January 25th

Wave in favor of Palestine gathers momentum
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) January 23, 2011 - 1:00am

PLO’s permanent delegation in Washington has been allowed to fly the Palestinian flag over its building ISRAEL IS, as we well know, the land of unlimited impossibilities. In Israel, for example, the diplomats are striking. Postmen strike. Longshoremen strike. But diplomats — the most conservative, the most establishment people? Well, in Israel it is possible. All the Foreign Office services have ceased to function. For years, these people have suffered from miserable working conditions. Their salaries are bordering on the ridiculous. So they went on strike.

Documents Open a Door on Mideast Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - January 25, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks over the past 17 years have operated at two levels, one public, the other behind closed doors. To the world and their own people, each side spoke of sacred, nonnegotiable demands, while in the Jerusalem hotel suites where the officials met those very demands were under negotiation.

Palestinians insist leaked memos from peace process reveal nothing new
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from PBS
by Sal Gentile - January 24, 2011 - 1:00am

Leaked memos from a decade of negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials roiled the Mideast peace process and put the embattled Palestinian Authority on the defensive Monday. But moderate Palestinian observers and officials close to the government of President Mahmoud Abbas insisted that the documents reveal relatively little about the negotiations that isn’t already known. And if anything, they say, the records expose how uncooperative the Israeli and American governments have been throughout the process.

Counterpoint: Palestinians and the U.N.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Aaron David Miller - January 24, 2011 - 1:00am

On Jan. 21, Hanan Ashrawi, the veteran Palestinian negotiator and politician, argued on these pages (“Palestinians, America and the U.N.”) that the Palestinians are justified in raising the issue of Israeli settlements before the U.N. Security Council, and that Washington should support them. The debate is joined. A bad idea

January 24th

US diplomacy on Israeli-Palestinian peace appears stalled. An Israeli panel finds the Gaza flotilla attack to have been lawful. Egypt links Palestinian extremists based in Gaza to the bombing of a church in Alexandria. Al Jazeera releases documents purporting to show Palestinian concessions to Israel during negotiations several years ago. Intolerance is reportedly increasing in Israel. Aaron David Miller says the Obama administration must proceed cautiously. Mohammed Khatib and Jonathan Pollak say Palestinian nonviolent protests will continue despite an Israeli crackdown. FM Lieberman proposes an interim plan. A Palestinian village in "Area C" of the West Bank is cut off from the outside world. A Palestinian reporter may be tried for mocking Pres. Abbas. Akiva Eldar and Jonathan Freedland both say the leaks prove Israel has had a peace partner all along. The US says it cannot vouch for the leaks' veracity, and UN officials say they create an "inaccurate impression" of the Palestinian leadership. The Guardian purports to explain how and why the papers were released. The Washington Institute releases maps of possible land swaps. Robert Grenier says the leaks may show the peace process is over.

Serry: Leaked papers 'convey an inaccurate impression'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Lahav Harkov - January 24, 2011 - 1:00am

UN coordinator responds to 'The Palestine Papers,' saying PA is committed to securing "the legitimate rights and interests" of Palestinians. The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process said on Monday that the commentary on the leaked "Palestine Papers" is inaccurate. "I welcome robust political debate, but some of the commentary I have seen conveys an inaccurate impression," Robert Serry said in a statement.

Egypt Links Palestinians to Attack at Church
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Michael Slackman - January 23, 2011 - 1:00am

Egypt’s interior minister charged Sunday that a Palestinian extremist group with links to Al Qaeda was behind the Dec. 31 bombing outside a church in Alexandria that killed 21 people and set off days of sectarian rioting around the nation. In a nationally televised speech, the minister, Habib el-Adly, said the authorities had “conclusive evidence” linking the attack on Egyptian Christians to the Army of Islam, a militant group based in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Panel Rules Flotilla Raid Legal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - January 24, 2011 - 1:00am

An Israeli commission that examined the deadly raid on a flotilla bound for Gaza last May concluded Sunday that Israel had acted in accordance with international law when its military enforced its naval blockade by intercepting the ships in international waters.

Washington Institute unveils land swap proposals
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
January 24, 2011 - 1:00am

A pro-Israel U.S. think tank released proposals that would reconcile allowing a majority of the settlers to stay in place with a Palestinian state through commensurate land swaps. The detailed proposal, released Jan. 20 by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, nods to longstanding Palestinian demands for a return to 1967 lines by adhering to one-to-one land swaps. Under the proposal, 68 percent to 80 percent of settlers would remain in place, and the Palestinian state would receive Israeli lands adjacent to the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Desert and parts of the West Bank.

The Palestine papers: Al-Jazeera trumps WikiLeaks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - January 24, 2011 - 1:00am

While the leaked documents on Middle East negotiations are received in Israel and in the world as incisive evidence of the moderate positions of the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas, the Hamas leadership as well as Abbas' rivals in Fatah will see the documents as additional proof of what they call the "defeatism" of the PA. Abbas is constantly treading the thin line between his will to acquire the sympathy of the Israeli and international public and his need to guard his back from the knives of his rivals at home.

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