Bedouins and Israel struggle over a patch of land in the Negev desert. George Will yet again denounces the concept of peace. An anti-negotiation protest in Ramallah is broken up. Palestinians warn negotiations could be quickly derailed. Settlers clash with Palestinian residents in Silwan. Palestinians say a freeze on Israeli settlements must include Jerusalem. The Israeli cabinet is hotly debating the issue. Ha'aretz says the PLO is again climbing out on a long limb. Pres. Abbas calls the negotiations “a historic opportunity.” D. Bloomfield says neither Abbas nor PM Netanyahu seem to want the talks. Israel refuses a request by Tony Blair to increase electricity to Gaza. The Independent profiles a Palestinian nonviolent protest leader convicted of “incitement.” A lawsuit accuses the IRS of hindering right wing pro-Israel organizations. Netanyahu's former Chief of Staff is a leader in the fight to expand settlements. Abdel Monem Said asks whether Arabs want the talks to succeed. Daoud Kuttab says the international community must help the parties. George Hishmeh says the Palestinian position isn't as weak as it appears. Hussein Ibish says extremists on both sides are trying to sabotage the negotiations before they begin.

Israeli and Palestinian extremists are attempting to sabotage negotiations before they begin
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Blog) August 25, 2010 - 12:00am

I suppose it was to be expected, but the brazenness with which extremists on both sides are trying to sabotage upcoming Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is simply breathtaking. The far more serious effort is on the Israeli side, in which activists, and even members of the government, to the right of PM Netanyahu are trying to destroy the key to the talks, which was a private understanding between Netanyahu and Pres.

Abbas' position isn't as weak as it may first appear
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) August 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinians will begin heading home a year from now to reclaim property in their homeland, which they have not seen for 62 years since the state of Israel was established there. They will be welcomed at the border by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and thousands of cheering Israelis.

Do We Want the Direct Negotiations to Succeed?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Abdel-Moneim Said - (Opinion) August 26, 2010 - 12:00am

The parties involved in the Palestinian-Israeli issue have finally settled on starting direct negotiations between the Palestinian National Authority [PA] and the Israeli government to reach a final solution to the conflict between the two sides under the supervision of the United States. And in order to give a strong impetus to the negotiations, a kind of ceremony will be held in the US capital attended by several sides involved in the negotiations, such as the members of the Quartet and the Arab countries that have signed peace treaties with Israel.

Losing a Mentor, Gaining an Opponent
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Jeffay - August 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Three years ago, Naftali Bennett was celebrating with Benjamin Netanyahu. Bennett had just managed Netanyahu’s successful campaign in the Likud primaries, in which the former prime minister won a decisive victory over far-right challenger Moshe Feiglin, cementing his control over the party and paving the way for his return to the premiership. But today, Netanyahu and Bennett, his chief of staff from 2006 to 2008, are at loggerheads.

Can peace be still reached?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - August 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Under much pressure, Palestinian leaders buckled and accepted to hold direct talks, but most Palestinians believe that the intended talks are nothing but a photo opportunity that aims to create the impression of a peace process while avoiding making any substantive commitments.

Lawsuit Accuses IRS of Screening Israel-Related Charities
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Josh Nathan-Kazis - August 25, 2010 - 12:00am

A hawkish pro-Israel activist group has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Internal Revenue Service is impeding or denying applications for tax-exempt status from nonprofit organizations that oppose the Obama administration’s Israel policies. But experts in nonprofit tax law say that the allegations seem far-fetched.

Facing jail, the unarmed activist who dared to take on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - August 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Baroness Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, yesterday issued an unusually sharp rebuke to Israel over a military court's conviction of a Palestinian activist prominent in unarmed protests against the West Bank separation barrier. Lady Ashton said she was "deeply concerned" that Abdallah Abu Rahma was facing a possible jail sentence "to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest against the separation barriers in a non-violent manner".

Israel Refuses Blair Request to Up Electricity to Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - August 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel has balked at a request to boost the amount of electricity it supplies to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on grounds that it didn’t want to cooperate with “a terror organization.” Quartet Representative Tony Blair made the request Monday to Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, Blaire’s spokesman confirmed to The Media Line.

Washington Watch: An inauspicious beginning
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by D. Bloomfield - (Opinion) August 25, 2010 - 12:00am

No sooner had Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the resumption of Mideast peace talks “without preconditions” than the Palestinians threatened to walk out, nearly two weeks before they were even scheduled to begin, unless their conditions were met. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who constantly kvetched that everyone in the world, particularly his Arab brethren, was pressuring him to sit down with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, demanded all Jewish construction in territories he wants for a Palestinian state be frozen before he’d talk.

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