July 27th

US transfers $200 million in aid to Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Karin Laub - July 24, 2009 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The United States has transferred $200 million to the Palestinian government to help ease a growing budget deficit, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has been struggling in recent months to keep his government afloat, borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars from commercial banks just to cover the public payroll.

Reassessing our ties with US
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yarden Gazit - (Opinion) July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Barack Obama's demand that Israel freeze all settlement activity in Judea and Samaria, including east Jerusalem, created a rift between Washington and Jerusalem. Similar rifts existed in the past. Such temporary rifts do not undermine the close relationship between the two countries. They do, however, raise questions about its nature. Given that both countries' interests are not always aligned, Israel should reevaluate its policy of depending so heavily on American support.

Rabbi Ovadia slams US: We're not their slaves
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Kobi Nahshoni - July 26, 2009 - 12:00am

In his weekly sermon Saturday evening, Shas' spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef slammed US President Barack Obama and other western leaders for pressuring Israel to freeze construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. "'You can't build here, you can't build there' – it's as if we were their slaves," the rabbi protested. "We are being ruled by slaves," he said," adding that, "Our messiah will come and throw them out."

Reality Check: Netanyahu's self-inflicted crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jeff Barak - (Opinion) July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Binyamin Netanyahu's second term as prime minister is proving the truth of Karl Marx's comment: "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce," although the speed with which his government is descending into the farcical is surprising, even for the most ardent of Netanyahu's critics.

Out of the Stone Age: Empowering a West Bank village
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

To the visitor it may seem picturesque. But when you've spent several hours a day for 20 years vigorously shaking a dead goat's stomach filled with milk to make butter, the novelty has long worn off. In the village of Susiya, not having electricity keeps them in their own dark age. So for Samia Shineran, 30, who has been making goat's butter by hand since she was 10, the installation of a powered churn in the family tent this spring was an unalloyed delight, giving her that much more time for the many other tasks which fall to this Palestinian mother of 10.

US Middle East envoy calls on Arab world for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Josef Federman - July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy called on the Arab world yesterday to take steps towards normalising relations with Israel, while Israel's prime minister said he hoped his country's disputes with the US over West Bank settlement construction would soon be resolved.

Israel prepares 'defense brief' ahead of UN Gaza reports
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

A group of legal experts from the Foreign Ministry is writing a defense brief for the government in advance of two harsh reports on Operation Cast Lead expected to be released soon. The ministry's defense brief is expected to be finished in a week or two, ahead of two United Nations reports that are expected to be highly critical of the extent of civilian injuries in the Gaza Strip during the operation. A draft of the two reports is expected to be given to Israel around the end of August, before they are officially presented to the Human Rights Council in mid-September.

Senators want Obama to press Arabs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Two U.S. senators, a Democrat and a Republican, are circulating a letter pressing President Obama to lean on Arab nations to make peace overtures to Israel.

Obama should not give in
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

First, an honest disclosure: I loved the Shepherd hotel very much. In the first years after the Six-Day War, I was a frequent guest there. My work in the Knesset demanded that I stay in Jerusalem at least two nights every week, and after the war I switched from the hotels of West Jerusalem to those in the eastern part of the city. My favorite was the Shepherd. I felt at home there.

U.S., Israel inch closer to deal on settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff - July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell arrived in Israel Sunday and met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak as part of an ongoing effort to reach an agreement on construction in the settlements. The two are reportedly close to a deal in which Washington would allow a limited number of projects in advanced stages of construction to be completed, but Israel would freeze all other building for an as-yet undetermined period of time.

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