April 27th

No such thing as a free lunch
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) April 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is busy developing his policy proposals before his upcoming White House meeting with United States President Barack Obama. From statements that the Israeli premier has made, it is apparent that he is seeking to bring to a halt the peace process that his predecessors pursued, which aimed at the establishment of a Palestinian state in the territories and reaching a peace agreement with Syria.

Abbas won't be pressured into talks with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Dalia Nammari - April 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinians won't be pressured into resuming peace talks with Israel as long as construction in Jewish settlements continues, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday. Abbas said a complete construction freeze is a prerequisite for resuming talks. Israel's new prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, supports settlement construction and has not committed to the idea of Palestinian statehood. In his speech Monday, Abbas said he would not give in to possible Israeli or international pressure on the Palestinians to resume negotiations even if settlement construction continues.

The ball is in Obama's court
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Beilin - April 26, 2009 - 12:00am

The new government in Israel does not give priority to Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Syrian peace agreements. From its standpoint, the economic crisis requires more intensive care, the Iranian threat is real and immediate and is linked to Israel-hatred rather than to the Middle East conflict, and the price of peace is too high. In PM Binyamin Netanyahu's eyes, full descent from the Golan Heights will endanger Israel while giving up the West Bank is no less dangerous. Hence it is preferable to play for time until the world accepts that these territories remain in our hands.

Keeping the Palestinian Solution Separate from the Nuclear Dispute with Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - (Opinion) April 24, 2009 - 12:00am

The most important test for US President Barack Obama in his efforts to reach peace in the Middle East will not be the test of intentions, resolve and belief in the ability to achieve the two-state solution, i.e. to establish the state of Palestine alongside a secure Israel.

Numerous Odds against a Lebanese Model for Palestinian Unity Government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Joyce Karam - (Opinion) April 26, 2009 - 12:00am

The Lebanese Model that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referred to last week as a possible mechanism to work with a Palestinian unity government is becoming less likely due to the numerous odds against Hamas and Fatah in reaching an agreement.

Palestinians return to Cairo for ‘difficult’ unity talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
April 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Rival delegations from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fateh Party and the Islamist Hamas movement were in Cairo on Sunday for a new round of reconciliation talks already deemed “difficult”. The two delegations were expected to meet separately with Egyptian security officials ahead of three-way talks on Monday with intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, the state-owned Al Akhbar daily said. The Fateh team was headed by former prime minister Ahmed Qureia, while the Hamas delegation was led by politburo member Musa Abu Marzouk.

Obama move alarms Israel supporters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Paul Richter - April 27, 2009 - 12:00am

The Obama administration, already on treacherous political ground because of its outreach to traditional adversaries such as Iran and Cuba, has opened the door a crack to engagement with the militant group Hamas. The Palestinian group is designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization and under law may not receive federal aid. But the administration has asked Congress for minor changes in U.S. law that would permit aid to continue flowing to Palestinians in the event Hamas-backed officials become part of a unified Palestinian government.

Jordan sees new war if US does not act quickly
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
April 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Jordan's king urged President Barack Obama Sunday to take a more forceful role in the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, warning of a new Mideast war if there is no significant progress in the next 18 months. Speaking to NBC's "Meet the Press," King Abdullah described the Israeli-Palestinian dispute as the core problem of the region and solving it would help the U.S. in dealing with Iran and combatting the appeal of radical Islamic groups like Al-Qaida.

Demolitions build Jerusalem tension
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Katya Adler - April 25, 2009 - 12:00am

Five young children cling to their mother. All of them are crying. This morning, without warning, Israeli bulldozers came to destroy their home in Jabal Mukabar area of East Jerusalem. Speaking amongst the mangled remains of her house, Samia Ihdaidoon says she was still sleeping when Israel's police arrived. "They came pounding on the doors and climbed in through the bedroom window as if it was a raid. They said I had five minutes to put on my scarf and collect our valuables, then I had to get out. It's a shock for the children. Look at their faces. I'm in despair."

ATFP Senior Fellow Debates ADL’s Dallas Director on Middle East Peace
Press Release - Contact Information: Hussein Ibish - April 27, 2009 - 12:00am

On April 21, ATFP Senior Fellow Hussein Ibish debated the Dallas regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, Mark L. Briskman, on the future of peace and conflict between Israel and the Palestinians at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Ibish emphasized the strong need both parties have for a peace agreement and the important role the Obama administration should play in helping them move forward. Ibish said the conflict was driven by the occupation and that ending it was the key to any viable peace agreement. Mr.

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