this week formed a Cabinet dominated by Hezbollah and its allies. The move capped Hezbollah's steady rise over decades from a guerrilla group fighting Israel to Lebanon's most powerful military and political force. In Israel's first official comment on the new Cabinet on Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said Israel expects the Lebanese government to honor the U.N. Security Council resolution that ended the 2006 war.

Israel Navy rehearses raid ahead of new Gaza-bound flotilla
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, June 15 (Xinhua) -- The Israel Navy on Wednesday held an exercise incorporating several special forces units as part of ongoing preparations to prevent an international aid flotilla from reaching the Gaza Strip in the coming weeks. The organizers of "Freedom Flotilla 2," to include 15 ships and some 1,500 pro-Palestinian activists, plan to set sail from European ports later this month and are expected to approach Gaza coast in the first week of July.

European Parliament: East Jerusalem should be Palestinian capital
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

The European Parliament supports the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, its president said Wednesday. It embraced the vision for peace in the Middle East as outlined by U.S. President Barack Obama in a May 19 address in Washington, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek said. Addressing the Knesset in Jerusalem, Buzek however reiterated direct peace negotiations were the "only solution."

PM: Israel aims to offset PA's UN bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Attila Somfalvi - June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Tuesday with European Parliament President Prof Jerzy Buzek in Jerusalem. The two discussed various regional issues, including the unilateral Palestinian bid for statehood in the UN, planned for September. Netanyahu told Buzek the he aims to push a diplomatic initiative that would see 30 UN-member nations block the PA's bid. "It will not create an opposing majority, but it will balance out the bid's potential support," he said.

PM: Palestinians won't compromise if all demands are met
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman, Hilary Leila Krieger, Tovah Lazaroff - June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Netanyahu tells Jerzy Buzek 30 UN states should oppose Palestinian statehood bid; US, EU officials in Israel work to stop UN move. If the Palestinians obtain all of their requests and the UN General Assembly recognizes a Palestinian state, it will be difficult to get the Palestinian leadership to accept necessary compromises in peace negotiations, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday night. Netanyahu made the comments during a meeting with President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek in Jerusalem.

'UN says Syria allowed Naksa Day border crossings'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Report on Naksa, Nakba clashes on northern border says Syria didn't organize the demonstrations but Syrian armed forces were always nearby. Syrian armed forces allowed Palestinian demonstrators to cross the Israel-Syrian border in the Golan Heights during Nakba and Naksa Day protests, a United Nations report released on Wednesday said, AFP reported.

Angels perceived as devils
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nathan Englander - June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Tony Kushner doesn't mind the heat. He grew up in Louisiana, and he's long used to it by now. So when I ask him to sit outside on a stifling Manhattan morning already edging toward 100 degrees, he's more than happy to oblige.

Netanyahu says there's no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Etgar Keret - (Opinion) June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

The flight to Rome leaves in the middle of the night. When I finish packing my small travel suitcase, my wife gives me a scrap of orange notepaper. It isn’t meant for me; it’s for the prime minister. It reads: “Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, I beg you do everything in your power to bring peace, for the sake of the future of our children and yours. Thank you, Shira.” I find this amusing, and she is offended. “What are you thinking?” I ask her. “That Bibi is like the Western Wall? That you can stick a note into a crack in him somewhere, pray a little and he’ll bring peace?”

Learning to trust our neighbors
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Leon Wieseltier - (Opinion) June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

The stability that Hosni Mubarak conferred upon Israeli-Egyptian relations could not last forever, and Israel's security policy cannot be premised on an eternity of Arab tyranny; but still it is not hard to understand the anxiety that the turbulence in Egypt, and elsewhere in the Arab world, has provoked in Israel. What seems to rattle Israel is not only the prospect of Arab instability, but also the prospect of Arab democracy. The only democracy in the Middle East looks as if it wishes to remain the only democracy in the Middle East. This is not altogether attractive.

The reason for our water crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Shaddad Attili - (Opinion) June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Earlier this month, I took part in a panel discussion on the water crisis affecting the Middle East. Along with representatives from Jordan and France, Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Minister for Environmental Protection, was on the panel. The theme was “equitable sharing and reasonable use of cross-border watercourses,” which goes to the very heart of the water dispute between Palestinians and Israelis.

Myth of indefensible borders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Daniel Nisman, Avi Yesawich - (Opinion) June 14, 2011 - 12:00am

Individuals who claim the 1967 borders are indefensible ignore the overarching paradigm shift of the Israeli-Arab conflict that has taken place over the last decade. The political outcry in Israel following Obama’s Mideast policy speech was palpable. The president stated what many Israeli hawks found to be unacceptable, if not outright dangerous: Any future Israeli-Palestinian agreement should be based on the 1967 borders with mutually agreed upon land swaps. Hysteria followed, with Netanyahu issuing a clear rebuke to Obama’s statement during his speech at the US Congress.

Don’t blame UNRWA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Chris Gunness - (Editorial) June 14, 2011 - 12:00am

Ynetnews’ recent article, “The Arab refugee swindle” by Moshe Dann, fundamentally fails to understand international law, UNRWA’s mandate and its day-to-day operations. All refugee communities, whether those under the care of UNRWA or UNHCR, have their refugee status passed through the generations while their plight remains unresolved. Refugees in Kenya administered by UNHCR are a good example. In this regard, the accusation that UNRWA uniquely perpetuates the Palestine refugee problem is ignorant of international refugee law and practice.

From Arab Spring comes a new form of Palestinian unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Joseph Dana, Jesse Rosenfeld - (Opinion) June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

On June 5, when Palestinian protesters tried to march from Ramallah to Jerusalem in observation of the 44th anniversary of Israel's 1967 occupation, they were sent scrambling amidst clouds of Israeli tear gas and hailing rubber bullets. Hours later on the Syrian border, Israeli soldiers responded to a separate demonstration by killing 23 unarmed Palestinian refugees, who were also trying to exercise their right of return.

Hamas, Fatah should look at bigger picture
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Continuing reconciliation between the two Palestinian parties of Fatah and Hamas is vital. The slow momentum which has built up since they signed a reconciliation pact on May 4 must not be allowed to stop. An agreed interim government is their main priority, since without such an agreement the Palestinians will not be able to go to the United Nations in September and seek recognition as a state, nor will they be able to seek UN support to end the blockade of Gaza.

The Coming Israeli Tsunami?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Online
by Immanuel Wallerstein - (Opinion) June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinians are pursuing their project of seeking a formal recognition of their statehood by the United Nations when the General Assembly convenes in the fall. They intend to request a statement that the state exists within the boundary lines as they existed in 1967 before the Israeli-Palestinian war. It is almost certain that the vote will be favorable. The only question at the moment is how favorable.

Some Arab-Americans need more of the American
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) June 14, 2011 - 12:00am

The Arab-American community continues to suffer from the debilitating condition of operating primarily within an Arab rather than an American framework, and of approaching its political mission based on a set of imported imperatives, rivalries and grievances. Far too many prominent people and organizations are driven largely by a derivative agenda, looking for guidance and direction from groups, individuals and governments in the Middle East, thereby rendering themselves woefully ineffective and marginal in their own country.

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