PA purges Hamas-linked educators
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - March 29, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank has over the past two years fired hundreds of school teachers and imams suspected of being affiliated with Hamas, Palestinian sources in Ramallah disclosed on Sunday. The firings are seen in the context of the PA’s efforts to prevent Hamas from taking control over the West Bank. The teachers and imams have threatened legal action against the government on the grounds that their dismissal was “politically motivated.”

Hobby or Necessity?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Thomas L. Friedman - (Opinion) March 27, 2010 - 12:00am

If you think this latest Israeli-American flap was just the same-old-same-old tiff over settlements, then you’re clearly not paying attention — which is how I’d describe a lot of Israelis, Arabs and American Jews today.

Israel should thank Obama for acting like a friend
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) March 29, 2010 - 12:00am

If Israel had a real peace camp, if the silent majority had broken its sickly silence, if more Israelis approached the situation as a collective rather than individuals yearning for the next holiday or car, if more Israelis refused to accept blindly the deceptions of Israeli diplomacy and propaganda, Rabin Square would have been filled with demonstrators yesterday. Among the banners and flags, one sign would have stood out in this hour of risks and fateful decisions: "Thank you, friend." Thank you, Barack Obama, friend of Israel.

Mr. Obama and Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) March 26, 2010 - 12:00am

After taking office last year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel privately told many Americans and Europeans that he was committed to and capable of peacemaking, despite the hard-line positions that he had used to get elected for a second time. Trust me, he told them. We were skeptical when we first heard that, and we’re even more skeptical now.

President’s demands do not constitute radical change in US policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Alon Pinkas - (Opinion) March 29, 2010 - 12:00am

US President Barack Obama is pro-Israel, even though he does not shower Israel with love on a daily basis, as was the case during 16 years of pampering under Clinton and Bush. In addition, the president does not mutter at every opportunity how deep America’s commitment is to Israel’s security and qualitative advantage; yet when it comes to all the parameters that count, Obama is pro-Israel.

Arabs Weigh Alternatives as Peace Stalls
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
March 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Arab states should prepare for the possibility that the Palestinian-Israeli peace process may be a total failure and prepare alternatives, the secretary general of the Arab League said on Saturday. The official, Amr Moussa, did not specify what the alternatives might be. But one possibility is a revival of an initiative first proposed eight years ago under which Arab states would normalize ties with Israel in exchange for concessions on territory.

Rift Exposes Split in Views on Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - March 28, 2010 - 12:00am

When Israel announced new housing units for Jews in East Jerusalem at the start of a visit this month by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for the timing and expressed regret at the embarrassment. Mr. Biden accepted his explanation, and the two sides seemed prepared to move on.

US 'may not veto UN resolution on Jerusalem'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
March 29, 2010 - 12:00am

The possibility surfaced at talks in Paris last week between a senior US official and Qatar's foreign minister. The official said the US would "seriously consider abstaining" if the issue of Israeli settlements was put to the vote, a diplomat told the BBC. US officials in Washington have not confirmed the report. There are no concrete plans at present to table such a resolution at the UN. But it is likely that the US is considering how to maintain pressure, and a UN resolution would be one way, says BBC state department correspondent Kim Ghattas.

Binyamin Netanyahu's efforts to heal rift marred as Barack Obama branded 'disaster for Israel'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory McCarthy - March 29, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, tried to smooth over a breach in relations with the US today, speaking out against unnamed confidants who described Barack Obama as pro-Palestinian and Israel's "greatest disaster". Netanyahu made his first public comments after a fraught visit to Washington last week, where he held a long but low-key meeting with Obama that ended with significant disagreement.

Arab League still backs peace initiative
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
March 29, 2010 - 12:00am

The Arab League voted at its annual summit to continue backing an initiative that would give Israel land for peace. The renewed support for the Arab peace initiative announced Sunday in Libya came despite efforts by Syria and Lebanon to convince the league to withdraw from peace efforts. Continued Israeli building and building approvals in eastern Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim as the capital of a future state, has angered league members.

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