The Washington Post asks if the “Arab Spring” will bring about a broad-based peace agreement with Israel. An Italian activist is murdered by extremists in Gaza. Hamas arrests suspects and most Palestinian groups denounce the killing. Aaron David Miller says it would be a “dumb idea” for Palestinians to seek statehood at the UN. David Makovsky says the US has unwisely relegated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the sidelines. The Senate passes a resolution asking the UN to rescind the Goldstone Report. The EU opens its market to Palestinian exports. Turkey tells Israel it’s not responsible for Gaza flotillas. PM Netanyahu will address Congress next month. The Israeli official in charge of negotiating the release of a captured soldier is resigning. Israeli settlers wound a Palestinian in the West Bank. Palestinians inaugurate the first West Bank international soccer stadium. Ha’aretz says FM Lieberman must resign now. Carlo Strenger says that Hamas’ ideology is dooming it to irrelevance. The UK will send an observer to the next Israeli Jerusalem “zoning committee” meeting. Palestinians seek US support for statehood. Former PM Olmert condemns Goldstone’s reconsideration as “too little, too late.” Tensions have not affected Israeli-Turkish trade. A California university withdraws backing from a conference on Palestinian rights. George Hishmeh notes that more Americans than ever think the US isn’t doing enough to solve the conflict. Omar Rahman says Israel should accept the terms of the Arab Peace Initiative, and Yossi Alpher agrees but with “minor interpretations.” Interfaith leaders urge Pres. Obama to lay out the key principles for Middle East peace.

Religious Leaders Urge Presidential Leadership for Arab-Israeli-Palestinian Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
April 14, 2011 - 12:00am

In response to the launching of a new Israeli Peace Initiative by former Israeli government, intelligence and security officials, leaders of twenty-five Jewish, Christian and Muslim national religious organizations wrote to President Obama saying that they believe “this initiative, the earlier Arab Peace Initiative and the Geneva Accord, taken together, offer key principles and ideas for comprehensive Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace.” (Letter and endorsers attached.)

Accept with minor "interpretations"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) April 13, 2011 - 12:00am

There is a certain formalistic justification in Israel's standoffish attitude toward the Arab Peace Initiative. After all, the API was never seriously "marketed" to Israel. The concluding paragraph of the API asks every relevant institution in the international community to "pursue the necessary contacts to gain support for this initiative"--everyone, that is, except Israel itself, the target of the initiative. At one point a few years ago, in response to protest over this lacuna, the Arab League sent the Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers to Jerusalem to present the API.

Save a generation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Omar Rahman - (Opinion) April 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Just over one week after the ninth anniversary of the Arab Peace Initiative, some leaders within the Israeli business and security community have found the need to address this monumental peace proposal with a "partner declaration" of their own.

Israel’s next step
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) April 15, 2011 - 12:00am

There has been much good news this week for the Arab world, thanks to the successful uprisings against autocratic regimes ushered in by the glorious Arab Spring and the uplifting responses that followed from various world spots. An “overwhelming majority”, or two thirds (65 per cent) of Americans, more Democrats than Republicans, believe that “greater democracy in the Middle East would be positive for the United States”. And in the long run, more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of Americans say democratisation would be mostly positive for the US.

Calif. law school draws fire for disavowing Palestinian rights conference
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
April 14, 2011 - 12:00am

A San Francisco Bay Area law school is under fire for withdrawing its support of a Palestinian rights conference on its campus. On Tuesday, officials at the University of California at Hastings College of the Law revealed that they had made a last-minute decision to remove the school's name from “Litigating Palestine,” a conference devoted to using the courts to promote Palestinian rights. At a March 24 meeting, the school’s board of directors also canceled a welcoming speech by the university dean scheduled for the next morning, when the two-day conference opened.

Ties Remain Strained, But Turkey and Israel Keep on Trading
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Arieh O'Sullivan - April 14, 2011 - 12:00am

Just as diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey appear at rock bottom, bilateral trade between Israel and Turkey have reached an all-time high, indicating that commercial interests can trump political differences. Turkey pulled out its ambassador from Israel almost a year ago and when Israel’s current envoy to Ankara leaves this summer it isn’t planning to fill his slot. That is in order to “spare us the embarrassment of having the Turks reject him,” in the words of one Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Goldstone’s regrets are too little, too late
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ehud Olmert - (Opinion) April 15, 2011 - 12:00am

The judge cannot be released from his personal responsibility for a totally wrong and vicious description of what really happened in Gaza. His vague statement is a poor attempt to cleanse his conscience. Recent events in Gaza, where dozens of long-range missiles have been launched at our cities, hit innocent civilians and prevented our citizens from continuing with their routine activities, cannot be tolerated. The State of Israel cannot but take the necessary measures in order to bring this to an immediate end.

PA seeks US support for statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Elior Levy - April 14, 2011 - 12:00am

While Palestinian Authority is taking major steps to prepare for its impending declaration of an independent state, bitterness is evident among West Bank leaders at the US' reluctance to take a strong stance on the issue. The recent reports by the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund all indicate that the PA has established the necessary governmental institutions, and is ready to function independently.

UK sends observer to Jerusalem zoning cmte. meeting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ronen Medzini - April 14, 2011 - 12:00am

The British Embassy sent an observer to a recent meeting held by Jerusalem's District Planning and Building committee, Ynet learned Thursday. The committee holds weekly meetings to discuss and advance various municipal plans, meant to promote the welfare of all Jerusalemites, but while other municipal committees of this nature are purely professional, the capital's zoning committee's activities are perceived as political. Jerusalem's committee has the power to green-light building permits beyond the Green Line. Such moves are often subject to international censure.

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