Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: A UN Security Council meeting may have foreshadowed events in September. Palestinian plans and a draft resolution may be unveiled on Thursday. UN officials say Palestinians are ready for independence. PM Netanyahu’s popularity in Israel is plummeting over costs of living issues. PM Fayyad says the PA urgently needs $300 million to offset a financial crisis. Israeli troops raid the “Freedom Theater” in Jenin. Hamas says it intends to gain full control over the Egyptian border. Israel sues Bedouins for the costs of repeatedly destroying their homes. Reports describe abusive treatment of Palestinian children by Israeli military courts. COMMENTARY: Oudeh Basharat says Israel needs a real opposition party. Ron Kampeas interrogates Glenn Beck’s support for Israel. Joel Brinkley says events in September will be critical to the future of the Middle East. Emily Hauser looks at Palestinian nonviolent resistance to occupation. Hussein Ibish describes his debate with an extremist Israeli settler as a contrast between modern and medieval thinking, and Gal Beckerman agrees. Hussein Ibish examines potential Palestinian UN initiatives and possible compromises.

Security Council Debate Offers Preview of Palestinian Bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Neil MacFarquhar - July 26, 2011 - 12:00am

UNITED NATIONS — A preview of the expected showdown over whether to admit a Palestinian state as a full member of the United Nations when world leaders gather here in September played out in the Security Council on Tuesday. Supporters evoked the Arab Spring, in which millions of people across the Middle East sought freedom from oppression, as a fitting backdrop for an endorsement of the Palestinian people’s release from 44 years of Israeli occupation.

Palestinian UN Vote No Longer A Certainty
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Week
by Stewart Ain - July 26, 2011 - 12:00am

As the Palestinians prepare to unveil Thursday a draft of their resolution requesting United Nations’ recognition next month of an independent Palestinian state, many analysts believe such UN action is not inevitable.

UN: Palestinians ready for statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 27, 2011 - 12:00am

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) -- The Palestinian Authority is ready to govern a nation but deadlock with Israel has made a two-state solution far from certain, the UN special envoy for the Middle East peace process said Tuesday. Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been on hold for 10 months. They broke down shortly after Washington relaunched the first direct negotiations between the two sides for nearly two years.

Why Netanyahu is suddenly unpopular in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - July 26, 2011 - 12:00am

Tel Aviv Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been put firmly on the defensive for the first time since his election, with tens of thousands of people protesting the surging cost of housing. With his approval ratings in a double-digit dive, Mr. Netanyahu canceled a trip to Poland today to unveil a series of measures aimed at cooling off real-estate prices that have risen by more than one third since 2007.

Fayyad seeks $300 million to ease cash crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 27, 2011 - 12:00am

CAIRO (AFP) - Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad said Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority needed $300 million "urgently" to help ease a financial crisis. The PA "urgently needs $300 million to overcome the bottleneck and deal with the financial crisis," he told reporters in Cairo after an extraordinary meeting of Arab League representatives. The crisis stems from the fact that pledged aid has not yet come through. Fayyad said the PA had received $331 million in 2011, including $79 million from Arab countries, as well as an additional $30 million from Saudi Arabia.

Palestinian leader wants rallies to back UN bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - July 27, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Invoking the Arab Spring, the Palestinian president on Wednesday urged his people to take to the streets for massive rallies in support of his government's bid to get the U.N. to recognize an independent Palestinian state. The call by President Mahmoud Abbas for peaceful, "popular resistance" throughout the West Bank was likely to fuel Israeli concerns that the U.N. vote in September and any large demonstrations could spark a new round of violence.

Hamas launches plans to fully control Gaza-Egypt borders: spokesman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
July 26, 2011 - 12:00am

GAZA, July 26 (Xinhua) -- The deposed government of Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip had launched a security plan to fully control the borderline area between Egypt and the coastal enclave, a Hamas official said Tuesday. Ihab al-Ghussein, spokesman of the Hamas ministry of interior told Xinhua "the ministry is exerting every possible effort to keep a full control of the borderline area between the Gaza Strip and prevent more violations of the law."

Israel sues 34 Bedouin for costs of repeated demolitions of their homes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jack Khoury - July 27, 2011 - 12:00am

The state filed an unprecedented suit against 34 Negev Bedouin in Be'er Sheva Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, seeking NIS 1.8 million in damages for the expense repeatedly incurred in evicting the defendants from state land and demolishing their homes. The state, through the Israel Lands Administration, told the court that the defendants had built homes in the Al-Arakib area, northeast of Be'er Sheva, on what had been state land since the time of Ottoman rule.

Palestinian children endure systematic abuse from Israel's military courts, say reports
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - July 27, 2011 - 12:00am

BEIT UMMAR, WEST BANK // Military justice came to Sami on March 8 when two-dozen Israeli commandos raided his home shortly after midnight. The 15-year-old Palestinian's family watched as soldiers bound his hands, slipped over a blindfold and arrested him without offering an explanation. Sami recounted in an interview how he was forced to walk three kilometres beyond his village, Beit Ummar, to a nearby Jewish settlement.

Israel needs a real opposition party
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Oudeh Basharat - (Opinion) July 27, 2011 - 12:00am

What do Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv and Tahrir Square in Cairo have in common? Both are the seeing the creation of authentic mass protest movements, and in both countries there is a lack of formal political opposition. In Cairo the opposition is informal. Here there is a formal body called Kadima, which is not an opposition. The Knesset is likely to become confused here between the opposition and the coalition. MK Shai Hermesh of Kadima found himself this week defending himself against an attack by MK Miri Regev of Likud on the issue of housing prices.

Beck and the Jews: Does he get them? Do they get him?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - (Opinion) July 26, 2011 - 12:00am

It depends on whom you ask – to a degree – but it also seems to depend on the day of the week. Here he is on the night of July 19: “The Jewish people have been chased out of almost every country on this planet,” he told a crowd of thousands at the annual Christians United for Israel gathering in Washington. "This is why the nation of Israel is vital.”

September critical for Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Newsday.com
by Joel Brinkley - (Opinion) July 26, 2011 - 12:00am

HAIFA, Israel -- Around here, everyone is deeply concerned about September. In fact, that's just about the only thing anyone is talking about. For Israelis and Palestinians, September is the universally understood shorthand for the likely United Nations vote that month on whether to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state. Right now, Israeli and Palestinian officials are traveling to European and other capitals, furiously soliciting votes. But no one on either side of the debate doubts that a majority of the U.N.'s 192 member states will vote with the Palestinians.

Reading the Conflict - A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and Nonviolent Resistance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Americans For Peace Now
by Emily L. Hauser - (Opinion) July 26, 2011 - 12:00am

When the first intifada hit Israel with the shock of a tidal wave, I was living in Tel Aviv. Many of my male friends - including the young man with whom I was in love and living at the time - found themselves called to endless rounds of reserve duty to face off against stone-throwing youth.

Debating an extremist Israeli settler
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) July 26, 2011 - 12:00am

Last week I had a fascinating debate with David Ha’ivri, an extremist Israeli settler—an event loosely connected to a conference of the pro-settler Christians United for Israel organization.

Israel's Foreign Ministry Borrows From the Settlers for Its Propaganda
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Gal Beckerman - (Blog) July 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel’s deputy foreign minister and Twitter warrior, Danny Ayalon, recently released a video over YouTube that is doing quite well — posted on July 11, it now has nearly 180,000 hits. In it, Ayalon tries to explain why he thinks the West Bank should not be referred to as “occupied” and that settlements are not in effect settlements.

Defusing Palestinian Statehood Bid at the UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Atlantic
by Hussein Ibish - (Editorial) July 27, 2011 - 12:00am

For most of 2011, Palestinian leaders have been privately and publicly speculating about potential statehood initiatives at the UN General Assembly meeting in September. The PLO may present some plan in effect asking the UN to recognize Palestine as an independent state, which wouldn't make it so, but it would put Israel and the U.S. in a very awkward position. These ideas have been opposed by both Israel and the United States, which have described them as "unilateral," and met with a mixed response among European states.

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