Palestinians say if there is no peace agreement by fall they will approach the UN Security Council for recognition, and that this should not result in a decrease in US aid. Israel is under pressure to present peace proposals, or, diplomats say, the Quartet may recognize Palestinian statehood. Palestinian officials say they expect support for statehood from two thirds of UN members, but experts say such a move could backfire. Jewish-American groups debate ways to thwart U.N. recognition of Palestine. Palestinians say they prefer an agreement with Israel. Pres. Abbas, who is visiting Tunis, says the PA will have a new cabinet within a week. Hamas holds a state funeral for a murdered Italian activist, and Charles Glass laments his killing. Palestinian contractors say the PA owes them millions in unpaid bills. A Fatah member dies in Hamas custody. Ha’aretz says Israeli leaders need to think before they speak. The Jerusalem Post interviews the new head of the Israeli Government Press Office. David Newman says the Israeli right has created a crisis of academic freedom. The Forward profiles a new extremely right-wing GOP House member passionately opposed to a two-state solution, and from the left Ahmad Samih Khalidi also dismisses the idea. Yossi Alpher says the peace process is stuck because the parties aren’t interested, and Ghassan Khatib says it has become more process than peace. More prominent international authors join the fight to prevent Israel from deporting a Palestinian bookseller from his own city of Jerusalem.

'PA will get majority UN-recognition for Palestinian state'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
April 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Senior Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Shaath on Tuesday estimated that the Palestinian Authority will be able to gain recognition for a Palestinian state from two-thirds of United Nations member states before September 2011. PA President Mahmoud Abbas was expected to travel to France on Wednesday to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss recognition of an independent Palestinian state. According to the A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Abbas will attempt to convince France to endorse a Palestinian state before the PA approaches the UN in September.

The voice of Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - April 18, 2011 - 12:00am

On January 11, at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s annual new year press conference with the foreign media in Jerusalem, Oren Helman was introduced to the foreign press corps as the Government Press Office’s new head, taking over from Danny Seaman, who had a rather torrid 10-year relationship with the foreign press. In what seemed an effort to turn over a whole new leaf with the reporters, Helman told the journalists gathered that the GPO was there to serve them. The journalists, he said, were the GPO’s clients.

Israeli politicians should think before they speak
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) April 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Isaac Herzog has rich intelligence experience. He was an officer in the intelligence-gathering department of Military Intelligence, and his father, Chaim Herzog, was in British intelligence and twice headed the Intelligence Corps in the Israel Defense Forces. Who more than Isaac Herzog could be expected to have internalized the hoary axiom of field security that once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be called back?

Thoughts on academic freedom at Pessah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by David Newman - (Opinion) April 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Our festivals can be treated in many ways. Some ignore them altogether. Others are content with the rituals, the food and the family gatherings. And for others, it is a time for contemplation, trying to insert contemporary significance into events that happened thousands of years ago. Pessah is when we contemplate the meaning of freedom. All too often it is physical freedom we think about. We read the story of the Jewish people’s liberation from Egyptian slavery and the transformation into an independent and free nation.

Palestinian UN diplomat: Palestinians prefer peace treaty with Israel by September
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
April 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Riyad Mansour, the top Palestinian diplomat at the United Nations, said the Palestinians prefer to have a peace treaty with Israel by September, the month when the Palestinians plan on taking their case for an independent state to the floor of the UN. The Palestinians say that if a peace treaty with Israel isn't reached by September their first choice is to go to the UN Security Council with such strong support and arguments that it would recommend admission of Palestine as a new member of the United Nations.

Statehood May Be Pyrrhic Victory for Palestinians, Experts Warn
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - (Opinion) April 18, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian quest for statehood received seals of approval from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations in the past week, marking another advance towards the goal of winning United Nations’ endorsement this September. But legal and political analysts warn that the independence campaign may backfire, causing Israeli to dig in its heels on future peace talks, creating problems with the U.S. and perhaps even losing Palestinians the right to make claims on Israel in future negotiations.

Report: Quartet may formally recognize Palestinian state if peace talks not renewed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
April 19, 2011 - 12:00am

American and European diplomats warned that if peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are not renewed, the Quartet of Mideast peace makers may formally recognize a Palestinian state, the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday. The Quartet, which is comprised of the United States, United Nations, European Union, and Russia, was supposed to meet last week to discuss an initiative by Britain, France and Germany to restart stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks by proposing the outlines of a final settlement to their long conflict.

A West Bank anachronism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ahmad Samih Khalidi - April 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Barring unforeseen developments, it appears as if the PLO and its Ramallah-based arm, the Palestinian Authority, it appears, will head to the UN general assembly in September seeking international recognition of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Via a mechanism known as "uniting for peace", the idea is to bypass the stalemated and futile bilateral negotiations with Israel and circumvent an inevitable US veto at the security council by securing general assembly sanction for a Palestinian state.

Palestinians reject possible U.S. aid deduction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 18, 2011 - 12:00am

A Palestinian official on Monday rejected any possible U.S. reduction of aid if the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) sought an international recognition of independence. The U.S. threats against the Palestinians "reflect a complete U. S. bias to the Israeli policies and arrogance in dealing with the Palestinians and their legitimate rights," said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee.

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