Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Pres. Abbas says the US is “too late” to stop a Palestinian UN initiative. The US announces it will veto a Palestinian application for full UN membership to the Security Council. Quartet envoy Blair says the UN initiative is “a cry of frustration.” UNSG Ban says a Palestinian state is “long overdue.” A Sacramento co-op debates whether or not to continue to stock Israeli items. Israeli settlers target a West Bank mosque in a “price tag” attack. Israel is deploying drones along the Egyptian border. Settlers complain they haven't received clear instructions on when they can use violence against Palestinian “rioters.” Ha'aretz describes how Israel is denying Palestinians the right to continue to live in Jerusalem. Hamas officials say they may relocate their headquarters to Cairo. At Brandeis ATFP Executive Director Ghaith Al-Omari debates WINEP's David Makovsky about the UN initiative. American Charities for Palestine delivers $50,000 to support West Bank organization Palestine Vision. COMMENTARY: ATFP President Ziad Asali says it's not too late to find a compromise that the UN and, whatever happens, funding for Palestinians must not be cut. Crispian Balmer says Israel is facing a myriad of problems due to regional transition in the Middle East. Yoel Marcus says PM Netanyahu must resign. Einat Barzilay says extremist settlers are out of control. The Jerusalem Post says a Palestinian state is in Israel's interests but can only be achieved through dialogue. Uri Savir says Israel needs to fix its relationship with the new Egypt. Husam Itani says the Palestinian uprising was a key victim of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Raghida Dergham says Palestinians can score a huge victory at the UN if they present language based on a long-term strategy for achieving independence. The Arab News says Palestinians must push forward with their UN initiative.

Palestinian Leader Says U.S. Is ‘Too Late’ on U.N. Bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - (Analysis) September 8, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, said Thursday that last-ditch American and international efforts to prevent the Palestinians from applying for membership in the United Nations this month were “too late.” He said the Palestinians still intended to submit an application for recognition of Palestinian statehood to the Security Council as a first step, at risk of a confrontation with the United States.

US vows to veto Palestinian statehood bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Arshad Mohammed - (Analysis) September 9, 2011 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The United States said explicitly for the first time on Thursday it would veto a Palestinian bid for full UN membership, drawing an immediate rebuff from the Palestinians who vowed to press ahead. George Mitchell, a former US envoy, said he saw little chance of talking the Palestinians out of seeking full UN membership for a state in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, a step requiring a vote in the Security Council where the United States holds a veto.

UN chief: Palestinian statehood 'long overdue'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) September 9, 2011 - 12:00am

CANBERRA (AFP) -- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Palestinian statehood was "long overdue", a day after its leadership launched a campaign to become the world body's 194th member state. "The two state vision where Israel and Palestinians can live ... side by side in peace and security -- that is a still a valid vision and I fully support it," he told reporters in Canberra. "And I support also the statehood of Palestinians; an independent, sovereign state of Palestine. It has been long overdue."

Blair: Palestinian UN statehood bid is unilateral cry of frustration
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Reuters - (Analysis) September 9, 2011 - 12:00am

A Palestinian bid for greater recognition at the United Nations this month would be a cry of frustration, Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair said, calling for a new campaign to get Israeli-Palestinian peace talks back on track. The Palestinians have vowed to upgrade their United Nations status, either by seeking full United Nations membership for a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and West Bank or recognition as a "non-member state."

Sacramento food co-op becomes battleground over Israeli products
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Shane Goldmacher - (Analysis) September 9, 2011 - 12:00am

Reporting from Sacramento -- Its aisles brimming with a rainbow of ripe organic produce, bins of grains and refrigerators stocked with soy everything, the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op has long been an oasis of civility in this combative city. Democrats and Republicans may quarrel at the Capitol a few miles away, but here they break gluten-free bread, munch on kale chips and sip acai juice in blissful bipartisan harmony: "Peace, love and granola," said Republican strategist Donna Lucas, a proud co-op member. But now politics has intruded on their sanctuary.

Settlers target W. Bank mosque - officials
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Reuters - (Analysis) September 8, 2011 - 12:00am

YATMA, West Bank, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Israeli settlers sprayed graffiti on a mosque and torched Palestinian cars in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, angered by Israel's demolition of structures at an unauthorised outpost, Palestinian officials said. "We condemn these attacks and also the Israeli government for allowing this to happen," Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib said, urging the international community "to provide our people with protection".

Israel deploys drones over Egyptian border
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Daniella Cheslow - (Analysis) September 8, 2011 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV, Israel — A senior Israeli military official says the air force has deployed a special unit of unmanned surveillance aircraft along its long, porous border with Egypt after militants crossed the frontier and killed eight Israelis last month. The official says the drones are monitoring both sides of the 150-mile (250-kilometer) border, though the aircraft are flying only in Israeli airspace. In the wake of the attack, Israel also has sent more troops along the border.

Israeli settlers say open-fire rules against Palestinian rioters vague
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
(Analysis) September 8, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Some leaders among the Israeli settlement movement in the West Bank are concerned that existing open-fire orders for local civilian rapid-response teams may hobble their ability to respond effectively to possible attacks by Palestinians against their towns. In recent weeks, senior Israeli civilian and army security officials have refreshed community security chiefs on protocol and procedures as a part of Operation "Summer Seeds."

Illegal in their own country
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ilana Hammerman - (Analysis) September 9, 2011 - 12:00am

"Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and ordinances whereby they should not live" - Ezekiel 20:25 Where are you coming from?" a soldier with a submachine gun asked me through the open window of the car in which I sat next to the driver. He once again examined my Israeli identification card, which he was holding. "From Kafr Aqab," I replied. "Are you Israeli?" he asked me. "Yes," I answered. "So how did you cross to this side?"

Hamas considering relocating HQ to Cairo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Elior Levy - (Analysis) September 9, 2011 - 12:00am

Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar announced Friday that the movement is consierjung relocating its headquarters from Damascus to Cairo. It is the first time a senior Hamas official openly admitted such a plan. "All the Palestinians in Syria are in distress, not just Hamas. There are many options in terms of the organization's headquarters and Egypt is one of them," he said.

Dueling experts discuss UN Palestinian statehood vote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Brandeis University Crown Center for Middle East Studies
by Adam Cohen - (Analysis) September 9, 2011 - 12:00am

Visiting campus to discuss the U.N. Palestinian vote question taking place later in the month, David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Ghaith al-Omari of the American Task Force on Palestine wanted to do more than simply examine the current situation. Their goal, according to Makovksy, “is to get college students … to look forward to solutions that give dignity to both sides” in a conflict that tends to “generate more heat and less light.”

ACP delivers $50,000 to Promote Youth Program in Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from American Charities for Palestine
September 8, 2011 - 12:00am

ACP is pleased to announce its new partnership with a local organization in the West Bank, Palestine Vision, through which ACP facilitated American donations to a program called the Mediterranean Youth Technology Club (MYTecC). Project funders include Cisco and USAID. ACP coordinated with Craig Newmark, of Craigslist and CraigConnect, as well as the Aspen Institute, by providing a vetted and accountable mechanism through which Mr. Newmark could make a $ 50,000 private donation to the MYTecC project, and its implementer Palestine Vision.

Train Wreck in Turtle Bay
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Ziad Asali - (Opinion) September 8, 2011 - 12:00am

Late September is fast approaching, and the stage seems set for yet another crisis in the Middle East. Palestinian leaders are determined to push for greater international recognition of their state at the upcoming annual session of the U.N. General Assembly. A large number of countries are reportedly poised to vote in Palestine's favor, much to the chagrin of the Israeli government, which has mounted a vigorous lobbying campaign against recognition. COMMENTS (9) SHARE: Twitter Reddit Buzz More...

Israel faces perfect storm in shifting region
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Crispian Balmer - (Analysis) September 8, 2011 - 12:00am

Militarily strong, Israel is battling a diplomatic storm as Arab uprisings upset once-stable relationships and worsen the Jewish state's isolation in its conflict with the Palestinians. Domestic political pressures are exacerbating the problems, as is the perceived weakness of Israel's main ally, the United States, which is itself struggling to adapt to the consequences of the turbulence that has swept the Arab world this year.

Netanyahu must go, it's as simple as that
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yoel Marcus - (Opinion) September 9, 2011 - 12:00am

The head of the Home Front Command, Maj. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg, warns: The probability and danger of an all-out war have increased. "Israel has discovered new and dangerous weapons in Gaza," he says, summing up the poem by saying: We can expect a radical Islamic winter. On the other hand, Amos Gilad, who was once known as a doomsayer, says the opposite: Our situation has never been better.

Fanatics, let’s separate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Einat Barzilay - (Opinion) September 8, 2011 - 12:00am

In recent days I found two words to hate – price tag. Once upon a time it used to be in the fashion context and pertained to expensive blouses I could never afford, yet now it’s much more painful, because the despicable term is linked to kippas and biblical excerpts, the materials comprising my faith. I too squirmed when I saw the demolition of the homes in Migron, even though in my view it would have been better not to build there illegally to begin with, as not to face such painful situations later on. Yet nonetheless, the people of Migron are my brothers.

Turn crisis into opportunity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) September 9, 2011 - 12:00am

The Americans are making a last-ditch effort to convince Palestinians to halt their plan to ask the UN later this month to recognize a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines. The US – as well as other Western countries such as Italy and Germany, not to mention Israel – would rightly like to see the Palestinians scrap their unilateral push for statehood and replace it with serious dialogue with Israel that leads to a negotiated peace agreement acceptable to both sides. Unfortunately, it appears highly unlikely that Washington’s efforts will succeed.

The Egyptian connection
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Uri Savir - (Opinion) September 9, 2011 - 12:00am

Anwar Sadat’s decision to visit Jerusalem in 1977 was one of the most courageous decisions in modern history. Despite public opinion in Egypt being hostile to Israel, and a hostile Arab world, Sadat traveled to Jerusalem, breaking a political sound barrier. Thirty-four years later, the peace that emanated from that historic journey is still alive. If we want to understand why peace came alive in 1979, and is still holding strong, we have to comprehend why Sadat came here in the first place.

A Palestinian September
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Husam Itani - (Opinion) September 9, 2011 - 12:00am

One of the biggest victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks was the second Palestinian uprising.

Palestine at the United Nations… The Long Path of Wisdom
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - (Opinion) September 9, 2011 - 12:00am

This month, New York will witness the first comprehensive international gathering since the astounding Arab Awakening in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria, which started earlier this year and which has unsettled and embarrassed many a major power.

UN recognition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) September 8, 2011 - 12:00am

On Sept. 20, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to ask the UN General Assembly to recognize Palestinian statehood and give it a seat at the organization. As things stand, that will not happen. Although the Palestinians can count on the support of a handsome majority among the 193 members of the UN, Washington is opposed and threatens to use its veto in the Security Council to block the request. (It is with the Security Council, not the General Assembly, that the decision to grant UN membership rests.)

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