May 4th

Support the Palestinian unity government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jimmy Carter - (Opinion) May 3, 2011 - 12:00am

This is a decisive moment. Under the auspices of the Egyptian government, Palestine’s two major political movements — Fatah and Hamas — are signing a reconciliation agreement on Wednesday that will permit both to contest elections for the presidency and legislature within a year. If the United States and the international community support this effort, they can help Palestinian democracy and establish the basis for a unified Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that can make a secure peace with Israel.

Gaza: Barenboim Performs in Palestinian Territory
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Fares Akram - May 4, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli musician Daniel Barenboim and 25 members of his orchestra performed in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Mr. Barenboim, who has honorary Palestinian citizenship, is a harsh critic of Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank and he co-founded a music education project in the Palestinian territories.

May 3rd

The Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation Agreement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Institute For National Security Studies- Tel Aviv University
by Shlomo Brom - May 3, 2011 - 12:00am

The Egyptian announcement of April 27 that Fatah and Hamas reached an agreement on reconciliation took many people by surprise, including Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, who himself did not believe that Hamas would accept the Egyptian reconciliation offer. Israel and the United States, who have factored the rift between Fatah and Hamas as a central element in their policies, were likewise surprised. Against this background, several major questions about the reconciliation agreement emerge. What moved the parties to change their positions and reach an accord?

Hamas refusal to take sides in Syrian strife is raising tensions. Hamas says it will honor an unofficial cease-fire with Israel under a new unity government. 13 Palestinian factions meet in Cairo for the unity agreement. Israel’s threat to withhold Palestinian tax revenues exposes economic vulnerabilities under occupation, and PM Fayyad says salaries cannot be paid without that income. Gazans protest Hamas’ condemnation of the death of Osama bin Laden, while others rally in praise of him. Palestinians blame settlers for a mosque fire in the West Bank. Concerns grow that Fayyad may not be part of a new government. Pres. Abbas’ office calls for maintaining calm with Israel. Ha’aretz says Pres. Obama must bring his daring to Middle East peace. Aluf Benn says Obama must use his new clout wisely, including between Israel and the Palestinians. The US Supreme Court will rule on the case involving the legal status of Jerusalem. Gershon Baskin says the Palestinian unity deal may offer new opportunities for peace. Yehudah Mirsky says the Quartet should maintain its positions with any new Palestinian government. George Semaan says national unity is the first step towards Palestinian statehood. Linda Heard warns Egypt may be walking into an Israeli trap in Gaza. Ghassan Khatib says the unity agreement is good for peace, but Yossi Alpher says it’s not a finished product and Israel shouldn’t interfere. Shlomo Brom provides an Israeli analysis of the Palestinian unity deal.

Obama must bring his daring to Israeli-Palestinian peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) May 3, 2011 - 12:00am

The value of yesterday's assassination of Osama bin Laden is more symbolic than practical. The Al-Qaida leader has influenced events around the world more than anyone else in the past decade. He ordered the attacks of September 11, 2001, which led to the American military intervention in Afghanistan and indirectly led to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Obama has been given an extra chance - he must use it wisely
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - May 3, 2011 - 12:00am

The killing of Osama bin Laden in a commando raid in Pakistan has shown that America has not lost its initiative and fighting spirit in the war against radical Islam. President Barack Obama has proved he is no latter-day Neville Chamberlain, the leader who tried to appease the forces of evil.

US court case: Is Jerusalem part of Israel?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
May 2, 2011 - 12:00am

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal over whether an American born in Jerusalem can have Israel listed as his birthplace on his passport even though US policy does not recognize the once-divided city as belonging to Israel. The court said Monday it will review an appeals court ruling against Jerusalem-born Menachem Zivotofsky and his parents. They filed a lawsuit after State Department officials refused to list Israel as his birthplace.

Dozens of Palestinians pay tribute to bin Laden in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jack Khoury - May 3, 2011 - 12:00am

Some two dozen Palestinians gathered in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to pay tribute to slain al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. About 25 people holding pictures and posters of bin Laden rallied outside a Gaza City university. The crowd included al-Qaida sympathizers as well as students who said they opposed bin Laden's ideology, but were angry at the U.S. for killing him and consider him a martyr. Hamas police did not interfere with the demonstration.

Hamas-Fatah reconciliation: Opportunity or disaster?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) May 2, 2011 - 12:00am

The Fatah-Hamas reconciliation caught everyone by surprise – even Mahmoud Abbas. Fatah, under Abbas’ leadership, had signed the proposed Egyptian document for reconciliation in October 2009. I speculated then that the only reason Abbas signed was because he was convinced Hamas would not. The new understandings contain less content and explicit reconciliation than the original document, which included a re-integration of the security forces. The current agreement is much more procedural in nature, and mainly focuses on preparing for new elections.

Hamas-Fatah: Looking for the Red Lines
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Ideas Daily
by Yehudah Mirsky - (Opinion) May 2, 2011 - 12:00am

Things can always get worse, and in the Middle East they usually will. That was made depressingly clear once again with the April 27 announcement in Cairo of a reconciliation agreement between the rival Palestinian organizations of Fatah and Hamas.

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