Judge Goldstone asks the United States to clarify its concerns about his report into the Gaza war. Secretary of State Clinton reports modest progress on Middle East peace to President Obama, but Special Envoy Mitchell says he is "not in the slightest discouraged." The LA Times profiles a new Palestinian version of Sesame Street. Israel confirms increased settlement activity including in outposts. Protesters assail former Prime Minister Olmert in San Francisco after a similar incident in Chicago. Foreign Minister Lieberman complains that the PA cannot negotiate with Israel locally and combat it on the international stage simultaneously. The Israeli High Court of Justice orders the IDF to allow Palestinians to drive on some "Jewish-only" roads in the West Bank. The BBC profiles costs to the people of Gaza from Hamas rule. In Foreign Policy, Rebecca Abou-Chedid says Arab and Jewish Americans can and should work together to promote Middle East peace.

White House urges Israel, Palestinians to resume negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - October 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The White House urged Israel and the Palestinians on Thursday to do more to open the way to renewed peace negotiations as President Barack Obama received a report on the status of US peacemaking efforts. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with President Obama earlier in the day and presented him with her report on the progress in the efforts to resume negotiations in the Middle East, which according to her was scant.

San Francisco protestors call Olmert 'war criminal'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
October 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Pro-Palestinian protestors disrupted Ehud Olmert's speech in a San Francisco hotel on Thursday night, exactly one week after the former Israeli premier was verbally attacked at the University of Chicago over alleged war crimes committed by the Jewish state during the Gaza war. "You are a war criminal and a murderer," one of the protestors shouted at Olmert during the speech before being removed from the auditorium by security officers. Another protestor shouted, "You are a war criminal. San Francisco should be ashamed to have a war criminal here."

Lieberman discusses Goldstone with Ban
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
October 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke on the telephone with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon late Thursday on several Middle East issues, among them the Goldstone report which alleges that Israel may have committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza last winter.

IDF must allow Palestinians to use 'Israelis only' road
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Dan Izenberg - October 23, 2009 - 12:00am

The High Court of Justice on Thursday accepted a petition filed by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel and ordered the state to cancel an order prohibiting Palestinians from driving on a road linking small villages near Hebron to the larger towns that provide them with vital services. It gave the state three months to make the necessary preparations before the ban was lifted.

Israel confirms settlers ramping up West Bank construction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - October 23, 2009 - 12:00am

The defense establishment confirmed that in recent weeks West Bank settlers have been making a noticeable effort to expedite construction, in an attempt to maximize the "facts on the ground" before the United States and Israel reach an agreement on a settlement freeze. A senior security source said this week that the defense establishment's view on the situation was reflected in reports published in Haaretz last Friday, which stated that extensive construction is currently being carried out in at least 11 settlements.

The Palestinians' spoiler
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by David Makovsky - (Opinion) October 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Advocates for engaging Hamas often argue that if the group is given a stake in the creation of an independent Palestine by being included in peace negotiations, it will moderate its positions. This co-optation argument is based on the misguided assumption that Hamas is a pragmatic nationalistic movement, motivated primarily by calculations of how to gain power.

Price of Hamas principles in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Tim Franks - October 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Eight bearded policemen, in black fatigues and carrying AK-47s, leap on to an open-backed truck, which then hares off with much squealing of tyres. The policemen have gone to set up a road block in Gaza City, walkie-talkies spluttering with messages about suspicious vehicles. The message is clear: these are not militants firing rockets, or Islamists ordering women off motorbikes. Rather, on display are normal policemen on a normal beat, bringing order to the roads. Crime has indeed fallen in Gaza. But life is still hard. War and Israeli-imposed shortages have seen to that.

Nightmare on J Street
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Rebecca Abou-Chedid - (Opinion) October 22, 2009 - 12:00am

At last, somebody found me out. This week, former AIPAC and Israeli embassy official Lenny Ben-David published an article revealing that I had given a donation to the "pro-Israel and pro-peace" organization J Street. Because I am of Lebanese descent, this clearly indicates that my dollars must be intended to advance some pernicious anti-Israel agenda -- and that J Street must be the vehicle for those aims.

Rabbis Take on Settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Mel Frykberg - October 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Away from the media spotlight that focuses on the widening chasm between Israelis and Palestinians, a group of Israeli humanists is quietly working to break down barriers with their Palestinian neighbours. Rabbi Arik Ascherman, director of Israel's Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR), has been used as a human shield, arrested, and beaten up several times by Israeli security forces while defending Palestinians. He has also been stoned by Palestinians who mistook him for a settler.

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