NEWS: Israel announces new settlement plans that could cut occupied East Jerusalem off from the rest of the West Bank. A raft of new right-wing legislation shows the rise of the Israeli far-right. Israeli air strikes injure five in Gaza city. Israel is angered by Honduras' support for Palestinian statehood. Palestinians say they are determined to press forward with a UN initiative. The PA orders its forces to prepare to prevent violence in September. An American photojournalist says Israeli troops deliberately fired at him. Palestinians remain frustrated at the lack of national unity. Egyptian officials accuse Palestinian extremists of involvement in attacks in Sinai. Palestinian leaders have been invited to Washington for urgent consultations. Jeffery Goldberg interview Tzipi Livni. COMMENTARY: Sari Nusseibeh reviews a new book by Jeremy Ben-Ami. Tom Parry analyzes Palestinian options at the UN. Akiva Eldar says new US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro's main role is healing rifts between Pres. Obama and the Jewish-American community, not PM Netanyahu. David Hearst says Israel has no answer to Palestinian determination to remain on their land. The National says there is no contradiction between UN recognition of Palestine and negotiations with Israel. Sam Bahour says Palestinians may be giving up on a two-state solution. Justyna Pawlak says the EU is struggling to make its voice heard in the Middle East. Cole Stangler says Israel's new anti-boycott law may backfire. Roberto Quesada says Honduras has nothing to apologize to Israel for by supporting Palestinian statehood. The Forward hosts a forum on a Palestinian UN initiative with Hussein Ibish, Alan Elsner, Danny Ayalon, Shlomo Gazit, David Harris, Gabriela Shalev, Lara Friedman and Maen Rashid Areikat.

ANALYSIS-EU struggles to win influence in Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Justyna Pawlak - (Analysis) August 5, 2011 - 12:00am

BRUSSELS, Aug 5 (Reuters) - The European Union is working to build its credentials as a Middle East power broker but its efforts are complicated by internal divisions over Palestinian plans to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state. The paralysis in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has encouraged EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to try to play more of a leading role, in the absence of any initiative by Washington.

UN vote piles more pressure on Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) August 5, 2011 - 12:00am

Washington's political theatre in May featured high-stakes betrayal. In his keynote Middle East speech, President Barack Obama called for peace talks between Israelis and Arabs based on modified 1967 borders. A few days later, on the floor of the American Congress, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to deal those borders a death blow, saying they would be indefensible. Nearly two months later, Mr Netanyahu has changed his tune. In recent days, the Israeli administration has made noises about renewing negotiations with the Palestinian Authority premised on the 1967 borders.

Boycott Ban
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from In These Times
by Cole Stangler - (Opinion) August 4, 2011 - 12:00am

On July 11, the Israeli Knesset passed a widely condemned law that bars public support for boycotting Israel and the occupied territories — in effect, making free speech a civil crime. Under the legislation, individuals and organizations that call for or engage in an economic, cultural, or academic boycott of individuals or groups because of their ties with Israel or the occupied territories can be sued in civil court and forced to pay damages.

Palestinians will soon come full circle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Sam Bahour - (Opinion) August 4, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian national liberation movement has reached its end. As the Palestinian leadership – if there is such a legitimate body today – prepares to bring the issue of statehood to the UN this September, the weeks and months ahead will witness the last desperate attempt to get the international community to assume their responsibilities and ensure that a Palestinian state becomes a reality in the occupied territories.

Israel's Beef With Honduras: Who Stabbed Who?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Honduras Weekly
by Roberto Quesada - (Opinion) August 4, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestine will undoubtedly again be the center of attention at the United Nations' upcoming General Assembly, as in the days when Yasser Arafat would arrive in New York City to make the case for the Palestinian struggle before that international body. Already, you can start to feel a climate of "arm twisting" taking hold, especially against the poorer and weaker member nations.

Could Arab staying power ultimately defeat Zionism?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by David Hearst - (Opinion) August 5, 2011 - 12:00am

There is an Arabic word you come across a lot when Palestinians talk about their future. Sumud means steadfastness, and it has turned into a strategy: when the imbalance of power is so pronounced, the most important thing to do is to stay put.

Examining the Palestinians’ Unilateral Bid for Statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Maen Areikat, Danny Ayalon, Alan Elsner, Lara Friedman, Shlomo Gazit, David Harris, Hussein Ibish, Gabriela Shalev - (Opinion) August 5, 2011 - 12:00am

Experts Weigh In on Implications of September Move Give Them A Reason Not To Do It By Hussein Ibish The wisdom of the various plans for Palestinians to approach the United Nations in September with a statehood-oriented diplomatic initiative may be debated, but not the Palestinians’ right to make the approach. Israel was, in effect, created by the U.N. Partition Plan of 1947 and gained U.N. membership in 1949 without the agreement of Palestinians or any of its neighbors.

New U.S. envoy in Israel to clear obstacles for Obama’s second term
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) August 5, 2011 - 12:00am

Dan Shapiro, the new American ambassador to Israel, submitted his credentials to President Shimon Peres on Wednesday. That same day, he submitted a declaration of support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: In an interview with Channel 2 television, he downplayed the lack of trust between Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama and the latter's rage and sense of insult over Netanyahu's appearance before Congress in May, treating their serial disputes as routine disagreements between friends. Shapiro noted that he was present at all the many meetings between Obama and Netanyahu.

Palestine's U.N. bid: Between history and hot air
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tom Perry - (Analysis) August 4, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Aug 4 (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Abbas' attempt to upgrade the Palestinians' status at the United Nations, despite U.S. and Israeli opposition, signals a bolder approach by a leader keen to forge a legacy after years of failed peace talks. But Palestinians are divided on the merits of the diplomatic offensive. In the West Bank, Abbas' Fatah movement bills it as a turning point in the Palestinian struggle, while in Gaza, a politician from rival Islamist Hamas dismissed it as hot air.

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