Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Israel drops leaflets warning Gazans not to approach the “buffer zone.” Israel’s Navy boards a French boat bound for Gaza, without incident. Pres. Abbas says he is ready to circumvent US opposition at the UN, but Deputy FM Ayalon says Palestinians are being defeated. Syria says it recognizes a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. Israel plans hundreds of more settler housing units in the occupied territories. Settlers are increasingly lobbying in the United States. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat is making a political comeback. Palestinians in Jericho face drought and home demolitions. A new House bill could limit US aid to several countries and the PA. COMMENTARY: Ha’aretz says Israel’s equality under the law doesn’t apply to Palestinians. Shlomo Gazit says he is determined to fight what he he says amounts to “apartheid” in Israel. Reuven Pedatzur says the PA has proven itself a worthy partner in peace. Gershon Baskin says face-to-face encounters are a key to Israeli-Palestinian peace. Asharq al-Awsat interviews Michael Weiss. Musa Keilani says Jordan needs a Palestinian state. Jeffrey Goldberg says support from Michele Bachmann and other right wing evangelicals is dangerous for Israel. Saliba Sarsar and Hussein Ibish say the international community must make an irreversible commitment to a Palestinian state. Hussein Ibish says antidemocratic tendencies are growing in Israel.

GAZA STRIP: Israeli military warns Gazans in leaflet drop
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Rushdi Abu Alouf - July 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets over the Gaza Strip for the first time since the end of a 22-day assault more than two years ago. The leaflets, dropped late Sunday and early Monday, written in Arabic and signed by the "Israel Defense Forces," warned residents not to come near the border with Israel in the northern part of the territory, witnesses said. The leaflets warned citizens against approaching within 300 yards of the border. "Anyone approaching the buffer zone will put himself in danger," one leaflet read.

Israeli navy takes over Gaza-bound ship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - July 19, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Israeli naval commandos on Tuesday seized control of a French ship attempting to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, reporting no resistance during the takeover in international waters. The navy boarded the ship after the pro-Palestinian activists on board ignored calls to change course. The military had warned it would stop any attempt to break the sea blockade of Gaza, which Israel imposed four years ago in what it says is a measure to prevent arms smuggling to Gaza's ruling Hamas militant group.

Abbas to bypass US opposition to UN bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 19, 2011 - 12:00am

OSLO, Norway (AFP) -- President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday said he was ready to circumvent opposition from the United States to a bid for statehood by taking the proposal to the United Nations' General Assembly. The plan to seek UN membership for a state on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War is opposed by among others Israel and the United States. It risks being blocked by a US veto at the UN Security Council.

Israeli minister says Palestinians losing UN bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Daniel Estrin - July 18, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — International support for a planned Palestinian declaration of independence at the U.N. in September is waning, in large part because of intense Israeli lobbying against the initiative, a senior Israeli diplomat claimed Monday.

Ministry: Syria recognizes Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Agence France Press (AFP) - July 19, 2011 - 12:00am

The Syrian foreign ministry said Monday that Damascus recognizes a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital within the borders in effect prior to the 1967 Six-Day War. "Syria recognizes a Palestinian state within the June 4, 1967 borders and east Jerusalem as its capital, and on the basis of the preservation of Palestinian legitimate rights," a statement said. Syria "will treat the Damascus office of the PLO as an embassy upon the publication of this statement," the ministry added.

Israel plans hundreds more Jewish settler homes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
July 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel announced plans on Monday to build another 294 homes in two Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and the Palestinians said the move hardened their resolve to seek statehood recognition from the United Nations. Israel's Housing Ministry linked the new construction to a nationwide plan to lower housing prices, which have skyrocketed in recent years, and appease protesters demanding affordable living space.

American view(s) on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - July 19, 2011 - 12:00am

"I don't like to use this word 'settlers,'" says the speaker, who notes he's as Israeli as Israelis who don't live in the territories. No objections from the Jewish Community Center audience in Silver Spring, Maryland. The event, entitled 'Meet Israelis Living in the Heartland of Israel," took place last Sunday.

Veteran Palestinian negotiator Erekat back after embarrassment of Al Jazeera revelations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - July 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Saeb Erekat is back. Only a few months ago, the veteran Palestinian negotiator and, thanks to satellite television, a worldwide face of the Palestinian struggle, resigned in embarrassment after documents leaked to Al Jazeera by an apparently disgruntled employee in his office portrayed him in a less-than-flattering light.

Once fertile valley dries up as Jerichoans face drought and demolition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Irish Times
by Michael Jansen - July 19, 2011 - 12:00am

THE PALM trees of Jericho stand tall on the broad brown floor of the Jordan valley, their thick green fronds fluttering in the stiff breeze.

House bill to limit aid to Pakistan, Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Donna Cassata - July 18, 2011 - 12:00am

A House panel unveiled a bill Monday that would block U.S. aid to Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority unless the Obama administration reassures Congress that they are cooperating in the worldwide fight against terrorism.

Israel's 'equality under law' doesn't apply to Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) July 19, 2011 - 12:00am

West Bank Palestinian minors accused of throwing stones do have a chance of being acquitted; the odds are about one in a thousand. According to a B'Tselem report published yesterday, just one juvenile defendant out of 835 was acquitted of stone-throwing over the past six years. The others were convicted, mostly through plea bargains. About 60 percent of the convicted minors served prison terms of four months or more. Among those who served sentences of a few days and up to two months in prison were 19 defendants who were 12 to 13 years old.

Yes Mr. Lieberman, I'm a proud Jewish terrorist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shlomo Gazit - (Opinion) July 19, 2011 - 12:00am

In 1942, as a young boy, a high school student in Tel Aviv, I joined the Haganah (the main pre-state underground Jewish militia). The British Mandatory government considered me, and others who did as I did, to be members of an illegal organization. Two years later I enlisted in the Palmach, the elite strike force of the Haganah, and during my period of activity in the framework of the Jewish resistance movement the British government considered me a "terrorist." Afterwards I fought in the War of Independence and spent another 32 years in the Israel Defense Forces as a career soldier.

There is a Palestinian partner
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Reuven Pedatzur - (Opinion) July 19, 2011 - 12:00am

At a time when politicos are attacking the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, and when over and over again the claim is heard that there is no partner on the other side, it is worthwhile presenting events in the West Bank which, for political reasons, are intentionally ignored. I am referring to the very fruitful and successful cooperation between the Palestinians and the Israeli defense establishment, which developed secretly, and which is one of the reasons why Israeli citizens enjoy such a calm security situation of late.

Encountering Peace: What gives me hope
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) July 19, 2011 - 12:00am

As a peace activist for more than 30 years, I am frequently interviewed. After getting through the political analysis of the moment, the subject inevitably turns to the personal. One question that repeats itself constantly is “how do you keep doing it?” It is a very good question, since peace seems to be so constantly moving further towards the distant horizon.

Asharq Al-Awsat talks to Just Journalism director Michael Weiss
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Mohammed Al Shafey - (Interview) July 19, 2011 - 12:00am

London, Asharq al-Awsat- Michael Weiss is an American journalist, and contributing editor of Tablet magazine. Having received a BA in History from Dartmouth College in 2002, Weiss has gone on to write extensively on the Middle East, with particular expertise on the Israel-Palestine conflict and human rights issues. His work has been featured in many prestigious publications in both the United States and Britain, including The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, where he currently contributes a regular blog on Middle Eastern issues.

Dr Musa A Keilani: Decision in the doldrums
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Musa Keilani - (Opinion) July 19, 2011 - 12:00am

The international Quartet has proved itself to be ineffective in its mandate to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace. The Quartet, made up of the US, the UN, the European Union and Russia, could not get out of its own trap when the group met in Washington this month.

Michele Bachmann’s Hazardous Love for Israel: Jeffrey Goldberg
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Jeffrey Goldberg - (Opinion) July 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman and Republican candidate for president, is making a muscular showing in the polls. She is telegenic. She is clever. Some of her Republican opponents worry she may be unstoppable. But never fear, oh Republican opponents of Michele Bachmann: I’ve devised a fail-safe way to bring her to a state of cognitive paralysis. This method will require some travel on her part. Bachmann’s destination: the Tel Aviv gay-pride parade.

The Long Overdue State of Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Hussein Ibish and Saliba Sarsar - (Opinion) July 18, 2011 - 12:00am

With the independence of the new Republic of South Sudan, the world is again reminded that states are created on the basis of local, regional and international necessity. At least two decades of international action, as well as a long, bitter and bloody conflict produced the independence of the south, a state that has been already welcomed by the international community, the African Union, the United Nations, and has been invited to join the Arab League.

Israel’s anti-democratic impulses grow
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) July 19, 2011 - 12:00am

A recently-passed anti-boycott law in Israel allows anyone advocating a boycott of the country or “areas under its control”—in other words the settlements—to be sued by private citizens and denied government benefits and contracts. This egregious attack on freedom of speech and conscience is a symptom of several deep-seated problems that are having a profoundly negative effect on Israel’s international standing and on prospects for peace with the Palestinians.

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