Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS:PM Fayyad calls for a national debate on the financial crisis facing the PA. Mahmoud Abu Rahma is released from hospital in Gaza after being stabbed apparently due to an article he wrote criticizing Hamas and other militant groups. Israeli forces demolish an "unauthorized" settlement outpost. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is mixing ideology and pragmatism in its approach to Israel. Palestinians say the UN Security Council will take up the issue of Israeli settlement activity next week. A new UN report calls the blockade of Gaza "collective punishment." A spokesman for PM Netanyahu denies he said Israel’s "biggest enemies" are The New York Times and Ha'aretz. Internal strife hits the hawkish Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. The Forward looks at how Jewish-American university presidents deal with issues regarding Israel. One year on, the family of slain Hamas operative Mabhouh is still looking for answers about his assassination. The PA women's ministry staff goes on a hunger strike, alleging harassment and corruption by top officials. COMMENTARY: ATFP Pres. Ziad Asali calls for a movement of the Arab citizen. Jordan's King Abdullah says the Palestinian issue remains the most important cause in the Arab world. Ari Shavit compares FM Lieberman to Vladimir Putin. Shuki Sadeh says Israel quietly trades with much of the Muslim world. Yossi Melman looks at a new book on the evolution of Israel's de facto borders. Sarah Kreimer says Israel's latest settlement activity makes a mockery out of new peace talks. Bilal Hassan says Palestinian popular resistance should aim to challenge both the Israeli occupation and US support for it. George Hishmeh says that by postponing a large joint military drill, Pres. Obama may still be trying to pressure Israel.

Fayyad calls for national debate on PA financial crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Wednesday called for a national debate on the financial situation facing the West Bank-based government. "We want to help everyone. We do not want theories, we want practical solutions, our people need social and economic security and we are working hard to get rid of the occupation and everyone should help us to obtain our goal," Fayyad told Ma'an TV.

Gaza Strip activist leaves hospital after stabbing attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Rushdi Abu Alouf - January 18, 2012 - 1:00am

REPORTING FROM GAZA CITY -- Palestinian human rights activist Mahmoud abu Rahma left a Gaza Strip hospital Wednesday after being stabbed last week by unknown assailants apparently motivated by his outspoken criticism of Palestinian militants. [Updated 11:19 a.m. Jan. 18: Recuperating at his family home, Rahma said the attack would not silence him. "This will not stop me from performing my duty as an activist in human rights and to continue writing articles," he said in a telephone interview.]

Israeli forces demolish illegal settler outpost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israeli military forces evicted settlers from an outpost early Thursday leading to clashes between residents and the army, Israeli media reported. Hundreds of security force personnel arrived at the Mitzpeh Yeriho settlement east of Jerusalem early Thursday, Haaretz quoted army radio reports as saying. Six houses were demolished and three Israeli police officers wounded as violent clashes broke out, the Israeli daily said. Last week, Israeli forces dismantled the illegal settler outpost of Mitzpe Avichai, near Hebron.

Egypt Brothers mix pragmatism, ideology on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Maggie Michael - January 18, 2012 - 1:00am

CAIRO — The Muslim Brotherhood is trying to maneuver its way between its fierce anti-Israel ideology and the realities of governing as it ascends to leadership in Egypt for the first time in its history and faces the key question of how to deal with the country's peace treaty with the Jewish state.

UN Security Council to meet on Jewish settlements next week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council will hold an open session next week to discuss Israeli settlement activities in occupied Palestinian territories, a Palestinian envoy said Thursday. The council's member states will present their stances regarding the settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Riad Mansour, Palestinian UN observer, told Voice of Palestine Radio.

UN: Gaza blockade – collective punishment
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - January 18, 2012 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON - The United Nations' submitted its annual report on the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories on Wednesday, painting a grim picture that includes food insecurity, isolation, violence and failing health and education services – all courtesy of the Israeli "occupation." The report, which was presented during a Security Council session upon the Palestinians' request, asserted that the number of civilian casualties rose by more than 30% in Gaza and the West Bank compared to 2010.

Netanyahu denies saying Israel’s biggest enemies are N.Y. Times, Haaretz
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

(JTA) – The Israeli Prime Minister's Office denied that Benjamin Netanyahu told the editor of The Jerusalem Post that Israel’s two greatest enemies are The New York Times and Haaretz. On Wednesday, the editor, Steve Linde, addressing a conference in Tel Aviv of the Women's International Zionist Organization, said that Netanyahu made the remark to him about the newspapers at a private meeting "a couple of weeks ago" at the prime minister’s office in Tel Aviv. The Prime Minister's Office told JTA on Thursday morning that Netanyahu "did not make the remarks attributed to him."

JINSA Leadership in Flux After Ouster
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - January 18, 2012 - 1:00am

Washington — Torn by internal strife, a leading conservative Jewish organization known for its hawkish views is struggling to find its footing after firing a key staffer and losing prominent members of its advisory board.

College Leaders Balance Israel and Speech
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Naomi Zeveloff - January 17, 2012 - 1:00am

As the debate about Israel rages on college campuses across America, there is one figure for whom the conversation takes on strikingly personal dimensions: the Jewish college president. About 20 Jewish men and women hold the highest positions at universities across the country, including campuses that have become hotbeds of political activism on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For these individuals, the role of president entails a constant balancing act between encouraging free speech on campus and honoring their personal, often supportive, views of Israel.

In Gaza, Mabhouh's grieving family still in search of answers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY // Two years after his brother Mahmoud, a Hamas arms-broker, was assassinated in Dubai by suspected Mossad agents, Fayek Al Mabhouh still wants answers. He scours the internet for any news about progress in the efforts to bring Mahmoud's killers to justice.

Palestine women's ministry staff go on hunger strike
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Nasouh Nazzal - January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

Ramallah: Women employees at the Palestinian Women's Affairs Ministry are on a "hunger strike till death" to protest against corruption and harassment. The hunger strike was announced on Tuesday by the women who gathered near the graveyard of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah. "The situation is grave as the women have received threats to be shot in their legs. Ministry authorities have vowed not to let the employees in the offices," a statement by the striking women said.

Arabs Deserve a Party of the Citizen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Ziad Asali - (Opinion) January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

As the Arab uprisings enter their second year, a new political movement based on the concept and values of citizenship is needed. A lacuna now exists on the Arab political scene. The Arab uprisings shattered the old order but have yet to coalesce into a clear model for the future. A movement of citizens, expressed in organized political parties with clearly articulated programs, would tap into the patriotic and ecumenical grassroots protest movements and ensure that a historic opportunity for progress is not squandered.

The Palestinians and the Arab Spring
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Adbdullah II bin Hussein - (Opinion) January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

Amman A year has passed since the Arab Spring began to change our region, showing the determination of Arab men and women, especially youth. But a key issue remains unresolved: peace between Palestinians and Israelis. This month, in Amman, the parties sat across the negotiating table for the first time in 16 months. What message will the United States now send to them and to the people of the region?

Israel's Putin is grotesque and shameful
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - (Opinion) January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

Our Putin is different from their Putin. Their Putin is a prime minister who wants to be president, while our Putin is a foreign minister who wants to be prime minister. Their Putin is an aggressive and arrogant statesman who serves Russia's interests; our Putin is aggressive and cynical and harms the interests of Israel.

The badly kept secret of Israel's trade throughout the Muslim world
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shuki Sadeh - (Opinion) January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

Motti (not his real name ), a businessman with connections in Arab countries, was stunned several months ago when representatives of a well-known Israeli food company asked him to check the possibility of exporting to Iran. They told him an Iranian company had approached them through contacts abroad.

Reshaping territory: The story of Israel's shifting borders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Melman - (Book Review) January 16, 2012 - 1:00am

Borderline Choices by Uri Neeman and David Arbel. Yedioth Books ?(Hebrew) 271 pages, NIS 118. This is an intriguing book about Israel’s borders. To be more precise, about the decisions about peace and security that led to the determination of its elastic and still shifting borders.

Let’s get serious about our future
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Sarah Kreimer - (Opinion) January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

In the Biblical narrative, when Jacob went out to reach a reconciliation with Esau, he sent flocks of goats and sheep and camels ahead of him – as a sign of good faith, and to appease his brother. He also took defensive action, dividing his camp into two groups, not knowing whether Esau would attack in revenge for Jacob’s having taken his birthright years before. In the end, the brothers reconciled, agreeing to live separately in the Land.

The Labyrinth of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Bilal Hassen - (Opinion) January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

The Palestinian-Israeli negotiations have entered the labyrinthine stage: everybody is present and moving forward, but the paths within the labyrinth do not intersect.

Put Israel in its place
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) January 19, 2012 - 1:00am

It is puzzling to see US President Barack Obama allowing Israel to drag him into another misadventure in the Middle East; this time with Iran. One would think Obama would do anything to avoid this Israeli trap after his predecessor George W. Bush got involved in the fruitless and costly war in Iraq — something that most Americans, and probably the former president, now regret.

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