PM Netanyahu makes no concessions in a speech before Congress, and Ha’aretz says he wasted a golden opportunity. Israeli experts say these represent “starting positions,” while Palestinians call it “an obstacle to peace.” AP and Ha’aretz both fact check the speech. Both Thomas Friedman and Jeffrey Goldberg warn that if Israel does not change course it will become an “apartheid state.” Jackson Diehl says Netanyahu was speaking to Congress but Obama was speaking to the Europeans. The Palestinian leadership reiterates its determination to approach the UN in September. Palestinian officials describe Congress’s reaction to the Netanyahu speech as “pathetic.” A Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahar, says national unity doesn’t mean adopting Fatah’s positions, and challenges the authority of Politburo chief Khaled Mashaal. US skepticism about the Palestinian unity deal poses new challenges. Pres. Abbas says solutions cannot come before negotiations. Israeli MKs are divided on Netanyahu’s speech. Ron Ben-Tovim says Menachem Begin outlined the logic for Palestinian statehood. Settlers say they will never live in a Palestinian state. Obama says both sides must make “wrenching concessions.” David Horovitz explains how he thinks Palestinians will be able to use a UN vote in September to advance statehood. Jane Eisner says lots of Jewish Americans don’t agree with Netanyahu. Israel has again become a partisan issue between Democrats and Republicans. Tariq Alhomayed says that Netanyahu’s speech betrayed signs of panic. Rami Khouri says Obama understands the implications on Palestine of the “Arab Spring,” but Netanyahu doesn’t. Osama Al Sharif says the US and Israeli positions are now clearly at odds.

How Palestinians will use the GA to advance statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by David Horovitz - (Opinion) May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

Editor's Notes: Israel’s complacent assumption has been that even an overwhelming vote to establish ‘Palestine’ at the GA in September would have merely ‘declaratory’ impact. Wrong. Jerusalem had forgotten about UNGA Resolution 377. Early in the Korean War, frustrated that the Soviet Union’s repeated use of its UN Security Council veto was thwarting council action to protect South Korea, the United States initiated what became known as the UN General Assembly’s “Uniting for Peace” resolution.

Netanyahu's end game
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Osama Al-Sharif - (Opinion) May 24, 2011 - 12:00am

There are now two divergent views/policies on the issue — a settlement based on Israeli withdrawal to the June 4, 1967 armistice borders, with mutually accepted land swaps, allowing for an independent Palestinian state to be created in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and a unilateral arrangement that does not recognize these borders or any of the fundamentals needed to achieve a just and sustainable deal.

What do the Mideast speeches tell us?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

So what can we conclude after the past week’s jamboree of speeches on the Middle East by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama?

The speech of panic
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq al-Homayed - (Opinion) May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

There can be no doubt that the Arabs and Palestinians will preoccupy themselves with refuting the speech made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in front of the US Congress, which was full of mistakes and which represents an attempt to frustrate the peace efforts. However the Arabs and Palestinians must pay attention to one important thing in Netanyahu's speech, which is as follows:

For Obama, Bibi tensions subside, political problems begin
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - (Analysis) May 24, 2011 - 12:00am

That Israel problem President Obama had with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Old news. That Israel problem Obama has with Congress? And with his party? That's just beginning. In two successive speeches -- one to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Monday and another to a joint meeting of Congress the following day, Netanyahu had nothing but praise for the U.S. president.

Don't be fooled by the applause, Binyamin Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Jane Eisner - (Opinion) May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, his first audience was the assembly of federal lawmakers and other government dignitaries seated before him. His second audience was President Obama, who was off hobnobbing with the Queen of England, but who, only days earlier, had set out his vision for achieving a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And his third audience was the American Jewish community. People like me.

Obama to Palestinians: Seeking statehood in UN a 'mistake'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was "more urgent than ever." And while expressing confidence that a two-state solution was achievable, the US president made it clear that seeking Palestinian statehood in the United Nations would be "a mistake." Speaking alongside UK Prime Minister David Cameron at a press conference in London after the two met privately, Obama stated that the Palestinians must understand "they have obligations as well." RELATED: Cameron, Obama claim unity in support of Israeli security

Settlers: We won't live in Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yair Altman - May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

Jewish settlers living beyond the 1967 lines expressed concern Wednesday after hearing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu say Israel "will be required to give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland" during his speech before Congress. The possibility of Jewish settlements becoming a part of a Palestinian state aroused their anger. "It's mass suicide, they'll just destroy us," a settler claimed. "Such talk of abandonment is very grave."

Netanyahu wasted his chance to present a vision for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had an outstanding opportunity yesterday to present a vision of a just and sustainable peace for Israel and the Palestinians. Millions watched his speech at the U.S. Congress with bated breath. They anticipated a momentous address that would break the stalemate in the diplomatic discourse over a final peace agreement and lead to the end of the bloody conflict between the two peoples. Many hoped the new winds blowing in recent months in the Middle East would also sweep the prime minister along a new path.

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