Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS:The US renews aid to the PA. Fatah officials say Israel withholding Palestinian tax revenue is “disastrous” for the region. Young Palestinian activists in Gaza are disillusioned with Hamas and other parties. A new study links Palestinian suicide bombing with personal economic distress. After the recent cyber attack on Palestinian cable-based systems, hackers bring down Israeli military websites. The Knesset has a heated debate on the “Jewish national homeland” bill. Reports suggest Pres. Abbas is considering new elections, but would not run. The Al-Saraya compound in Gaza has become a holiday mall. The BBC looks at the political impact of social change in Israel. Israel's UN ambassador says he mistakenly attended a lunch for an extremist French party. Israel reportedly will not promise to clear any attack on Iran in advance with the United States. COMMENTARY: Akiva Eldar says Pres. Obama must stop PM Netanyahu and DM Barak from attacking Iran, and Uri Bar-Yosef agrees the two are acting recklessly. Oudeh Basharat says Israel is still struggling to become a normal country. Chemi Shalev says the New Israel Fund has been unfairly maligned. Adel Safty says Israel and the Palestinians need a new paradigm for peace. Musa Keilani says Abbas should clarify what former Sec. Rice says about his negotiations with then-PM Olmert. Uri Avnery says Israel is not going to attack Iran. Graham Usher says US sanctions on UNESCO hurt itself more than the UN agency or the Palestinians. Jonathan Freedland says the current Israel is not the one he loves. David Frum says the Jerusalem passport lawsuit is the Israeli answer to Palestinian diplomatic pressure. Gershom Gorenberg asks if Israel planned to expel the Palestinians in 1948.

U.S. renews financial aid to Palestinians after UN statehood row
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Associated Press - (Analysis) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinians are slated to receive some 200 million dollars in U.S. security assistance after a top House Republican ended her hold on the money. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, informed the Obama administration in recent weeks that she no longer would block 50 million dollars in economic support funds for the Palestinian Security Forces and 148 million dollars in other assistance.

Fatah: Israel undermining PA 'disastrous' for region
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

A Fatah spokesman warned on Sunday that Israel's settlement expansion and withholding of PA tax revenues would have "disastrous results for the entire region." Fayiz Abu Aita said the measures announced by the Israeli government the day after UNESCO admitted Palestine as a full member were an attempt to undermine the Palestinian Authority. "This is a declaration of war" on the PA, Aita said in a statement issued by the Media and Culture Commission. "Israel bears full responsibility for this dangerous escalation."

Eyes on Gaza flotilla, but Gazan activists looking at Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Kristen Chick - (Analysis) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Samah Ahmed used to be proud to tell people she was Palestinian. She grew up at a time when the Palestinian struggle to break free of Israeli occupation was an inspiration to the Arab world. She participated in the second intifada that began in 2000. When people found out she was Palestinian, she says, they respected her.

New study offers insight on Palestinian suicide attacks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Batsheva Sobelman - (Blog) November 5, 2011 - 12:00am

A strong correlation exists between unemployment, tough economic conditions and the nature of suicide attacks carried out by Palestinians in recent years, according to a new study, the first comprehensive research of its kind. The study, conducted by the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, found that while poverty itself did not necessarily dictate the frequency of terrorist attacks, economic conditions were closely linked to the characteristics of the perpetrators and, more interestingly, the nature of the suicide operations themselves.

Israeli army, intel sites down after 'Anonymous' threat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

The Israeli army and intelligence agencies' websites were offline on Sunday, two days after hacker group Anonymous warned it would "strike back" for Israel's capture of Gaza-bound ships on Friday. Anonymous, a network of online activists who have attacked government and financial websites around the world, released a statement Friday warning that the group would take action against the navy's seizure of two ships aiming to break Israel's blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Israeli lawmakers to debate "Jewish national homeland" bill
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Mu Xuequan - (Analysis) November 6, 2011 - 12:00am

A bill proposing defining Israel as the national homeland of Jewish people sparked heavy debate at the country's Knesset parliament on Sunday, drawing criticism from both left-of-center and Arab parties. The bill, if approved, would legally define Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, as well as bolstering current legislation that makes Hebrew the country's official language, while giving Arabic a "special status," the Yediot Aharonoth daily reported. Currently, both Hebrew and Arabic are official languages in Israel.

'Abbas says he'll plan elections with Hamas, but won't run'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Analysis) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly told members of his Fatah faction on Monday that he plans to discuss Palestinian elections with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal when the two meet in Cairo later this month. However, Abbas said he would not run for office again, London-based daily Al-Hayat reported. Elections for the PA presidency and the National Legislative Council will be held in May, 2012, and Abbas asked the senior Fatah officials to make serious preparations for the polls, according to the report.

Notorious Al-Saraya Becomes Holiday-Time Mall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Omar Ghraieb - (Analysis) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

The Al-Saraya compound has been at the center of life in the Gaza Strip for nearly a century, mostly as the headquarters for whoever was in power, a prison for those who opposed them and occasionally as a military target. Now, the place where generals, government officials and warders once worked has been turned into a canvas-covered shoppers’ paradise for the Eid Al-Adha holiday.

The state of Israel: Internal influence driving change
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Tim Franks - (Analysis) November 5, 2011 - 12:00am

The view, as our plane banked, was familiar: the sea, the sand, the skyscrapers of the Tel Aviv coastline. It was my first return to Israel since the end of my posting as Middle East correspondent, 18 months before. What I wanted to discover was how far that familiar picture had changed. After all, there was the same right-leaning government, the same absence of peace talks with the Palestinians. But all around, the region had transformed, as the winds of the Arab Spring had blown. Was Israel's apparent quiescence all that it seemed?

Israeli diplomat: Le Pen lunch was an 'error'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - (Analysis) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel's Foreign Ministry said yesterday that the country's ambassador to the UN made an "error of judgement" by chatting and being photographed with Marine Le Pen, leader of France's extreme right wing National Front, at a New York reception.

Israel won’t commit to clearing Iran op with U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
(Analysis) November 6, 2011 - 12:00am

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reportedly failed in his bid to have Israel clear any attack on Iranian nuclear facilities with the United States. Panetta in a visit to Israel last month tried to get a commitment from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak that Israel would clear any operation on Iranian nuclear facilities, Haaretz reported Sunday.

Obama must stop Netanyahu, Barak from attacking Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Some six months before a devil incarnate shot Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in the back in order to stop the peace process, two American politicians stabbed him in the neck. In May 1995, at the height of the fragile negotiations on the interim peace agreement, the two welcomed Rabin to Washington with a fatal legislative initiative. The Republican candidate for the presidency, Bob Dole, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, proposed recognizing united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and requiring the administration to move the U.S. Embassy there.

Israel’s reckless duo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Uri Bar-Yosef - (Opinion) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

The growing reports about the possibility that our prime minister and defense minister have already decided that Israel shall attack Iran’s nuclear sites must bother any Israeli citizen concerned for his personal safety and for the nation’s security. Historical experience taught us that we must not underestimate such reports.

The struggle to make Israel a normal country
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Oudeh Basharat - (Opinion) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Only in Israel is pork called "white meat." A white steak, as opposed to an impure pig steak, can be devoured with a clear conscience. What the British call the War Ministry is designated in Israel as the Defense Ministry, a sort of friendly neighborhood nickname. And don't ever run into the intellectually challenging expression "the absentee law," this is simply the law that allows the theft of Arab property.

An evening in New York with the enemies of the state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chemi Shalev - (Opinion) November 6, 2011 - 12:00am

A few days before the start of the GA, I went down to a place called Times Center in midtown Manhattan, looking for people with horns. Not French horns, mind you, or bicycle horns, but more like rhinoceros’ horns, of the kind that is usually found attached to Naomi Chazan’s forehead.

Israel, Palestine need new paradigm to resolve conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Adel Safty - (Opinion) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Last week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) at a meeting of its General Assembly, admitted Palestine as a full member. The meeting was emotional. As it began, someone shouted Vive La Palestine (long live Palestine); when the delegates began to vote on the resolution to admit Palestine, the hall rang with loud and sustained cheers, as representatives of Austria, Russia, Brazil, India, China, South Africa and France indicated their country's affirmative vote. The resolution was carried with 107 for, 14 against and 52 abstentions.

Olmert’s offer - ‘too good to be true’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Musa Keilani - (Opinion) November 6, 2011 - 12:00am

Former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said last week that prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace are far worse today than when she left office.

Israel’s saber rattling against Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Everybody knows the scene from school: A small boy quarrels with a bigger boy. “Hold me back!” he shouts to his comrades, “Before I break his bones!” Our government seems to be behaving in this way. Every day, via all channels, it shouts that it is going, any minute now, to break the bones of Iran.

Extracting a price
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ahram
by Graham Usher - (Opinion) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinians scored a victory on 31 October when UNESCO (the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation) admitted them into its ranks as a full member, despite an immediate cut of $60 million in American dues, or 22 per cent of the organisation's budget. Membership will enable the Palestinian Authority (PA) to register as its heritage such sites as the Nativity Church in Bethlehem and the Ibrahimi Mosque (or Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron, both encircled by the Israeli occupation.

This is Israel? Not the one I love
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Chronicle
by Jonathan Freedland - (Opinion) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

All credit to Israel's friends in the British Jewish community: they are nothing if not energetic. A matter of months after they gathered for BICOM's We Believe in Israel rally in London, they are now erecting a Big Tent for Israel in Manchester. According to an ad for a spin-off event, once again the focus will be the "delegitimisation of Israel".

Fighting for Jerusalem, passport by passport
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by David Frum - (Opinion) November 5, 2011 - 12:00am

Two can play at this game. Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority have abandoned negotiations with Israel. They are seeking UN recognition of Palestinian statehood: statehood without peace. Already they have gained one victory: acceptance as a full member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Yet this victory may be their last. The United States has cut off its support for UNESCO, a warning to other UN agencies to take care.

The Mystery of 1948
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Slate
by Gershom Gorenberg - (Opinion) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

The most basic question about Israeli democracy has existed from before its birth: What would be the status of Arabs in a Jewish state? The answer is riddled with contradictions.

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