September 3rd

President Obama flexes muscles
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Ben Smith - September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The launch of new direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders Thursday was the result of a rare flexing of U.S. muscle by President Barack Obama, whose extended hand has left him fewer opportunities for foreign policy chest thumping than his predecessor had. The Obama administration was able to force two reluctant adversaries to put tricky domestic politics aside and agree to show up for an unpredictable, unscripted series of meetings every two weeks, the next to be held in Egypt on September 14-15.

Peace this time? Even a lapsed optimist must hope
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Shlomo Avineri - (Opinion) September 3, 2010 - 12:00am

The resumption in Washington of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is good news. But whether these talks will lead to an agreement, let alone within one year as US President Barack Obama hopes, is another matter. When Obama, two days into his presidency, appointed former Senator George Mitchell as his special envoy to the Middle East, many hoped that within two years his efforts would lead to an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians – and to a comprehensive peace between Israel and all its Arab neighbors.

Contested Settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Hussein Ibish - September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories has proved to be among the most serious irritants in the U.S.-Israel relationship. It is also one of the most significant obstacles to a negotiated settlement. But with direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations kicking off this week and Israel's partial settlement freeze set to expire in a few weeks, the issue is once again poised to come to the forefront of the Middle East peace process.

Camp David Redux: A Look Back At Lessons Learned
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from National Public Radio (NPR)
(Interview) September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

MELISSA BLOCK, host: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Im Melissa Block. ROBERT SIEGEL, host: And Im Robert Siegel. The resumption of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians in Washington this week, reminded us of the last time the parties aimed at settling their differences with an American president as mediator. Ten summers ago, there were two weeks of talks at Camp David. President Bill Clinton hoped to settle the conflict once and for all.

As Mideast talks begin, Clinton urges Israelis, Palestinians to seek 'future of peace'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Scott Wilson - September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The Obama administration formally innaugurated its foray into Middle East peacemaking on Thursday, bringing together the Israeli and Palestinian leaders for face-to-face talks and securing their pledge to meet every two weeks to pursue an end to the decades-old conflict.

Mideast peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) September 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Direct talks have begun between the Palestinians and Israelis in Washington after a 20-month hiatus and to give the negotiations a good start, President Barack Obama organized a glittering political gathering. Not only were Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there, so were Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdallah of Jordan.

Experts Fear Mideast Talks Are Too Ambitious
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

As the Israeli and Palestinian leaders pledged at the peace summit meeting in Washington this week to try to resolve the core issues that have long divided their people and bloodied the land, a growing number of stakeholders here in Israel worried that the two sides were aiming too high.

Settlements in West Bank Are Clouding Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Helene Cooper, Mark Landler - September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators cleared the first hurdle on Thursday in their elusive quest for Middle East peace: they agreed to keep talking, two weeks from now in Egypt. But on a richly choreographed day of diplomacy, filled with solemn promises to tackle the tough issues dividing them, the Israeli and Palestinian leaders did not confront the one issue that could sink these talks in three weeks: whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will extend a moratorium on the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

September 2nd

The Future Palestinian State Takes Root
In Print by Hussein Ibish - The Wall Street Journal (Opinion) - September 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Many contentious issues could bedevil the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that began Wednesday, but on one subject both sides can largely agree: The state-building program launched last year by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has made measurable progress. While the terrorist group Hamas rules in the Gaza Strip, Palestinians in the West Bank are trying to build the framework of a future state.

Contested Settlement
In Print by Hussein Ibish - Foreign Policy (Analysis) - September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017