US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell reportedly holds constructive talks with Israeli diplomats while US officials say US-Israel relations depend on a settlement agreement, and there is a growing confidence about the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The PA has established a committee to look into allegations of "organ harvesting" by Israeli troops. Reports suggest a steep drop in Israeli settlement construction, but Ha'aretz reports that the Israeli government is considered recognizing the legality of some unauthorized settlement activity. Israel is attempting to rebuild its diplomatic ties to a number of African states. Former Prime Minister Olmert stands accused of swindling Jewish Americans. On the Israel Policy Forum blog, Hussein Ibish explains why he wrote ATFP's new book on the one-state agenda.

Blair: Israel thinks its time for talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - September 3, 2009 - 12:00am

Mideast Quartet envoy Tony Blair expressed optimism on a settlement freeze agreement in the near future, that will pave the way for renewed regional peace talks. Followings talks with Israeli officials in recent days, Blair told the British Independent: "I hope and believe... we can get a political negotiation launched on satisfactory terms."

US officials: Netanyahu at pivotal moment
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - September 3, 2009 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's envoys to US talks on the freezing of construction in settlements, Attorney Yitzhak Molcho and Brig. Gen. Mike Herzog, met US special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, on Wednesday. The US State Department reported that it was a "good meeting," and that Mitchell will visit the region in the second half of next week.

Beware Palestinian plot
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Gadi Taub - (Opinion) September 3, 2009 - 12:00am

The “two-state vision” is no longer only endorsed by the Left or Center, but rather, it is backed by the Zionist consensus – ranging from Meretz to Likud.

Israel rekindles its African ties
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Will Ross - September 2, 2009 - 12:00am

Avigdor Liberman begins his trip in Ethiopia, where he will be accompanied by 20 business people. Officials say the trip is about building business links with Africa and also countering the influence of Iran on the continent. Israel hopes closer ties with Africa will help at the UN where African countries often vote in blocks. Ethiopia has strong links with Israel. During the 1980s and 90s tens of thousands of Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel to resettle in what they considered to be their homeland.

Israeli moves give Blair hope of rebuilding political trust
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - September 3, 2009 - 12:00am

Tony Blair expressed optimism yesterday that Israel and the US would agree on a settlement moratorium sufficient to pave the way for the first political negotiations between Benjamin Netanyahu's government and the moderate Palestinian leadership. The international community's Middle East envoy was speaking after three days of talks with Israeli leaders including Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Hidden in Olmert Indictment Are Charges That He Swindled U.S. Jews
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - September 2, 2009 - 12:00am

Washington — The indictment against former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has riveted Israelis with its allegations that the ex-prime minister took envelopes of cash from supporters for his personal use. But another aspect of the August 30 indictment, one directly relevant to American Jews, has been all but lost amid the fallout: The Israeli leader, prosecutors charge, bilked 17 prominent North American Jewish charities and pro-Israel advocacy groups for his own benefit.

Israeli Obstacles to the International Conference
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Randa Takieddine - September 2, 2009 - 12:00am

The importance of the visit by the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, to France on Thursday and Friday to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner lies in the timing. The visit comes before Sarkozy takes part in the General Assembly of the United Nations on 12 September, and his meeting with the heads of the G-20 in Pittsburgh on the 24th and 25th of the same month.

At the expense of peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Michael Jansen - September 3, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has put the Obama administration in an awkward position by demanding a total halt to Israeli settlement construction and expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. He is simply echoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who initially called for a complete suspension of settlement activity, including completing, to accommodate “natural growth”, the 2,500 units under construction, and housing in East Jerusalem.

Tell the settlers the truth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) September 3, 2009 - 12:00am

At a time when the Obama administration is seeking a way to impose a construction freeze in the settlements that will be acceptable to both Israelis and Palestinians, in order to pave the way for the resumption of the political process, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking common ground with the settlers. According to the minutes distributed by the Prime Minister's Office after Netanyahu's meeting with the heads of the Yesha Council of settlements last month, the prime minister stated that, "We are all interested in the same thing," and then added, "But we must act wisely."

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