American, Israeli and Arab commentators continue to analyze the tripartite meeting at the UN on Tuesday, with most evaluations being largely negative. The Washington Post highlights the difficulties in framing permanent status talks between Israel and the Palestinians. There are contradictory reports as to whether Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will speak directly next week or only to their American counterparts, and whether or not the US will seek to block implementation of the Goldstone report into the Gaza war. Israeli and Palestinian officials continue to blame each other for lack of progress. The Globe and Mail examines recently released Geneva Accord documents. Right-wing MKs say Prime Minister Netanyahu "celebrated prematurely" before President Obama's UN speech. Hussein Ibish makes the case that the speech significantly strengthens the Palestinian hand going into negotiations.

No shortcuts to statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
(Opinion) September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

There may be something new under the sun after all – at least since the days when Balfour promised the Jews a National Home in Palestine and Trygve Lie oversaw the UN General Assembly's endorsement of the partition of Palestine.

Obama says settlement building illegitimate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
September 23, 2009 - 12:00am

S President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the time has come to relaunch negotiations toward the long-elusive goal of Mideast peace. In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Obama said it was time for talks without preconditions to resolve disagreements on security for Israelis and Palestinians, borders, refugees and the status of Jerusalem itself. The president said the goal was clear: "Two states living side by side in peace and security." He said resolving the Mideast issue was essential to promoting a future of peace and prosperity.

US official: Settlements preventing normalization
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

A US official held a meeting with Jewish leaders Wednesday and told them that Israel's failure to achieve normalization with Arab countries was largely due to its approval of 450 more housing units in West Bank settlements. He said the Israeli government had known that the Arab nations may recoil at the announcement, but had approved the construction anyway.

More Than Just a Photo-Op
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Daniel Levy - (Analysis) September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Headlines are now being prepared following U.S. President Barack Obama's convening of a trilateral Israeli-Palestinian-American peace summit today in New York. Many will seek to belittle the president's efforts thus far. The summit was being dismissed as a photo-op before it even happened.

Netanyahu: No peace until Palestinians accept Israel as Jewish state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Haaretz on Wednesday that he would not agree to a Palestinian demand that Israel accept the 1967 borders as a condition for renewing peace negotiations. Netanyahu also gave a condition of his own, saying Thursday that he would never drop his demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. "I told Abu Mazen [Abbas] I believe peace hinges first on his readiness to stand before his people and say, 'We ... are committed to recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people'," Netanyahu said.

Obama's UN speech greatly strengthens the Palestinian position in negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Blog) September 23, 2009 - 12:00am

If Netanyahu and the Israelis felt like gloating last night and this morning, that feeling is long gone. President Obama’s speech at the UN General Assembly this morning laid down some very important markers for all parties and committed the United States to a number of principles and positions that are going to make life extremely difficult for any Israeli government that does not wish to cooperate on peace or thinks it is going to get a free ride from this administration.

What Remains of Obama's Initiative?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Elias Harfoush - (Opinion) September 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Senator George Mitchell does not deserve to end his diplomatic life amidst failure because of a conflict in the Middle East. But in reality, the reason behind this failure is not due to the experienced senator's lack of skills in rounding corners, but because he was deployed to a region witnessing a conflict that has marked its second decade and was not provided with the necessary weapons to achieve any progress.

Abbas: Partial halt on settlement activity is not a freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Just days after meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama in New York, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that he saw no common ground on which to renew peace negotiations. In an interview with the Al-Hayyat daily, Abbas called the Netanyahu government "a real problem." The Palestinian leader added that he could not agree to Israel's compromise for a partial settlement freeze, which he said inherently implied continued construction. Advertisement

Obama has joined the Arabs in falling for Netanyahu’s trap
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Emile Hokayem - (Opinion) September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

The Arab press has few good words for the US president Barack Obama’s recent performance on the Israeli-Palestinian front. Abdel Bari Atwan, the incomparable editor of the pan-Arab daily Al Quds al Arabi, wrote that it amounted to an outright surrender to the conditions of the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of a meeting that brought the two men and the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas together on Tuesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Elsewhere, the tone is less venomous but the bitterness is unmistakable.

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