Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Palestinians say the UNGA will vote on Thursday on their request for "nonmember observer state" status, and are circulating a draft resolution. Israeli officials say they are negotiating with the Obama administration to try to get Palestinians to soften the language of the resolution and seem divided on how they want to respond. In the wake of the Gaza conflict, the UK is considering supporting the resolution. Israel is focusing on making sure the PLO doesn't try to join the ICC as a consequence. Hamas says it supports the UN effort. Analysts believe success in the UN bid is essential for Pres. Abbas and the PLO to remain politically relevant. The remains of the late Pres. Arafat have been exhumed for testing for cause of death, but his relatives again express their opposition. An Israeli officer posts online a picture of his face covered in mud and calls it "Obama-style." Ex-FM Livni announces her return to politics as the head of new party. Oil prices fall given that the Israel-Hamas cease-fire is holding. Hamas officials predict quick rebuilding in Gaza after the recent conflict. The EU is considering banning entry to violent Israeli settlers. Israeli police reportedly throw Palestinians off buses at the request of Israeli settlers. Israeli soldiers say they're willing to fighting Gaza again. COMMENTARY: Hussein Ibish says all parties must now decide whether to empower Hamas or the PA. Yossi Beilin says Israel and the United States should be the first to support the Palestinian UN bid and recognize Palestinian statehood. Bloomberg says the Gaza conflict puts the PLO UN initiative in a new light and may be needed for the PA's survival which is in the US and Israeli interest. David Rohde says the only way to undermine Hamas is by achieving a two-state solution. Aluf Benn says Shulamit Aloni represents the Israeli left that used to be viable and powerful. Moshe Dann claims, in spite of the upcoming UN resolution, Palestinians don't really want independent statehood. Kenneth Bandler says Abbas should return to negotiations with Israel, which he says he wants to do. Akiva Eldar says no matter how much Israelis want it, Gaza will not become part, or the responsibility, of Egypt. Seyed Hossein Mousavian says Iran and Hamas were the winners of the Gaza conflict. Scott McConnell asks why Americans don't understand Palestinians and their predicament.

UN to vote Thursday on raising Palestinian status
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Edith M. Lederer - (Analysis) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

  The Palestinians said the U.N. General Assembly will vote Thursday afternoon on a resolution raising their status at the United Nations from an observer to a nonmember observer state, a move they believe is an important step toward a two-state solution with Israel.

Palestinians Submit Resolution on U.N. Status
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Joe Lauria - (Analysis) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

  The Palestinian Authority submitted a draft resolution to the U.N. General Assembly that would recognize the Palestinians as a nonmember state of the U.N., a move that could have far-reaching implications for the 65-year-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  

Israel, U.S. hold secret talks on softening Palestinian Authority's UN bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - (Analysis) November 27, 2012 - 1:00am

  Israel is negotiating with the United States over the wording of the proposal at the UN General Assembly Thursday that would upgrade the Palestinians to observer status.

Israel leaders at odds over response to Palestinian UN bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Itamar Eichner - (Analysis) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

Four days before the UN votes on the Palestinians' bid to upgrade its status to that of a "non-member observer state," the State of Israel has yet to form any official position on the matter.

In wake of Gaza flare-up, U.K. could support Palestinian bid at UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - (Analysis) November 27, 2012 - 1:00am

  Britain is considering a change in in its position on the Palestinian bid at the United Nations in an attempt to bolster Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' stance, U.K. newspaper Financial Times reported late Monday.  London's support is conditioned on continued peace talks with Israel and the  PA refraining from bringing cases against Israeli officials to the International Criminal Court, the newspaper said. 

Israel trying to prevent Palestine joining ICC
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) November 27, 2012 - 1:00am

 Israel is seeking the addition of a clause in the PLO's UN bid rejecting membership of the International Criminal Court, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Tuesday.

Backed by Hamas, Palestinians eye Thursday vote for UN upgrade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Michelle Nichols - (Analysis) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

  The Palestinian Authority has circulated a revised draft resolution to U.N. member states calling for an upgrade of its U.N. status to an "observer state" ahead of a planned vote on the issue by the 193-member world body on Thursday.

Abbas needs success in UN bid to stay relevant
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Adam Gonn - (Analysis) November 27, 2012 - 1:00am

Palestinian National Authority ( PNA) President Mahmoud Abbas plans to submit his second bid to upgrade the status of the Palestine at the 

Arafat’s Body Is Exhumed for Poison Tests
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - (Analysis) November 27, 2012 - 1:00am


Arafat's sister: Let my brother rest in peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
(Interview) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

  The heart of Khadija Arafat, sister of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, was full of sadness, just hours before international experts will dig up the remains of her brother from his tomb in the West Bank city of Ramallah to know the reasons behind his death.

Israeli Military’s Twitter Warrior Forced to Retreat After ‘Obama Style’ Blackface Joke
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Robert Mackey - (Analysis) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

The young Israeli officer who leads the campaign to cast his nation’s military in a positive light on social networks restricted access to his own Facebook account on Sunday, after a Lebanese blogger discovered t

Israel's ex-FM Livni announces return to politics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Statesman.com
by Josef Federman - (Analysis) November 27, 2012 - 1:00am

  Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni announced her return to politics on Tuesday, telling supporters that she was forming a new party to run in January parliamentary elections on a platform promising an aggressive push for peace with the Palestinians.

Oil prices fall as Israel-Hamas truce holds
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
(Analysis) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

  Oil fell below $88 per barrel on Monday after a slow day of trading.

Hamas official predicts a swift rebuilding in Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - (Interview) November 25, 2012 - 1:00am

In the wake of its eight-day clash with Israel,Hamas will seek $1 billion in reconstruction aid from the Arab world and

EU considers barring violent settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

The European Union is considering blocking violent Israeli settlers from entering member states, Israeli daily Haaretz reported Monday.

Police order Palestinian workers off buses to West Bank, at request of Israeli settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - (Analysis) November 27, 2012 - 1:00am

  Police have begun ordering Palestinian laborers with legal work permits off buses from the Tel Aviv area to the West Bank, following complaints from settlers that Palestinians pose a security risk by riding the same buses as them.

Israeli Reservists Frustrated, But Willing to Fight in Gaza Again
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson - (Analysis) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

  At 6:30 a.m. on Friday morning, two days after the current round of fighting in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas began, the phone rang in Rafi’s house in Jerusalem, calling him up for reserve service in his combat infantry unit.  

The Palestinian Choice—And Ours
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

Recent developments, especially last week's conflict with Israel, have transformed the Palestinian political landscape in favor of Hamas in Gaza and at the expense of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Palestinians are facing a momentous choice: the path of diplomacy and institution-building championed by the PA, or that of confrontation and armed struggle championed by Hamas.

Support Palestinian Statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Yossi Beilin - (Opinion) November 25, 2012 - 1:00am

THE cease-fire that ended the latest round of violence between Israel and the Palestinians has enhanced the popularity of the militant group Hamas. This extremist organization has become the only interlocutor for the Arab world, for the West and, indirectly, for Israel. But Hamas refuses to recognize Israel’s existence or to negotiate with Israelis. Meanwhile, the pragmatic Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, is rapidly losing legitimacy and Israel’s recent strikes on Gaza will only weaken it further.

To Bolster Palestinian Moderates, Let Abbas Win at the UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
(Editorial) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

A few weeks ago, the U.S. and Israel were painting Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian faction Fatah, as an extremist for vowing to ask the United Nations on Nov. 29 to grant Palestine status as a nonmember observer state. In light of the violence just unleashed on Israel by Fatah’s rival, Hamas, it now seems a relatively mild maneuver. Growing popular support for Hamas’s belligerence makes Abbas an increasingly rare moderate, whose legitimacy needs to be bolstered by the international community.

After the ceasefire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by David Rohde - (Opinion) November 23, 2012 - 1:00am

For now, the fighting has stopped in Israel and Gaza. But let's be honest, this is the latest round in a long and bitter struggle. In the future, more bloodshed is likely. After eight days of clashes, Hamas' claim that it is the true leader of the Palestinian resistance has gained strength. Long-range rocket attacks on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem have made Israelis increasingly wary of a two-state solution.

When the Israeli left did it right
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

Shulamit Aloni will celebrate her 84th birthday this week, giving us an opportunity to yearn for the left-wing leadership that was, and to the kind of politics we used to have here but no longer do. Aloni's political personality conveyed a single message: war. She fought unceasingly against the country's priorities, which put the army, the settlers and the ultra-Orthodox at the top.

Who wants a Palestinian state?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Moshe Dann - (Opinion) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority’s moves at the United Nations for recognition of a Palestinian state have raised objections. Since many support the idea, however, including some Israeli politicians, and with little hope for successful negotiations, the PA’s move seems logical. They can continue to attack Israel diplomatically and legally, continue incitement, raise their stature, and avoid recognizing Israel.

On My Mind: Abbas’s choice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Kenneth Bandler - (Opinion) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

Barring a sudden change of mind, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will ask the UN General Assembly on Thursday to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state of the world body. The long anticipated PA scheme, bypassing direct talks with Israel, will do little to advance the prospects for achieving a permanent peace accord, or an actual independent Palestinian state.

Gaza Is Not Egypt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

The last round of violence between Israel and Hamas, which ended with yet another cease-fire, took place on a backdrop of stormy internal discussions in Israel regarding a permanent solution to the conflict with the Palestinian side. Israeli and Palestinian politicians and thinkers who supported the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders have concluded that the Oslo process has reached the end of its usefulness and that other solutions must be found.

Iran and Hamas Winners In Gaza Conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Seyed Hossein Mousavian - (Opinion) November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

The eight-day conflict between Hamas and Israel has ended in a cease-fire. Although shorter than Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09, the latest Israeli Operation Pillar of Defense was nevertheless devastating. Israeli naval and air bombardments killed 165 and wounded 1,200 Palestinians, while damage to Gaza’s infrastructure amounted to $1.2 billion. The rockets fired from Gaza resulted in five Israeli deaths and scores wounded.

Why Americans Don't Understand Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National Interest
by Scott McConnell - (Opinion) November 27, 2012 - 1:00am

If a man from Mars descended to observe Israel’s attack on the Gaza strip, he would have seen one group of humans trapped in a densely populated area, largely defenseless while a modern air force destroyed their buildings at will.

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