April 14th

Israel on the back foot
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) April 14, 2011 - 12:00am

There has been lots of good news in the Arab world this week, thanks to the successful uprisings against autocratic regimes ushered in by the glorious Arab Spring and the international community’s encouraging response. 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 US”. And in the long run, more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of Americans say democratisation would be mostly positive for the US.

New U.S. peace push must come soon - Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ali Sawafta - April 13, 2011 - 12:00am

The United States must move fast on its planned drive to revive Middle East talks before Palestinians seek recognition as a state, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday. "It's time for the American administration to move before September," the spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdainah, said.

America,s Arab comeback - except for Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) April 14, 2011 - 12:00am

The past few months have seen no anti-American demonstrations and no burning of US flags across the Arab world. Arabs seem increasingly willing to accept - and even applaud - the Obama administration’s policy towards the region. Of course, Arabs are still unhappy with the continued US bias in favour of Israel. Its inability to end the 44-year military occupation of Palestinian lands has not gone unnoticed. But many Arabs nowadays prefer to give the US a break.

Fatah wins Bethlehem University elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Fatah has won the student council elections at Bethlehem University in a vote that was boycotted by Hamas. Fatah picked up 18 seats, defeating a joint list by the Popular and Democratic Fronts for the Liberation of Palestine that won 13. About 60 percent of students participated in the elections, student elections officials said. Hamas and Islamic Jihad boycotted the vote and others at universities in the Fatah-run West Bank.

Fayyad claims 'birth certificate' for Palestinian statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Caretaker prime minister Salam Fayyad said Wednesday that UN endorsement of his administration's readiness to govern amounted to "a birth certificate" for statehood. Fayyad made the claim after the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process said in a report that the Palestinian Authority was "sufficient for a functioning government of a state."

Fatah insists 'there are no political prisoners'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 14, 2011 - 12:00am

No promises were made to meet pro-unity protestors’ demands, and no political prisoners were being held, a Fatah official told Ma’an Thursday. Ma’an released documents Tuesday, which March 15 demonstrators say detail the names, detention dates and court verdicts ordering the release of 23 men being held illegally by the Palestinian Authority, and whom Abbas promised to release.

Palestinians build support for statehood at Brussels meeting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - April 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinians accelerated their drive toward statehood recognition at an international meeting in Brussels Wednesday, but it comes amid worry that Middle East unrest may further complicate prospects for peace by altering the regional landscape. With peace talks with Israel already mothballed, Palestinians are pursuing a United Nations vote on statehood in September – a goal that seems more likely after foreign donors heard upbeat endorsements of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) ability to govern a sovereign state.

Blowback: Israel's bogus narrative on Palestinian refugees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Ghada Karmi - (Opinion) April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Ghada Karmi, author of "In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story," responds to The Times' April 7 article on Lifta, the last intact pre-1948 Palestinian village.

Israeli Foreign Minister Faces Indictment on Corruption Charges
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - April 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel’s attorney general on Wednesday announced his intention to indict the foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, on corruption charges, but said he would allow Mr. Lieberman a hearing to contest an indictment before issuing a formal charge sheet. Charges against the Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, involve accusations that while in the private sector he used a company to funnel illicit gifts and contributions.

April 13th

The UN praises Palestinian progress toward statehood and says they are ready for independence on six key criteria. Sec. Clinton says US plans new initiative on Israeli-Palestinian peace. Four Palestinians die in a Gaza tunnel collapse as the territory’s only commercial crossing is reopened. PM Fayyad meets with donors in Brussels, requesting $5 billion over three years. An Israeli official says the US would veto a Security Council resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood, but others think the US will have a hard time being isolated. Palestinians urge the US to take a clear position on peace. Pres. Abbas says Israel should cease settlement activity so talks can restart. Israel says Hamas leaders are split on continuing a de facto truce. Ha’aretz says a partial West Bank pullout won’t prevent Palestinian statehood, and Aluf Benn says the idea “reeks of irrational desperation.” PM Netanyahu does not meet with a Canadian teenage pop star after all. Quartet Envoy Tony Blair says Palestinians are ready for statehood. Israel may allow a new flotilla to dock in Gaza. Herb Keinon says a UN General Assembly recognition of Palestine might not be very meaningful in practice. The Independent looks at the struggle of the Palestinian businessman to rebuild his home in Beit Jala. Hamad Al-Majed denounces Iranian support for Hamas. Bruce Riedel reviews Jordan’s King Abdullah’s new book on Arab-Israeli peace which warns that time is running out quickly.

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