Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: At the upcoming UN meeting, Pres. Abbas is expected to suggest non-member observer state status for Palestine. Israeli officials, especially DM Barak, are mulling unilateral actions in the occupied West Bank. Palestinian leaders dismiss the ideas, and Israeli right-wingers also express strong opposition. Israeli officials say shells fired by the Syrian military accidentally landed in the occupied Golan Heights, without any reported injuries. More Hamas leaders say Khaled Misha'al has decided to step down as head of the Politburo. The fuel crisis in Gaza is intensifying as smuggling from Egypt is curtailed. The Syrian government denies it shelled a Palestinian refugee camp in Aleppo. Palestinians are becoming both two-time refugees and combatants in the Syrian conflict. A group of Jewish American leaders reportedly cancel a meeting with Abbas after pressure from PM Netanyahu. American Jewish Democrats are openly critical about Netanyahu's attitude towards the United States and Pres. Obama. Pres. Ahmadinejad reportedly says Israel will be “eliminated.” Americans for Peace Now establishes a campus wing. COMMENTARY: Karim Sadjadpour and Blake Hounshell ask what would happen if Israel actually bombed Iran. Patrick Tyler says Israel needs to abandon militarism in favor of negotiations and compromise. David Newman says the lack of a peace process is disastrous. Gershon Baskin says both publics need to know there is an alternative to war between Iran and Israel. Linda Gradstein looks at the complications surrounding ID cards for residents of occupied East Jerusalem. Ken Schechtman says Israel's real friends should be honest with it, not sycophantic. Rajab Abu Sariya says Abbas has another chance to achieve something useful at the UN this year.

Abbas set for scaled-down bid at U.N.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — There is no fanfare this time, no campaign in support of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as he heads this week to the United Nations to ask for an upgrade of the Palestinians’ status there to a non-member state.

Before Palestinians Act at U.N., Israeli Officials Urge Other Steps
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Jodi Rudoren - September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — With the Palestinians planning to make their case this week to upgrade from organizational status to nonmember status at the United Nations General Assembly, one senior Israeli minister condemned the move as “the easy and wrong way out” on Monday, while another said the time had come for Israel to consider its own unilateral move toward a separate state: annexing parts of the West Bank and withdrawing from others.

Palestinian leaders dismiss Barak's proposal for partial withdrawal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 25, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian leaders on Monday dismissed a proposal by Israel's defense minister suggesting a partial withdrawal from the occupied West Bank. Ehud Barak told the newspaper Israel Hayom that in the absence of peace talks, smaller illegal settlements in the West Bank should be evacuated, with the major settlement blocs remaining under Israeli control. Barak's proposal was swiftly shot down by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, who said the army will remain in the West Bank until a peace agreement is reached.

Israeli DM's West Bank pullout bid ires right-wingers: report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

  JERUSALEM, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday floated a controversial West Bank pullout plan which included unilaterally leaving areas beyond several large settlement blocs, with details that immediately drew fire from both his right flank and official Palestinian sources.

Israel: Syrian mortars accidentally land in Golan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Daniel Estrin - September 25, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Several mortars fired by Syrian government troops targeting rebels hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday but no one was hurt in the shelling, the Israeli military said. The incident marks the second time Syrian mortars have landed on the border area since Syria's crisis erupted 18 months ago. In July, mortar shells fell about one kilometer (half a mile) from the Golan boundary.

Hamas head Mashaal says he will resign
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Ibrahim Barzak - September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The supreme leader of the Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas has decided to step down, clearing the way for the movement to choose a new head for the first time in more than 15 years, two senior officials said Monday. Khaled Mashaal told a recent meeting in Cairo of Hamas' leadership that he would not run in upcoming elections for the top position, said Izzat Risheq, a confidant of Mashaal who attended the gathering. Moussa Abu Marzouk, Mashaal's deputy, also confirmed the decision.

Gaza fuel crisis grows as smuggling from Egypt declines
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The fuel smuggled to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip through tunnels with Egypt have declined within the last five days to 70 percent, leading the fuel crisis in the coastal enclave to deteriorate, officials said Monday. Mohamed al-Abadela, spokesman of the Gas Stations Association in the Gaza Strip, told Xinhua that the amount of fuel used for cars and electric generators dropped from 600,000 liters to 200, 000 liters per day.

Syria denies shelling Palestinian camp in Aleppo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

  DAMASCUS, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Syrian Information Ministry denied news that the government troops shelled the Nairab camp for Palestinian refugees in Aleppo city. In a statement aired by the state TV on Monday, the ministry held " the "bloody media outlets" responsible for disseminating such news. Also in Aleppo, the state TV said the army has carried a " qualitative" operation at al-Arkoub roundabout in Aleppo, killing large numbers of armed militias.

Syrian conflict makes Palestinians into both refugees and combatants
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Nicholas Blanford - September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

Omar Hassan was just three years old when he and his family were forced to leave their home in northern Palestine during the creation of Israel, making a home as stateless refugees in a camp in Syria. Now, six decades on, Mr.

Report: Jewish leaders cancel meeting with Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
September 25, 2012 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- A group of Jewish leaders in the US cancelled a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas under pressure from Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli media reported Monday. The meeting, organized by billionaire businessman Mort Zuckerman, was due to take place Monday in New York, the Hebrew-language daily Maariv reported. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish organizations, and Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman were also due to attend.

Who’s creating ‘daylight’ now? Jewish Dems ask Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- In the U.S.-Israel relationship, "daylight" is back, but this time it’s Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is being called on to draw down the shades. Netanyahu’s recent sharp rebuke of the Obama administration’s Iran policies has drawn equally pointed pushback from Jewish Democrats.

In New York, defiant Ahmadinejad says Israel will be 'eliminated'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Louis Charbonneau - September 25, 2012 - 12:00am

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday disregarded a UN warning to avoid incendiary rhetoric and declared ahead of the annual General Assembly session that Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would be "eliminated." In remarks to reporters in New York, Ahmadinejad also said he did not take seriously the threat that Israel could launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, denied sending arms into Syria, and alluded to Iran's threats against the life of British author Salman Rushdie.

Americans for Peace Now Launch Campus Group
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

Americans for Peace Now is establishing a presence on college campuses aimed at reaching students and faculty. The left-leaning group is working “in full coordination” with J Street U to provide information and speakers that can be used on campuses across the country, said APN spokesman Ori Nir. Campuses in the Washington area have been sent information kits, and other universities will be receiving them as well, he said.

What if Israel bombed Iran? The view from Washington.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Blake Hounshell, Karim Sadjadpour - (Opinion) September 21, 2012 - 12:00am

For months, Israel has threatened to strike Iran’s nuclear sites. The United States has urged restraint. If such an operation were launched, how might Washington react? President Obama is enjoying a quiet dinner with Michelle, Sasha and Malia at the White House residence on a Thursday evening in October when he gets the call.

Defusing Israel's 'detonator' strategy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Los Angeles Times
by Patrick Tyler - (Opinion) September 25, 2012 - 12:00am

Moshe Dayan, the one-eyed general who led Israel to military victories in the 1956 Suez war and the Six-Day War of 1967, believed in what he called a "detonator" strategy for the Jewish state. "When someone wishes to force on us things which are detrimental to our existence, there will be an explosion which will shake up wide areas, and realizing this, such elements in the international system will do their utmost to prevent damage to us."

A time for war, a time for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by David Newman - (Opinion) September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

It is with regret that I recently read about the closing of the Bitterlemons website dedicated to bringing Israeli and Palestinian voices together. Run for over a decade by Yossi Alpher and Ghasan Khatib, the site was produced on a weekly basis. Each issue focused on a single topic relevant to the Israel-Palestine conflict, around which there were four short essays – two from Israelis (including Alpher) and two from Palestinians (including Khatib).

There is a way out
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

I am sitting in a workshop at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non- Proliferation. The meeting is taking place a few days after the after the annual meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In the room are some of the people who negotiated arms control and disarmament treaties between the United States and the Soviet Union. There are several Arab ambassadors who represent their governments to the IAEA and were present at the annual meeting in which Shaul Horev, the Israeli head of the Israeli Atomic Energy Authority, spoke.

Who are You? ID Cards and East Jerusalem’s Identity Crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Linda Gradstein - (Opinion) September 25, 2012 - 12:00am

In the United States, you need a passport to travel abroad, and a drivers’ license to cash a check. In Israel, you need an ID card just to cross the street.

Real Friends Are Honest — Even With Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Ken Schechtman - (Opinion) September 25, 2012 - 12:00am

During his July experiment with international diplomacy, Mitt Romney’s encomium about the Israeli health care system provided a delicious illustration of one of our few remaining bipartisan sports: pandering to all things Israel. “Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of GDP in Israel? Eight percent,” Romney intoned. “You spend 8% of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18% of our GDP on health care. Ten percentage points more.”

Abbas Has One Last Chance At The UN General Assembly
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ayyam
by Rajab Abu Sariya - (Opinion) September 24, 2012 - 12:00am

Up until now, the Muslim Brotherhood presidency in Egypt has been pursuing the worst possible policy when it comes to the Palestinians. Cairo has made no effort in the peace process, nor have they assigned their intelligence agency — or any other agency — to work on this issue.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017