Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: A battle is raging the House of Representatives over US aid to the PA. There are reports of more “price tag” right-wing violence by Jewish extremists, and Israel's Education Minister calls it “a cancerous tumor.” Threats against Israeli peace activists are escalating. A draft UN report says there is no consensus in the Security Council on Palestinian UN membership, with the final report to be issued on Friday. FM Malki admits Palestine cannot get a nine-vote majority. The Quartet will meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Nov. 14. Several reporters confirm the accuracy of an overheard discussion about PM Netanyahu between Pres. Sarkozy and Pres. Obama. Netanyahu's poor international reputation is offset by strong domestic popularity. Palestinian businesses in Jerusalem's old city are suffering. COMMENTARY: Ronen Bergman looks at the history of Israeli prisoner swap negotiations. Nicholas Goldberg reflects on what the Jerusalem passport case means to him. Ha'aretz says Netanyahu is leading the fight against peace activists. Duncan Campbell says Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu deserves freedom. Walid Choucair says Israel and Iran play off each other to mutual benefit. Gershom Gorenberg proposes three steps to end Israel's international isolation. Helga Tawil-Souri looks at the cyber attack on Palestinian cable-based services. Judith Miller says it it doesn't matter if Sarkozy and Obama dislike Netanyahu, and Jackson Diehl says it doesn't make any sense if they do.

Fight over aid to Palestinian Authority heating up
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Josh Rogin - November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

A group of House lawmakers is making the case for continuing U.S. support to the Palestinian Authority (PA), despite the Palestinian bid to seek full membership in the United Nations. "Maintaining U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority is in the essential strategic interest of Israel and the United States," wrote 44 lawmakers, all Democrats, in a letter today to House Appropriations State and Foreign Ops subcommittee heads Kay Granger (R-TX) and Nita Lowey (D-NY). The letter was spearheaded by Reps. David Price (D-NC) and Peter Welch (D-VT).

Israeli police say cars burned, house defaced in West Bank; Jewish extremists suspected
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
November 9, 2011 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Three Palestinian cars were torched and a Palestinian house was defaced in the West Bank, Israeli police said Wednesday, and evidence at the scene suggested the involvement of Jewish extremists. The words “price tag” were spray-painted on the house in Beit Ummar, a town near the West Bank city of Hebron, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. The phrase refers to a Jewish settler tactic of attacking Palestinian targets to protest government activities against settlements. Police were investigating the overnight attack, Rosenfeld said.

Minister: 'Price tag' gangs a cancerous tumor
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Attila Somfalvi - November 9, 2011 - 1:00am

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar made harsh statements against violence targeting soldiers, Palestinians and leftist activists in what is referred to as the "price tag" phenomenon. Speaking at a youth rally marking 16 years since the murder of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Sa'ar said: "The 'price tag' gangs which scheme against innocents, damage property, hurt IDF soldiers and members of the security forces, burn mosque and generally terrorize (the public) are a dangerous and cancerous tumor which must be removed."

Threats escalate against Israeli anti-settlement activists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
November 9, 2011 - 1:00am

REPORTING FROM JERUSALEM -- Peace Now, a group known for its vocal stand against Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories, says a senior member of its team has received a death threat. It was the latest in a string of incidents blamed on Jewish extremists protesting the dismantling of illegal settlements in the West Bank. The targets of these so-called price-tag operations -- which typically involve vandalism in response to government actions against the settlements -- have been individuals, groups, mosques, cemeteries and recently even Israeli army facilities.

Report: No consensus on Palestine bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 9, 2011 - 1:00am

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- A draft report by a key UN Security Council committee, obtained on Tuesday, declared that members could not reach consensus on whether Palestine should be accepted as a UN member state. "The committee was unable to make a unanimous recommendation to the Security Council," said the draft report of the council's committee on admitting new member states. It was circulated to all 15 Security Council members on Tuesday.

Palestinians: Not enough UN support for state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian foreign minister admits for the first time there is not enough support in the U.N. Security Council for recognition of a Palestinian state, This comes as the Security Council receives a report saying there's no consensus among the 15 members. Nine votes would be needed for approval, and any of the five permanent members could cast a veto. The U.S. and Israel insist that a Palestinian state must result from negotiations.

Quartet to meet Israelis, Palestinians on Nov 14-U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Envoys of the "Quartet" of Middle East peace mediators will meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian officials on Nov. 14 in Jerusalem, their latest effort to jump-start the stalled peace process, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday. "We expect these will again be Quartet envoy meetings with the parties separately," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told a news briefing, saying the meetings would seek to encourage both sides to offer concrete proposals on land and security concerns.

Reporters confirm Sarkozy's 'Bibi slip'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roy Simyoni - November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Loose Lips? The double-presidential faux pas, which saw French President Nicolas Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama accidently tell the world what they really think of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, caused a media frenzy on Tuesday, with many media outlets worldwide dubbing it "the juiciest thing since WikiLeaks." French website "Arret sur Images" reported Monday that due to a technical glitch, the two presidents' microphones remained on after a G20 press conference held on Thursday.

Israel’s Netanyahu: hero at home, pariah abroad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Arabiya
November 9, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu may be feted at home for his role in freeing captive soldier Gilad Shalit, but abroad, world leaders are barely managing to hide their disdain for the media-savvy prime minister. Just how much Netanyahu is failing to win the respect of his global peers emerged on Tuesday after a French website published remarks by President Nicolas Sarkozy, who described him as a “liar” during a private conversation with US President Barack Obama at the G20 summit in Cannes last week.

Empty shops point to dire times for Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - November 9, 2011 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM // One of the world's most celebrated - and surely its most contentious - cities attracts about three million tourists each year. But you would not know it from the cash register in Ahmad Rizeq's grocery. Each day, Mr Rizeq is lucky if a single tourist in Jerusalem's bustling Old City crosses the threshold of his shop, even though it is only metres from the Haram Al Sharif, Islam's third-holiest site. "We're in a sorry state of affairs here," lamented Mr Rizeq, 62, whose shop on a street known as the Khalidiya Ascent has been in the family for 36 years.

Gilad Shalit and the Rising Price of an Israeli Life
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ronen Bergman - (Opinion) November 9, 2011 - 1:00am

On the afternoon of June 27, 1976, Palestinian and German terrorists hijacked an Air France flight originating from Israel and directed it eventually to Entebbe Airport in Uganda, where most of the non-Israelis on board were immediately released. More than 100 hostages remained, 83 of whom were Israeli. They were held for the next six days, until an elite team of Israel Defense Force commandos freed them in the famous raid known as Operation Entebbe.

Divided on Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Nicholas Goldberg - (Opinion) November 9, 2011 - 1:00am

When our youngest son was born in Jerusalem in 1995, a number of questions faced us. First was whether we should accept Israeli citizenship for him, which would grant him a second passport and the ability to work (and take refuge, if necessary) in a foreign land — but which would come with a military service requirement in a country that wouldn't really be his home. We opted against it.

Netanyahu leading the fight against Israel's peace activists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) November 9, 2011 - 1:00am

The "price tag" graffiti sprayed on the home of Hagit Ofran of Peace Now on Tuesday is part of a consistent delegitimization campaign against left-wing organizations. Virtually not a day goes by without peace activists suffering threats to their lives or damage to their property. On the eve of the 16th memorial day in honor of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who fell victim to a campaign of incitement by the extreme right, it seems that the lesson has not been learned.

Mordechai Vanunu deserves freedom from Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Duncan Campbell - (Opinion) November 9, 2011 - 1:00am

Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli whistleblower who served 18 years in prison for revealing details of Israel's nuclear weapons programme, should find out whether or not he has been – as he hopes – stripped of his citizenship. As part of his bid to be allowed to leave Israel, he has applied to have his citizenship revoked as should, by law, happen to anyone convicted of treason, as he has been. He would then seek to be allowed finally to leave the country.

Israel and Iran's "Nuclear Program": Serving Each Other
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Walid Choucair - (Opinion) November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

There is nothing new in hearing talk that Iran is trying to develop its military nuclear program, and there is nothing new in the talk about western countries' attempt to stiffen up sanctions on Iran because of this presumed program. The same goes for the talk that Israel is threatening to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities.

How to Save Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Slate
by Gershom Gorenberg - (Opinion) November 9, 2011 - 1:00am

I write from an Israel with a divided soul. It is not only defined by its contradictions; it is at risk of being torn apart by them. It is a country with uncertain borders and a government that ignores its own laws. Its democratic ideals, much as they have helped shape its history, or on the verge of being remembered among the false political promises of 20th-century ideologies.

Hacking Palestine: A digital occupation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Jazeera English
by Helga Tawil-Souri - (Opinion) November 9, 2011 - 1:00am

In the aftermath of the near-total shutdown of the internet and telephone network in the West Bank and Gaza Strip last week, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is attempting to figure out how, why and by whom Palestine was hacked. Whether the PA ever comes to a conclusive finding is arguable, even if it manages to mobilise the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to conduct an investigation. The Palestinian Minister of Communications has been hinting that a state may be behind the concerted attack - by which he means Israel.

Sarkozy, Obama Anti-Netanyahu? Not So Simple
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Fox News
by Judith Miller - (Opinion) November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Open mic. Open mouth. Insert foot. It seems that politicians never learn: wearing a microphone is like carrying a loaded weapon. You can never be sure when it will go off, or in this case, go live. The French government is deeply “chagrined” – now we know why it’s a French word – about the latest diplomatic “faux pas” that is turning into a major “scandale”: the all-too-candid conversation between French President Nicholas Sarkozy and President Obama about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the G-20 Summit in Cannes.

Why do Sarkozy and Obama hate Netanyahu?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jackson Diehl - (Opinion) November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Binyamin Netanyahu seems to have been the target of some ugly — if off the record — barbs from President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Speaking privately (they thought) following a news conference in Cannes last week, Sarkozy said “I cannot bear” Netanyahu, adding that he was “a liar.”

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