May 26th

Are pre-1967 borders indefensible for Israel?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Aron Heller - May 26, 2011 - 12:00am

During a swing through Washington this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly said his country's pre-1967 lines are "indefensible." A total withdrawal from the West Bank, a strategic highland looming over central Israel, would certainly leave the Israeli heartland more vulnerable to attack or invasion. But some experts say that long-range missiles, weapons of mass destruction and cyber-warfare mean that in the modern world the greater risks lie elsewhere — especially if a future Palestine is demilitarized.

Poll: Israelis back Netanyahu's tough stance in US
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
May 26, 2011 - 12:00am

An Israeli poll indicates that support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has surged following his contentious visit to the United States. Netanyahu had a a tense meeting in Washington with President Barack Obama over the nature of a future Palestinian state. In an address before Congress, he insisted Israel would not return to its pre-1967 war borders. The survey has 51 percent of those polled supporting Netanyahu — a 13 percent increase from the Dialog Institute's previous poll published five weeks ago. The latest poll results were published Thursday in the Haaretz daily.

Palestinian unity deal exposes divisions in Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal al-Mughrabi - May 26, 2011 - 12:00am

Divisions in Hamas have been brought to the surface by a reconciliation agreement with rival group Fatah, exposing splits in the Palestinian Islamist movement that could complicate implementation of the deal. It is the first time differences between Hamas leaders in Gaza and the movement's exiled politburo in Damascus have been aired so openly in public, supporting a view that the group is far from united.

MKs attend controversial settlement announcement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 26, 2011 - 12:00am

The speaker of Israel's parliament and two ministers attended the dedication on Wednesday of new Jewish settler homes in East Jerusalem in what an Israeli NGO called "a dangerous provocation." Among the first of the VIPs to arrive at the site in the city's annexed eastern sector were speaker Reuven Rivlin, Environment Minister Gilad Erdan and Education Minister Gideon Saar, all of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party.

Abbas: Netanyahu pushing back peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 26, 2011 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of pushing the peace process back further than ever, the official Palestinian news agency reported. Speaking at the opening of a meeting for the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, Abbas said Netanyahu “has shown us, in addition to the many mistakes and distortions, that he moved very far from the peace process.” He added: “There was nothing that we could build positively on. We look at his speech negatively.”

$1 billion Gaza investment fund unveiled
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 26, 2011 - 12:00am

Muhammad Mustafa, the Palestine Investment Fund president, announced Thursday the establishment of a $1 billion investment fund for the reconstruction of Gaza. The rumored top candidate for the role of prime minister in the new technocrat government arrived in Gaza on Wednesday, to coordinate reconstruction efforts and meet with prominent contractors and businesspeople.

Netanyahu's Congress speech could set Middle East peace back another 18 years
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ibrahim Sharqieh - (Opinion) May 26, 2011 - 12:00am

Taking advantage of his New York accent while addressing Congress on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an eloquent speech offering only more obstacles to a lasting and just peace in the Middle East. He not only failed to provide a vision for the peace process in a changing Middle East, but also introduced new terms and phrases that will probably hamper any peace efforts in the future.

Israel's settlement liability
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Dan Simon - (Opinion) May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected President Obama's recent contention that the dream of a democratic Jewish state is incompatible with permanent occupation of the West Bank. Obama suggested in two recent speeches that peace negotiations should aim for a sovereign and non-militarized Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders, with mutually agreed swaps.

WEST BANK: Palestinians call on U.N. to implement 1967 borders proposal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
(Blog) May 26, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas expressed disappointment with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint meeting of Congress on Tuesday and said the Israeli leader's comments had dealt a blow to efforts to resume peace talks.

Obama pushes Europe not to support Palestinians' U.N. statehood bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Christi Parsons, Paul Richter - May 25, 2011 - 12:00am

A week after ratcheting up pressure on Israel's government to restart peace talks with Palestinians, President Obama launched a campaign to persuade European leaders not to endorse a separate Palestinian bid for statehood. But his appeal to Britain's prime minister, David Cameron, won only a noncommittal response. After a meeting Wednesday with Obama, Cameron said the time was not yet right for European leaders to decide on the Palestinian bid for United Nations recognition, which the Palestinian Authority leadership is expected to make at the U.N. General Assembly in September.

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