May 6th

A University Trustee Expands on His View of What Is Offensive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Jim Dwyer - May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

“I want to say something,” Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld said. “The question is offensive. Before you even finish.” Mr. Wiesenfeld is the City University of New York trustee who rose this week at a board meeting to block an honorary degree to the playwright Tony Kushner, declaring him an “extremist” opponent and critic of Israel. It was a startling development for a board that appeared to be on the verge of rubber-stamping a bundle of honorary degrees proposed by the colleges within the university, including one for Mr. Kushner from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Accord Brings New Sense of Urgency to Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner, Steven Lee Myers - May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

A day after Palestinian leaders signed what many called a landmark reconciliation accord, the antagonists in the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict and their international mediators in Europe staked out positions in a rapidly shifting political and diplomatic landscape on Thursday. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, travelling to Rome for a meeting focused on Libya, refused to slam the door on negotiations that could include Hamas as part of a larger Palestinian authority, even as Hamas’s leader, Khaled Meshal, said he was fully committed to working for a two-state solution.

May 5th

Sec. Clinton leaves the door open to continued contacts with Palestinians after the signing of the unity deal. Major obstacles remain in implementing the deal, though the parties agree to the quick creation of a new government. PM Fayyad agrees the deal must be implemented swiftly. Palestinians express optimism. Lebanon and Jordan welcome the deal, while Israelis are divided. The US says the agreement must advance the peace process. Ha’aretz says it’s an opportunity, not a threat. Aaron David Miller says its filed with dangers. D. Bloomfield asks if this “marriage of convenience” can survive. Yaakov Katz says the deal is a survival tactic for Hamas. David Ignatius looks at past mistakes on peace. PM Netanyahu prepares to come to Washington. Hamas complains its operatives are still being held in the West Bank. Netanyahu’s military attaché avoids a UK trip because of possible prosecution. Israel’s mayor in Jerusalem declares the city “indivisible.” The UK and France say they made back recognizing Palestinian statehood. Many East Jerusalem residents say they prefer Israeli citizenship. Larry Derfner says if Hamas is what Palestinians are offering Israel, there will never be peace. International aid to the Palestinians may continue. CUNY withdraws an honorary degree from playwright Tony Kushner due to comments critical of Israeli policy. Jewish Democrats say the quest for peace should continue despite the Palestinian agreement. A survey of campus boycott activities finds much action but little accomplishment. Palestinians in Syria are trying to stay neutral during unrest. Michael Young says regional events pushed the Palestinians together. Bilal Hassen says Palestinians still face a diplomatic deadlock. The Arab News says Netanyahu must now choose between settlements and peace.

UK, France may back PA's bid for state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

In a sign of Britain's impatience with Israel British Premier David Cameron told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday that Britain may endorse a unilateral declaration of state by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas if Israel declines to take part in substantive peace negotiations with the Palestinians to create a two state solution. "Britain's clear and absolute preference is for a negotiation to take place between Israel and the Palestinians which leads to a two state solution which everyone endorses," a senior diplomatic source was quoted by the Guardian as saying.

Palestinian unity is an opportunity, not a threat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

The word “reconciliation” is so distant from the Middle Eastern reality that its use is taken as either a joke or threat. The signing ceremony in Cairo yesterday between Fatah and Hamas is likely to mark a turning point, not only for the concept, but also for the Palestinian and regional situation.

U.S. to Palestinians: Unity deal must advance prospect of peace with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

The White House on Wednesday urged Palestinians to ensure that a reconciliation deal between rival factions is implemented in a way that advances the prospect for peace with Israel rather than undermining it. "It's important now that Palestinians ensure implementation of that agreement in a way that advances the prospects of peace rather than undermines them," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, after the secular Fatah and Islamist Hamas groups signed an agreement to formally end a 4-year rift.

Poll: East J'lem residents prefer Israeli citizenship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Elior Levy - May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

A recent survey conducted by Pechter Middle East Polls, in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations, ahead of the possible Palestinian bid for statehood in September, revealed that given a choice, the majority of east Jerusalem residents would prefer to remain Israelis. The survey sampled 1,039 Palestinians living in all 19 neighborhoods of east Jerusalem, and was supervised by Dr. David Pollock.

Hamas and Fatah may have reunited, but their work is just beginning
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff - (Opinion) May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

After an almost four-year split between Fatah and Hamas, the leaders of the two rival organizations, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the head of Hamas’ political bureau, Khaled Meshal, signed an accord in Cairo on Wednesday.

Washington Watch: Can this marriage of convenience survive?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by D. Bloomfield - (Opinion) May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

If past Fatah-Hamas reconciliations are any indicator, this one will have the life expectancy of a fruit fly. No sooner did the secular Fatah try to sell the agreement as a move toward peace than the Islamist Hamas declared just the opposite.

Israelis differ on Fatah-Hamas accord
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

An Israeli Foreign Ministry report leaked to Ha'aretz daily on Wednesday said the country could benefit from a Fatah-Hamas unity government, while Israeli officials continued to express their opposition to the internal Palestinian reconciliation deal. According to the document that was leaked to the Ha'aretz daily, "the Palestinian move is not only a security threat but also a strategic opportunity to create genuine change in the Palestinian context."

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