Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Israel is gambling that increased Egyptian troop presence in Sinai will restore order. Israel's finance minister says the Palestinian UN initiative is a “bigger threat” than Hamas. The West Bank and Gaza find themselves in different time zones this Ramadan. Israel is again withholding Palestinian tax revenues. Israel's Knesset speaker says he believes all the land, including the occupied territories, “is ours in its entirety.” Surfers and runners in Gaza train in spite of difficulties. A US citizen pleads guilty to spying for Israel. Muslim members of Congress call for the release of a captured Israeli soldier. Jordan has reportedly asked the Palestinian leadership to reconsider any UN initiative. COMMENTARY: Zvi Bar'el says the Israeli-Egyptian alliance is one between two juntas. Amira Hass says everything is in place for another Palestinian uprising. Israel's former ambassador in South Africa says Israel is facing the "South Africanization" of the conflict. Abraham Katsman says non-Jewish Republicans are outbidding Jewish Democrats on Israel in American elections. The National says Israel needs more than weapons. Meryl Chertoff and Samah A. Norquist say more Jewish and Arab-American dialogue is needed on Palestine and many issues. Israeli ambassador Michael Oren says a UN initiative could invalidate the Oslo Agreements.

New Egypt troop presence in Sinai a gamble for Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Reporting from Tel Aviv— The aftermath of the "Arab Spring" is forcing Israel to gamble with what had long been one of the foundations of its security: a demilitarized Sinai peninsula.

Steinitz: Palestinian UN bid 'greater threat' than Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 31, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- The Palestinian campaign to secure full UN membership presents a greater threat to Israel than that posed by Hamas, the Israeli finance minister said on Wednesday. "This Palestinian initiative represents a more serious threat than that posed by Hamas," Yuval Steinitz told Israel's public radio. If the Palestinians made good on their plans to seek United Nations membership, Israel would "respond," he promised.

Gaza, West Bank to live in different time zones
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 28, 2011 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- For the first time in history, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip will live in different time zones. Clocks were pushed back an hour at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on August 1 in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian Authority cabinet decided Tuesday to revert to summer time (+3 hours GMT) at the end of Ramadan. The cabinet announced that the Eid Al-Fitr holiday which marks the end of Ramadan would begin Tuesday.

Finance Minister reneges on deal to give early payment to Palestinian Authority
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - August 31, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz rejected a Palestinian Authority request that it move up payment of NIS 380 million in tax revenues so that the PA could pay salaries before the holiday of Id al-Fitr, which began Tuesday.

Rivlin in Itamar: Israel is ours in its entirety
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yair Altman - August 31, 2011 - 12:00am

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin visited the West Bank settlement of Itamar in a show of support for the the community where five family members were slaughtered earlier this year, and said he believes that "the land of Israel is ours in its entirety." Rivlin met with Samaria Council Head Gershon Massika, toured an elementary school and paid a visit to the Fogel family's home, the site of the brutal attack that took place in March.

Gaza's girl surfer battles pollution and prejudice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - August 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Twelve-year-old Sabah Abu Ghanim drags her board through the water as the sinking sun glints on the eastern Mediterranean. The wind has got up a little, and she is hoping the surf will follow – enough, at least, for her to ride the waves. "I feel the sea belongs to me," says the Gaza surfer. "When I'm in the sea I feel content and happy."

The loneliness of Gaza's long-distance runner
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

As the sun sinks slowly behind the stands of the Yarmouk Stadium, it feels a fraction cooler after a day of blistering August heat. Which is just as well, as it is Ramadan and Nader al-Masri, 31, has not eaten or drunk anything since before dawn and will not do so until dusk, still a couple of hours away. Before that, this quiet, slightly built man will have completed 25 circuits of the stadium in around 45 minutes, concealing the arduousness of the task by his straight-backed but graceful, easy running style.

High-tech worker pleads guilty to spying for Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
August 31, 2011 - 12:00am

(JTA) -- A former employee of a Boston-area high-tech company pleaded guilty to handing over trade secrets to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer. Elliot Doxer, 43, who formerly worked for Akamai Technologies Inc., pleaded guilty to one count of foreign economic espionage Tuesday in U.S. District Court. Akamai provides technology for delivering content over the Internet using remote or cloud services.

American Muslims Call for Gilad Shalit's Release
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
August 31, 2011 - 12:00am

A group of prominent American Muslims issued a letter urging Hamas to immediately release captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The Aug. 26 letter’s 11 signatories include the two Muslim members of Congress – Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Andre Carson (D-IN) – as well as Muslim academics and communal figures. “We believe Hamas’ harsh treatment and five-year detention of Shalit is wrong,” the Muslim leaders wrote in their letter, which was addressed to Khaled Mashal, the Syrian-based chairman of Hamas’ political bureau.

Jordan urges Abbas to rethink UN bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - August 31, 2011 - 12:00am

Jordan has appealed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and asked him to reconsider the PA's nearing bid for UN recognition, Saudi Arabia's al-Madinah newspaper reported on Tuesday. According to the report, Jordan views the move as dangerous and as one that may compromise the Palestinians' assertion of the right of return.

The Israel-Egypt junta alliance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Zvi Barel - (Opinion) August 31, 2011 - 12:00am

We were shocked. Suddenly we were told that Egypt is being run by a "military junta." We were also surprised to discover that after 33 years of peace, the peace agreement was signed with a dictator, and that we continued on with the dictator who followed him after he was assassinated. And now this peace is about to collapse, because the dictator is gone and the junta has arrived.

Israel must get ready for its own Hurricane Irene
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Opinion) August 31, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel headed for disaster
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ilan Baruch - (Opinion) August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Media outlets are reporting that a telegram recently sent by Israel’s UN envoy to Jerusalem reveals that the words uttered by senior officials such as Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon are merely empty talk. The UN ambassador estimated that it’s impossible to curb the international wave of support for the notion of an independent Palestinian state.

The Obama Effect
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Opinion) August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

When an Orthodox Jewish, kippa-wearing Democratic candidate might lose a congressional election in the most Jewish (and 75% Democratic) congressional district in America – a seat occupied by Democrats for nearly a century – to a non-Jewish Republican, something significant is going on. And Golda Koppelman knows what that something is.

Israeli weapons cannot prevail on their own
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) August 31, 2011 - 12:00am

If Palestinian protesters cross a "red line" around a settlement, the advice is to shoot at their feet. What kind of damage-control policy is that? But those are the instructions that the Israel Defence Forces are giving soldiers preparing for the "mass disorder" expected next month, reported the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. At the same time, the Israeli government is stockpiling anti-riot weapons at settlements, which are already armed to the teeth, in anticipation of trouble.

Stay the Course on Interfaith Dialogue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Meryl Chertoff, Samah Norquist - (Opinion) August 29, 2011 - 12:00am

If all goes according to current reports, some time in September, the Palestinian Authority will submit a resolution declaring statehood to the Security Council of the United Nations. While the United States and possibly other Council members are widely expected to veto the resolution, the PA may take its case to the General Assembly, where the US does not have a veto. A vote in support of the resolution there, while not binding, would pave the way for member nations to recognize a Palestinian state.

Israeli Amb.: Palestinian statehood vote could end all PA agreements with Israel and the U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Josh Rogin - (Analysis) August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

If the Palestinians go forward with their drive to seek recognition as a state at the U.N. General Assembly next month, all agreements governing Israeli-Palestinian and U.S.-Palestinian cooperation could become null and void, according to Israel's ambassador to the United States.

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