Middle East News: World Press Roundup

News: Pres. Abbas continues his tour of Latin America. A Palestinian official claims 9 countries are committed to vote in the Security Council for Palestinian UN membership. Occupation forces kill a Palestinian man near the Gaza border. PM Fayyad urges support for a Palestinian prisoners' hunger strike. PM Netanyahu says he's ready for new talks, and so does Abbas. Hamas says foreigners must now apply for visas to visit Gaza. The UN says Palestinians must be protected from settler attacks. The Israeli government is planning to recognize “unauthorized outpost” settlements built on private Palestinian land. DM Barak says violent settlers are “almost like terrorists.” Commentary: David Rosen and Edward Rettig say Israel faces a turning point with the latest mosque burning. David Newman agrees Israel must stamp out Jewish extremism. Gershon Baskin says he believes in peace, and this doesn't make him a “self-hating Jew.” David Miliband says that Gaza represents the total failure of politics. Jay Michaelson says there's nothing wrong with Jewish Americans taking sides in Israeli politics. Lawrence Davidson looks of the limitations on democracy for Israel's Palestinian citizens. Daniel Bethlehem says peace will require negotiations and dialogue. Wendy Pearlman says a new intifada is not imminent. Tony Karon says cutting aid to the PA might hurt Israel and the US more than the Palestinians. The JC interviews Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni. Ray Suarez says there are no simple solutions to Jerusalem.

Palestinian leader in Latin America to advance statehood cause
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Tracy Wilkinson - October 10, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was touring Latin America this week, his second visit to the region in less than a year as part of a worldwide lobbying effort to gain recognition for a Palestinian state. Abbas met officials in the Colombian capital of Bogota on Monday, a day after announcing with President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador plans to establish diplomatic ties there. Until recently, El Salvador was one of Israel's closest allies in Latin America.

Shaath: Palestine has 9 votes in Security Council
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Fatah central committee member Nabil Shaath said Monday that nine countries in the Security Council were committed to supporting Palestine's bid for membership in the UN. Shaath told Ma'an "the nine states that have confirmed voting to us, and we do not question their stance, are the following: Gabon, Bosnia, Brazil, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, South Africa, China and Russia." Six Security Council members -- Brazil, China, India, Lebanon, Russia and South Africa -- have publicly indicated their backing for the Palestinian bid.

Man killed in northern Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

A 22-year-old man was killed in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday afternoon, after witnesses reported Israeli troops fired at him near the border with Israel. The military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed Ahmad al-Azazmeh, from the northern city of Beit Hanoun, as a fighter in their brigades, and said he was on a "jihad mission."

Fayyad rallies support for prisoners' hunger strike
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 10, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Monday called for the UN to support Palestinian prisoners' rights in Israel, as he visited sit-in tents in solidarity with a detainees' hunger strike. Fayyad, chief of the Ramallah-based government, expressed sympathy for strikers, saying their refusal of food since Sept. 27 was "means to express their rejection to the practices of the occupation that denies them basic human rights," a government press statement said.

Netanyahu tells Ashton happy to meet Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Maayan Lubell - October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Monday that he was willing to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in an effort to restart peace talks, his office said. Netanyahu told Ashton in a telephone conversation that he was "happy to meet Mahmoud Abbas at any time," the statement from his office said. Ashton on Sunday announced plans to invite Israeli and Palestinian representatives to meet "in the coming days" to discuss resuming peace negotiations, frozen for the past year.

Palestine ready to negotiate with Israel: Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that he was ready to start negotiations with Israel to reach peace in the Middle East. "We are going to finish the wars, and Israel is going to live in peace not only with us but also with all the Islamic countries," Abbas told the press. Abbas said relations with Colombia would continue to be friendly although Bogota kept its decision to reject Palestine's statehood bid in the upcoming vote at the UN Security Council.

Hamas: Foreigners must apply for Gaza visas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Ibrahim Barzak - October 10, 2011 - 12:00am

Gaza's Hamas rulers have imposed new entry restrictions requiring most foreigners to obtain a visa to enter the coastal territory, a move that could restrict the work of some international aid organizations. Foreigners — mostly aid workers and pro-Palestinian activists — will now have to apply online or through a local sponsor a week in advance to obtain a monthlong visa, according to information posted on the Hamas Interior Ministry website late Sunday. Information posted on the Hamas website said the new procedures would take effect on Tuesday.

UN rights chief urges Israel to 'protect Palestinian civilians' from settler attacks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Associated Press - October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

The United Nations human rights office urged Israel on Tuesday to stop Israeli extremists from attacking Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters in Geneva that Israel has a legal obligation "to protect Palestinian civilians and property in the occupied Palestinian territory." Colville said that the wave of attacks occurring since September must be properly investigated and victims compensated, adding that they were "emblematic of the phenomenon of settler violence throughout the West Bank."

Netanyahu seeks to legalize outposts built on private Palestinian land
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to set up a task force to explore ways to legalize houses in the settlements that were built on private Palestinian land. The instruction was issued under heavy pressure from settlers and others on the right in response to the state's decision to demolish several outposts built on private Palestinian land over the next half year.

Barak: 'Price tag' attackers operate almost like terrorists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that groups of settlers carrying out self-defined "price tag" attacks against Palestinians "operate almost like terrorist organizations." The attacks, carried out against Palestinians and private property, "embarrass the State of Israel," he said during a military tour. Barak also praised the West Bank settlement leadership for condemning the acts. Last week a mosque in the northern town of Tuba Zanghariya mosque was burned, causing significant damage. The attackers left the words "price tag" scrawled on nearby walls.

A burning house of God
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Edward Rettig, David Rosen - (Opinion) October 10, 2011 - 12:00am

A burned house of worship, in this case a mosque in the Israeli Arab town of Tuba Zangaria, and a desecrated Arab cemetery in Jaffa, were together an ominous opening to the New Year. To be sure, the responses from the local authorities on up to the prime minister and president Israel have been exemplary.

Israel must stamp out Jewish extremism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by David Newman - (Opinion) October 10, 2011 - 12:00am

In his Yom Kippur sermon at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue, former Israel chief rabbi (and current chief rabbi of Tel Aviv-Jaffa) Yisrael Meir Lau was very forthright in his condemnation of the recent “price tag” desecration of the mosque in Tuba Zanghariya. His comments were made before it became known that a Muslim cemetery in Jaffa, the area under his jurisdiction, had also been defaced, including such disgraceful graffiti on graves as “Death to Arabs.”

Encountering Peace: Confessions of a ‘yefeh nefesh’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) October 10, 2011 - 12:00am

I admit it, I’m a yefeh nefesh or at least striving to be one, and I’m proud of it. That’s my confession from my Yom Kippur soul searching. An online dictionary definition of the term says: “(literary) sensitive, delicate, refined, noble, gentle soul; (critically) bleeding heart.” It’s the critical definition of “bleeding heart liberal” that is the accepted Israeli colloquial understanding and use of the term. One could easily add to this “leftist, radical leftist, Arab lover, self-hating Jew, post-Zionist and traitor.”

Gaza represents the ultimate failure of politics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by David Miliband - October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Government is all about statistics. But life is about people, and the disjunction between the two explains a lot about the cynicism and disaffection with politics. This is true for domestic policy, but also in international affairs, where the confusion and fatigue induced by distance is increased by the seemingly intractable nature of many of the problems. The people who suffer are those who most need the attention of the world. This is notably true of the 1.5 million people crowded into the Gaza Strip, locked between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean sea.

What's Wrong With American Jews Taking Partisan Sides in Israel?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Jay Michaelson - October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

That there has been a realignment of American Jewish attitudes toward Israel is by now apparent and heavily commented on. In some quarters, this has been seen as an earth-shattering, Judaism-betraying paroxysm of collective self-hatred. Yet in fact it is entirely logical.

Israel and those ‘real democratic rights’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Lawrence Davidson - (Opinion) October 10, 2011 - 12:00am

In his speech to US Congress on May 24, 2011 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted that “Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, only Israel's Arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights.” This is, of course, a variation on the oft-cited claim that Israel is “the only democracy in the Middle East.” Leaving aside places like Lebanon and now potentially Tunisia and Egypt, one can ask just how “real” are these democratic rights Netanyahu claims for Israel's Arabs? Here is some recent evidence that speaks to this question.

A new Palestinian Intifada?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Wendy Pearlman - October 10, 2011 - 12:00am

Mahmoud Abbas captured the world's attention with his controversial bid for U.N. recognition of Palestinian statehood. As the world awaits the outcome of that diplomatic contest, one of the key wild cards is the potential for mass nonviolent protest in the Palestinian territories. Some fear the failure of the bid will spark massive unrest and even the collapse of the Palestinian Authority. Others hope that Palestinians will rally en masse behind Abu Mazen's strategy, using non-violent protest on the ground to supplement official Palestinian pressure on Israel at the United Nations.

Why Cutting U.S. Aid to Abbas Could Hurt Israel More Than it Hurts Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Tony Karon - (Opinion) October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

"This is going to hurt me a lot more than it's going to hurt you" may be a cliche once tossed out by parents about to spank their children, but it could well prove to be the case if Congress proceeds with plans to punish the Palestinians for seeking U.N. recognition by cutting off U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

"End the blame game"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Chronicle
by Martin Bright - (Interview) October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli Opposition leader Tzipi Livni was shocked that the anti-Israel campaigners on campus in Britain had intensified their campaign to lobby for a "one-state solution" to the conflict. Speaking to the JC during her brief visit to the UK last week she said: "What surprised me was not that there are those who are delegitimising Israel. It's not that people are pushing Israel to make decisions on annexation as they call it. It surprised me that they are calling for one state, a bi-national state. This is a change."

No simple solutions for Jerusalem, PBS correspondent Ray Suarez tells Philadelphia forum
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Episcopal News Service
by Mary Frances Schjonberg - (Opinion) October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Just inside the door of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is the Stone of Anointing on which tradition says Jesus was prepared for burial. Watching pilgrims from all over the world fall to their knees to kiss the stone "makes you reconsider what it all means to them to you, to the people who live there, to the people who live far away," according to Public Broadcasting Service Senior Correspondent Ray Suarez.

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