NEWS: Israel says it will use force against another Gaza flotilla. The US continues to press for the resumption of negotiations. A boom in Palestinian soccer activity is meant to support statehood. FM Lieberman says all past agreements will be considered broken if Palestinians approach the UN in September. Palestinians say they are going to the UN with or without negotiations in progress. Palestinians reiterate their demand for a settlement freeze. Pres. Peres says without peace, Israel is in danger of ceasing to be a Jewish state. The Israeli cabinet may weaken DM Barak’s power to curb settlement activity. Egypt’s FM says Palestinian UN membership doesn’t delegitimize Israel. A Dubai bank launches a Palestinian investment fund. COMMENTARY: Ha’aretz says PM Netanyahu is condemning Israel to live by the sword. Bradley Burston says Israeli leftists must begin to talk about the right of return. Ziad Abu Zayyad says the Palestinians have no choice but to approach the UN in September. Ron Kampeas recounts Obama administration official Steve Simon’s call to Jewish American leaders. George Hishmeh says the US had better take Saudi concerns about favoritism towards Israel seriously. The Jordan Times welcomes France’s peace initiative. Abdel-Moneim Said says Israel is preventing an effective American response to the “Arab Spring.”

Lieberman: Palestinian UN bid undoes Oslo Accords
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 17, 2011 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli foreign minister said Friday there was zero chance of talks resuming and all past agreements could be broken if Palestinians go to the UN, Israeli press reported. Avigdor Lieberman made the comments at a breakfast with European foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, as she began a day of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials in a bid to revive peace talks between the two sides.

Netanyahu and the Arab spring
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ahram
by Abdel-Moneim Said - (Opinion) June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Two regionally and globally crucial spectacles have been unfolding in the Arab world this year. The first is the wave of "revolutions", or "uprisings", or whatever they might be called that have variously overthrown regimes, striven to overthrow others, and made yet others so uncomfortable that not a day goes by without them announcing various reforms.

Negotiator: UN bid with or without negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 17, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (AFP) -- Palestinians will seek UN recognition and membership regardless of whether there is a resumption of peace talks, negotiator Mohammed Shtayeh said on Thursday. His comments were made as the international community pushes a raft of new peace initiatives in a bid to head off the Palestinian push for UN membership. But Shtayeh said the Palestinians were determined to seek recognition and that talks could proceed alongside their bid.

Boom in Palestinian soccer seeks to score points for statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
June 17, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — For years, Palestinian soccer was disorganized, underfunded and hindered so much by Israeli travel restrictions that games were often forfeited because players couldn’t arrive for kickoff. But the sport is growing, with new stadiums rising across the West Bank, the local soccer federation hosting international competitions, and the Palestinians set to host their first-ever World Cup qualifying match next month. On July 3 the Palestinian team will welcome Afghanistan in an early-round World Cup qualifier.

Palestinians stick to call for settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
June 16, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — The Palestinians are sticking to their demand for an Israeli settlement construction freeze in the West Bank, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Thursday, complicating President Barack Obama's latest peace drive. Obama recently outlined his vision of two states based on the pre-1967 war lines, with mutually agreed land swaps. The president's call for talks did not mention a new settlement freeze, and U.S. officials have indicated it is not essential to the restarting of talks.

ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) June 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Most everybody seems to have given up on the idea that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians could resume. Not France, however. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has recently proposed holding a peace conference on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict this summer in Paris, rekindling optimism and, in the process, apparently “surprising” the US whose Secretary of State Hillary Clinton questioned the practicality of holding such a conference when the two sides are so far apart.

‘Declaration of war’?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) June 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Saudi Arabia has apparently dropped the gauntlet in its loud tiff with the Obama administration’s “misguided policies” towards the Middle East, and particularly its stance on the Palestinian debacle, now in its 64th year, whereby Barack Obama recently reiterated the “unshakeable” US support for Israel.

Peres warns: Israel in danger of ceasing to exist as Jewish state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Verter - June 17, 2011 - 12:00am

President Shimon Peres is concerned that Israel might become a binational state, in which case, he warned, it would cease to exist as a Jewish state. "I'm concerned about the continued freeze [in the peace talks]," Peres said to people who visited him this week. "I'm concerned that Israel will become a binational state. What is happening now is total foot-dragging. We're about to crash into the wall. We're galloping at full speed toward a situation where Israel will cease to exist as a Jewish state."

The Steve Simon call
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - (Blog) June 16, 2011 - 12:00am

The Washington Post's left and right columnists are having a grand old time mixing it up over a call that Steve Simon, the White House go-to guy on Israel, had last Friday with the Jewish leadership. I heard the call. To put it gently, Greg Sargent, the Plum Line, or "left" columnist, has it right. And I don't know where Jennifer Rubin, the "Right Turn" columnist, is getting her info. The short story I put out Friday did not quote Simon at length, but I did not expect his remarks would be misreported.

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