November 25th

Netanyahu's Syrian distraction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Chris Phillips - November 24, 2009 - 1:00am

A glimmer of hope in the moribund Middle East peace process surfaced in Paris recently when Nicolas Sarkozy separately hosted both the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. Reports suggested that Netanyahu passed on a message to his Syrian counterpart about reopening peace negotiations. Though both leaders were quick to play down any talk of detente, recent announcements in both Tel Aviv and Damascus suggest that talks "without preconditions" may not be far off.

Obama still has leverage over Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by David Gardner - (Analysis) November 23, 2009 - 1:00am

Has Barack Obama made a hash of his Middle East peace diplomacy? That seems to be the verdict of international commentators and – more to the point – of Palestinian leaders in despair at ever getting their own state and an Israeli government exulting that it made the US president blink first. Yet, it is worth stepping outside the hothouse for a minute to examine whether it is that simple: whether Mr Obama will be content to see his ambitious strategy of reconciliation with the Arab and Muslim worlds held hostage by the obdurate obstruction of the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Inside Israeli jails, the real victims of a cry for justice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jesse Rosenfeld - (Opinion) November 24, 2009 - 1:00am

Amid the growing media fever over a possible prisoner swap involving the release of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held by Hamas, another young captive has a less visible public profile – but personifies Israel’s chokehold on Palestinian self-expression.

As the enemy sees us
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ayyam
by Hassan Al-Battal - November 24, 2009 - 1:00am

Who is this man, this “dour official leading a revolutionary cultural change?” Salam Fayyad is not always formal, though mostly to be seen wearing a necktie. He did, however, wear shorts and ran in the handicap marathon in Nablus. And what are these “revolutionary cultural changes” as perceived by certain deep Israeli analyses, but dismissed as irrelevant by other Israeli analysts? According to Dr. Einat Wilf of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, Israel would do itself a favor if it took Mr. Fayyad seriously. Why?

Prisoner Swap Deal Stalled Over One Detainee
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Saleh Al-Naeimi, Nazar Majli - November 24, 2009 - 1:00am

The prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel hinges upon one prisoner that Hamas insists is added to the hundreds of other Palestinian prisoners who will be released in exchange for the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Asharq Al Awsat has learned.

Hamas leaders in Syria for '24 critical hours'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
November 25, 2009 - 1:00am

The next 24 hours will be critical in terms of the prisoner exchange deal with Israel, senior Hamas sources told Arab media on Wednesday morning. The organization's leaders, who left Cairo on Tuesday evening, are meeting in the offices of Hamas' political bureau in Damascus to decide whether to accept Jerusalem's latest offer.

Libya urges UN to take up Israeli settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
November 25, 2009 - 1:00am

Libya indicated on Tuesday that it would introduce a fresh draft resolution before the United Nations Security Council demanding that Israel end its settlement activity in Palestinian territory. "We are discussing it with the Palestinians and other members of the Security Council. We are going to do that, yes," Libya's UN Ambassador Mohamed Shalgham told reporters about the plans. Arab countries could quickly reach an agreement on the principles and terms of the text, perhaps before the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday on Friday, he said.

Barghouti: Shalit abduction achieved what no dialogue could
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff - November 25, 2009 - 1:00am

Fatah strongman Marwan Barghouti said in an interview on Wednesday that he intends to run in the next Palestinian presidential election, and remarked that the abduction of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit by Gaza militants achieved what no negotiations could ever achieve.

Obama Under Siege
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Mostafa Zein - (Opinion) November 24, 2009 - 1:00am

The neoconservatives in the United States were defeated, but they were victorious in Israel and for Israel. They achieved a single victory during the administration of President George Bush, who spread chaos in the manner of the nihilists, believing, stupidly, that it was the way to spread American values.

Hamas leader accuses Israel of holding up Shalit deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff, Jack Khoury - November 25, 2009 - 1:00am

Prisoner swap talks between Hamas and Israel have hit a snag over some of the top militants the Islamic group wants freed in return for Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, and a deal is unlikely in the coming days, Hamas officials said Wednesday. Israel is objecting to some of the names put forward by Hamas, a senior official of the militant group familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. He said the German mediator shuttling between the sides has presented an alternative list of names provided by Israel, and Hamas leaders are studying it.

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