Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: A rift seems to be growing between PM Netanyahu and DM Barak over relations with the US, fueling speculation about an early election. FM Lieberman calls the bickering "unnecessary.” Nationalistic Jewish activists in Israel are increasingly moving into Arab neighborhoods in mixed cities. Journalists at Ha'aretz go on strike. The UN is likely to hold a debate on nonmember observer state status for Palestine in mid-November, after the US election. Hamas denies accusations by Human Rights Watch that it engages in torture and other systematic abuses.The PA says it doesn't expect much help from the donor community and that its budget crisis will worsen. Jewish South Africans are trying to block measures to label Israeli settlement products. A Palestinian citizen of Israel is indicted on espionage charges. Settlers are trying to get Israeli occupation authorities to grant them control of a house in occupied Hebron. Paris signs a cooperation agreement with Palestinian East Jerusalem. Palestinian officials meet with Egypt's intelligence chief. COMMENTARY: Haaretz interviews Dalia Gavriely-Nur on Israelis and peace. The Jerusalem Post complains about what it calls “the radicalization of the Israeli Arab sector.” Joseph Kechichian asks if Israel is a threat to US national interests. George Hishmeh says time is running out for peace. Nassif Hitti asks if a “Palestinian Spring” or a third intifada is in the offing. Noam Sheizaf looks at changes in the Israeli media. Peter Beinart says it's not possible to blame the Palestinians alone, or even mainly, for the present diplomatic impasse.

Rift Grows Between Israeli Leaders Over Relations With U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — A growing rift between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense minister, Ehud Barak, a political rival, centers on Israel’s strategic relations with the United States as Mr. Barak tries to turn the tension between Mr. Netanyahu and Washington to his political advantage.

News Analysis: Israeli PM's swipe at defense minister sparks election fever
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Adam Gonn - October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

  JERUSALEM, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday criticized Defense Minister Ehud Barak for his involvement in Israel-U.S. relations and thereby reignited speculation about earlier parliamentary elections,possibly as early as February 2013.

FM: Public PM-Barak bickering is unnecessary
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman - October 4, 2012 - 12:00am

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman spoke out Thursday against the public dispute between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak reported in the media this week. In comments leaked to the media on Tuesday, Netanyahu criticized Barak for undermining him in meetings with US officials.

Devout Israeli Jews moving to Arab-Jewish cities
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - October 4, 2012 - 12:00am

ACRE, Israel — Orthodox Jewish Israelis, the driving force of the West Bank settlement movement, have begun to turn their attention inward to Israel itself, moving into Arab areas of mixed cities in an attempt to cement the Jewish presence there.

Israel's Haaretz paper strikes over layoffs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM —Workers at Israel's respected Haaretz newspaper have begun a strike to protest layoffs. The workers said Wednesday that they would not update the Haaretz website until midnight and will not publish the next day's paper. The issue is the planned dismissal of about 100 employees. Haaretz has a relatively small circulation, but it is an influential daily popular with Israel's elite.

Palestinian UN status likely to be debated in November
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 4, 2012 - 12:00am

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- The United Nations is likely to hold a debate on whether to upgrade the Palestinians' UN status to a sovereign country in mid-November -- after the US election, the president of the 193-member UN General Assembly said Wednesday. Having failed last year to win recognition of full statehood at the United Nations, President Mahmoud Abbas said last week he would seek a less-ambitious status upgrade at the world body to make it a "non-member state" like the Vatican.

Hamas ministry rejects torture allegations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Ministry of Interior in Gaza on Wednesday said it was reviewing a Human Rights Watch report that accused the Hamas security forces of torturing detainees. The Hamas-run ministry says it applauds the role of human rights organizations in protecting rights. "We assure you that our detention centers are open for human rights centers," the ministry said in a statement.

PA budget crisis expected to worsen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority does not expect a significant boost in foreign budget assistance to follow a meeting of donor countries in New York last month. A report presented by Nabil Qassis, the Palestinian Authority finance minister, has received no significant response, a senior government official told Ma'an. The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said late Tuesday that the financial crisis would likely escalate widely in the coming weeks and months due to foreign aid shortfalls.

S. African Jews, minister at loggerheads amid West Bank labeling row
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jeremy Gordin - October 4, 2012 - 12:00am

JOHANNESBURG – The leader of South Africa's central Jewish organization recently slammed Trade and Industries Minister Rob Davies for ignoring the Jewish community when proposing legislation labeling goods imported from the West Bank as originating from “the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Arab-Israeli indicted on espionage charges
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ahiya Raved - October 4, 2012 - 12:00am

It has been cleared for publication that a 26-year-old resident of Majd al-Kurum has been arrested and indicted on espionage charges following a joint police and Shin Bet investigation.  Milad Mohammed Khatib, a truck driver, is suspected of spying for Hezbollah and gathering intelligence on IDF bases and defense facilities. He has also allegedly tracked the movement of President Shimon Peres.

Settlers to appeal decision on Hebron building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - October 4, 2012 - 12:00am

Settlers plan to file a legal appeal to of the Civil Administration’s refusal to certify their purchase of a three family building, known as Beit Hamachpela, located in the West Bank city of Hebron. The refusal was based on technical reasons. Settlers moved into the building at the end of March after buying it from its Palestinian owners. In early April, security forces forcibly evicted them within a week pending investigation of the purchase claim and because they had failed to obtain the necessary permits to enter the building.

Bypassing Israel, French capital endorses unprecedented agreement with ‘East Jerusalem’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times of Israel
by Elhanan Miller - October 4, 2012 - 12:00am

France’s most populous administrative zone, encompassing the capital Paris, has signed a cooperation agreement with the Palestinian district of Jerusalem, a move organizers say is designed to send a “political message” of solidarity with the Palestinians and their aspirations for a future capital in the city. The French region described the agreement as the “first of its kind.”

Abbas aide meets Egypt intelligence chief
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas' senior aide Tayyeb Abdul-Rahim on Wednesday met Egypt's intelligence chief Raafat Shehata to discuss relations. Abdul-Rahim, Abbas' secretary-general, thanked the newly-appointed Shehata for Egypt's official and popular support for Palestinians and their struggle for statehood, and the Egyptian government's efforts to release Palestinians detained in Israeli jails, a statement from his office said.

Are Israelis truly a peace-seeking people?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ravit Hecht - (Interview) October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

The yearning for peace, purportedly one of the fundamental components of Israeli society and culture, takes several forms: prayer (“May He who makes peace in the supernal regions bestow peace upon us and upon all Israel”), Zionist statements (the Scroll of Independence), songs and more.

Sakhnin incitement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

The country’s Arab parliamentarians managed this week to surpass even their own most strident incitement against the state that bankrolls them and guarantees their rights to subvert it. Speaking in Sakhnin at the 12th memorial to the 13 Arabs shot dead during the October 2000 riots, MKs Ahmed Tibi and Taleb a-Sanaa in effect agitated for violent vengeance, thereby ramping up already inordinately confrontational rhetoric.

Is Israel a threat to US national interests?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Joseph A. Kechichian - (Opinion) October 4, 2012 - 12:00am

Cartoonists all over the world showed rare talent this week as many depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ‘Wylie Coyote’ presentation in colourful montages, one illustrating his head in the shape of a bomb, and an imaginary red line above which the fuse ignited.

Time is running out for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) October 4, 2012 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Question has been temporarily shelved — hopefully only till November — much to the disappointment of many a Palestinian who was expecting the ball to start rolling this month.

Is This a Palestinian Spring, Or a Coming Third Intifada?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Hayat
by Nassif Hitti - (Analysis) October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

Are we witnessing the harbingers of a “Palestinian Spring” or the first signs of a long-awaited third Palestinian intifada, whose triggers — many observers say — come from the Palestinian issue itself?

Wither The Israeli Press?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Noam Sheizaf - (Opinion) October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

On the Thursday before Yom Kippur, several hundred employees of the Israeli newspaper Maariv left their desks and marched under the hot Tel Aviv sun toward one of three buildings towering over Azrieli mall. They occupied the building's lobby, determined to make their way to the offices of IDB Holdings. Guards shut down the elevators, but about two dozen employees broke into the emergency stairwell and climbed to the 41st floor.

Who "Froze" The Peace Process?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Peter Beinart - (Opinion) October 3, 2012 - 12:00am

Jeff Goldberg has a new Bloomberg column arguing that President Obama has not done enough to support the rebels in Syria, which had me mostly nodding in agreement until I reached this offhand comment about Israel: "Obama was wrong to draw a line in the sand over settlements, which are a derivative issue (if the Israelis and Palestinians settle their borders, the settlement issue will also be solved). But because he made it an issue without a thought to follow-up, he managed to freeze the process."

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