Israeli officials have reportedly agreed to a temporary moratorium on West Bank settlement construction activity, outraging Jewish settlers. A poll released yesterday finds that Palestinians prefer Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah party over Hamas. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak meets today with President Obama in Washington to discuss the Middle East peace initiative. Analysis of the newly elected Fatah leadership continues. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency profiles the new Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren. Politico reports that Israelis are voicing increasing disappointment in President Obama's Jewish chief-of-staff, Rahm Emanuel.

Drawing borders is the first step
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) August 17, 2009 - 12:00am

We still have no real idea of when or what President Obama will present as an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. In the meantime, the Prime Minister's special emissary, Yitzhak Molcho, is off to Washington to try and reach some understandings with the US administration prior to the next meeting between Senator Mitchell and Netanyahu. The rumors floating around suggest that Obama's plan will aim to focus first on setting borders between the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine, now that Netanyahu has accepted the two-state solution.

Fatah, reunited and reinvigorated
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) August 18, 2009 - 12:00am

Fatah, the leading movement within the Palestine Liberation Organization, has moved one step closer to becoming a normal political party. It has just concluded its sixth congress, held for the first time in the Occupied Territories, which meant that former guerrillas from Lebanon and Jordan were allowed entry by Israel. The conference, it appears, succeeded in reuniting and reinvigorating the movement, which has suffered since the death of its founder and long-time leader, Yasser Arafat.

Hamas, the Emirate and the Waiting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Ghassan Charbel - (Opinion) August 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas has eliminated the Islamic emirate announced by Abdel Latif Moussa (Abou Nour Makdessi) in Rafah. It has eliminated the emirate and its prince. Hamas cannot stand Moussa’s accusations. He said that if the Hamas government maintained its status, it would be like a secular party “fraudulently associating itself with Islam like (Turkish Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdogan”. It is not easy for Hamas to see the “Prince of the Jihadi Salafists” stand in a mosque and challenge its image and approach then call his armed men to the street, challenging its authority and status.

Israel wrecked Arafat, crowned Hamas, and gave birth to Al-Qaida in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nehemia Shtrasler - (Analysis) August 18, 2009 - 12:00am

This week marked four years since the Gaza disengagement, and it seems that the Strip is becoming increasingly radical - that peace is more distant and the settlers who were removed from the enclave are more embittered. Did Ariel Sharon and the majority of the Israeli public that supported the move make a bad deal?

Quiet slicing of the West Bank makes abstract prayers for peace obscene
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Slavoj Zizek - (Opinion) August 18, 2009 - 12:00am

On 2 August 2009, after cordoning off part of the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem, Israeli police evicted two Palestinian families (more than 50 people) from their homes; Jewish settlers immediately moved into the emptied houses. Although Israeli police cited a ruling by the country's supreme court, the evicted Arab families had been living there for more than 50 years. The event – which, rather exceptionally, did attract the attention of the world media – is part of a much larger and mostly ignored ongoing process.

Egypt's Essential Partnership
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Abdel-Moneim Said - (Opinion) August 18, 2009 - 12:00am

President Obama's second meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, scheduled to take place today, presents an opportunity to view this important bilateral relationship from a proper perspective. For too long, U.S.-Egyptian relations have focused, somewhat myopically, on only two things: the state of Egypt's peace with Israel and its progress toward democratization.

Israelis sour on Rahm Emanuel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Kenneth P. Vogel - August 17, 2009 - 12:00am

As the Obama administration presses Israel to cease settlement expansion as part of a renewed push for a Middle East peace deal — a course of action that many Israelis have interpreted as evidence of the president’s favoritism towards Palestinians — Israelis have increasingly focused their disappointment not on Obama, but rather on his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

U.S. Jews press Mubarak
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
August 17, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. Jewish leaders urged Egypt's president to take the lead in encouraging other Arab nations to make conciliatory gestures to Israel. Hosni Mubarak is in Washington this week to meet with President Obama and advance plans to revive the peace process. Mubarak met Monday morning with an array of leaders from Jewish groups who told him that conciliatory measures from Arab nations, including allowing Israeli overflights and expanding business ties, would help Israel make concessions. Arab states and the Palestinians first want Israel to commit to a settlement freeze.

Oren navigates waters among Israel, U.S. government and American Jews
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - August 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Tweeted, a diplomat’s job would look something like this: Explain home abroad, explain abroad home. In recent weeks, it’s seemed as if the job description for Israeli envoys would encroach on the 140-character limit: Explain home abroad, explain abroad home, explain Jews abroad home, explain home to Jews abroad, explain, explain, explain. Michael Oren, the new Israeli ambassador to Washington, has had a busy six weeks, and he acknowledges that some of his difficulties have had to do with a debate within his government about whether to even engage with liberal American Jews.

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