Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Israeli officials say Iran is pulling back from military aspects of its nuclear program. Palestinians are pressing forward with a renewed effort at greater recognition at the UN. French investigators say they will exhume the body of the late Pres. Arafat next month. PM Netanyahu is in France, pushing for tougher sanctions against Iran. Syrian rebels attack Palestinian factions aligned with Pres. Assad. Sudan dismisses Israeli allegations about arms shipments. Analysts say the Israeli right is uniting while the center and left remain in disarray. Peace Now says two new “unauthorized” outposts have been established by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. Israel announces 180 new settlement housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli forces arrest 24 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Netanyahu claims Arabs would not be upset about an Israeli attack against Iran. A long-serving PLO official says a Palestinian confederation with Jordan might be an option. The Church of Scotland owns a luxury hotel in the Galilee. Jewish-American groups are increasingly discussing how to deal with the new Egyptian government. Knesset Speaker Rivlin says the reelection of Pres. Obama would be bad for the settlement project. COMMENTARY: Amira Hass says Israel cannot forever rely on military prowess for its future and security. Zvi Bar'el says Israel is starting to resemble Turkey, a democratic system in effect ruled by a single party. Alan Dershowitz says he thinks Obama deserves to be reelected. The Daily Star says Arab states talk about Palestine, while Israel acts. Danny Rubinstein says the Palestinian economy is teetering on the brink of collapse. Adam Raz says it might be time for Israel to abandon its policy of nuclear ambiguity. Michael Koplow says the Netanyahu-Lieberman joint list could be a disaster for both of them.

Israeli Defense Chief Says Iran Postponed Nuclear Ambitions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Rick Gladstone - October 31, 2012 - 12:00am

Israel’s defense minister said Tuesday that the country had interpreted Iran’s conversion of some enriched uranium to fuel rods for civilian use as evidence that Iran had delayed ambitions to build a nuclear weapon.

PLO lobbies for convincing win in UN vote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Noah Browning, Ali Sawafta - October 31, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Reuters) -- Palestinians have launched a diplomatic blitz aimed at garnering a strong majority for a vote granting them non-member statehood at the United Nations slated for next month, officials said Tuesday. Despite heading for a sure victory in the UN General Assembly, mostly consisting of post-colonial states historically sympathetic to the Palestinians, West Bank diplomats are courting European countries to further burnish their campaign.

Investigators to Exhume Arafat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
October 30, 2012 - 12:00am

A French official says criminal investigators from France will exhume Yasir Arafat’s remains next month to try to find out how the Palestinian leader died. A separate Swiss investigative team will arrive in the West Bank city of Ramallah at the same time. The push to re-examine Mr.

Netanyahu to push tougher Iran sanctions in France
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
October 31, 2012 - 12:00am

PARIS — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will urge French leaders to help strengthen sanctions against Iran and efforts to fight terrorism.

Syria rebels bring fight to pro-Assad Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 31, 2012 - 12:00am

BEIRUT, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Syrian rebels said on Wednesday they had formed a brigade of sympathetic Palestinians in a Damascus district to fight armed Palestinians aligned with President Bashar al-Assad.

Sudan dismisses Israeli concerns on arms supplies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 30, 2012 - 12:00am

KHARTOUM, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Sudan dismissed as "misleading" Israeli allegations it supplies arms to foes of the Jewish state and said there was no foreign involvement in a munitions factory Khartoum says was bombed by Israel.

Israeli rightists unite while center-left remains in disarray as elections near
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
October 31, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Israel's governing Likud party approved teaming up with Yisrael Beiteinu in a move that united the country's right-of-center forces and left contenders on the left treading water ahead of the elections slated for early next year.

Israeli group: 2 new outposts established in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 31, 2012 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Two illegal settler outposts have been recently established in the West Bank, representing the first such developments since 2005, Peace Now announced Wednesday. Foundations for Nahalei Tal, north of Ramallah, and Tzofim North, in Qalqiliya, have been built over the last few months and the outposts now contain mobile homes, electricity, water, roads and infrastructure, the Israeli peace group said.

Israeli forces arrest 24 across the West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 31, 2012 - 12:00am

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained 24 people across the West Bank overnight Tuesday, Israel's army said. Seven people were arrested in Nablus, five in Ramallah, three in Jenin, three in Hebron, two in the south Hebron hills, two in Tuqu, one in Anata and one in Yatta, an Israeli army spokeswoman said. They were detained "on suspicion of illegal activities", the spokeswoman added.

Netanyahu: Israeli strike on Iran nuclear plants will only serve to calm Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - October 30, 2012 - 12:00am

An Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities won't destabilize the Middle East, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview to a French magazine on Tuesday, adding, moreover, that such a move would only serve to restore security in the region.

'PLO leader backs Jordan annexation of W. Bank'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Oren Kessler - October 31, 2012 - 12:00am

A senior leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization expressed support for a new proposal for Jordan's annexation of the West Bank, in an interview with the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi. PLO leader Farouk Kaddoumi, a founding member of the PLO, said the move would involve the establishment of a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation.

Scots Hotel: Why the Church of Scotland has a Galilee getaway
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Angus Roxburgh - October 30, 2012 - 12:00am

Spot the odd one out: Hilton, Marriott, Radisson, Church of Scotland, Holiday Inn. Yes, you're right, they are all names of hotels apart from… but wait a minute, the Church of Scotland also owns a hotel, and a very splendid one at that.

As Morsi and Brotherhood spur alarm, what to do about Egypt?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - October 30, 2012 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Jewish groups looking for signals from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi regarding his views were appalled when one finally came -- in the form of a nod and what appeared to be a muttered “amen” to an imam’s call for God to “deal harshly” with the Jews.

Obama reelection would be bad for Jerusalem, Rivlin says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times of Israel
by Ilan Ben Zion - October 30, 2012 - 12:00am

A week before Americans head to the polls, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday said that US President Barack Obama’s reelection would bode ill for the State of Israel.

Is Israel's Nuclear Ambiguity Worth Preserving?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'ariv
by Adam Raz - October 30, 2012 - 12:00am

Since the 1960s, Israel has maintained a "nuclear ambiguity policy" under which it will not be the first nation to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East. This policy, according to which Israel refrains from declaring what it does and doesn't have is a "diplomatic fiction," and it isn't for nothing that it was deemed by some to deserve the Israel Defense Prize. It is a "fiction" since it is no secret that, according to foreign sources, Israel is a nuclear state, as even a child can discover reading Wikipedia.

Never mind the settlements, it's the absurdity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Opinion) October 31, 2012 - 12:00am

Compared to the value of the security technology Israel sells overseas, the value of European imports from the settlements are mere pocket money. Israel's economy won't be hurt even if European governments adopt the measures proposed by a group of nongovernmental organizations in order to shrink trade with the settlements and reduce the contradiction between European pronouncements ("the settlements are illegal" ) and imported dates from the Jordan Valley.

A party in denial
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Zvi Barel - (Opinion) October 31, 2012 - 12:00am

It took some effort to get worked up about the jubilant fanfare with which the Likud Central Committee welcomed the product of Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman's fusion. One might mistakenly suppose that two noble metals had just blended in the blistering crucible of the right wing.

The case for President Obama’s reelection
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Alan Dershowitz - (Opinion) October 30, 2012 - 12:00am

The case for the reelection of President Barack Obama is compelling for several important reasons.

Virtual debate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) October 31, 2012 - 12:00am

Arab officials and politicians are fond of spending an inordinate amount of time talking about the Palestine issue. They engage in the most Byzantine discussions of the need to support the Palestinian people in their struggle, how to offer this support, and who deserves “traitor” status for taking a given position.

Palestinian Economy Is Teetering On Brink of Collapse, Study Finds
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Danny Rubenstein - (Analysis) October 30, 2012 - 12:00am

Last Saturday [Oct. 13], I visited a folk festival in the [West Bank Palestinian] Christian village of Taybeh, east of Ramallah — not to be confused with the Arab city [of Tayibeh] within the Green Line. The village of Taybeh is known primarily thanks to the beer-producing Taybeh Brewery, which is marketing to Israel as well and is quite popular in some of the pubs in the country.

Bibi's Mistake
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Michael Koplow - (Opinion) October 30, 2012 - 12:00am

In an announcement last Thursday that shocked the Israeli political establishment, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated their intention to merge Netanyahu's Likud Party with Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu. Despite the contention made by some -- notably Haaretz editor Aluf Benn -- that this move creates a war cabinet that will make it easier for Israel to strike Iranian nuclear facilities, it's more likely the two men had domestic politics at the forefront of their minds.

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