Martin Indyk says there are four reasons for optimism on negotiations. Ben Smith decodes peace process rhetoric. Palestinians say settlers assault a nine-year-old child. Pres. Abbas says the PLO will negotiate in spite of Palestinian opposition. The Israeli military continues a crackdown on soldiers posing with Palestinian prisoners. A Palestinian human rights group says Hamas is preparing to close its operations in Gaza. PM Netanyahu proposes biweekly meetings with Abbas during negotiations, and is maintaining a careful ambiguity on settlements. Israel's negotiating team will be led by Yitzak Molcho and include only four people. Aluf Benn says Netanyahu may prove to be Israel's Gorbachev. The US is reportedly proposing signing an agreement within one year to be implemented over 10. An Israeli Cabinet minister says any settlement freeze should also apply to Palestinian construction. Ahmed Moor says Lebanon's new rules for Palestinian refugees don't go far enough. A book advocating the killing of non-Jews test the limits of free speech in Israel. Palestinian artists and advertisers use the separation barrier as a blank canvas. Ahmad Majdoubeh says Abbas needs more Arab backing.

Abbas needs to be backed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Ahmad Majdoubeh - (Opinion) August 26, 2010 - 11:00pm


In the Arab world, most people who talk or write about the envisaged involvement of Palestinians in direct negotiations with Israel without preconditions or a clear roadmap express either much fear or much scepticism. While these are justified to a degree, they should not prevent the Arabs from backing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas fully, since go he will.


West Bank Security Barrier Draws Artists and Advertisers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Daniel Estrin - August 24, 2010 - 11:00pm


What many Israelis see as a security barrier, and many Palestinians see as a prison wall, Majd Abdel Hamid sees as a blank canvas. “It’s really tempting as an artist,” said Abdel Hamid, a 22-year-old Ramallah-based painter. Back in 2007, Abdel Hamid and two assistants spent two 10-hour days painting a 130-foot-long portion of the barrier that separates Israel from the West Bank. On the concrete slabs, they stenciled a jumble of Arabic letters. Unscrambled, the letters spell out the Palestinian Declaration of Independence, written in 1988 by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.


A Grim Teaching
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Ideas Daily
by Yehudah Mirsky - August 26, 2010 - 11:00pm


Every first-year law student knows that hard cases make bad law. In Israel, a particularly hard case lies in the ongoing controversy around an inflammatory Hebrew-language volume of Jewish religious law (halakhah) that offers justifications for violent treatment of non-Jews in general and of Israel's foes in particular. The debate has highlighted longstanding divisions within Israeli society; now that the courts and the police have gotten into the act, it has also highlighted the difficulties of drawing meaningful lines between free speech and incitement.


A Grim Teaching
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Ideas Daily
by Yehudah Mirsky - August 26, 2010 - 11:00pm


Every first-year law student knows that hard cases make bad law. In Israel, a particularly hard case lies in the ongoing controversy around an inflammatory Hebrew-language volume of Jewish religious law (halakhah) that offers justifications for violent treatment of non-Jews in general and of Israel's foes in particular. The debate has highlighted longstanding divisions within Israeli society; now that the courts and the police have gotten into the act, it has also highlighted the difficulties of drawing meaningful lines between free speech and incitement.


Lebanon's law on Palestinian workers does not go far enough
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ahmed Moor - (Opinion) August 26, 2010 - 11:00pm


Beirut pulses with expatriate lives. Foreign nationals come from everywhere for lots of different reasons. Some of them are here to teach, others come to learn Arabic, and still others come to write. Few of them stay for 62 years.


Edelstein: Palestinians should halt building as well
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman - August 26, 2010 - 11:00pm


If the Palestinians demand the continuation of the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria beyond the 10-month moratorium, Israel should insist that the freeze be reciprocated, Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein said on Thursday. Edelstein, a Neveh Daniel resident who is the only Likud minister who lives in the West Bank, intends to tell Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Sunday’s Likud ministerial meeting that he should demand a Palestinian construction freeze in his negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that are set to begin in Washington next week.


PM forms small negotiation team to prevent leaks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Atilla Somfalvi - August 25, 2010 - 11:00pm


Ahead of next week's direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has formed a small team of advisors to lead the negotiations, under his supervision. The PM opted for a small negotiating team in an effort to prevent leaks during the talks with the Palestinians, which are due to kick off in Washington September 2. On Thursday, Netanyahu was expected to meet with the advisors, including Attorney Yitzhak Molcho, Ron Dermer, Military Secretary Maj.- Gen. Yohanan Locker and National Security Council Director Uzi Arad.


US wants agreement now, peace later
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Shimon Shiffer - August 26, 2010 - 11:00pm


The Obama administration plans to present Israel and the Palestinian Authority with a new outline aimed at ending the Middle East conflict. The Yedioth Ahronoth daily has learned that the Americans will pressure the parties to sign a framework agreement for a permanent settlement within one year, but that the agreement itself woulbe implemented within 10 years.


Netanyahu may be a latter-day Gorbachev
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) August 26, 2010 - 11:00pm


The opening of the direct talks with the Palestinians again raises the question: Who is Benjamin Netanyahu? Is he our Gorbachev, a great reformer who will end Israeli rule in the territories? A "Nixon who went to China" - a right-winger who disavowed his former approach and changed the balance of power with a brilliant diplomatic stroke? Or is he the "old Bibi" depicted by his rivals, the illusionist who is afraid of daddy Benzion and wife Sara, the uptight leader who flinches from making decisions and passes time by dribbling the ball?



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