The US State Department formally objects to new, discriminatory visas being issued by Israel, mainly to Palestinian Americans. The JTA reports that in the next few weeks the Obama administration will "finalize the steps" for new peace in the next few weeks, as the President discusses the issue with the Jordanian monarch and Israel and the Palestinians exchange blame for the deadlock. A new poll suggests that only 12 percent of Israelis believe Obama supports Israel. Leonard Fein in the Forward and Rami Khouri in the Daily Star both reassert the urgency of a two-state agreement. The National profiles Uri Davis, the Jewish Israeli elected to Fatah’s Revolutionary Council. Ma’an reports that Muhammad Dahlan will have no responsibilities related to Gaza in his new role in Fatah and that a woman, a Christian and a Gazan are to be appointed to the Central Committee.

Work on the core issues in Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) August 21, 2009 - 12:00am

A flurry of activity this week surrounding Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s trip to Washington suggests to many people that we can expect breakthroughs in Arab-Israeli peace-making. Mubarak and US President Barack Obama have both said that things are moving in the right direction. The Israeli government has instituted an unofficial and unannounced “freeze” on new settlements construction, as demanded by the United States.

Woman, Gazan, Christian to be appointed to Fatah's Central Committee
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Bethlehem – Ma’an – The three appointed members of the Fatah Central Committee will be a woman, a Christian and a Gazan, a member of the party’s governing body, Muhammad Shtayeh, revealed Wednesday.

Dahlan says not responsible for Gaza in new Fatah leadership role
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Ramallah – Ma’an – Fatah’s controversial former Gaza security chief, Muhammad Dahlan, will have no responsibilities related to Gaza in his new role in the party’s Central Committee, he told Ma’an in an exclusive interview. Dahlan is reviled by Hamas and other opponents of Fatah rule for what they considered an iron-fisted administration of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service in Gaza. Dahlan left Gaza days before Hamas forces shut down the Preventive Security and other Fatah-backed institutions in fighting that left hundreds dead in 2007.

Human Rights Watch gets it
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) August 21, 2009 - 12:00am

In the past week, the respected watchdog organisation Human Rights Watch issued two reports criticising Hamas and Israel for violating the rules of war. While such accusations are not new, they remind us of a critical missing element in the decades-old attempts to negotiate a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict: By what rules are both sides judged and held accountable?

The Jew on Fatah’s governing body
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - August 21, 2009 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM // If a single person deserves the title of serial thorn in the side of the Israeli state, Uri Davis, a professor of critical Israel studies at al Quds University on the outskirts of East Jerusalem, might be the one to claim it. The crowning moment for Prof Davis arrived last weekend when he became the first Israeli Jew to be elected to one of Fatah’s governing bodies, the Revolutionary Council.

Which War To Tackle? ’48 or ’67?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Leonard Fein - (Opinion) August 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Does history matter? At first blush, the question is — well, to blush for. Obviously, history matters. July Fourth is history, and so is Pesach, and Simon Bolivar and the Great Depression and Galileo and on and endlessly on. Still, much depends on how we define words. I leave for another time discussion of what we mean by “history” and of the tension between history and memory. Here, my concern is with the word “matter.” And what calls this urgently to mind is an Op-Ed essay by Hussein Agha and Robert Malley in The New York Times of August 11.

Gaza's radical Islamists: Hamas serves the Jewish usurpers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - August 20, 2009 - 12:00am

A number of al-Qaida-affiliated groups on Thursday condemned Hamas as an apostate movement that serves the interests of Israel by cracking down on their supporters in the Gaza Strip. The groups appealed to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman Zawahiri, to issue public condemnations of Hamas, whose security forces last weekend killed and wounded dozens of fundamentalists belonging to Jund Ansar Allah in Rafah.

Obama urges simultanous moves toward Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
August 20, 2009 - 12:00am

US President Barack Obama, making a fresh bid to break the deadlock on Middle East peace, called on Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab states on Thursday to act simultaneously to help kick-start negotiations. Obama's proposal seeks to overcome deep disagreement between Israelis and Arabs on which side should go first in conciliatory gestures to revive a peace process the president has promised to relaunch since taking office in January.

Report: Mubarak opposes US defense umbrella
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - August 21, 2009 - 12:00am

The United States has offered Israel, Egypt and Persian Gulf countries to be part of a nuclear umbrella against an Iranian attack, Egyptian newspaper al-Gumhoria reported Thursday. In its editorial, the newspaper slammed the idea of a "suspicion umbrella", defining it as "a bribe to Israel for indirect normalization purposes." According to the report, US President Barack Obama us under increasing pressure by Congress members, members of the Jewish lobby, Jewish organizations and the media, after his Cairo speech which was perceived as pro-Arab and anti-Israel.

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