President 'Yes, I Can' Meets Prime Minister 'No, You Won't'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Aaron David Miller - (Opinion) May 17, 2011 - 12:00am

This week at the White House, President "Yes, I can" will sit down with Prime Minister "No, you won't." The main agenda item will be the future of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, an enterprise that might be best described -- at least for now -- as the walking dead. But no matter. When you're the change president, you must believe even when reality tells another tale. Energized by transformative changes in the Arab world and genuinely worried that no negotiations spells trouble for America, President Barack Obama wants to push for big things on the peace process.

Netanyahu, headed to Washington, is pressed to take initiative in peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - May 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Pressed at home and abroad to take the initiative and break the impasse in Middle East peacemaking, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will travel to Washington this week with demands and hints of compromise, while accusing the Palestinians of slamming the door on peace. But with no bold plan of his own to put on the table, Netanyahu has drawn fire from domestic critics who say he risks leaving the field open to the Palestinians, whose drive for recognition of statehood at the United Nations in September is gathering steam.

Obama's Arab-Israeli Options
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
May 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Introduction The Arab uprisings that have swept the Middle East touched Israel directly for the first time, as an unprecedented wave of Palestinian protesters charged toward Israel's borders from four directions on Sunday. With President Obama set to give a major speech on the Middle East on Thursday and with the departure of George Mitchell, the chief United States envoy to the Israelis and Palestinians, the White House is facing new challenges on both sides in dealing with the impasse in peace talks .

Palestinian Authority Delays Elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - May 17, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority said Tuesday that it was delaying local elections scheduled for July until late October in order to organize the voting in Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas. Last month, Hamas and its rival, Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority, announced a surprise unity agreement. Palestinians have not held an election in five years because of a bitter split between the groups. The October poll will indicate how each party is faring as it prepares for legislative and presidential elections within a year, as called for in the unity accord.

Bibi and Barack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Thomas L. Friedman - (Opinion) May 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Reading the headlines from the Middle East these days — Christians and Muslims clashing in Egypt, Syria attempting to crush its democracy rebellion and Palestinians climbing over fences into Israel — you get the sense of a region where the wheels could really start to come off.

Why Israel should welcome Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by David Avital - (Opinion) May 18, 2011 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama’s speech Thursday about the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s impending visit and Special Envoy George Mitchell’s recent resignation, makes this a unique moment for Washington to set a new Mideast policy direction focused on one goal: a borders agreement. Rather than view the U.N. General Assembly meeting in September as a threat to derail Middle East peace, Obama could use the opportunity to move both sides forward and promote a return to negotiations on the border before the U.N. vote.

World Bank finds 'significant' PA progress, some lags
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 18, 2011 - 12:00am

The World Bank released a report Wednesday, commending the Palestinian Authority for its work in creating strong public institutions, but recommended continued reforms to prevent corruption and better public services. The report was released as Palestinian officials continue to push a program of state building in conjunction with diplomatic efforts to have a state recognized by the UN in September. In an opinion article in the New York Times on Tuesday, President Mahmoud Abbas noted that Palestine fits the international guidelines for statehood.

Report: Hamas, Fatah ready to form government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Egypt on Tuesday announced that Hamas and Fatah have reached agreements on all issues discussed in Cairo, particularly the formation of a new government. In a statement issued following their negotiations, the two Palestinian factions pledged on implementing everything they agreed on, according to a report in Egypt's independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm. The meetings were to discuss how to move forward after signing a unity deal in Cairo this month. Both parties were cooperative during the meetings, the Egyptian statement reportedly said.

EU commissioner calls for 'immediate,' opening of Gaza Crossings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 18, 2011 - 12:00am

EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva called for the "immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons," following her trip to the coastal enclave Tuesday. It was a message she also conveyed to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Tel Aviv, when she met with the official after her Gaza visit. Her trip, a statement from her office of International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response said, "highlighted the dramatic human and far-reaching effects of the blockade of the Gaza Strip."

Israel criticises UN response to border deaths
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
May 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel on Wednesday criticised a U.N. envoy for blaming Israeli forces for the fatal shootings of 10 Palestinian protesters at a demonstration on Sunday at the Lebanese frontier, saying he had rushed to judgment. Michael Williams, the U.N. special coordinator for Lebanon, said on Monday Israel had used "disproportionate, deadly force" during the demonstration by Palestinians on the day they mark what they term the catastrophe of Israel's founding in 1948.

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