Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: Changing official logos and letterheads of the PA to "the State of Palestine" shows the limitations of symbolic measures. Palestinians dismiss Israel's objections to the move. PM Netanyahu's frontrunner status in the upcoming Israeli election comes with certain political dangers. Pres. Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary leaves some in Israel uneasy, but Deputy FM Ayalon defends the nominee. Sen. Rand Paul tells Pres. Abbas the US as opposed to Palestine joining more multilateral agencies. More fighting is reported in a large Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, with five killed. Abbas appoints a new leadership for the Fatah committee in the Gaza. Teachers in the occupied West Bank are unable to afford transportation due to unpaid wages. Israeli security forces say there has been a significant rise in "terror acts" in the West Bank in the past two months. The EU says it wants to promote informal, "Track II," talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Gaza's archaeological treasures are at risk from war and neglect. A Palestinian farmer is engaged in a long-term struggle to reclaim his land from settlers. COMMENTARY: Roger Cohen says Israel's true friends, like Obama and Hagel, are willing to criticize it. Chemi Shalev says the dysfunctional Obama-Netanyahu relationship is the main cause of the Hagel controversy. Peter Beinart says mainstream Jewish groups like AIPAC aren't going to fight the Hagel nomination. Aaron David Miller says Hagel's views on Israel should not be any kind of litmus test for his nomination. Or Kashti says Israel's education minister is a threat to education and free thinking. The Guardian interviews right-wing Israeli politician Naftali Bennett, who vows there will never be a Palestinian state. Mohammad Yaghi asks if Israel's considering a "Jordanian option" for the occupied West Bank. Shlomi Eldar looks at a new Israeli movie about former security officials, "The Gatekeepers." Frida Ghitis says no one should give up on a two-state solution. Hussein Ibish says the growing controversy between the UAE and the Muslim Brotherhood has implications for the whole region, including Palestine.

State of Palestine name change shows limitations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Karin Laub - January 7, 2013 - 1:00am

  With U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state in his pocket, President Mahmoud Abbas wants official documents to carry a new emblem: "State of Palestine."

Palestinians refuse Israel's objection of "State of Palestine"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 7, 2013 - 1:00am

   The Palestinian leadership refused Monday Israel's objection of using the words "State of Palestine" instead of Palestinian National Authority (PNA) after its status upgrade in the United Nations. "Israel should abide by the UN resolutions," Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Ereekat told Xinhua.

For Netanyahu, Being Favored to Win Carries Its Own Risks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Jodi Rudoren - January 8, 2013 - 1:00am

  Can a candidate ever be too far in the lead for his own good?

Hagel nomination unnerves some in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - January 8, 2013 - 1:00am


Israeli minister warms to choice of Hagel for Pentagon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Dan Williams - January 8, 2013 - 1:00am

  A senior Israeli diplomat has given a positive view of Chuck Hagel's nomination as U.S. defense secretary, though some commentators in the Jewish state expressed worries that the choice could open a new fissure in bedrock ties with Washington.

U.S. Senator to Abbas: U.S. rejects Palestinian's intention to join UN agencies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 8, 2013 - 1:00am

   U.S. Senator Rand Paul informed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of his country's opposition to the Palestinian intention to join United Nations agencies, a well- informed Palestinian sources said Monday.

Fighting flares again in Palestinian refugee camp in Syrian capital, 5 killed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 8, 2013 - 1:00am

  Palestinian factions in Syria called for a cease-fire Tuesday after fighting flared at a refugee camp in the capital, Damascus, highlighting a split among Palestinians as the civil war intensifies.

Abbas appoints Fatah leadership in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 8, 2013 - 1:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday appointed the new leadership of the Fatah committee in the Gaza Strip, its new chairman told Ma'an.

Teachers despair over unpaid salaries
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 7, 2013 - 1:00am

Civil servants in the West Bank are struggling to cover transportation costs, as the delays in their salary payments stretches on amid the Palestinian Authority's financial crisis.

West Bank sees rise in terror attacks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yoav Zitun - January 7, 2013 - 1:00am

A Shin Bet report released Monday reveals that the last two months of 2012 have seen a significant rise in terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem. In December, 111 attacks were reported, while 166 were reported in November, during which Operation Pillar of Defense took place.

EU backing informal Israeli-Palestinian talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - January 8, 2013 - 1:00am

  With Israeli-Palestinian negotiations nonexistent for most of the last four years, informal talks between academics, public figures and former military and civil officials from both sides are once again currently taking place, often backed by the European Union.

Gaza's archaeological treasures at risk from war and neglect
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
January 6, 2013 - 1:00am


A Palestinian farmer reclaims his land, for now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - January 8, 2013 - 1:00am


Israel’s True Friends
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Roger Cohen - (Opinion) January 7, 2013 - 1:00am

  PRESIDENT Obama’s decision to nominate Chuck Hagel, a maverick Republican with enough experience of war to loathe it, as his next secretary of defense is the right choice for many reasons, chief among them that it will provoke a serious debate on what constitutes real friendship toward Israel.

‘Dysfunctional Obama-Netanyahu relationship is one of main reasons for Hagel controversy'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chemi Shalev - (Opinion) January 7, 2013 - 1:00am


Why AIPAC Won't Fight Hagel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Peter Beinart - (Opinion) January 7, 2013 - 1:00am


Chuck Hagel's Israel litmus test
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Aaron David Miller - (Opinion) January 8, 2013 - 1:00am

  Jews worry for a living. Their dark history and, in the case of American Jews, their legitimate concerns about the security of the state ofIsrael impel them to do so.

The subduing of Israeli academia
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Or Kashti - (Opinion) January 8, 2013 - 1:00am


Naftali Bennett interview: 'There won't be a Palestinian state within Israel'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - (Opinion) January 8, 2013 - 1:00am

  The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is "insoluble" and most Israelis "couldn't care less about it any more", according to Naftali Bennett, the surprise star of the election campaign, whose extreme rightwing nationalist and pro-settler Jewish Home is within sight of becoming the country's second biggest party.

Is Israel Considering 'Jordan Option' For West Bank?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Mohammed Yaghi - (Opinion) January 8, 2013 - 1:00am


'The Gatekeepers' Unmasks Israeli Security Apparatus
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Shlomi Eldar - (Opinion) January 8, 2013 - 1:00am


Don’t give up on 2-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Miami Herald
by Frida Ghitis - (Opinion) January 4, 2013 - 1:00am

  It’s good to start the year with encouraging news, so allow me to share what I think is a rare piece of encouraging and practical information for those who hope one day there will be peace in the Middle East.

Is the Muslim Brotherhood targeting the UAE?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) January 8, 2013 - 1:00am


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