December 21st

Wooing the Gods of the Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Aaron David Miller - December 21, 2010 - 1:00am

If the peace process gods have a sense of humor (and history), sometime around next summer -- the 11th anniversary of Bill Clinton's failed Camp David summit -- another Democratic president's peace initiative will be tested.

Poll finds Palestinians afraid to criticize authority
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - December 21, 2010 - 1:00am

A Palestinian public opinion poll published Monday in the West Bank city of Ramallah found out that only a quarter of the Palestinians in the West Bank believe they can criticize the Palestinian Authority. In the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, the record was even worse as less than a fifth of the Palestinians there believed it is possible to criticize Hamas rule of the coastal enclave.

Aid groups say they, not Hamas, are thwarted by Israeli restrictions on Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Janine Zacharia - December 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Despite recent moves by Israel to ease construction in the Gaza Strip, restrictions on building materials are hampering international humanitarian efforts while doing little to impede the Hamas-led government they are designed to weaken, aid and nongovernmental groups say. Israel says the limits on cement and other imports are intended to prevent misuse by Hamas. But the Islamist militant group has ready access to construction materials through smuggling tunnels along the border with Egypt.

December 20th

Pres. Abbas meets with 60 prominent Israelis. An Israeli rabbi fights against anti-Arab discrimination. Palestinians seek international recognition. Israel seizes a West Bank village and expels its inhabitants. Human Rights Watch says settlements are displacing Palestinians. An Israeli airstrike in Gaza kills five Palestinian militants. An American tourist is stabbed outside Jerusalem. Pres.Mubarak and PM Erdogan blame Israel for the failure of talks. Arab states may present a Security Council resolution against settlements. The PLO says it's not considering withdrawing recognition of Israel,but the peace process is moribund. A meeting of the Geneva Initiative invigorates peace camps. Rep. Howard Berman is interviewed by Ha'aretz. Jewish extremists demonstrate against “Arabs dating our sisters.” Tzachi Hanegbi says diplomacy is in real trouble. Hamas objects to the UN teaching Palestinian children about the Holocaust. Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Abbas. Adel Safty says Sec. Clinton is right that Palestinian statehood is inevitable. Ziad Asali says giving up on peace is not an option. The Global Post profiles Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Giving up on an Israeli-Palestinian settlement is simply not an option
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Ziad Asali - (Opinion) December 20, 2010 - 1:00am

The Obama administration has mercifully, and honestly, admitted that the time has come to abandon its policy of seeking a settlement freeze as a path to negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The administration will pay a political price for this. It will be blamed for having failed, and it will endure the gloating of its critics. However, the United States will remain, in the end, the single party that everyone else will look to for providing answers and for defining which policy direction to take.

Establishment of independent Palestinian state is inevitable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Adel Safty - (Opinion) December 20, 2010 - 1:00am

The so-called peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to be more about process and less and less about peace. The refusal of the Netanyahu government to renew the moratorium on colony construction in the Occupied Territories (described by various American administrations as obstacles to peace) has led to the collapse of the negotiations.

Ecuador Next to Recognize Palestinian State – Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Ali al-Saleh - (Opinion) December 18, 2010 - 1:00am

Bolivia is the latest country to recognize the State of Palestine after it officially announced yesterday that it recognized a sovereign Palestinian State along its 1967 borders. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday welcomed Bolivia’s recognition of a Palestinian state and praised the bilateral relations between the two countries..

Hamas in dispute with UN over school trips for Palestinian pupils
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
December 20, 2010 - 1:00am

Hamas, the Islamist movement ruling the Gaza strip, has asked the United Nations to stop exposing Palestinian children to the Holocaust during trips organised for outstanding students from Gaza, and instead concentrate on Palestinian victims. "The UNRWA [the agency for Palestinian refugees] has to stop the visits they do, where they teach the Holocaust and where they promote solidarity with Jewish suffering created by the Nazis," said a statement from the department for refugee issues.

A double freeze in Washington
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tzachi Hanegbi - December 20, 2010 - 1:00am

Haim Saban has a dream: Help the Israelis and Palestinians adopt a pragmatic vision that will advance the goal of peace between the two nations.

Abed Rabbo: Peace process may die if doesn't get boost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
December 20, 2010 - 1:00am

The peace process is frozen but it might die if it does not get a real boost, top PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo said during an interview aired Monday on Army Radio. Abed Rabbo added that US Mideast envoy George Mitchell "did not bring us any new proposal" during his last visit to the region, following a deadlock in negotiations. "We submitted a complete portfolio to the Americans about our perceptions on the issue of borders and security, and we expect the Israelis to do the same," the Palestinian negotiator said.

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