Jeffrey Goldberg and Hussein Ibish look at practical steps that could be taken to improve the atmosphere for peace. Leaked documents suggest the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships may have taken different public and private positions, and PBS looks at the background. Aaron David Miller says everything important in the documents has been in the public record since at least 2000. Hamas says it no longer recognizes Pres. Abbas’ right to negotiate with Israel. PLO officials say US credibility is at stake in a possible UN vote on settlements. Ireland upgrades the PLO mission and Israel expresses concerns about European recognition of Palestine. Carlo Strenger says Israel needs peace. The demolition of Palestinian homes in “Area C” tripled in 2010. Palestinians insist Israeli excavations under holy sites are dangerous. Israel arrests 13 Palestinians in Jerusalem accused of murdering two people and other crimes. Abbas expresses condolences to Pres. Peres on the death of his wife. Nathan Jeffay says DM Barak left the Labor Party to preserve his career. Rami Khouri says Israel’s positions are unreasonable. Ghassan Khatib says peace should be based on international legitimacy, and not referenda.

Good News From the Middle East (Really)
In Print by Hussein Ibish - The New York Times (Editorial) - January 25, 2011 - 1:00am

IT has lately become the accepted wisdom that the Middle East peace process is dead, finished, kaput. This belief has been reinforced by Al Jazeera’s release this week of some 1,600 documents that are said to describe the inside workings of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in 2008.

Police: Palestinian cell murdered US tourist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Omri Efraim - January 26, 2011 - 1:00am

Thirteen men suspected of killing two women near Jerusalem, committing rape and robberies. According to police, cell's motives were criminal at first but turned terrorist after Hamas commander's murder Police have uncovered a Palestinian cell responsible for the murder of American tourist Kristine Luken and the attempted murder of tour guide Kaye Susan Wilson in a forest near Jerusalem last month, it was cleared for publication Wednesday. The 13 cell members are also suspected of committing 21 different crimes between 1997 and 2010.

New Jerusalem tunnel will damage Temple Mount, Palestinians say
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yair Ettinger, Nir Hasson - January 26, 2011 - 1:00am

The tunnel leading from the City of David in Silwan to beneath the walls of Jerusalem's Old City, excavated by the Israel Antiquities Authority and announced to media fanfare Sunday, is drawing fire from Palestinians who claim it will damage the Temple Mount. Parts of the tunnel come within just a few meters of the Western Wall, contrary to Antiquities Authority claims yesterday, but officials stress that the religiously sensitive parts of the tunnel were not dug by the agency. They were dug out many years ago, and were merely reexposed by the project, they say.

'Demolition of Palestinian homes in West Bank's Area C tripled in 2010'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - January 26, 2011 - 1:00am

The number of Palestinian residences demolished by Israel's Civil Administration in the part of the West Bank under full Israeli control tripled last year compared to 2009, data complied by B'Tselem shows. Attorney Shlomo Lecker, who has represented the Jahalin Bedouin tribe in the West Bank for years, attributed the increase in Area C demolitions directly to the increased pressure applied over the last two years by both settlers and a new organization, Regavim.

Israel's first step to Mideast peace: Opening the door, Obama style
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Carlo Strenger - (Opinion) January 21, 2011 - 1:00am

In the last few weeks an important event was largely missed by the Israeli media, which was busy covering the Moshe Katsav ruling, among other issues. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas presented his offer for a final status agreement with Israel to the United States, and is now awaiting an Israeli response. It has been reported that Yitzhak Molcho, on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, refused to receive this document from the Americans. His justification: making this document public would immediately destroy Netanyahu's coalition.

Ireland upgrades PA mission
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ronen Medzini - January 25, 2011 - 1:00am

Ireland becomes first EU member to take such measure; Israel says move detrimental to peace process The Irish government decided Tuesday to upgrade the Palestinian diplomatic mission in the country. Ireland is the first European Union member to announce such a move, which was initiated by the Irish foreign minister. However, the upgrade does not constitute Irish recognition of a Palestinian state.

Israel worries over possible EU states' recognition of Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Dave Bender - January 25, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel's efforts to stem a rising tide of recognition of a Palestinian state received a blow Tuesday afternoon, with Ireland's decision to upgrade the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Dublin to that of an embassy. The announcement, broadcast by Israel Army Radio, followed a symbolic gesture of recognition by Peru on Monday. Sources at Israel's foreign ministry said officials had been discussing the possibility, and foresaw even more states following suit.

Abbas to Peres: We must not kill the peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Greer Fay Cashman - January 26, 2011 - 1:00am

PA president calls counterpart to express condolences on wife's passing, says should "stand together" against forces seeking to delegitimize PA. "We must not kill the peace process," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told President Shimon Peres on Wednesday when he telephoned to express his condolences on the passing of the president's wife, Sonia Peres.

PLO: US credibility at stake in UN settlement vote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Abdullah Rebhi - January 26, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian negotiator Nabil Sha'ath warned that Washington risks losing "any credibility as a peace broker" if it vetoes a UN Security Council resolution calling for a halt to Israeli settlement building. The Palestinians will address the 15-member Security Council "whether or not the United States wants it," Sha'ath told reporters late on Monday in Doha, where he was speaking to Al-Jazeera TV, and confirming the authenticity of the leaked "Palestine Papers" on peace talks with Israel.

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