King Abdullah II of Jordan calls for an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in a speech to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (1). Secretary of State Clinton says that support for Israel in regards to Iran will only come “hand-in-hand” with progress towards a Palestinian state (2)(3). Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman calls the Arab Peace initiative ‘dangerous’ (5). Israeli mayor of Jerusalem rejects calls for a halt on demolitions of Arab homes (6). PM Netanyahu criticizes the EU for freezing their upgrade in ties (7). The candidate for Israel’s Ambassador to Washington supports a unilateral withdrawal of the West Bank including many settlements (9). Secretary Clinton vows that the US will only deal with a Palestinian government that commits to halting violence and recognizing the state of Israel (10). President Obama’s support for a two-state solution gives Arabs hope, but some skepticism remains.

Arabs optimistic, but cautious over Obama’s remarks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Abdul Jalil Mustafa - April 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Jordanian politicians and media leaders yesterday welcomed US President Barack Obama’s strong support for the two-state solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but cast doubt on the extent of pressure he could be ready to put on the Israeli right-wing government, given the influence of the Jewish lobby in the United States. “We are optimistic, but we should not go too far in this optimism,” Mahmoud Mhaidat, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee at the Jordanian lower house of Parliament, told Arab News.

Aid that costs Gaza more
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Stuart Reigeluth - (Opinion) April 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Reaching far into the billions, international pledges for the reconstruction of Gaza - at the donor conference held at Sharm Al Shaikh, Egypt in March - were simply unprecedented. Many pledges were "rolling" from previous pledges that had not yet been disbursed. Most funds are directed to international UN-run mechanisms and local NGOs that are permitted to work with the Ramallah-based Palestinian National Authority (PNA). The United States for example pledged $900 million (Dh3.3 billion), $600 million of which was destined for Ramallah and not Gaza.

Clinton: Palestinian gov't must recognize Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Center For Strategic & International Studies
April 23, 2009 - 12:00am

US secretary of state promises House appropriations committee 'no aid will flow to Hamas or any entity controlled by it', says Washington won't deal with any Palestinian unity gov't that fails halt violence against Israel, recognize its right to exist AFP US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday expressed doubt that rival Palestinian factions will clinch a deal on a unity government, but wanted to keep options open if they do.

Candidate for U.S. envoy: Israel must unilaterally quit West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - April 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's candidate for Israeli ambassador to Washington, Dr. Michael Oren, supports a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and an evacuation of most of the settlements. Oren, a visiting Georgetown University professor, said in a lecture there last month, "The only alternative for Israel to save itself as a Jewish state is by unilaterally withdrawing from the West Bank and evacuating most of the settlements."

Is Netanyahu really on a collision course with Obama?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - April 24, 2009 - 12:00am

His meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington next month will be a formative event in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political career. Its outcome will determine whether Netanyahu's impressive comeback a decade after he left the prime ministership will lead him once again into disputes and confrontations with the U.S. administration, as happened in his first term, or whether the old-new Netanyahu will become a desired and welcome guest in the White House.

Israel raps calls to freeze EU ties upgrade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Khaleej Times
April 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has criticised EU calls to freeze a planned upgrade of ties until his government commits to the Middle East peace process, the Haaretz newspaper reported on Friday. ‘Don’t set conditions for us,’ the daily quoted him as telling visiting Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek of the Czech Republic, which currently holds the European Union’s presidency. ‘Peace is in Israel’s interest no less than it is in Europe’s interest, and there’s no need to make the upgrade in relations with Israel conditional on progress on the peace process,’ Netanyahu said.

Israeli mayor defends demolition of homes in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Center For Strategic & International Studies
April 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel's mayor of Occupied Jerusalem rebuffed on Thursday Palestinian and Western calls for a halt to demolitions in the city's Arab half, saying laws that prohibit illegal building were being enforced. Mayor Nir Barkat said his goal was to maintain a Jewish majority in Occupied Jerusalem but denied that demolitions of Palestinian homes were meant to drive them out. The demolitions, and calls by Barkat to expand Jewish settlements on occupied land, have stoked tensions in the city, and put Israel on a possible collision course with its US and European allies.

Lieberman brands Arab Peace Initiative 'dangerous'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
April 24, 2009 - 12:00am

sraeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has branded the Arab Peace Initiative as "dangerous" because it requires the Jewish state to allow Palestinian refugees to return to its borders, a senior official said Wednesday. "Lieberman considers the Arab Peace Initiative as dangerous and as a threat to Israel because it includes the clause on the Palestinian refugees," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. "The foreign minister has nevertheless not rejected the initiative as a whole," he said.

A grand bargain?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
April 23, 2009 - 12:00am

ASKED about the hardy perennial of Palestinians and peace, officials in Israel’s new government now reply with dire talk about Iran and the threat of nuclear war. “However much progress we might make on peace,” says one, “it would all disintegrate if Iran achieved the ability to make a bomb and proliferate it.”

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