ANALYSIS-Big Bang approach to Mideast peace won't work
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Crispian Balmer - (Analysis) December 8, 2010 - 1:00am

Washington's failure to revive direct peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians should finally dispel any lingering illusion that the decades-old Middle East conflict can be resolved in open negotiations. The best that can be hoped for are piecemeal, staggered accords, perhaps thrashed out in secret and probably implemented over many years, analysts and diplomats say.

UN chief urges Israel to freeze settlements despite failure to reach deal with U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shlomo Shamir - December 9, 2010 - 1:00am

The UN Secretary-General publicly chastised the government of Israel on Wednesday for refusing to extend its ten-month moratorium on construction in the settlements of the West Bank that expired in September, calling it a snub to the international community. A spokesperson for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to renew its freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, framing it as an obligation that Israel is avoiding.

U.S. official: Obama does not and will not condone Israel's settlement activity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - December 8, 2010 - 1:00am

The United States does not and will not accept Israel's continued West Bank settlement activity, a top U.S. official said on Monday, stating that the fact that Washington no longer supports a temporary settlement freeze did not mean it condones continued building. The comment by State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley came as U.S. officials had confirmed that negotiations between Jerusalem and Washington over a new partial moratorium on settlement construction and on the terms of the guarantees proposed by U.S. President Barack Obama have hit a dead end.

Israel’s mistakes created a State of Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Blog) December 8, 2010 - 1:00am

Irrespective of whether we agree with it or like it, this is what is going to happen. A Palestinian state is going to emerge on the West Bank, Gaza, and in East Jerusalem, and most of the countries of the world are going to recognize it. It will be accepted into the United Nations, and Israel is not going to be able to do a thing to prevent it.

Fallout from the US abandonment of a settlement freeze continues: Palestinians say talks are not possible if construction continues; some analysts think the move hurts chances for peace; others say a deal will be slow and difficult; Israeli and Palestinian negotiators criticize US policy; the US says it does not and will not condone settlement activity; Daoud Kuttab says the US should now use sticks as well as carrots; Ziad Asali says giving up is not an option. Jackson Diehl says the US can either support Palestinian state-building or present its own plan. Special Envoy Mitchell will continue with talks. Bribery is rampant in the occupied territories. Israel launches air strikes against Gaza. UNSG Ban says Israel should end settlement activity. Edwin Bennatan says Israeli policies have created a Palestinian state. Israel offers compensation for flotilla deaths. Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Mohammed Dahlan. Rami Khouri says dissolving the PA is a terrible idea. Ghassan Khatib says the current situation is undermining the Palestinian leadership. Yossi Alpher says UN creation of a Palestinian state could be a good idea.

Israel offers compensation for Gaza flotilla deaths
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Imad Abu-Sumbul - December 9, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel has proposed paying compensation to relatives of Turks it killed during a raid on a Gaza-bound ship, in exchange for Ankara's help in indemnifying the Israeli navy against lawsuits, officials said today. The offer, broached by envoys in Geneva over the weekend, included measures to improve relations between the countries, but appeared to have fallen short of Turkey's demand that Israel formally apologise for the deaths of the nine pro-Palestinian activists in May.

Asharq Al-Awsat Talks to Fatah's Mohammed Dahlan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Salah Jumaa - (Interview) December 8, 2010 - 1:00am

Fatah Commissioner of Information, Mohammed Dahlan confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that "members of the Fatah Central Committee are united behind President Mahmoud Abbas." He also revealed that "informers" had poisoned his relationship with Abbas, although this has not reached the level of a "dispute." Dahlan called for peaceful and creative steps to be taken in order to strengthen the perseverance of the Palestinian people, whilst he also predicted the outbreak of a third Intifada should the peace process remain stalled.

Now that the carrot has not worked
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) December 9, 2010 - 1:00am

At the beginning of the latest US-Israel crisis over the issue of settlement freeze, the Americans considered both carrot and stick to “encourage” the Israelis to do the right thing, in accordance with international law.

Dissolving the Palestinian Authority is a terrible idea
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) December 9, 2010 - 1:00am

The latest pronouncements of the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, that he would consider dissolving the Palestinian Authority (PA) if the current stalled peace negotiations with Israel do not move ahead, is more bizarre than brazen. It is understandable that he is frustrated and groping for alternatives to his current failed policy, but what he proposes is simply silly and regrettable.

Peeking into the abyss
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Blog) December 6, 2010 - 1:00am

There have been contradicting reports about the outcome of ongoing American efforts to resume the peace process, which was launched by the administration in Washington at the beginning of last September and then was undermined by the resumption of full-scale Israeli settlement activities. Since then, two parallel sets of political activities have been underway. First are American contacts with Israel to try to bring about another settlement freeze that might allow talks to continue between Israel and Palestinians.

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