A new Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - July 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Remember the name: Rawabi. The city of hills to be built nine kilometers northwest of Ramallah. The first planned city in Palestinian history. The first planned city in the West Bank to be inhabited by Palestinians rather than settlers. A city designed to be a Palestinian city of abundance - secular, open and vibrant. A city of pedestrian malls, cafes, kindergartens and schools. A city of thriving Palestinian start-ups and Palestinian yuppies. A city that will pave the Palestinians' way to the 21st century.

Rahm Emanuel: Self-hating Jew or peace-broker?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - (Opinion) July 31, 2009 - 12:00am

When I ask a liberal American Jew involved in politics what he thinks of the claim that Rahm Emanuel is an anti-Israeli fifth column in the Obama administration, he laughs. "So, do they really think in Israel that Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Dan Shapiro, Mara Rudman, Dennis Ross and the other good American Jews who work with Obama are a fifth column?" And then he says slowly, like someone explaining something to a person who has difficulty understanding: "How many times do you have to be told ... " "... that you love us?" I try to complete the sentence.

Not quite as gloomy as they look
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
(Editorial) July 31, 2009 - 12:00am

BACK in the autumn of last year, Ehud Olmert, then Israel’s fading prime minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinians’ more durable president, were astonishingly close to a peace deal. Judging by an interview with Mr Olmert published in Newsweek in June, after he had given up his post, they appeared to have been only a whisker apart—though Mr Abbas has since called the gap “wide”. But it is worth spelling out what Mr Olmert says he offered, in an account that other senior Palestinians have pretty much verified.

Get stuck in, Mr President
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

THE American president may think he has enough on his plate without worrying about the dog’s dinner simmering away in the corner: the sickly Middle East peace process, with its often nauseous ingredients. This week he has sent an array of colleagues to stir the pot, including his envoy, George Mitchell, who has been in and out of the region; Robert Gates, his secretary of defence; and Jim Jones, his security adviser, who knows the Palestinians from the past. But Mr Obama is the indispensable head chef. However preoccupied, it is he who must decide what to serve up—and when.

Hamas Chief Outlines Terms for Talks on Arab-Israeli Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Julien Barnes-Dacey, Jay Solomon - July 31, 2009 - 12:00am

The chief of Palestinian militant group Hamas said his organization is prepared to cooperate with the U.S. in promoting a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict if the White House can secure an Israeli settlement freeze and a lifting of the economic and military blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Settlement Foes Take Fight to Israel's High Court
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - July 31, 2009 - 12:00am

It has been nearly a decade since the Jewish settlement of Migron appeared on the hilltop opposite this Palestinian village, beginning with a communications tower and followed by a cluster of homes and a fence around approximately 90 acres of land. Data tucked onto the hard drive of anti-settlement activist Dror Etkes's computer indicates that the land belongs to the residents of Burqa and nearby Deir Dibwan, and Etkes said he expects that information will one day force the settlers to leave.

Obama's evenhanded Mideast policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
(Editorial) July 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Evenhandedness usually is considered to be a positive attribute in diplomacy, but when it comes to the Middle East, many Israelis and their supporters see it as code for a pro-Arab policy. In that view, President Obama's insistence that Israel freeze Jewish settlement construction is anti-Israeli and a sop to the Arab street. That's wrong. Obama has committed himself to a comprehensive peace that would give Palestinians a state of their own and provide Israel with security and recognition from the wider Arab world.

The Settlements Issue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

The last American president to openly challenge Israel on settlements was George H.W. Bush and we commend President Obama for demanding that Israel halt all new construction. The controversy must not obscure Mr. Obama’s real goal: nudging Israel and the Palestinians into serious peace negotiations.

July 30th

The New York Times reports that Israeli settlers disparage President Obama using “an insulting Hebrew slang for a black man and the phrase ‘that Arab they call a president.’” Another Israeli settler complains in the LA Times that the State Department still uses the term “West Bank” to describe the West Bank. Several commentaries touch on growing skepticism, especially among Arabs, that President Obama can broker progress on peace. The Washington Post continues its campaign of criticism against President Obama’s efforts to secure an Israeli settlement freeze. Senior Fatah official Abu Maher Ghneim to the West Bank after 40 years in exile in Tunisia. Saudi Arabia says Israel is “not serious about peace,” but the National argues that Arabs should take steps to support President Obama’s peace initiative.

‘Israel should be serious about peace’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
by Paul Handley - July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday rebuffed US calls for diplomatic overtures toward Israel and said the Jewish state’s settlement expansion is jeopardizing efforts to revive peace talks. “It is Israel that has to move seriously toward the peace process,” Saudi Foreign Ministry spokesman Osama Nugali said. “As we all know, Israel is continuing to take unilateral measures by changing the geographic and demographic facts on the ground, by building settlements and expanding the existing ones,” he told AFP.

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