Middle East News: World Press Roundup

NEWS: The fallout from the Israeli election, especially for PM Netanyahu, is being assessed. Many believe Netanyahu will be forced to try to form a centrist coalition, and some reports indicate he may have offered political newcomer Lapid a choice between the ministries of foreign affairs or finance. The election again demonstrates the alienation of Palestinian citizens of Israel from its political system, although their 56% turnout was bigger than expected. Israel says it will boycott a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on its own record. Secretary of State-designate Kerry says it would be "disastrous" to fail to reach a two-state peace agreement. Jordan's King Abdullah says, if no progress is made, a two-state solution will only be viable for the duration of Pres. Obama second term. Hamas organizes paramilitary training for teenagers in Gaza. Palestinian protesters reconstruct a protest tent city in northwest Jerusalem. PA finance minister Qassis says the government's fiscal crisis is "structural." Israeli security services report that in 2012, for the first time since 1973, no Israeli was killed in any "terror attack" in the occupied West Bank. COMMENTARY: Alon Idan explains how, through a process of radicalization, extreme Zionists actually become anti-Zionists. Gideon Levy and Alex Levac trace the details of the killing of a Palestinian youth by occupation soldiers. Ben Caspit says, at least in terms of image, Lapid seems to be "the perfect Israeli." Michael Cohen says the Israeli election leaves Obama little to work with on pursuing a two-state solution. J.J. Goldberg says Lapid faces as many political challenges as Netanyahu. George Hishmeh says if Obama doesn't prioritize it, a two-state solution may become impossible. David Gardner says the annexationist right in Israel has been strengthened. Hassan Barari says Netanyahu is weakened and left with a precarious balancing act. Meir Javedanfar says the election won't affect Israel's Iran policies. Murat Yetkin says a new, more centrist, Israeli government could repair relations with Turkey.

With All Votes in, Netanyahu Assesses the Damage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Jodi Rudoren - January 25, 2013 - 1:00am


Israeli voters force Netanyahu to seek centrist partner
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Alistair Lyon - January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

   Israel's next government must heed voters and devote itself to bread-and-butter issues, not foreign policy problems such as Iran's nuclear plans and the Palestinian conflict, senior politicians said on Thursday.

PM offers Lapid FM post or Treasury portfolio
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered Yesh Atid Chairman

Elections in Israel show disenchantment of Arab citizens with Israeli politics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

  The last Knesset (Israel's parliament) election has raised the number of Arab-Israelis going to the polls, but numbers say they are still not quite convinced that their ballots will bring about any real changes for their community.

Arab Israeli voters 56% turnout defies expectations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

Arab voter turnout on Tuesday increased by 3 percentage points over 2009 to reach 56 percent, according to statistics released by the Central Elections Committee. This is the first time since 2000 that there has been an increase from the sector. Nevertheless, the three Arab parties maintained the total of 11 Knesset seats they won four years ago.

Israel expected to boycott U.N. rights scrutiny session
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Stephanie Nebehay - January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

  Israel is expected to boycott a session of the U.N. Human Rights Council next week despite the United States urging its ally to show up for an examination of its record, the U.S. ambassador said on Thursday.

John Kerry warns of disaster in failed Middle East peace efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

  U.S. Senator John Kerry, awaiting his confirmation as the country's next secretary of state, warned on Thursday of "disastrous" consequences in the event of an eventual failure to make peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.  

'Two state solution only viable as long as Obama in power'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

  "The time to take action in the Middle East is now," was the resounding message of Jordanian King Abdullah II's speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday. "If we're not too late... the two state solution will only last as long as [US President Barack] Obama's term," he warned. "If it doesn't happen by then I don't think it will happen.

Hamas organizes paramilitary training course for schoolchildren
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

  Mohamed Abed Rabbo, a 16-year-old student, held his breath when he jumped and crossed through a flaming ring of iron at a high school graduation ceremony in Gaza city, marking the fulfillment of a one-week paramilitary training course.

Activists re-erect tents at Bab al-Karamah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

Dozens of Palestinian activists entered a demolished protest village in northwest Jerusalem on Friday, starting to rebuild the al-Karamah (Dignity) encampment. The tent village was established last Friday to protest Israel's land confiscation and settlement building in the area of Beit Iksa. On Monday, Israeli troops demolished all the tents and evacuated all the activists in the camp. Activists entered the village on Friday and performed the weekly prayer, before re-erecting tents and planting olive trees, witnesses said.

Minister says PA financial crisis is structural
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority's financial crisis is structural, the finance minister said Wednesday, adding that the deficit has exceeded $1.4 billion. "A structural solution is needed in order to fill the gap between expenses and revenue," Nabil Qassis told a committee of lawmakers in Ramallah.  Qassis told the committee, headed by the speaker of Fatah's bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council Azzam al-Ahmad, that several measures should be taken to decrease the deficit. 

Shin Bet: No Israelis killed in West Bank terror in 2012, first year since 1973
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gili Cohen - January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

  For the first time since 1973, an entire year passed without an Israeli casualty from a terror attack in the West Bank, according to a report published on Thursday by the Shin Bet. Despite the increasing prevalence of terror in the West Bank in 2012, no Israelis were killed terror attacks.

How the Zionist became anti-Zionist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Alon Idan - (Opinion) January 25, 2013 - 1:00am


An infiltration thwarted, a Palestinian youth left to die
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

The semester’s final exam in sciences was finished, and Samir Awad was feeling pleased when he left the classroom. This was his last exam. Looking, perhaps, for some relief from the pressures of the exam, he headed out with some of his friends to the path that leads down from the school in his village, Budrus, in the Ramallah region; the group headed toward the separation barrier, located about 200 meters away. There were six of them: Monir, Hosni, Mohammed, Sahar, Musa and Samir.

The perfect Israeli
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ben Caspit - (Opinion) January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

The day after the election, I was reminded of that TV moment in which the interviewer, Yair Lapid, asked the interviewee, his father Yosef “Tommy” Lapid, “What is an ‘Israeli,’ in your eyes?” Dear old Tommy smiled for a second, his eyes sparkled, and he said: “You.”

Israel's election leaves slim opportunity for Obama to push two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Michael Cohen - (Opinion) January 25, 2013 - 1:00am


Yair Lapid, Telegenic Kingmaker, Has Rough Road Ahead
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by J.J. Goldberg - (Opinion) January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

  Moments after exit polls confirmed his surprise second-place showing in Israel’s January 22 parliamentary elections, political neophyte Yair Lapid faced his giddy supporters and declared: “A serious responsibility has been placed on our shoulders tonight.”

Obama’s foreign policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

To the disappointment of many, President Barack Obama seemed to downplay foreign affairs in his inaugural address, as compared to the otherwise attractive progressive plank he underlined on domestic issues during his second inaugural address on Monday.

Israel election outcome still not conducive for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by David Gardner - (Opinion) January 25, 2013 - 1:00am


Elections weaken Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Hassan Barari - (Opinion) January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

The outcome of the most recent Israeli general elections of Tuesday has not only weakened the incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu but also made it difficult for him to do a balancing act. The results came as a worse case scenario to Netanyahu who hoped for a clear victory and a new mandate from the Israeli public. Although the list headed by Netanyahu and contested election remained the largest in the Knesset, the ascendance of the newly formed political party — Yesh Atid (there is a future) — will complicate Netanyahu’s calculations with regard to forming a new government.

Elections Unlikely to Change Israel’s Iran Strategy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Meir Javendanfar - (Opinion) January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

  The results of the recent Israeli elections are unlikely to bring much change to Israel’s current Iran strategy.

A correction for Israeli politics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Arabiya
(Opinion) January 25, 2013 - 1:00am


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