Middle East News: World Press Roundup

News: The US resumes aid to the PA, releasing $200 million, but Congress is continuing to block almost the same amount, and Israel is likely to soon release withheld Palestinian tax revenues. Israeli reports suggest authorities are planning up to 50,000 new settler housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. Pres. Sarkozy reportedly tells Pres. Obama he thinks PM Netanyahu is “a liar.” Palestinians seeking legal action against occupation forces face impossibly steep court fees. DM Barak dismisses the idea of an Israeli attack against Iran. Israeli authorities arrest settlers after razing an unauthorized outpost settlement. The home of a Peace Now official is vandalized in an apparent “price tag” attack for a second time. Despite the victory at UNESCO, the Palestinian UN initiative seems to be hitting a dead end. Some Americans are getting college credit for taking what are blatantly Israeli propaganda “college courses” at “Jerusalem U." Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin calls vigilante Israeli “price tag” violence “terrorism.” Commentary: Roger Cohen says there is no alternative whatsoever to a two-state solution. Avinoam Bar-Yosef says Israel should release Marwan Barghouti if it really wants to make a peace agreement with Palestinians. Yagil Levy says religious extremists are trying to take over the Israeli military. Moshe Arens says the prisoner swap with Hamas was “a victory for terror.” Akiva Eldar says Israel is trying to turn Pres. Abbas into the late Pres. Arafat. Gershon Baskin says Israel is wrong not to wholeheartedly engage with Abbas and PM Fayyad, and the PLO is wrong not to negotiate with Israel immediately. Bradley Burston says supporters of Israel and the Palestinians must recognize each other's humanity. Debra DeLee explains why Americans for Peace Now filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on the Jerusalem passport case, and Ori Nir responds to the attacks on Peace Now in Israel.

US unblocks aid to Palestinian Authority
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

US lawmakers have lifted a hold on nearly $200 million in aid to the Palestinians that had been suspended in response to the Palestinian bid for full UN membership, officials said Monday. The US funds had been held back by Congress since Aug. 18, according to the office of the Republican chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Fund transfer to PA to be renewed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Attila Somfalvi - November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel is likely to renew its funds transfer to the Palestinian Authority following the US Congress' decision to unfreeze some $200 million in Palestinian security assistance, Jerusalem sources told Ynet on Monday. Israel collects about $100 million in various taxes on behalf of the PA, which it transfers to Ramallah on a monthly basis. The transfer was suspended following the PA's pursuit of full membership in UNESCO.

Israel plans 50,000 homes in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel's Jerusalem municipality plans to build more than 50,000 new homes in the city's occupied eastern sector over two decades, Israeli media reported on Sunday. A study commissioned by Israel's Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat to address housing shortages in the city, obtained by Hebrew daily Maariv, shows designs for 60,718 housing units in the city, with the majority -- 52,363 homes -- planned for East Jerusalem.

Sarkozy tells Obama: Netanyahu is a liar
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

French President Nicolas Sarkozy branded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "a liar" in a private conversation with US President Barack Obama that was accidentally broadcast to journalists during last week's G20 summit in Cannes. "I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation. "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you," Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.

AP Exclusive: Palestinians face steep court fees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Diaa Hadid - November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Dozens of Palestinians who lost relatives in an Israeli military offensive in Gaza three years ago have been forced to put their compensation claims on hold, saying Israel has placed near-impossible barriers to proceeding with their cases. Israeli restrictions prevent Gazans from entering Israel to testify, undergo medical exams or meet with their lawyers. But the biggest obstacle, the victims say, are steep court fees that can reach tens of thousands of dollars.

Israeli police arrest settlers after razing outpost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli settlers scuffled with police and soldiers on Monday after security forces razed an illegal West Bank outpost. Residents of Or Zion, north of Ramallah, protested the demolition of their homes, part of a government order to dismantle all outposts deemed illegal by a recent Israel High Court ruling. Police arrested 12 residents after they hurled stones at Civil Administration workers carrying out the demolitions. The plan, slated to conclude by March 2012 following a petition by the Israeli NGO Peace Now to the High Court, will destroy the homes of about 1,000 settlers.

Peace Now official's home vandalized with 'Price Tag'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Vandals overnight Monday spray painted for the second time in two months a "price tag" message on the walls of Peace Now's Hagit Ofran's home, Army Radio reported. Ofran directs the Settlement Watch project for the organization, Army Radio reported. Among the messages left for Ofran were, "Hagit Ofran, z'l" and "Rabin is waiting for you." Tuesday evening marks the Jewish anniversary of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination at the hands of a right-wing extremist. Swastikas were also spray painted on the building.

Despite UNESCO victory, Palestinian statehood push running aground
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

They may have scored a victory at UNESCO, but the Palestinians are running into new obstacles on their push for statehood recognition at the United Nations. The effort to pursue the issue at the U.N. Security Council has encountered a stumbling block in Bosnia, where the country’s Serbian co-president appears to have helped cost the Palestinians a crucial ninth vote. Meanwhile, U.N. officials are sending a strong message regarding any further efforts to get U.N. agencies to follow UNESCO’s lead in granting the Palestinians membership: Please stop.

Rivlin: ‘Price tag’ is terrorism – but don’t blame settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Lahav Harkov - (Analysis) November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin planned to slam “price tag” vandalism, calling it “Jewish terrorism,” during a special Knesset session in memory of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on Wednesday. Rivlin released on Tuesday his speech for the upcoming memorial session, during which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish and opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) were scheduled to speak.

Is Jerusalem Online U. A Real College?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Forward
by Naomi Zeveloff - November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

This past summer, Rebecca Abramson found herself a credit short of completing the sophomore-year requirements for her international affairs major at George Washington University, in the nation’s capital. Having returned recently from Israel after participating in a Hasbara Fellowship, a program that trains students to be pro-Israel activists on campus, Abramson was eager to learn more about the country. So when a family friend told her about a chance to get college credit via a website offering classes on Israel and other topics, she jumped at the opportunity.

The Last Jew in Zagare
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Roger Cohen - (Opinion) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

The last Jew in Zagare, a small Lithuanian town renowned for its cherries, died in September. His name was Aizikas Mendelsonai, born in 1922. He was not buried in either of the two Jewish cemeteries, with their lurching gravestones, faded inscriptions and advancing lichen. Nobody is any more, not even Jews.

Release Marwan Barghouti
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Avinoam Bar-Yosef - (Opinion) November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently called on Israel to release more Palestinian prisoners in advance of any possible negotiations, he was setting a condition that he probably knew Israel would balk at. One of the prisoners on his list, Ahmed Saadat, is accused of killing an Israeli minister. More significantly, another one, if released, would most likely soon take Abbas’s place.

Fighting to make Israel into a military theocracy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yagil Levy - (Opinion) November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Is there a connection between the warning of the outgoing Judea and Samaria Division commander, Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon - who said a "radical minority, marginal in quantity but not in influence, is liable to bring about extensive escalation through what are called 'price tag' acts but reach the level of terrorism" - and the separation of women at the army's Simhat Torah celebrations?

Shalit saga was a defeat for Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Moshe Arens - (Opinion) November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

In those terrible days 10 years ago, when Palestinian terror was striking at Israeli civilians almost daily in the streets of the cities of Israel, there were those who argued that terror could not be defeated by military means, while some said that it could not be defeated by military means alone and others argued that terror can and should be defeated solely by military means.

Israel is trying to turn Abbas into Arafat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

The following story could provide material for a political comedy: About two weeks ago, a delegation from the One Voice peace organization paid a visit to the offices of Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. Among the guests was Jason Alexander, known to "Seinfeld" devotees as the neurotic George Costanza. They told Ayalon about the organization's extensive activity to prepare young Israeli and Palestinian leaderships who will spread the gospel of peace and reconciliation.

Encountering Peace: Let’s not talk?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Shortly before Binyamin Netanyahu began his first term of office as prime minister in 1996, the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed to create an environmental experts’ committee to undertake the planning and implementation of much needed cooperation on environmental issues. Committee members from both sides were dedicated scientists and environmentalists and were anxious to advance projects that would protect the land, clean up polluted wadis, develop sewage treatment plants and much more.

What Does 'Death to Israel' Mean to You?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Bradley Burston - (Opinion) November 7, 2011 - 1:00am

My daughter went to school this morning worried about her civics exam. She came home worried about explosive warheads. As of this week, she's in range. Her school is now within reach of rockets that travel farther and with far more deadly payloads than the weapons we knew just a short time ago. With blasts strong enough to shatter apartment windows seven stories in the air.

Why We Have Taken a Stand with the US Supreme Court
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Americans For Peace Now
by Debra DeLee - (Opinion) November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

An important case, Zivotofsky v. Clinton, is about to come before the U.S. Supreme Court. It relates to U.S. policy on Jerusalem, but isn't really about Jerusalem. Rather, it is about longstanding efforts by the U.S. Congress to wrest foreign policy-making authority away from the executive branch. How this case is decided will have far-reaching ramifications for America's policy, far beyond Jerusalem.

This building will blow up in five minutes!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Americans For Peace Now
by Ori Nir - (Opinion) November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Last night, someone pushed the intercom button at the Jerusalem building that houses Peace Now's office. A neighbor was told: "This building will explode in five minutes." The frightened residents and a Peace Now staff member immediately evacuated the building. Outside they found "Price Tag" graffiti. "Price Tag" is what the extreme settlers call their campaign to intimidate and silence Israelis and Palestinians who support a two-state solution to the conflict. Peace Now's national activity coordinator Etai Mizrav told me today: "Hard as they may try, they will not silence us!"

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