March 26th

Editorial: Chances of peace remote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

THIRTY years to the day after Egypt signed a peace deal with Israel, the Jewish state has demonstrated why that supposed first move in a resolution of its conflict with the Palestinians remains just that, a supposed first move. The anti-peace and uncompromising Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu is to form the next Israeli coalition. He has clinched a deal with the center-left Labor Party.

The Fierce Urgency of Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Roger Cohen - (Opinion) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Pressure on President Obama to recast the failed American approach to Israel-Palestine is building from former senior officials whose counsel he respects. Following up on a letter dated Nov. 6, 2008, that was handed to Obama late last year by Paul Volcker, now a senior economic adviser to the president, these foreign policy mandarins have concluded a “Bipartisan Statement on U.S. Middle East Peacemaking” that should become an essential template.

A government united by its disagreements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

The new government of Israel has finally taken shape. Likud will lead a hodgepodge of right wing and left wing, secular and religious as well as capitalist and socialist. This, Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition partners tell us, is the unity government that the Israelis want. But while the government appears to represent the full spectrum of the Israeli electorate, there is little to unify the coalition partners.

Report: Significant progress on Shalit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Significant progress ahs been made on the release of Israeli captive Gilad Shalit, a senior Palestinian official told Hizbullah's al-Manar television. The official said that "an Egyptian envoy arrived in Israel Tuesday evening and met with senior Israeli officials, including Ofer Dekel, who have been appointed by the government to handle the Shalit case, and Amos Gilad. "Great progress was registered during the meeting," he added.

The Last Chance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

It would appear that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister-designate, has struck a secret agreement with Avigdor Lieberman, head of the ultra-right wing Yisrael Beiteinu Party, to continue construction on the so-called E1 settlement plan, which will sever occupied East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.

The Lobby Falters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from London Review of Books
by John Mearsheimer - (Opinion) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Many people in Washington were surprised when the Obama administration tapped Charles Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council, the body that oversees the production of National Intelligence Estimates: Freeman had a distinguished 30-year career as a diplomat and Defense Department official, but he has publicly criticised Israeli policy and America’s special relationship with Israel, saying, for example, in a speech in 2005, that ‘as long as the United States continues unconditionally to provide the subsidies and political protection that make the Israeli occupation and the high-hande

Israeli Crimes and the Opportunity for Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Randa Takieddine - (Opinion) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Arab observers can rightly ask about the reaction of the western world, its media, and pro-Israeli groups if Arab soldiers had committed the crimes that Israeli soldiers have acknowledged during the war against Gaza.

Hamas: We've resumed Shalit talks with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas resumed indirect negotiations with Israel aimed at exchanging abducted Israel Defense Force soldier Gilad Shalit for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners currently held in Israeli jails, Hamas official Ali Barakeh said Wednesday. Shalit was kidnapped by Gaza militants in a cross-border raid in June, 2006. Efforts to secure his release in a prisoner exchange with Hamas have so far yielded no results. Barakeh said that a delegation from Hamas is in Cairo to pursue a deal.

IAF Sudan strike / 'Two planes hit convoy'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Barak Ravid - March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Two senior Sudanese politicians confirmed Thursday that unidentified aircraft attacked a convoy of suspected arms smugglers as it drove through Sudan toward Egypt in January, killing almost everyone in the convoy. An American news network said that the attack was carried out by the Israel Air Force. CBS reported that the IAF carried out the attack on a convoy of trucks in Sudan carrying arms for Hamas in the Gaza Strip. According to the report, 39 people riding in the 17-truck convoy were killed, while a number of civilians in the area were injured.

March 25th

President Obama fields questions about Israel and Palestine during a press conference yesterday (1). Israel's Labor party votes to join the governing Likud party in a coalition government (2). Likud leader and Prime Minister-designate Netanyahu vows to continue diplomatic talks with Palestine (4) (10), despite reports that the party plans to build 3,000 new housing units in the controversial E-1 settlement area that could close off Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank (11) (12). As more IDF soldiers go public with information about misconduct in Gaza, Israeli army rabbis are criticized for portraying the offensive as an opportunity to 'fight to expel non-Jews' (3). Israeli police block Palestinian cultural celebrations in occupied East Jerusalem (5).

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