Lara Friedman and Hagit Ofran counter popular arguments for opposing a full Israeli settlement freeze (1). The Los Angeles Times speculates on how public disagreement with Israel will impact President Obama’s image (2). On Hussein Ibish examines the role of outrage in politics (5). Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak voices his optimism about peace talks (6). The AP looks at the Gaza Strip, two years after Hamas took power (7). Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announces that he will free all Hamas prisoners before the renewal of inter-factional talks (11).

Gaza's 2 years under Hamas: order and absurdity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Steven Gutkin, Karin Laub - (Analysis) June 21, 2009 - 12:00am

AZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Two years after Hamas seized power, the Gaza Strip is a jumble of absurdities: an economy sustained by smuggling through tunnels, a civil service that gets paid on condition it doesn't work, and a population no longer fearful of gangs but feeling muzzled under the thumb of Hamas. Under a border closure enforced by Egypt and Israel, the U.N. says, shampoo can come in but conditioner can't. Nor can toys, candy or footballs.

Israel's Barak sees chance for peace progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Cynthia Johnston - June 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday he saw a chance to advance peace talks with Palestinians and that a policy speech by Israel's premier, dismissed by Egypt as flawed, was a major step forward. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed -- with tough conditions -- the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state in a policy speech a week ago, but Cairo said the proposal fell short of the Palestinian state Arabs seek.

Lawsuit brings murky West Bank land deals to light
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - June 20, 2009 - 12:00am

OFRA SETTLEMENT, West Bank (AP) — It reads like a standard real estate contract between a Zionist institution and an Israeli couple. But it offers a rare glimpse into the bureaucratic smoke screen that helps ensure a strong Jewish presence on lands claimed by the Palestinians for a future state.

Thank God Obama favors the 'old' Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Leon Hader - (Opinion) June 19, 2009 - 12:00am

In July 2006, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice travelled to Lebanon in an effort to bring an end to the war raging there between Israel and Hizbullah. At the time, she tried to market to reporters in Washington a somewhat odd spin on the violence taking place, not only in Lebanon but also in Iraq and Israel and Palestine. "What we're seeing here is, in a sense, the growing - the birth pangs of a new Middle East, and whatever we do, we have to be certain that we're pushing forward to the new Middle East, not going back to the old Middle East," Rice explained.

Netanyahu: No foreign troops in PA territory
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - June 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The international guarantees Israel is seeking to ensure that a future Palestinian state remains demilitarized does not mean the introduction of foreign forces, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the cabinet at its Sunday meeting.

Luxury Palestinian mall signals transformation of 'terror capital'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - June 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The skies lit up over Jenin last month, and it wasn't tracer bullets or flash bombs but celebratory fireworks, set off to mark the occasion of the opening of Hirbawi Home Center, a new luxury establishment on the city's outskirts. The five-story building near the Jalame checkpoint cost $5 million to build, says its owner, and it is filled with deluxe, foreign-made products seen mostly in the pages of newspaper supplements.

Abbas to free all Hamas prisoners ahead of unity talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Jack Khoury - June 22, 2009 - 12:00am

In a goodwill gesture to his political rivals Hamas, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered his security forces to release all prisoners belonging to the Islamist organization before the renewal of inter-factional talks. Representatives of Abbas' Fatah faction, which has been the dominant player in Palestinian politics since the inception of the Palestine Liberation Organization, will meet with Hamas officials later this week in an attempt to hammer out an agreement on national unity.

Outrage is not a Strategy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Blog) June 21, 2009 - 12:00am

A recent exchange with several people for whom I have respect and affection regarding the question of the right of return for Palestinian refugees and the Palestinian national strategy and interest raises a crucial point that needs much more serious examination in the conversation among Arab-Americans and their supporters regarding the role of outrage in political life. It boils down to this: being upset is not a strategy, and outrage, however moral, is not a political program.

Abbas, get off your high horse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) June 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The "anger" of Mahmoud Abbas directed at Benjamin Netanyahu is tantamount to a child who threatens his parents that unless they buy him an ice cream, he won't go with them to the circus.

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