Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: The Israeli military is training settlers to fight Palestinian protesters. Larry Derfner is fired by the Jerusalem Post. Egypt is discussing raising its troop levels in Sinai with Israel. Israel says weapons are coming to Gaza from Libya. Hamas says reconciliation talks are going “very slowly.” PM Netanyahu meets with experts to discuss the possible borders of a future Palestinian state. Gaza NGOs express “horror” at new Hamas travel restrictions. Israeli officials say a 10-man cell is planning new attacks from Sinai. Egyptians debate their relationship with Israel. House Republicans propose a new bill to end funding to Palestinian refugees, among other measures. COMMENTARY: Amir Oren doubts Netanyahu really believes in military restraint. Akiva Eldar says Palestinian strategy will make it difficult for the US to oppose a UN initiative. Avi Yesawich says anything that happens at the UN will be purely symbolic and counterproductive. Khaled Diab says enemies need to begin to look for the good in each other. Gershon Baskin says resistance to Palestinian statehood by Israelis is national suicide and the Forward profiles him. Frida Ghitis says some are pushing for a new war in the Middle East. Palestinian refugees in Syria condemn attacks by the Assad regime. Geoffrey Paul looks in a new book by Hirsh Goodman on Israel's difficulties developing a viable peace strategy. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen says the US should punish the UN for any Palestinian initiative whatsoever by cutting off funds.

Israeli army trains West Bank settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli army is training settlers in the West Bank to repel any violent protests in the territories when the Palestinians try to secure UN membership next month, the military said. Asked to confirm a story first reported in Haaretz newspaper, the army issued a written statement saying it was in the process of training settlement response teams, "to deal with any possible scenario." But it declined to give details on "operational preparedness."

Jerusalem Post fires writer over 'right to terror'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

The English-language Jerusalem Post said on Tuesday it had terminated the employment of a columnist who wrote in a private blog that Palestinians "have the right to use terrorism" against Israelis. The right-leaning daily announced on its front page that US-born writer Larry Derfner was being dismissed "due to a professional disagreement... connected to his personal blog."

Calls to raise Israel-Egypt treaty troop limits
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Amy Teibel - August 29, 2011 - 12:00am

A deadly attack on Israel from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula has sparked calls to raise the number of Egyptian troops allowed in the area under the historic peace treaty with Israel, to counter a surge in Islamist militant activity. But some in Israel, afraid the recent revolt in Egypt might lead to the collapse of the pact, are wary of altering it in any way. Israel says Palestinian militants crossed from Gaza into Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, made their way along the Israel-Egypt border, crossed back into Israel, attacked Israeli vehicles and killed eight people on Aug. 18.

Israel says Gaza gets anti-plane arms from Libya
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
August 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinians in Gaza have acquired anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets from Libya during its six-month civil war, enlarging but not significantly improving their arsenal, Israeli officials said on Monday. While the rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi has stirred concern abroad about the fate of Libya's ageing chemical weapons stockpiles, Israel has no indication Hamas or other Palestinian factions have sought these, the officials said.

Palestinian reconciliation goes forward slowly: Haneya
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Implementing the Palestinian reconciliation deal takes a long time, Prime Minister of the deposed Hamas administration in Gaza Ismail Haneya said Tuesday. "The implementation is going on very slowly," Haneya said during a mass prayer in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to mark the end of Muslims' fasting month of Ramadan. "The reconciliation should be based on clear principles and concentrated choices that do not give up any of those principles," Haneya added, stressing on the option of armed resistance against Israel.

Netanyahu examining possible future borders of a Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Colonel Danny Terza, who outlined the map for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank for former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has spent the past few months advising Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the possible future borders of a Palestinian state. The talks between Netanyahu and Terza represent the first time that the prime minister has dedicated official groundwork to the subject of future borders.

Gaza NGOs express 'horror' at new Hamas travel restrictions on Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip recently imposed new travel restrictions on Palestinians active in non-governmental organizations in what the Palestinian NGO Network regards as another Hamas attempt to control and hamper them. What do you think about this article? Visit Haaretz.com on Facebook and share your views.

Vilnai: 10-man terror cell planning attack from Sinai
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

A cell of more than 10 terrorists is currently in the Sinai with plans to carry out an attack against Israel along its border with Egypt, Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vinai said on Tuesday. “Islamic Jihad is trying for a long time to perpetrate the attacks from the Sinai and the of Id al-Fitr is a good time for attacks,” Vilnai said during a visit to an Elbit Systems factory in Sderot in reference to the Muslim holiday which begins on Tuesday. “The defense establishment has concrete intelligence regarding plans by a terror cell from the Sinai consisting of more than 10 people.”

War and peace: Egyptians consider post-uprising relations with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Masry Al-Youm
by Ali Abdel Mohsen - August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Mohamed Abdel Razek Ali has been standing outside the Israeli Embassy for the past week. His clothes are torn, his hands are filthy, and he holds a couple of signs, too detailed and busy to make immediate sense to any passers-by. The message he is trying to get across, however, is all too clear: “Down with Field Marshal Tantawi!” Abdel Razek Ali demands as he takes his one-man protest off the sidewalk and into traffic.

House Republicans Seek to Force UN Changes by Using U.S. Funding Leverage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Nicole Gaouette - August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

House Republicans are planning to introduce today legislation that seeks to force major changes at the United Nations, using as leverage the U.S.’s 22 percent contribution to the world body’s operating budget.

Netanyahu's show of 'restraint' is meaningless
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amir Oren - (Opinion) August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

The government of Benjamin Netanyahu excels at presenting what is self-evident as the peak of wisdom. The decision to make do with a series of air strikes on the Gaza Strip following the terror attack north of Eilat a week and a half ago, was celebrated as tremendous brilliance. By extension of this logic, a minister who will suddenly announce that two and two equals four would expect the Nobel Prize in Mathematics ?(and being turned down will be explained as anti-Semitism?).

New Palestinian strategy document will make it difficult for U.S. to oppose UN vote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Analysis) August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is probably aware that when it comes to a media event, like a speech at the UN General Assembly, President Shimon Peres doesn’t have to be asked twice to sacrifice himself for the nation. Someone who has been watching the honorable president for decades once told me that Peres is blessed with a unique characteristic: He always knows how to adjust reality according to his needs at the time.

The day after Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Avi Yesawich - (Opinion) August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

In three weeks, a sovereign Palestinian state will almost certainly be welcomed into the United Nations – if not by the UN Security Council then as a “non-member state” by the General Assembly. Worldwide celebrations in honor of the new Palestinian state will undoubtedly take place. Unfortunately, this festival will be honoring a superficial development; an illusion of achievement. In reality, recognition of a Palestinian state in the current political climate will not resolve any of the outstanding issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, only exacerbate them.

Love thy neighboring enemy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Diab - (Opinion) August 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Last week’s coordinated terror attacks in the South were a tragedy, and my condolences go out to the bereaved families of the victims. Continued violence is not the answer to this conflict, and targeting civilians is a war crime – for good reason – regardless of who commits it or why. While Israel’s grief and anger are understandable, its predictable decision to respond to terror with military attacks is not, especially since, in this decades-old conflict, every ugly action is seen as a justified reaction to a perceived uglier precedent.

Encountering Peace: I call it national suicide
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

It took the Palestinian national movement and its representative organization the PLO (formed in 1964) 24 years to formally accept the existence of Israel and the two-state solution. Twenty-three years later, we are approaching the time when the Palestinian national movement and the PLO will abandon the idea of creating a Palestinian state next to Israel in favor of demanding full political rights within Israel.

Talking Peace Is Only Language He Understands
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Jeffay - (Analysis) August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

When a series of terrorist attacks killed eight Israelis in and around the southern Israeli city of Eilat, Gershon Baskin knew immediately that the deaths had the potential to escalate into a full-blown conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza. And he saw himself as one of the few individuals who could do something to stop it. You Say You Want Mediation: Peace activist Gershon Baskin is stepping down as head of the joint Israeli-Palestinian think tank he helped found. He has no plans to stop mediating disputes between the two sides.

Someone wants a war in the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Miami Herald
by Frida Ghitis - (Analysis) August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Something extremely important and exceedingly dangerous is unfolding in a most explosive part of the globe, but it is receiving only minimal attention by the media and by world leaders. An outbreak of violence in Southern Israel, Gaza, and along the Egyptian border, triggered by a recent attack against Israelis civilians, could easily escalate into much more serious fighting.

Statement on Palestinian Refugees in Syria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Arabiya
August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

An amateur video uploaded on a social platform shows members of the Movement of the Free Palestinian Refugees in Syria. The person on camera statement is the following: First statement of the Movement of the Free Palestinian Refugees in Syria: The Palestinian people were born free, lived free and will remain free and no one will be allowed to harm their dignity. They refuse to live under subjugation and injustice and no one will be allowed to trade in the Palestinian cause at the expense of Palestinian blood and dignity.

The Anatomy of Israel's Survival
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Chronicle
by Geoffrey Paul - (Book Review) August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

There comes a moment when, if attempting an analysis of Israel's political and military dilemmas, you just have to get on with it hoping that, between pen and publication, nothing will happen - an intifada, a war, an assassination - that will make your assessment little more than footnotes to a volume of history. Hirsh Goodman, journalist, author and now senior fellow at Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies, is too experienced a hand to fall into the traps awaiting the unwary.

To protect Israel at U.N., money talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Miami Herald
by Ileane Ros-Lehtinen - (Opinion) August 27, 2011 - 12:00am

The recent onslaught of violent attacks against Israel reminds us of the growing threats facing the Jewish state. But even as extremists from Gaza fire rockets and mortars at civilians in southern Israel and cause death and destruction, we must not forget about another danger facing Israel: a unilateral campaign by Palestinian leaders to secure recognition from individual foreign governments and from the United Nations for a self-declared Palestinian “state.” This anti-Israel, anti-peace scheme must be stopped.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017