The Israeli reality that Obama doesn't understand
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Merav Michaeli - (Opinion) May 23, 2011 - 12:00am

"President Obama doesn't understand the reality," according to "associates" of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke after the meeting between the two leaders. And when that is the headline of the daily Yisrael Hayom, it is clearly Netanyahu's headline: "President Obama doesn't understand the reality."

Netanyahu caught unprepared by Obama's stern message
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Adam Gonn - May 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried on Sunday to smooth over speculation of a personal falling out with United States President Barack Obama. It was during a televised meeting between the two at the White House on Friday that Netanyahu, in unusually blunt words, criticized Obama for his Middle East policy speech delivered the previous day.

Obama's speeches lay basis for peace process: PLO official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 23, 2011 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama's recent speeches have laid the basis for starting a serious peace process between the Palestinians and Israel, an official of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said Monday. Yasser Abed Rabbo of the PLO added that it is possible for the Palestinians to resume negotiations with Israel in line with Obama 's vision that the borders between Israel and the future Palestinian state should be the pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps. However, Abed Rabbo stressed that Israel must accept Obama's calls first.

Obama eases Israeli anger on Mideast peace vision
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Caren Bohan, Matt Spetalnick - May 22, 2011 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama on Sunday eased Israeli anger over his new Middle East peace proposals when he made clear that the Jewish state would likely be able to negotiate keeping some settlements in any final deal with the Palestinians. Obama repeated his view that long-stalled peace talks should start on the basis of Israel's 1967 borders, an assertion that had infuriated Israeli leaders, exposed a rift between the two allies and raised further doubts about peace prospects.

Palestinians more skeptical about Mideast talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Karin Laub - May 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian officials said Saturday that Israel's dismissive response to President Barack Obama's new Mideast peace proposal proves there's not enough common ground for meaningful negotiations. Despite such skepticism, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas seemed in no hurry to announce his next move. He instructed his advisers to avoid public comment, presumably to keep attention focused on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who appears to be set on a collision course with Obama.

Mideast peace talks would face huge obstacles
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Dan Perry - May 22, 2011 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama wants Israelis and Palestinians to return to the bargaining table, and he repeated the call Sunday in a speech to Israel supporters. But it seems unlikely this will happen anytime soon — and even if it did, the sides would find a formidable array of obstacles to agreement. Obama is clearly aware of this, telling the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that "no matter how hard it may be to start meaningful negotiations under the current circumstances, we must acknowledge that a failure to try is not an option."

Obama's 'Jewish state' reference jars Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Josef Federman - May 23, 2011 - 12:00am

U.S.-Israel tension over Barack Obama's endorsement of Israel's pre-1967 borders is obscuring a flip side of the Middle East coin: The past days' speeches by the U.S. president contained difficult challenges for the Palestinians as well.

Ramallah is peacefully flourishing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Seattle Times
by Kristin R. Jackson - May 21, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH ISN'T your typical tourist spot. The Palestinian town of 25,000 lies within the Israeli-held West Bank, an epicenter of volatile Mideast politics that has endured centuries of occupiers and uprisings. Yet Ramallah has peacefully flourished in the past few years, growing into the de facto political and cultural capital of the mostly Muslim West Bank.

UK minister 'deeply disappointed' in settlements call
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 22, 2011 - 12:00am

UK foreign office minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt on Friday urged Israel to "cease unhelpful and destabilising activity" of settlement construction, in the wake of a decision to build 1,500 new Jewish-only homes in occupied East Jerusalem. "I am deeply disappointed with Israel’s announcement on 19 May to build up to 1500 settlement units in the East Jerusalem settlements of Har Homa and Pisgat Zeev," the minister said in a statement.

Hamas: Obama will not force Israel recognition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri on Sunday slammed Barack Obama's speech to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, saying the US president's call on the party to recognize Israel would go unanswered. In Washington, Obama addressed the powerful pro-Israel lobby group and elaborated on statements made Thursday in his Mideast policy speech, urging calls to democracy and reform across the region.

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