Israel becomes a partisan issue in US politics. Almost all Israeli analysts agree PM Netanyahu's US trip was a diplomatic failure, but his poll ratings soar. Egypt is moving to reopen the Gaza border. Israel and the Palestinians are moving farther apart on peace. Fareed Zakaria says Netanyahu failed himself and Israel. The US and Israel urge Europeans not to support a UN state bid, as Palestinians call on the UN to enforce the 1967 borders. Dan Simon says settlements are destructive to Israel's security and prosperity. Ibrahim Sharqieh says Netanyahu's speech set peace back by many years. The head of the PIF announces a $1 billion fund for reconstruction in Gaza. Pres. Abbas says Netanyahu has made peace much more difficult. Senior Israeli officials attend the dedication of new settlement expansions in occupied East Jerusalem. Deep divisions continue to grow within Hamas. AP examines Netanyahu's claim that the 1967 borders are "indefensible." Netanyahu's speech pleases many in Washington but angers Ramallah and settlers. Tony Blair says Obama is concerned for Israel's future. Ari Shavit says Netanyahu is driving Israel into a wall and Gideon Levy says he will be forgotten by history. Israeli officials fear growing boycotts. Haim Saban says US-Israel relations are "good." Larry Derfner questions where Netanyahu is leading Israel. Israel quietly extends emergency laws that date back to the 1940s. The Forward looks at possible land swaps and says Netanyahu should not make Jewish Americans choose between support for their own country or Israel. The National condemns congressional applause for Netanyahu's "lies," and looks at rhetoric about Palestinian state-building at the AIPAC conference. Daoud Kuttab says Obama's speech points the way to Palestinian statehood. The Arab News says Israel will have to be coerced into peace. Hussein Ibish parses Netanyahu's Washington talking points.

Parsing Netanyahu's Washington talking points
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Blog) May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli Embassy in Washington helpfully sent their allies in Washington a set of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's talking points in relation to his speech in Congress yesterday and to AIPAC at the weekend, which were published by Ben Smith of Politico. They are the following: Netanyahu's vision of peace: 1) Mutual Recognition of the Jewish state and the Palestinian State 2) A Palestinian state that is independent and viable 3) A Palestinian state that will be fully demilitarized, with an Israeli military presence along the Jordan River.

Bibi's love-fest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) May 26, 2011 - 12:00am

If you stand on your head, the world around you is bound to look upside down. This is what Israel's leaders have been doing all these years. And this is what Benjamin Netanyahu did in his speeches before a rapturous and almost acquiescent audience at AIPAC conference on Monday and a joint session of US Congress on Tuesday. The thunderous applause that greeted Netanyahu at AIPAC is understandable. But the love-fest in Congress must have come as a rude shock to the rest of the world.

Road to Palestine becoming clearer
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) May 26, 2011 - 12:00am

The marathon of speeches that the US capital Washington witnessed last week cleared the view as to what is needed for Palestinians to reach their coveted independent state. Clearing the view, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that getting a state will be easy or attainable in the near future. People wanting to reach statehood need to be united, set clear and realistic goals as to its borders and have a blueprint for how to reach statehood and not just declare it.

Israel's US supporters ignore truths of occupation in West Bank and Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Micah Zenko - (Analysis) May 26, 2011 - 12:00am

To an outsider, the title of the panel discussion seemed to sum up all that is wrong and depressing about the views of Palestinians that many Israelis and their American supporters hold. "Israel Improving Palestinian Lives," the conference programme read. The occasion for imparting the self-serving message - occupation is good - was the annual policy conference this week of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), the most influential pro-Israel lobbying group in the United States.

US is complicit in Netanyahu's fiction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) May 26, 2011 - 12:00am

Stand up. Sit down. Stand up. Sit down. The US Congress, apparently, will rise for an ovation every time the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves his fist at the podium. For what was billed as a new "vision" for the Middle East, Mr Netanyahu's speech on Tuesday night was depressingly, predictably pedantic. This Israeli administration has no plan for peace, only a series of refusals, and as the show in Congress demonstrated, US politicians are only too willing to follow him down the garden path.

Don’t Make Us Choose
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Editorial) May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of Congress May 24, 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.

‘Land Swaps’: Is There Enough Land To Swap?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Jeffay - (Analysis) May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

It is the magic formula that could end the occupation while letting the majority of settlers stay put. But how would an Israeli-Palestinian land swap, the basis of President Obama’s Middle East vision, outlined on May 19, actually work? The main practical problem of an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank is the fact that some 300,000 Israeli settlers live there. Not only would a full evacuation be hazardous for any Israeli government on the domestic political front, but it also would be logistically difficult and exceedingly costly.

Israel’s Emergency Regulations Get Lease on Life
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Arieh O'Sullivan - May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

At a time when the Arab regimes are suspending state-of-emergency laws in the face of popular protests, Israeli lawmakers have quietly voted to extend them another year into their seventh decade. A joint meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense committee and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee this week accepted a government request to extend the state of emergency for 12 months. This wasn’t because there was a looming threat on the Jewish state, but because after more than 60 years parliament hasn’t found the time to regularize the rule in ordinary legislation

Ratting the Cage: Obama's albatross
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Opinion) May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

With that Salute to Judea and Samaria he just staged in Washington, our wise and fearless leader just screwed American policy in the Middle East, turned Israel into an albatross around the neck of the president of the United States, made Western Europe ashamed to be associated with us, waved a red flag at the Palestinians and the entire Muslim world, and I don’t know what else. Way to go, Bibi.

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