NEWS: Palestinians cancel national unity negotiations in Cairo, as the disagreement over the next PM continues. Israel approves 2,000 new settler housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. Hamas leaders complain about a feud within the organization’s hierarchy. Israel is the world’s fourth-largest arms exporter. Palestinian unemployment figures increase. Pres. Peres says peace with the Palestinians is urgent. Shaul Mofaz says Israel must prevent a Palestinian UN statehood bid. Anti-Palestinian initiatives are circulating in Congress. Young Palestinian children are routinely arrested by Israeli occupation forces in East Jerusalem. COMMENTARY: Thomas Friedman says the UN should update Resolution 181 and welcome Palestine as a member of the General Assembly. Victor Kattan says states, and not the UN as a body, will determine the status of Palestine. Akiva Eldar says Israelis prefer to forget the massacre at Deir Yassin. Carlo Strenger says the Israeli government is as disconnected from reality as mystics. Adel Safty says PM Netanyahu is sabotaging the peace process. Uri Avnery says Netanyahu’s rhetoric about Israel as a “Jewish state” is a trick to avoid Palestinian statehood. Bradley Burston says Israelis and Palestinians have equal rights to a home. Jackson Diehl claims Pres. Obama is “tough” on Israel but “timid” on Syria. Esther Cepeda says Gaza flotilla participants are not against Israel. Jeff Halper says the PA is making a “historic mistake” by not working enough with civil society.

The PA's historic mistake, and opportunity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Jeff Halper - (Opinion) June 20, 2011 - 12:00am

No one knows the precise plans of the Palestinian Authority vis-a-vis September: Will Mahmoud Abbas declare a Palestinian state within recognized borders and ask that it be admitted as a full member of the UN – or not? Perhaps Abbas himself does not know.

Palestinian economic boom unsustainable without overseas donations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - June 20, 2011 - 12:00am

How nice it would be if statistics and events on the ground would line up in a logical, orderly manner, without any inconsistencies. How easy it would be to report then.

For Gaza, but not against Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Chicago Sun-Times
by Esther Cepeda - (Opinion) June 20, 2011 - 12:00am

In a few days, slightly more than a year since a flotilla of ships attempted to breech Israel’s naval blockade to call attention to the plight of the 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, 50 passengers, including three from the Chicago area, will sail to the Gaza Strip on a boat named “The Audacity of Hope.” As part of the second international “freedom flotilla,” they’ll attempt the same feat to deliver humanitarian aid in the form of letters of support and friendship.

Peres: Need to strike peace with PA 'urgent'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
June 19, 2011 - 12:00am

President Shimon Peres said Sunday that there was an "urgent" need to reignite the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and an even more urgent need to finalize a peace deal – as both sides were "running out of time." "It is very urgent," Peres said in an interview with CNN. "I think neither side has much time. We have to act dynamically."

Israeli arms industry a major economic engine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Adam Gonn - June 20, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Israeli defense sales in 2010 totaled 7.2 billion U.S. dollars, making the small nation the world's fourth largest exporter. Defense officials released the figure in an official report ahead of the Paris Air Show, which is scheduled to open on June 26. A bevy of Israeli firms hope to garner even more sales at the show, after a string of recent successes. Most of the sales are from four leading companies: Elbit Systems, Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI), Rafael, and Israel Military Industries, a Defense Ministry statement said.

Mofaz: Israel must prevent UN Palestinian state bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Lahav Harkov - June 20, 2011 - 12:00am

Foreign Affairs, Defense C'tee chair says Israel must look like a leader, act wisely with a plan to prevent unilaterally declared Palestine. Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chair MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) warned on Monday that Israel must initiate a plan to combat a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood in the UN this September. "This is a historically significant time, and we must act wisely and responsibly," Mofaz said. "Israel has to look like a leader, like a country that takes initiative and has what to offer."

Why is Obama so tough on Israel and timid on Syria?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jackson Diehl - (Opinion) June 19, 2011 - 12:00am

One of the hallmarks of the Arab Spring has been the emergence of a new and more modest American foreign policy. The Obama administration has insisted on not taking the lead in promoting democratic change; it has declined to act unless not just the French and British but the Arab League go first. It still can’t bring itself to say that Bashar al-Assad, a dictator and implacable U.S. enemy who is using tanks and helicopter gunships to slaughter his people, is not qualified to lead Syria to democracy.

Israelis and Palestinians have equal right to a home
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - (Opinion) June 20, 2011 - 12:00am

I'm going to try to put something into words, something that I've felt with precision for a very long time, but something which, I've found, words tend only to obscure, not to illuminate. Like most attempts at this, it probably won't work. But here goes. People need a home. People need to know where they come from. People need a place where they feel they belong, a place where, for reasons which may elude all understanding, they feel profoundly and uniquely rooted. A part of things, rather than simply and permanently apart.

Israel as a ‘Jewish state’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) June 19, 2011 - 12:00am

I am fed up with all this nonsense about recognizing Israel as the “Jewish State.” It serves many different purposes, almost all of them malign. Benjamin Netanyahu uses it as a trick to obstruct the establishment of the Palestinian state. This week he declared that the conflict just has no solution. Why? Because the Palestinians do not agree to recognize etc. etc.

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