Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NOTE: Due to the upcoming holidays, ATFP's World News Roundup will resume service on January 3. NEWS: Palestinian leaders are reportedly considering a series of actions in 2013 designed to isolate Israel internationally and challenge the status quo. More than 500 Jewish-American clerics have sent an open letter to PM Netanyahu expressing concern Israel's latest settlement plans would destroy hopes for a two-state solution. Israel formally complains to the UN about the rearming of Hezbollah. A new film about Palestinian angst over suicide bombings is gaining international attention. Palestinian refugees in northern Lebanon organize a sit-in at local UNRWA offices. Some members of Israel's Labour Party complain it is shifting too far to the right. The Arab League chief will visit the occupied West Bank to discuss aid to the cash-strapped PA. Likud party members say international criticism over new settlement plans helps them politically. Israel's occupation and the recent Gaza conflict are hampering tourism this Christmas season in Bethlehem. Two Palestinians break into an Israeli military base and steal a weapon. COMMENTARY: The New York Times strongly criticizes Israel's settlement expansion plans and withholding of Palestinian tax revenues. The Boston Globe agrees Israel's policies are a blow to hopes for peace. Mustafa Barghouthi argues that if Israel goes ahead with settlement plans, it will kill the two-state solution and force Palestinians to seek other options. Abraham Foxman complains Pres. Abbas is sending mixed messages on peace. Ha'aretz calls the recent decision to try to bar a Palestinian MK from reelection, for participating in the Gaza flotilla, "unacceptable." Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu and Mohammad Darawshe say it's essential that the Knesset maintain Arab representation. The Jerusalem Post insists Israel's settlement building is no obstacle to peace and entirely blames Palestinian "intransigence." The National says it makes sense for Palestinians to explore an international strategy, but cautiously. Marwan Kabalan says Pres. Obama must stand up to Israel on settlements.

AP Exclusive: Palestinians aim to isolate Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - December 20, 2012 - 1:00am


Religion: Rabbis Oppose Israeli Plan in Disputed Area
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Laurie Goodstein - December 20, 2012 - 1:00am


Israel complains to UN about rearming by Hezbollah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
December 20, 2012 - 1:00am

   Israel's U.N. envoy urged the Security Council on Thursday to condemn what he described as significant rearming by Hezbollah, saying the Lebanese militant group now possessed an arsenal of tens of thousands of missiles capable of hitting Israel.

Israeli Arab wrestles with grief, guilt in suicide bomb film
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
December 20, 2012 - 1:00am

  When Universal Studios took a disliking to the script for Ziad Doueiri's Israeli-Palestinian suicide bombing drama, the Lebanese director thought his career was over.

Palestinian refugees organize sit-in at UN offices in Lebanon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 21, 2012 - 1:00am

  A sit-in, near the UN Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) office in al-Baddawi refugee camp in northern Lebanon's port city of Tripoli, was held Thursday by the Palestinians refugees who fled the Yarmuk refugee camp in Syria's Damascus, the National News Agency (NNA) reported.

In Israel, Labor Party chief's shift to the right causes dissent
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - December 21, 2012 - 1:00am


Official: Arab League chief to visit Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 21, 2012 - 1:00am

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi will visit Palestine on Dec. 29 to meet with President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority foreign minister said Friday. Riyad al-Malki said al-Arabi would discuss the financial safety net pledged by the Arab League to the Palestinian Authority to ease the West Bank government's financial crisis.

As election nears, Likud revels in UN, U.S. censure of Israeli settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Verter - December 21, 2012 - 1:00am

  Members of Likud say mounting criticism from the international arena regarding what they call “building in Jerusalem” is good for the party. After authorization this week of construction in Ramat Shlomo, in the northern part of East Jerusalem, a senior Likud source called the condemnation “excellent − it is sheer profit for us.”

Israeli Occupation, Gaza Conflict Hold Back Tourism in Bethlehem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Dalia Hatuqa - December 20, 2012 - 1:00am

  With Christmas eve approaching, Palestinians are praying that tourists and pilgrims will make their way in large numbers to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.

Two Palestinians break into IDF base, assault soldier and steal his weapon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gili Cohen - December 21, 2012 - 1:00am

  Two Palestinians broke into an IDF base, attacked a soldier and stole his weapon before fleeing the scene early Friday morning.

The Fading Mideast Peace Dream
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) December 20, 2012 - 1:00am

  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s aggressive new push to expand settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem further isolates Israel while diminishing fading hopes for a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Israeli settlement plan is a blow to Mideast peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
(Editorial) December 21, 2012 - 1:00am


Israel's settlement push kills two-state solution, leaving Palestinians few options
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Mustafa Barghouthi - (Opinion) December 20, 2012 - 1:00am


Abbas, sending mixed messages is not peacemaking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Abraham H. Foxman - (Opinion) December 20, 2012 - 1:00am

  Read the op-ed page of most newspapers around the world, and you would be convinced that Israel’s leadership, policies and ideology are to blame for the moribund state of Israeli-Palestinian relations. If only Israel took dramatic action (usually involving a change in its approach to settlements) to demonstrate it is truly committed to reaching peace - according to those opinion-makers - all the rest would neatly fall into place.

An unacceptable disqualification
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) December 20, 2012 - 1:00am

  The Central Elections Committee's decision to bar MK Hanin Zuabi (Balad) from running in the upcoming election is arbitrary and unacceptable. Zuabi was an active and successful MK, and even her participation in a Turkish-sponsored protest flotilla to Gaza in 2010 is not an excuse for disqualifying her.

If parliament has no Arabs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Mohammad Darawshe - (Opinion) December 21, 2012 - 1:00am


Building blocs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) December 20, 2012 - 1:00am

The present Likud-Yisrael Beytenu-led government – which according to all recent polls will remain in office after the 22 election – has been bombarded with condemnations from home and from abroad for in Jerusalem and in consensus settlement blocs. Not only European nations traditionally critical of Israel but also allies such as the US and Germany have issued strongly worded denunciations of the housing projects. Even Tzipi Livni, head of a new party bearing her name, and Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid have weighed in against the building.

Palestinians need to rally support of allies at the UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) December 21, 2012 - 1:00am


Obama must not bend to Israeli pressure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Marwan Kabalan - (Opinion) December 21, 2012 - 1:00am


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