May 5th

Jewish Dems: Don’t let Hamas-Fatah prevent peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

The National Jewish Democratic Council counseled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to use the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation to back down from peacemaking.

Netanyahu due for May 20 White House talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama will host Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for Oval Office talks on May 20, with the stalled Middle East peace process expected to top the agenda. "The leaders look forward to discussing the full range of issues of mutual interest to the United States and Israel," the White House said in a statement.

Survey of Campus BDS Finds Few Serious Cases
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Josh Nathan-Kazis - May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

An Israeli diplomat issued a stark warning to a roomful of Jewish communal professionals at a major Jewish convention last fall. The campaign to impose boycotts, divestment and sanctions on Israel, he said, amounts to putting “a practical warhead on the tip of an ideological rocket.”

Abbas, Mash'al meet, agree to swift govt creation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

Hamas and Fatah leaders agreed to accelerate efforts to form a transitional government, in their first private meeting since the signing of a unity deal in Cairo on Wednesday, which formally ended the split between the factions. Member of Hamas Politburo Izzat Ar-Risheq told Ma'an on Wednesday night details of the meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader in exile Khalid Mash’al. Following the formation of a transitional government, the leaders said an agreement on a leadership framework would be reached, setting out the agenda for the new cabinet.

Circus of the Dancing Bears
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Aaron David Miller - (Opinion) May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Watching the current Hamas-Fatah unity circus, I can't help but think of Rabin's comment. For the former Israeli prime minister, Yasir Arafat was the bear and the Oslo process was their choreographed dance. Rabin was no sentimentalist and he recognized Arafat's many weaknesses as a partner, but he continued to engage with him because he believed his counterpart had taken tough positions. Oslo was a good faith effort to achieve a goal.

Palestinian unity pact still faces big hurdles
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Paul Richter, Edmund Sanders - May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

Rival Palestinian factions celebrated the signing of a reconciliation pact they hope will end their four-year split and accelerate efforts to form an independent state. But the agreement faces fierce opposition from Israel, places new hurdles on American-led efforts to forge a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, and still must overcome lingering distrust between the two factions: the moderate secular Fatah party in the West Bank and the militant Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Syria's Palestinians try to stay neutral amid turmoil
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Phil Sands - May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

Syria's Palestinians, wary of being sucked into an internecine fight, are struggling to remain neutral as the authorities and anti-government protesters pressure them to choose a side in the Syrian uprising. Half a million Palestinian refugees live in Syria, a majority of them in Damascus. They have become largely assimilated: marrying into Syrian families, employed with Syrian co-workers in government bureaucracies and housed alongside Syrian neighbours.

A cautionary tale for Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by David Ignatius - (Opinion) May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

As Washington buzzes about yet another restart for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, I have been reading a book that summarizes the past 44 years of botched peacemaking, blown opportunities and, sometimes, sheer folly. The book is a posthumous memoir by Jack O’Connell, a former CIA operative who was for many years King Hussein’s “case officer” in Jordan. Yes, you read that right: When O’Connell was station chief in Amman from 1963 to 1971, he dropped off monthly envelopes of cash at the palace as part of a long-running CIA covert action code-named “NOBEEF.”

Palestinian factions pushed together by regional events
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Michael Young - (Opinion) May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

Much uncertainty still surrounds the outcome of yesterday's signing in Cairo of a reconciliation accord between Palestinian factions. However, there is no question that the arrangement was facilitated by the dramatic recent developments in the Arab world. The regional constraints faced by the main Palestinian organisations, Fatah and Hamas, are likely to reframe the debate over Hamas's participation in a Palestinian government, regardless of the movement's position on a settlement with Israel.

A Sliver of Hope Unites West Bank and Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Fares Akram, Isabel Kershner - May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Thousands of Palestinians, led by youth activists, have poured onto the streets of the West Bank and Gaza in recent months to demand national reconciliation. But when the leaders of the rival Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, signed a historic, if preliminary, agreement in Cairo on Wednesday to end a four-year schism and unify the two Palestinian territories, wariness and skepticism precluded any mass outpouring of joy.

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