Special Envoy Mitchell meets with Pres. Abbas. Robert Wright says the UN can create a Palestinian state. Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon says Palestinians must prove they want peace. Occupation forces demolish two homes under construction in occupied East Jerusalem. The EU pushes for an end to settlement activity and says it will recognize a Palestinian state “when appropriate.” Hamas celebrates its 23rd anniversary, and tries to shore up its popularity. Israel refuses entry to Palestinian firefighters being honored for helping with the Carmel blaze. Carlos Strenger says the Palestinian state has been born in South America. DM Barak says Israel is threatened by the lack of peace. Members of Congress say a unilateral declaration of statehood could end US funding to the PA. Carlo Strenger and Akiva Eldar say Palestinian statehood requires recognition of Israel. George Semaan says the Arabs need a new strategy for dealing with Israel. Hussein Ibish says Sec. Clinton's recent speech gives the Palestinians a real opportunity for progress.

Not walking away from peace just yet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) December 14, 2010 - 1:00am

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech at the Brookings Institution on December 10 has again shown that the Obama administration is not willing to walk away from efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in spite of the obstacles and setbacks it is facing. The position Clinton laid out presents an important potential opportunity for Palestinians to make the point that they are ready for and serious about peace, and to test Israel’s willingness.

In Need of a Strategy and Not Just Tactics!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by George Semaan - (Opinion) December 13, 2010 - 1:00am

It is one thing for the political process to collapse and for the American administration to fail due to its inability to pressure Benjamin Netanyahu, but it is a totally different thing for Washington to leave the region in a state of chaos and vacuum. While a settlement is impossible, or was rendered so by the Israeli right-wing, the United States is not ready to risk seeing the region slide towards the worst, and must at least give the impression that it is still committed to the peace process.

Palestinians' future is in their hands
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Akiva Eldar, Carlo Strenger - (Editorial) December 14, 2010 - 1:00am

The Israel-Palestine conflict has been endlessly long, tragic, filled with wrong decisions on all sides and there are many ways of telling the story. Saeb Erekat, in his recent article on the Palestinian right of return, chooses to begin his story ("narrative" is the fashionable word) with the assassination of Count Bernadotte, the first UN mediator, by Jewish militants commanded by Yitzchak Shamir, later prime minister, in 1948. The implication is clear: Israelis killed justice from the very outset.

EU to recognise Palestinian state 'when appropriate'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
December 13, 2010 - 1:00am

The ministers' statement followed a call from Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for the EU to recognise Palestine based on the 1967 borders. The EU ministers emphasised the need for a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. Brazil and Argentina recently joined the growing number of countries to recognise Palestine. More than 100 states around the world recognise Palestine, their mission at the United Nations says. Collapsed talks The Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said Mr Abbas spoke to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton earlier on Monday.

Congress: PA funding could hinge on state declaration
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - December 14, 2010 - 1:00am

Members of Congress are warning that American funding of the Palestinian Authority could be threatened by efforts to advance a unilateral declaration of statehood. “Pursuing a non-negotiated path to statehood is a fool’s errand. Palestinians want a state, not a declaration. Their only way to achieve that is through direct negotiations with Israel,” California Democrat Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

Barak: Without peace deal, Israel will deteriorate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - December 14, 2010 - 1:00am

Defense Minister Ehud Barak Tuesday morning said that without a peace deal with the Palestinians, Israel's situation will deteriorate and the delegitimization campaigns in the third world will increase, Israel Radio reported. Barak called this a danger no less than Hizbullah, in an interview with Tom Brokaw, according to the report. “We will have serious discussions in the coming month on security, borders, Jerusalem, refugees,” the defense minister told reporters in Washington Monday. “The mechanisms will be resolved in the coming weeks.”

Abbas, Mitchell meet amid US efforts to renew peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
December 14, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US Mideast envoy George Mitchell were meeting in Ramallah on Tuesday afternoon, amid US efforts to renew stalled peace talks. Mitchell met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday night, and is set to travel to Doha and then back to Washington after the Abbas meeting. Mitchell arrived back in the region on Monday to discuss the core issues separately with each side in the hope that gaps could be narrowed and direct negotiations restarted.

A Palestinian state born in South America
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Carlo Strenger - (Opinion) December 10, 2010 - 1:00am

It was only a matter of time, the writing has been on the wall. The Palestinians have warned repeatedly that if negotiations did not move forward, they would resort to one of two strategies: to dismantle the Palestinian Authority and hand Israel responsibility for administering the West Bank; or, to ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

Israel refuses entry to Palestinian firefighters being honored for Carmel fire assistance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jack Khoury - December 14, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli officials on Tuesday canceled a ceremony planned to honor the Palestinian firemen who assisted in battling the Carmel fire last week, after a number of crew members were refused permits to cross the border. Palestinian Fire Services Commander Ahmed Rizik said that he and his staff were surprised to learn when they arrived at the checkpoint that only seven out of the 10 fireman would be granted entry into Israel, although all of them had been allowed in at the time of the disaster..

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