Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Turkey expels Israeli diplomats over a UN report into last year’s flotilla incident. The UN report finds the Israeli blockade of Gaza is legal, but that Israeli forces used excessive force against the flotilla. More anxious Israelis are seeking European passports. Israelis say a UN initiative could end all existing agreements. EU foreign ministers are meeting to discuss a Palestinian UN initiative. US evangelical Christians organize against it. Egypt's foreign minister says progress is being made at the UN. France says the initiative is “dangerous.” Palestinians continue to debate the legal implications of any initiative. COMMENTARY: Akram Atallah Alaysa says that apathy defines Palestinian public attitudes towards a UN initiative. Jon Haber says BDS is not as big a challenge as some Israelis think. Yoel Marcus says Israel may have missed its chance for peace. Hassan Jabareen explains why Palestinians can't recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.” Uri Savir says the US needs to develop a new peace initiative immediately. Mehdi Hasan says a symbolic Palestinian victory at the UN would be meaningless. Larry Derfner explains why he wrote the column that got him fired from the Jerusalem Post. Brendan O'Neill says Israeli musicians should not be stigmatized for their nationality. Tom Segev recalls other momentous Septembers in Israeli-Palestinian history.

Turkey expels Israel diplomats after UN report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) September 2, 2011 - 12:00am

ANKARA (Reuters) -- Turkey expelled Israel's ambassador and senior Israeli diplomats and suspended military agreements on Friday, the day after it emerged a UN report said Israel had used unreasonable force in a raid on a Gaza-bound ship that killed nine Turkish nationals. Stung by Israel's refusal to meet demands for a formal apology, pay compensation for families of the dead, and end the blockade of Palestinians living in the Gaza enclave, Turkey announced it was downgrading ties with the country further.

UN report: Gaza blockade legal, Israel used excessive force
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) September 2, 2011 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A UN report on Israel's deadly raid against a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza has found that the naval blockade was legal but commandos used excessive force in the May 2010 incident. The New York Times, citing a leaked copy of the document to be released Friday, reported that it found Israel used "excessive and unreasonable force" after meeting "violent resistance" from some of the passengers. Israel and Turkey have been in dispute over an apology for the May 31, 2010 raid in which nine Turkish activists were killed.

Israelis seek EU passports amid existential angst
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Dan Perry - (Analysis) September 2, 2011 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV, Israel — Despite their country's turbulent history, Israelis enjoy a fairly secure existence: they have military might, a world-class high tech industry powering a strong economy, and America as a solid ally. Yet in recent years, tens of thousands have requested and received the citizenship of European countries like Poland and Germany, which were killing fields for Jews just decades ago. On the surface, the attraction is practical: An EU passport enables free travel and work in the entire union of 27 nations, giving access to high quality and subsidized higher education.

News analysis: Palestinian statehood could end agreements with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Adam Gonn - (Analysis) September 2, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Sep. 1 (Xinhua) -- All the agreements between the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and Israel may end up if the PNA decides to declare an independent state after winning the backing of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren warned in a recent interview. Oren argued that "we have a lot of agreements with the Palestinian Authority, we have no agreements with a 'Government of Palestine.'"

EU foreign ministers to meet on PA statehood bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon, Benjamin Weinthal - (Analysis) September 2, 2011 - 12:00am

The EU’s 27 foreign minister’s are scheduled to meet in Poland on Friday, in a session expected to go a long way toward determining how the bloc – whose votes have been courted heavily by both Israel and the Palestinians – will vote on the PA’s UN statehood recognition bid later this month. The meeting comes two days after French President Nicolas Sarkozy told a conference of French ambassadors that it was very important for the EU to speak together on this matter.

Christian group launches fight against U.N. vote on Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
September 1, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- An organization that claims to represent 200 million Christians worldwide has launched a campaign opposing a U.N. vote for a unilateral Palestinian state. Proclaiming Justice to the Nations kicked off the drive Thursday with a proclamation that will be presented to the United Nations in September, stating its mission to encourage U.N. member states to rethink their votes in favor of Palestinian statehood, to support the Israeli government's rejection of negotiations based on the pre-1967 lines and to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

UN ambassador: Efforts for Palestinian state continuing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Masry Al-Youm
by Gomaa Hamadalla - September 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Diplomatic efforts pushing to have Palestine recognized as a full member state by the UN have been continuing on two fronts, said Maged Abdel Fattah, Egypt's ambassador to the UN, in a press statement Thursday. The first path is to guarantee that two-thirds of the member states of the UN General Assembly vote for the recognition of the state's pre-1967 borders with Israel, giving Palestinians the right to participate in meetings of the UN's international organizations, Abdel Fattah said.

Palestinian statehood bid 'dangerous': France
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
by Agence France Press (AFP) - September 2, 2011 - 12:00am

PARIS — French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Friday that a bid by Palestinians to win UN recognition as a state would risk triggering a dangerous diplomatic confrontation. Palestinians, frustrated by the failure of the frozen US-sponsored peace process with Israel, plan to campaign for recognition at the UN General Assembly later this month. "France hopes that they use the occasion for reopening the path to dialogue rather than risking a futile and dangerous diplomatic confrontation," Juppe told an annual gathering of French ambassadors.

Palestinian statehood opinion causes uproar
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Jazeera English
by Nour Samaha - (Analysis) September 1, 2011 - 12:00am

A legal opinion recently leaked to Al Jazeera highlighting serious ramifications for Palestinians' planned bid for statehood at the UN in September has created further divisions between "pro" and "anti" statehood camps, with each side claiming the other is damaging future prospects for the Palestinians. The leaked opinion, written by Oxford University law professor Guy Goodwin-Gill, was designed to "flag the matters requiring attention, if a substantial proportion of the people are not to be accidentally disenfranchised".

Popular apathy and cumulative skepticism over September
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Akram Atallah Alaysa - (Analysis) September 1, 2011 - 12:00am

Most Palestinians, varied as they may be politically, intellectually and socially, often draw a connection between the Declaration of Independence that Yasser Arafat announced in 1988 and the current UN- based battle for statehood.

BDS: The sky is not falling
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Jon Haber - (Opinion) September 1, 2011 - 12:00am

No doubt the author of the August 31 piece “Is BDS campaign working” meant well in terms of alerting readers to the threat of not just BDS but the whole effort to de-legitimize the Jewish state. That said, accurate information is always required when analyzing a threat and, unfortunately, the writer chose to take BDS claims of success at face value, rather than digging beneath the surface for more accurate information.

Israel may have missed its chance for Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yoel Marcus - (Opinion) September 2, 2011 - 12:00am

We have five submarines and some of the most sophisticated planes in the world, with the last word - the F-35 - on the way. According to foreign sources we also have a nuclear capability. But still one Arab equipped with a knife can cause havoc in an entertainment district in south Tel Aviv. Nobody sent him, it came from his heart. We have one of the best armies and intelligence services in the world, and still terrorists set up a bloody ambush on the road to Eilat and catch us unprepared.

Why Palestinians can't recognize a 'Jewish state'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Hassan Jabareen - (Opinion) September 2, 2011 - 12:00am

In his speech before the U.S. Congress last May, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posed a serious challenge to the Palestinian Authority: If the PA would just say, "We recognize Israel as a Jewish state," this would be sufficient to end the conflict. Israel, said Netanyahu, would be the first to vote for Palestinian statehood in the United Nations. The response of PA Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad, in a recent interview with Haaretz, was that, "Israel's character is its own business. It is not up to the Palestinians to define it."

An American September
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Uri Savir - (Opinion) September 2, 2011 - 12:00am

The Middle East is at a critical crossroads. We are witnessing two dichotomies: • Most Arab countries are undergoing a rebellion of the young generation for freedom in which three dictators have already been toppled. In all these societies there is a tension between young (mostly secular) students, leading a revolution for democratic rule, and the more organized religious, sometimes fundamentalist, forces, anti-Western in orientation and striving for their religiouspolitical share of power.

A State of Palestine would backfire on its own people
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Medhi Hasan - (Opinion) September 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Rejoice! On 20 September, the United Nations will welcome a new member: the "State of Palestine". Senior Palestinian Authority (PA) officials believe they have secured the support of enough countries to pass a resolution in the UN general assembly recognising a Palestinian state. There is, however, little to celebrate. For the first time in my life, I find myself in agreement with Binyamin Netanyahu. The loathsome Israeli prime minister is opposed to the Palestinian bid for statehood – and so, reluctantly, am I. But for very different reasons to "Bibi".

Why I Wrote That Palestinian Terror Is Justified
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Forward
by Larry Derfner - (Opinion) September 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Why did I do it? Why did I write that the occupation justifies Palestinian terror, even the recent killing of eight Israelis near Eilat? It wasn’t inevitable, but I suppose it wasn’t exactly accidental, either.

There is something very ugly about this attempt to ghettoise Israeli musicians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Telegraph
by Brendan O'Neill - (Opinion) September 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Last night’s protest at the Proms against the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra represented a new low in anti-Israel agitation. It confirmed that everything and everyone connected with Israel is now looked upon by certain – mostly middle-class – radicals as toxic, diseased, a potential pollutant which must be kept out of decent Britain, perhaps by passing anti-Israeli quarantine laws. Not content with refusing to buy evil Israeli products and refusing to engage with evil Israeli academics, the anti-Israel lobby now wants to prevent people from hearing music played by evil Israeli musicians.

The Makings of History / Septembers to remember
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Tom Segev - (Opinion) September 2, 2011 - 12:00am

In the weekly newspaper I read as a child, Mishmar Layeladim, there was a regular feature called "Did You Know?" From it I learned - and to this day have not forgotten - that in British history there were 11 days during which nothing at all happened: from Friday, September 3, 1752 to Wednesday, September 13, 1752. My newspaper explained: In that month the British Empire adopted the Gregorian calendar. The transition from the Julian calendar, which dated back to the days of ancient Rome, necessitated a "jump" from September 2 to September 14, thus producing 11 days "with no history."

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