April 11th

The “Arab Spring” and the Palestinian Cause
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - April 8, 2011 - 12:00am

While the U.S. President Barack Obama may want to dedicate his time to domestic affairs, in order to secure a second term in the White House, he must prepare himself for foreign policy issues intruding into his reelection campaign, especially Middle Eastern issues. This is because the “Arab Spring” may soon be followed by summer, autumn and winter, before it becomes clear whether it will blossom in the manner envisaged by Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution.

PA: State will be ready by September
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 11, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority's Minister of Planning and Development announced Monday the government's "national readiness to establish an independent Palestinian state during September." Minister Ali Al-Jerbawi said the announcement came in line with the successful implementation of the 13th government's plan, "Ending the Occupation, Establishing a State," put out by the now caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in August 2009.

Lieberman: Israel should topple Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel should not settle for a truce with Hamas in Gaza, and should instead seek to topple the Islamist rulers of the coastal strip, Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday. "The goal that we have settled on, of seeking a return to calm, is a grave error because it will allow Hamas to reinforce along the lines of Hezbollah," Lieberman told public radio, referring to the Lebanese militia with which Israel fought a 2006 war, killing 1,200, mostly civilians.

Gaza: Goldstone's recantation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) April 10, 2011 - 12:00am

First there was a veritable storm of fury when the original Goldstone Report was issued.

Time running out for Israel and peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
(Editorial) April 8, 2011 - 12:00am

In the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, it has worked to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s advantage to play for time. It has kept him in power and his conservative coalition government together. But time is no longer on Mr. Netanyahu’s side. A wave of change is coming in the Middle East and at the United Nations, where the Palestinians are building support for a September bid to win UN recognition of a Palestinian state. Far better for the Israeli prime minister to ride this wave, than to be battered by it.

Arabs yearn to move on and enjoy genuine peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) April 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Probably the most important clause in the Arab Peace Initiative, first adopted by the Arab League at the Beirut summit in 2002 and reaffirmed on several occasions including in 2007, is its commitment to “establish normal relations with Israel in the context of [a] comprehensive peace.” This clause represented the culmination of decades of evolution of Arab thinking regarding relations with Israel, and the final repudiation of the Khartoum resolution of 1967, which insisted the Arabs would allow “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.”

Israel and Hamas Consider Cease-Fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - April 10, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel and Hamas signaled on Sunday that they were willing to restore calm after days of intense fighting, and while militants in Gaza fired about 10 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel, most fell in open areas close to the border and Israel did not immediately respond.

April 8th

Israel warns against UN recognition of Palestine. Germany pushes Israel to be more forthcoming on peace. Roger Cohen says Judge Goldstone has created confusion, Oudeh Basharat says he caved under emotional pressure, and lawsuits are filed against him. Up to 10 Palestinians are killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza and several Israelis injured in a Hamas attack on a school bus. Israeli officials call their attack on Hamas members in Sudan “a policy of prevention.” Palestinian Christians demand freedom of access to Jerusalem during Easter. Olympic medalists help to promote sport in the West Bank. Pres. Abbas urges the West to stop Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. The Israeli military claims an anti-missile system successfully intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza. A new flotilla of up to 20 ships is expected for Gaza. Israel officials say Hamas is trying to establish a “balance of terror.” Ha’aretz says leaked documents show Israeli leaders saying different things in public and private. A new poll suggests 78% of Likud members oppose the creation of a Palestinian state. The US may be working to have the Goldstone Report withdrawn. George Hishmeh says Goldstone’s reconsideration’s don’t change the political situation. IPS says Israel is focusing on “soft targets.” Madawi al-Rasheed says tensions in Saudi Arabia, and Nathalie Tocci says the “Arab spring” in general, mean the Arab Peace Initiative is on hold for the moment.

The API in thrall to the Arab spring
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Nathalie Tocci - (Opinion) April 6, 2011 - 12:00am

The Arab Peace Initiative, first endorsed at the Beirut summit in 2002, was born of a specific context. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, what was to become the "moderate" Arab camp was intent on asserting its credentials to the West. Offering Israel full normalization of relations in return for an end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights and an (unspecified) "just" solution to the refugee problem was an unprecedented move.

Saudi dilemmas and the Arab Peace Initiative
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Madawi Al-Rasheed - (Opinion) April 6, 2011 - 12:00am

The Arab Peace Initiative, proposed by Saudi Arabia's then-Crown Prince Abdullah (king since 2005) and announced during the Arab League summit in Beirut in 2002, is hard to resurrect amidst revolutions and protests in the region. Not only was the initiative a stillborn baby, but over time it became a corpse in need of a death ritual. We all know how important such rituals are for the living, but unfortunately, the illusion of peace persists while the reality attests that "no solution has become the solution".

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