NEWS: Israeli vehicles are attacked near the Egyptian border, with at least five killed. Israeli and Palestinian authorities are preparing to deal with possible massive demonstrations in September in the West Bank, but Reuters says there is no sign of them. Hamas bans 8 Gaza students from traveling to study in the United States for “cultural and social reasons.” Hamas denies it's moving its headquarters to Egypt. Turkey is likely to retaliate diplomatically for Israel's refusal to apologize for last year's flotilla incident. Prisoner swap talks between Israel and Hamas are reportedly deadlocked. Palestinians may be working with the EU to find an effective UN strategy. Hamas and other Palestinian factions find themselves in a difficult position over Syrian government attacks on Palestinian refugees. A Palestinian man faces a lonely struggle against a key settlement. Ousted former PLO official Muhammad Dahlan is struggling for his political survival. Pres. Abbas opens the Palestinian embassy in Beirut. COMMENTARY: Ha'aretz says the attacks on the border show Egypt is losing control of Sinai. D. Bloomfield wonders if PM Netanyahu is bluffing on the border issue. Hussein Shobokshi says Pres. Assad has become more dangerous to the region than Israel. George Hishmeh says the US is still not evenhanded. Israel's consul general in New England says Palestinians won't benefit from a UN initiative. Daoud Kuttab says Palestinians can still negotiate with Israel no matter what happens in September. Eva Bartlett looks at the dangers of swimming in Gaza. Josh Rubner says Congress should hold Israel responsible for use of US weapons. Oded Eran says secret talks have been useful between Arabs and Israelis.

Secret talks do have a place in diplomacy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Chronicle
by Oded Eran - (Opinion) August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Israelis love secret meetings with Arab leaders in London. The most famous were held with King Hussein of Jordan in 1963, in the house of his Jewish physician. As a junior diplomat in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I kept the secret file of these meetings, codenamed "Charles". At the time, the talks produced a greater understanding between Jordan and Israel, but King Hussein was reluctant to be the first Arab leader to sign a peace treaty.

Hold Israel accountable with Leahy law
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Hill
by Josh Ruebner - (Opinion) August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Apologists for Israeli occupation and apartheid claim that advocates for holding Israel accountable for its human rights abuses of Palestinians are “singling Israel out for extra scrutiny” or “holding Israel to a higher standard than other countries.”

To Save From the Sea, and the Siege
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Eva Bartlett - (Opinion) August 17, 2011 - 12:00am

It's a sunny Gaza morning and although a work day, the beach along Sheik Rajleen has enough people on it to keep Gaza's small number of lifeguards busy and alert. From a simple, raised wooden hut, a team of three monitor the sea, periodically calling out to swimmers below to move to calmer waters. "I've known how to swim since I knew how to walk," says Ahmed el Basha, 42, one of Sheik Rajleen's lifeguards.

A Pyrrhic victory for the Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
by Shai Bazak - (Opinion) August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian leadership has made clear its intentions to declare statehood unilaterally and seek admission to the United Nations this fall. While such a move might score the Palestinians a political win by serving to isolate Israel even further in the international arena, any victory will be symbolic at best.

Palestinians can still negotiate after the UN declaration
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

In their frantic efforts to stop the Palestinian leadership from going to the UN, Israeli officials and propagandists pose what appears to be a mistaken choice. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Palestinians to have direct talks, and even offered to meet Palestinian officials anywhere if they choose what he called direct talks instead of unilateral action. On the surface of it, this position seems logical, but if one digs just beneath the rhetoric, it becomes obvious that the position is a continuation of Israel’s policy of obfuscation and political manoeuvring.

US still lacks evenhandedness
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

There were great expectations when Barack Obama first walked into the White House, both in the US and in the Arab world, if not everywhere. His appearance shortly thereafter in Cairo raised hopes and most Arabs thought he would usher in some genuine evenhandedness, something his predecessors had failed to do. This was certainly true of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and regretfully, the American position has not improved an inch.

Al-Assad: More dangerous than Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Hussein Shobokshi - (Opinion) August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Among the notable events in the historical records of the Syrian army is the fact that one of its elements, Hosni al-Za'eim, was the orchestrator of the first military coup in the Middle East in 1949. By doing that, he opened the gates of hell in the region in general, and in Syria in particular, for the rise of despotic, hateful and corrupt faces who knew nothing but the language of oppression, autocracy and injustice. Those faces were obsessed with illusions of grandeur and supreme arrogance.

Washington Watch: Is Bibi bluffing on borders?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - (Opinion) August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Leaks from unnamed aides to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu claim he has shifted positions on another critical peace process issue – borders – but so far there’s no official confirmation. It appears to be a tactical move to derail the Palestinian strategy for a UN statehood resolution next month, and it could work if the Israeli leader can convince Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he is serious.

As Mubarak falls, terror rises in Sinai
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - (Opinion) August 18, 2011 - 12:00am

The series of terror attacks that took place early Thursday afternoon on the road leading from the Israeli-Egyptian border to Eilat did not come as a surprise to Israel's senior security officials. They had expected it would occur at some stage or another.

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