In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Pres. Abbas says as long as he is in office there will be no third intifada. The PA says it will investigate allegations that Israel harvested organs from Palestinians without consent in the late 80s and 90s. Negotiations continue on a possible prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, which is reportedly considering deporting some "heavy prisoners." A new Israeli school curriculum about pre-state Jewish terrorist groups draws controversy. Israel bans the head of the "Islamic movement" organization from Jerusalem. International aid groups say the world has abandoned the people of Gaza, and a Jerusalem Post commentary says Israel's policies are radicalizing the population. A senior Palestinian official accuses PM Netanyahu of wasting time on peace.The Guardian runs commentaries calling for dismantling the separation barrier, ending the siege of Gaza and investigating reported complicity of Israeli doctors in torture. Former Pres. Carter apologizes to the Jewish community. Palestinian smugglers scoff at a new Egyptian underground barrier on the Gaza border. Aaron Miller says Pres. Obama needs to have foreign policy goals that are achievable, and Yossi Alpher says that it is in Israel's interest for Palestinians to develop a better grasp of Washington politics. Former AIPAC staff member Steven Rosen says that PM Netanyahu and Special Envoy Mitchell have agreed on Terms of Reference for peace negotiations that include the future status of Jerusalem among other issues.

Netanyahu's New Agreement with Mitchell
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Steven J. Rosen - (Opinion) December 18, 2009 - 1:00am

For a year or two at an early stage in his career, I commuted to and from our adjacent offices each morning and evening with Martin Indyk, later a top peace-process official of the Clinton administration at the Camp David negotiations and now vice president for foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. I had just left the Rand Corporation to work at AIPAC, the main pro-Israel lobbying organization in Washington.

Criminal neglect
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Editorial) December 21, 2009 - 1:00am

There can be little doubt that Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu won the first round of Israeli-Palestinian engagement with the Obama administration--and that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas lost. Netanyahu executed a partial and problematic settlement construction freeze "balanced" by settlement provocations in Jerusalem and elsewhere. He was rewarded with US support for his readiness to open negotiations while his right-wing coalition stood behind him. Abbas misread American promises and assurances regarding the freeze and the Goldstone report.

Commentary: President 'Yes we can' meets a 'no you won't' world
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from McClatchy News
by Aaron David Miller - (Opinion) December 22, 2009 - 1:00am

As the clock ticks down on the first year of the Obama presidency, one thing is pretty clear: in the Middle East, President "Yes We Can" is bumping up against the cruel and unforgiving world of "No You Won't." From Afghanistan and Pakistan to Iran and Arab-Israeli peacemaking, the president's rhetoric, commitment and desire to engage has outpaced his capacity (so far) to produce.

Gaza underground on schedule to beat Egypt's wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - December 22, 2009 - 1:00am

Ismail Atallah could not hide his disgust. With both hands he squeezed an imaginary throat in front of him. “This is what they are trying to do,” he said. “They want to strangle us. The blood of 1.5 million people means nothing to the Egyptians.”

Carter offers Jewish community ‘Al Het’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - December 21, 2009 - 1:00am

Jimmy Carter asked the Jewish community for forgiveness for any stigma he may have caused Israel.

Lift the Gaza blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Nick Clegg - (Opinion) December 22, 2009 - 1:00am

On 27 December last year, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, an overwhelming exercise of military force aimed at silencing the Hamas rockets which had terrorised Israeli towns and villages. The immediate effects of the invasion are well known: 1,400 Palestinians dead, mostly civilians, with many more wounded or displaced; 10 Israeli soldiers and three civilians killed, dozens more injured; and thousands of families in southern Israel forced to flee to other parts of the country. The rocketfire from Gaza into Israel has slowed but has not entirely ceased. Hamas is still in power.

Israel's doctors must allay torture fears
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Antony Lerman - (Opinion) December 22, 2009 - 1:00am

One of the disturbing features of the persistent use of torture by many countries in conflict situations around the world is the role some doctors play in condoning it. The World Medical Association (WMA), which "promot[es] the highest possible standards of medical ethics, [and] provides ethical guidance to physicians", is crystal clear on this practice.

The separation wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Austen Ivereigh - (Opinion) December 22, 2009 - 1:00am

Within spitting distance of the very spot Jesus Christ was born is one of the world's great monstrosities, "a symbol of everything wrong with the human heart" as the Archbishop of Canterbury described it when he saw it for himself.

Jerusalem Diary: Choir caught in disharmony
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Tim Franks - (Blog) December 22, 2009 - 1:00am

It should be a time of unalloyed joy for Tim Brown. The director of one of Britain's most well-regarded choirs is beginning a six-concert tour of Israel this week. The choir of Clare College, Cambridge, will be singing Bach's Christmas Oratorio with the Israel Camerata Orchestra. But the singers have not, as a choir, been able to perform in East Jerusalem or Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, after a Palestinian protest against the choir's tour of Israel. The choir has been caught in the passionate arguments over whether Israel should be boycotted.

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