Palestine between fact and fiction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) September 20, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ announcement that he intends to seek full United Nations membership from the Security Council raises a wide range of interesting, and in some ways alarming, scenarios for the coming weeks. However, the move is unlikely to ultimately bring Palestinians any closer to actual independence.

Israel May Hold Palestinian Taxes on UN Vote Move, Steinitz Says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from SFGate
by Flavia Krause-Jackson - September 20, 2011 - 12:00am

Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Israel may withhold as much as 40 percent of Palestinians' financial revenue should they persist in pushing for a vote on statehood at the United Nations, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said. "It will be very difficult for us to continue to collaborate with a hostile Palestinian entity," Steinitz, 53, said in an interview yesterday at Bloomberg's headquarters in New York. "Maybe we will tell the Palestinians 'Okay, collect your own tax. Why should we do it for you?'"

The votes the Palestinians (and the Israelis) really need
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by David Rothkopf - (Blog) September 21, 2011 - 12:00am

As H.L. Mencken might have observed, no one ever went broke underestimating the abilities of the current Israeli or Palestinian leadership. But in the competition for the region's top cluelessness prize, one has to give Bibi Netanyahu the edge. After all, he has done the near impossible and edged out Mahmoud Abbas.

The U.S. and Israeli stranglehold ends
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) September 21, 2011 - 12:00am

In the past week in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington my discussions on Mideast issues with a wide range of knowledgeable people confirm the view I have held for some time now: official American attitudes to the Middle East, especially on the Arab-Israeli conflict, are characterized by deep perplexity, contradiction and disarray. No wonder the region is in the midst of a historic transition that has radically shifted the center of gravity of political action and diplomatic control away from American-Israeli dominance, toward a greater role for Arab public opinion.

Abbas to meet Obama on sidelines of UN summit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 21, 2011 - 12:00am

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- US President Barack Obama will hold talks with President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly at 6 p.m. Wednesday, White House official Ben Rhodes said Tuesday. Abbas is also willing to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he told Fox News Monday. "I will meet any Israeli official any time," the president said. "But there is no use if there is nothing tangible." The Israeli news site Ynet reported Tuesday that Netanyahu was also willing to meet Abbas.

With 'all hell' breaking loose, is Abbas looking for an exit?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Tony Karon - (Opinion) September 21, 2011 - 12:00am

When the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks of being under "unbearable pressure" from foreign partners, that can be a prelude to retreat. That was the phrase he used a year ago to explain why he'd joined a new round of talks with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against his own better judgement. Those talks, demanded by the Obama administration, went nowhere.

Palestinian statehood bid: Why Hamas has stayed on sidelines
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ahmed al-Dabba - September 20, 2011 - 12:00am

As the Palestinian bid for statehood comes to a head this week at the United Nations, Hamas remains split on whether to support the controversial move. The Islamist movement has long sought a Palestinian state, and its backing would be crucial for any such state to function. But amid a four-year rift with the Palestinian Authority (PA) led by Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas appears to be hedging its bets. A failure for Mr. Abbas could pave the way for Hamas to expand its influence in the West Bank, where it has long been suppressed by Israeli and PA security forces.

A UN showdown the Palestinians can't afford to lose
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Claude Salhani - (Opinion) September 21, 2011 - 12:00am

The Middle East is going to war again this week - thankfully this time it's only a public relations war as Israelis and Palestinians take their case and their cause before the UN General Assembly. The outcome of this new escalation in the 62-year conflict, however, could lead to a new round of violence as bloody as any of the military conflicts of Arabs and Israelis in the past.

Thousands rally in Ramallah to back Palestinian statehood bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - September 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Thousands of Palestinians flocked to Yasser Arafat Square in central Ramallah on Wednesday for a rally in support of the Palestinian bid for full United Nations membership. The square was dominated by a huge sign with the words "UN 194" on it, in reference to the Palestinian attempt to become the 194th member state of the international body. The sign was flanked by portraits of former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, and his successor Mahmoud Abbas, who will on Friday formally submit the Palestinian request to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Israel and America are on the wrong side of history
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Gareth Evans - (Opinion) September 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Shortly before Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination by a right-wing Jewish extremist in November 1995, I met him in Tel Aviv. I was visiting Israel as Australia's foreign minister to argue the case for rapid implementation of the Oslo peace accords - all the way through to negotiated acceptance of Palestinian statehood. I concluded my pitch by saying, with perhaps a little more cheek than was appropriate, "But of course I'm preaching to the converted." Mr Rabin's response is etched in my memory.

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