September 30th

The UN Human Rights Council endorses a report on the Gaza flotilla attack accusing Israeli troops of summary executions. Japan calls for a settlement freeze. The PA vows to support olive farmers. Baroness Ashton will join Mideast peace efforts. Palestinians reiterate their position on settlements. Analysts think another intifada is unlikely even if talks fail. Yossi Verter calls FM Lieberman's UN speech “petty politics.” Shlomo Sand says insecurity about identity is the heart of PM Netanyahu's demands on Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The US is pushing for a two-month moratorium extension. Netanyahu affirms that he is in charge of Israeli policy. Palestinians say Israel will be to blame if talks collapse over settlements. Jewish activists on a Gaza a boat claim they were abused by Israeli troops. Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid calls Pres. Abbas "the world's worst negotiator." Randa Takieddine looks at the French role in negotiations. Daoud Kuttab says international “disappointment” with Israel's policies is not enough.

A Jewish state or an Israeli democracy?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shlomo Sand - September 25, 2010 - 11:00pm


A Jewish state or an Israeli democracy? In the talks that appear to be taking place between Israel and the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked his negotiating partner to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. One can understand the prime minister: A man so little observant of the Jewish religious tradition is unsure of his Jewish identity, hence his insecurity about the identity of his state - and the need to seek validation from our neighbors.


'Obama guarantees Bibi: Only 2 more months of freeze'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - September 29, 2010 - 11:00pm


The Obama administration is pressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to extend the settlement construction moratorium by two months, Jewish senators were told at a White House briefing.


Netanyahu to US: I'm leading Israel's policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Atilla Somfalvi - September 28, 2010 - 11:00pm


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Wednesday with US special envoy George Mitchell, who arrived in Israel in a bid to save the peace talks following the end of the settlement construction freeze. The two officials were forced to deal with another issue – Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's UN General Assembly address on Tuesday, in which he mentioned his land exchange plan and said that it could "take decades" to reach a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians.


PA official: Israel to be blamed if talks breakdown
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
September 29, 2010 - 11:00pm


Palestinian officials on Wednesday expressed skepticism about the resumption of peace talks and signaled they would accept nothing less than an extension of the West Bank settlement construction moratorium ahead of the scheduled arrival of US Mideast Envoy George Mitchell and European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton to the region on Thursday. Veteran Palestinian negotiator Nabil Sha'ath said Israel should be blamed for any breakdown of the negotiations if it insists on expanding settlements on lands claimed by the Palestinians for their state.


Israeli forces 'Tasered' activist on Gaza aid boat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
September 28, 2010 - 11:00pm


Yonatan Shapira, an Israeli air force pilot turned peace activist, said he was shocked with a Taser gun while passively resisting arrest. And a British journalist said he was "ambushed" and "almost strip-searched" by commandos on board the vessel. Israel's military had said the vessel was seized peacefully on Tuesday. It declined to comment on the activists' accounts. Earlier this year, Israeli commandos killed nine people in clashes on board a Turkish ship trying to reach Gaza.


Lieberman's speech / Petty politics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Verter - (Opinion) September 28, 2010 - 11:00pm


Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama told the UN General Assembly that "petty politics" must not be allowed to get in the way of Israeli-Palestinian peace. Five days later, Israel's foreign minister addressed the same forum and showed everyone whom Obama was talking about. Petty politics is Israel's specialty.


Obama sets out guarantees to Netanyahu for 60-day freeze extension
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - September 28, 2010 - 11:00pm


The Obama administration reportedly is promising Israel broad security and diplomatic guarantees in exchange for extending a settlement moratorium by 60 days. According to an article posted Wednesday evening by David Makovsky, a senior analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a letter from President Obama to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledges that the United States will: *Not ask for additional extensions on the partial ban on settlement building, which expired Sunday;


How did They Deceive Abu-Mazen?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed - (Opinion) September 28, 2010 - 11:00pm


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas deserves the award for the world's Worst Negotiator. Currently, he can celebrate one of two possibilities: either negotiations will be terminated, or settlement construction will be suspended. Despite my appreciation of the noble man, he made a mistake by simplifying the demands of the Palestinian people into one request; namely that all settlement constructions are ceased. This has now become the highest of his ambitions.


Paris’s Role in the Peace Talk
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Randa Takieddine - September 28, 2010 - 11:00pm


Benjamin Netanyahu did not, and will not heed the calls of his friends and allies to freeze settlement building and suspend the decision to re-allow the construction of settlements after September 26. But in truth, no one in the Arab world had any illusions that Netanyahu will respond to the calls of the U.S. administration or the European Union (EU), specifically the calls of his friend French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who urged him to extend the freeze on settlements.



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