Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: The torching of a mosque in northern Israel prompts fears of clashes between Palestinian citizens of Israel and the authorities, and may be the latest example of “price tag” violence by Israeli extremists. The Obama administration is looking ways to unblock $200 million for Palestinian development projects being withheld by Congress. Defense Secretary Panetta criticizes the congressional action. Palestinian public employees will receive full salaries in September. Noted Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali passes away. A major leader of the settlement movement also dies. Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is backed by some Jewish extremists. Nigeria's Foreign Ministry says it has not decided how they would vote in the Security Council on a Palestinian membership resolution. PM Fayyad says the West Bank separation barrier will fall like the Berlin wall. COMMENTARY: Akiva Eldar says PM Netanyahu is counting on no one reading the fine print of the Quartet statement he has accepted. Natasha Mozgovaya says Washington's stance on peace is now murky. Hagai Segal says only deranged people could think burning a mosque is a good idea. Gershon Baskin says both parties have said “yes, but” to the Quartet statement. Yaakov Katz says Jewish terrorism in Israel is gaining steam. Logan Bayroff says J Street U is pioneering a new path for peace on US campuses. Zuheir Kseibati says the Palestinians are not only facing an American veto at the UN, but also an Iranian one on the ground. Steve Hochstadt questions whether embracing the extreme Christian right makes any sense for Jewish Americans. Herb Keinon asks why Netanyahu approved the new settlement project in occupied East Jerusalem.

Mosque torching in Israel: Could it spark Arab Spring-style protests?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

A mosque was torched in northern Israel early Monday, prompting a clash between police who fired tear gas canisters and hundreds of Arab citizens of Israel who threw stones and briefly closed down a highway. The incident, seen as part of an ongoing campaign of Jewish vigilantism, underscores fears by Israeli officials that such attacks could spark Arab Spring-style protests among Palestinians.

‘Price Tag’ Vandals Mark Up Violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Arieh O'Sullivan - October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

The escalation in “price tag” attacks on Arab targets and even on the property of the Israeli establishment is a sign of a sense of growing alienation among the Jewish extremist fringe, analysts say. The latest attack suspected of being carried out by Jewish extremist was the torching Monday of a mosque in a Bedouin village in northern Israel. It was the first time vigilantes are believed to have struck inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders rather than in the West Bank.

US discusses ways to keep aid flowing to PA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

The Obama administration is lobbying Congress to unblock $200 million in aid for the Palestinian Authority that was frozen due to its bid for UN recognition of statehood over US and Israeli objections. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Monday the administration was in "intensive" discussions with key lawmakers who had put holds on the money, a financial lifeline for the Palestinian Authority.

US Defense Chief Criticizes Palestinian Aid Block
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Voice of America
October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has criticized U.S. lawmakers for suspending $200 million in aid slated to fund development projects in the Palestinian territories. Panetta said Monday at a news conference in Tel Aviv with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak that this is "no time to withhold those funds." He said it is a "critical" moment in the region, as U.S. officials continue to urge Palestinians and Israelis to negotiate a peace deal.

Union: PA employees to receive salaries
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Government employees will receive their September salaries by Wednesday, the head of the civil servants' union Bassam Zakarnah said Tuesday. The Ministry of Finance in Ramallah informed the union that wages for civil servants in the West Bank and Gaza were distributed to banks on Tuesday, Zakarnah said. In recent months, the Palestinian Authority has twice failed to pay employees on time and in full. Officials had blamed a shortfall in aid from Arab states for the fiscal crisis.

Poet Taha Muhammad Ali dies in Nazareth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 3, 2011 - 12:00am

Celebrated poet Taha Muhammad Ali died in Nazareth on Sunday aged 80 years old. Muhammad Ali was born in Saffuriya village, north of Nazareth, in 1931. He fled to Lebanon with his family in 1948 when the village was captured by the Israeli army. The family was never able to return to his home, moving to nearby city of Nazareth, where he lived and worked in a souvenir shop throughout his life. His poetry followed the experiences of Palestinians living in Israel, and Palestinian refugees around the world. They were translated into several languages, including English and Hebrew.

Leader of Israeli settler movement dies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Hanan Porat, a driving force behind Israel's settlement of the West Bank, died Monday of cancer. He was 67. Porat, a former Israeli lawmaker, was a founder of the now-defunct movement Gush Emunim — Hebrew for "the bloc of the faithful" — a messianic movement committed to settling land Israel captured in the 1967 war. Movement disciples believe God promised the West Bank to the Jewish people, and they set out to cement Israeli sovereignty there by creating a large-scale civilian presence.

Rick Perry Wins Support Among Right-Wing Jews
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Forward
by Nathan Guttman - October 3, 2011 - 12:00am

It could have been an awkward moment even for a seasoned politician like Texas Governor Rick Perry. Surrounded by a group of Orthodox rabbis in black hats and black suits during a Hanukkah ceremony at the Texas State Capitol, Perry, now a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, was swept into a hora dance, holding hands with the Jewish leaders as they surrounded the lighted menorah. But Perry did not seem to mind. “That was a real ‘Dancing With the Stars,’” he said jokingly.

Nigeria: Nation Shies On Palestinian UN Bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from All Africa
October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Nigeria is refusing to say how it will vote when the United Nations Security Council decides on the Palestinians' request for U.N. membership, as increasing diplomatic pressure mounts on the oil-rich West African nation. Nigeria appears to be a crucial vote as Palestinians try to secure support from at least nine of the 15 council members. The U.S. has said it will veto the request. However, the U.S. could avoid that if Palestinians fail to get those nine votes.

Palestinian PM: Israel's West Bank separation fence will fall like Berlin Wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA)
October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad Monday said the half-concrete, half fence barrier Israel is building along the West Bank will fall just as the Berlin Wall did. Speaking at a reception at the German Representative Office in Ramallah to mark the Day of German Unity, Fayyad said the barrier, which in places snakes deep into the West Bank, "is going to fall under the will of the Palestinian people just as the Berlin wall had fallen under the will of the German people who wanted to reunite their country."

Netanyahu is 'happy' to accept peace plans, less so to seal the deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

If the government's declaration that it welcomes the Quartet's plan is really true, it is not only a political revolution the likes of which we have not seen since the signing of the Oslo Accords 18 years ago, it is also a dramatic political change unlike any other since the Likud won the 1977 elections.

Washington's stance on Israel and Mideast peace is murky
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - (Blog) October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

This week in Washington started with three foggy questions: Was it really Vice President Joseph Biden who blocked clemency for Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard? What actually happened to U.S. aid to the Palestinians? And what will the U.S. do with the Middle East peace process after commending Israel on accepting the Quartet call for the renewal of talks and noting that the Palestinians also expressed their support.

Senseless Jewish thugs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Hagai Segal - (Opinion) October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

The residents of Tuba Zangaria who woke up Monday to find a burned down mosque can take comfort in one thing: The entire Jewish spectrum of opinion was horrified by this act. With the exception of the graffiti left on the mosque’s wall, we did not read or hear Monday even one justification in Hebrew to the arson in the north. Hence, it is quite clear that the fire at the mosque represents, more or less, the people who torched it with their own hands: A small, thuggish and childish group.

Encountering Peace: Yes, but!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) October 3, 2011 - 12:00am

Ah, the status quo, it’s so good, let it only last. September is gone. The UN is behind us. No tsunami, no international sanctions. In fact, Israel came out pretty good from the whole thing.

Jewish terrorism gaining steam
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Yaakov Katz - (Analysis) October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

The attack against the mosque in the Galilee on Sunday is a clear escalation – and if proven to have been carried out by right-wing extremists – it will be just the latest sign that Jewish terrorism is gaining steam. The target chosen raises serious questions about the motivations of the alleged perpetrators. While attacks on mosques in the West Bank have sadly become something of the norm in recent years, an attack on a mosque in an Israeli town is quite rare, particularly in a Beduin village like Tuba Zanghariya, whose residents serve in the IDF.

Opposing Statehood Bid, Supporting a New Path to Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Logan Bayroff - (Opinion) October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

At college campuses across the country this fall, students are lining up on one side or the other of the most current fault line in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: To support the Palestinian statehood bid, or not?

The American Veto is also an Iranian One
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Zuheir Kseibati - (Opinion) October 3, 2011 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas, ever since he put forward the request for membership of the state of Palestine at the United Nations, is facing not only the American veto prepared in advance, as a first look at the developments of “the day after” indicates a trilateral punishment:

Are Republican politicians good for Jews?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from My Journal Courier
by Steve Hochstadt - (Opinion) October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Some people think Jews are supposed to be smart. A Mitt Romney fundraiser said in August that some Jews are so dumb they think Michele Bachmann, the fundamentalist Christian Republican raised in Iowa, is “the Jewish candidate.” He complained: “It’s a real problem. We’re working very hard in the Jewish community because of Obama’s Israel problem. This was surprising.” So surprising that in one day the story spread across the world, from the New York Post to Fox News to the London Daily Mail to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Why did PM greenlight Gilo housing project?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - (Analysis) October 4, 2011 - 12:00am

A decision by the Interior Ministry in March 2010 during the visit of US Vice President Joe Biden to issue a tender for the construction of a new housing project in Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, which is over the Green Line, sparked a mini-crisis with the US and brought ties between the two countries to their lowest point in years.

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