National Security Advisor Jones meets Israeli and Palestinian leaders, as the US and Egypt reiterate their determination to restart negotiations. Israel says it's open to "proximity talks." Jordan arrests a taxi driver on suspicion of placing a roadside bomb that misses an Israeli diplomatic convoy. Palestinian reconciliation talks are stalled. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is stymieing potential marriages. International tourists are flocking to see the West Bank separation barrier and meet Palestinian nonviolent protesters, two of whom have been released from jail by Israel. Turkey reportedly warns Lebanon of a possible Israeli attack. Elections for the Kadima leadership may be held soon. The National describes Israel's handling of relations with Turkey as "immature," but Hassan Haidar says Arab hopes for a major rift are unrealistic. Miko Peled says the US and Israel must move in the direction of Palestinian independence. Abdel-Moneim Said writes a second article denouncing those who are more interested in attacking Egypt than helping the Palestinians.

U.S. Policy Shift Seen As Direct Israeli-Palestinian Talks May Be Near
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Week
by James D. Besser - January 12, 2010 - 1:00am

The Obama administration is set to open a new chapter in Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy with a shift to quiet, below-the-radar negotiations and a new diplomatic juggling act for special envoy George Mitchell.

Israel Loses Its Temper
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Hassan Haidar - (Opinion) January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

It seems that Israel is unable to comprehend the transformation that took place in Turkey. Or rather, it did comprehend it but lost its temper because it refuses to believe that it is about to lose a key ally in the region in the blink of an eye. Turkey seems confident, firmly implementing the new course of its foreign policy without clamor or awkward positions like those of Iran. Instead, it deals in its capacity as a regional superpower that relies on its history and present, and seeks to contain the junior players in the region, including Israel.

A U.S. ‘charade’ in peace effort
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The San Diego Union-Tribune
by Miko Peled - (Opinion) January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinian national struggle continues to be largely ignored by the Obama administration. Our new president has failed to bring a new approach. As has been the case for the last 40 years, Palestinian attempts to settle the conflict through diplomacy are ignored or downplayed. When violence erupts, Palestinians are blamed and labeled terrorists. The United States maintains the charade that peace in Israel/Palestine is a priority and every new administration promises to bring the much-promised peace to the region only to fall into the same pattern of inaction and excuse-making.

Israel’s immaturity cause for concern
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

If the Turkish ambassador to Israel was surprised by his humiliation at the hands of Danny Ayalon, he should not have been. This is what the deputy Israeli foreign minister considers his job. He is no suave advocate for Israel, like the media spokesman Mark Regev. He takes his cue instead from his boss, Avigdor Lieberman, engaging in diplomacy with all the tact that might be expected of a Moldovan nightclub bouncer.

J'lem open to 'proximity talks'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - January 15, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel is not rejecting the idea of "proximity talks," whereby a US envoy would shuttle and mediate between Israeli and Palestinian delegations, as a way to relaunch face-to-face negotiations, The Jerusalem Post has learned. One senior source, who confirmed that this idea was "out there," said it was clear that when the time came for the two sides to talk about substantive issues, they would need to do so directly. But, he added, in order to move the process forward, or to "launch" the negotiations, something different - like this "proximity" formula - might be necessary.

Israel Releases Palestinian Boycott Activists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Benjamin Joffe-Walt - January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

International campaign ends in release of two prominent Palestinian activists. A prominent West Bank activist said by Palestinian groups to be the first Palestinian imprisoned for promoting an international boycott of Israel has been released after being detained by Israel for over 100 days without charge. Mohammad Othman, a 34 year old resident of the West Bank village of Jayyous, was released Wednesday after 113 days in Israeli custody.

Mofaz: Kadima elections coming soon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Tova Dadon - January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

Kadima members will soon be called upon to vote in the party primary elections, Knesset Member Shaul Mofaz told supporters Thursday during a meeting in southern Israel. "Prepare to be called to vote soon; this is for Kadima's future and for the State of Israel's future," the party's leadership hopeful, who is hoping to dethrone current Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, told the audience of about 150 people. During the meeting, Mofaz continued to slam Livni's policy, charging that Kadima is facing an absence of leadership and a party rift.

Defending Egypt II
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ahram
(Opinion) January 14, 2010 - 1:00am

Since the founding of the modern Egyptian state and with the dissemination and growth of the mass media, Egyptians have sympathised with the oppressed peoples and nations of the world. For two centuries or more, the majority of our people felt that to side with the cause of justice in the region and elsewhere was not only to defend what was morally right but to defend Egypt as well, as Egypt had for centuries been victim of various forms of tyranny and aggression.

Report: Jordan attack suspect nabbed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - January 15, 2010 - 1:00am

Jordanian security forces apprehended a taxi driver suspected of planting the explosive device detonated near an Israeli diplomatic convey traveling from Amman to Israel, the al-Arabiya network reported Thursday evening. The report is based on eyewitness accounts, the network said.

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