Obama at the UN on Israel-Palestine: Good Politics, Poor Diplomacy
In Print by Hussein Ibish - The Atlantic (Opinion) - September 22, 2011 - 12:00am

If you'd wanted to gauge how strained relations between the Obama administration and the Palestinian leadership have become, all you'd need do is watch the shaking heads of the Palestinian representatives at the United Nations General Assembly during the U.S. President's speech there on Wednesday. Obama reiterated the American commitment to a two-state solution and the creation of an independent Palestine, both established U.S. policy. Rhetorically, however, his speech recognized most of the core elements of the Israeli narrative but virtually none of the Palestinian one.

NEWS: Palestinians say they intend to continue to pursue full UN membership in spite of Pres. Obama's admonitions. Pres. Abbas is now the center of global attention. Palestinian leaders say they will give the Security Council “some time” to consider their application before asking them to act, and are studying a fresh proposal for a UNGA resolution and renewed negotiations with Israel. Abbas' defiance seems to have intensified. Jewish-American groups are split on Obama's UN speech. The EU is still divided on the issue of Palestine at the UN. Israeli leaders welcome Obama's speech, but Palestinian leaders criticize it. COMMENTARY: Norwegian FM and chairman of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for assistance to the Palestinian Authority Jonas Gahr Store says Palestine is ready for statehood.Hussein Ibish says Obama's speech was good politics but did not serve US policy goals. Former Israeli PM Olmert says this is the last chance for a two-state solution. Saree Makdisi says the UN bid could backfire. Gideon Levy says Palestinians are "the new Jews" and their leaders are remarkably like old-time Zionists. Frances Raday says a Palestinian state is in Israel's interests.Robert Wexler says Obama is indeed pro-Israel. Douglas Bloomfield says US Republicans are trying to turn Israel into a wedge issue. Taufiq Rahim says time is running out to salvage a two-state solution. Randa Takieddine says Abbas is taking the Arab spring to New York. The Daily Star says Obama is right negotiations are the only solution, but he must practice what he preaches. John Whitbeck says Palestinians can make use of divisions within the EU. House Majority Leader Cantor and Minority Whip Hoyer say the US must oppose the Palestinian UN initiative.

Stand up against Palestinians' UN statehood bid: It's dangerous to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from New York Daily News
by Steny Hoyer - (Opinion) September 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Last Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced he would ignore international warnings and take his bid for recognition of a Palestinian state to the UN Security Council. The decision facing Abbas was a simple one: return to direct peace negotiations with Israel or rebuff the U.S. and renew diplomatic warfare against Israel. In choosing the latter, Abbas has put at risk not only the Palestinian Authority's relationship with the U.S., but the aspirations of his own people.

Why Palestinian leadership should remain firm
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by John V. Whitbeck - (Opinion) September 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Let us think out loud as Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas plans to give UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a letter tomorrow seeking full membership for his state: The normal, orthodox road map to UN membership comprises two steps: (1) a recommendation to the General Assembly by the Security Council (requiring nine affirmative votes and NO negative vote — “veto” — by one of the five permanent members) followed by (2) approval by the General Assembly (requiring a two-thirds majority of those voting — i.e., ignoring abstentions and no-shows).

Show, don’t tell
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) September 22, 2011 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama couldn’t have said it any better when he told the United Nations General Assembly that there was “no shortcut” to peace in the Middle East. Obama was responding to the drive by the Palestinians to secure official U.N. recognition for their independent state. The U.S. president probably thought he was being statesmanlike and realistic by solemnly declaring that “statements and resolutions” at the U.N. will not bring such a state into existence. Obama is resoundingly and definitively correct when he says there is no short-cut to a durable peace.

The "Abu Mazen Spring" in the Security Council
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Randa Takieddine - (Opinion) September 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Salam Fayyad has been the prime minister of the Palestinian government since 2009, and tasked with the seeming "mission impossible" of building all of the institutions needed to prepare for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Fayyad has succeeded, despite the huge difficulties resulting from Israeli occupation, settlement and other policies.

Time is running out for Israel to salvage a two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Taufiq Rahim - (Opinion) September 22, 2011 - 12:00am

In the fall of 2002, Prof Sari Nusseibeh, now the president of Al Quds University in Jerusalem, argued that Palestinians needed to adjust to practical realities on the ground, and should avoid living in the dream of a greater Palestine. It was a comment that went to the heart of the right of return for Palestinians to modern-day Israel, which continues to be a contentious point.

For love or money?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - (Opinion) September 22, 2011 - 12:00am

It is easy to get the impression the GOP-led House of Representatives is trying to out-Likud the Likud. The reaction on Capitol Hill to Palestinian plans to seek UN membership may be more strident than that of the Israeli government. But it’s hard to tell because the Israelis are delivering a very mixed message.

Defending Obama’s pro-Israel credentials
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Robert Wexler - (Opinion) September 22, 2011 - 12:00am

It is ironic that Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, as well as numerous other Republican groups and individuals, have chosen this month to escalate their smear campaign against President Obama’s pro- Israel record. While President Obama has consistently acted to protect Israel’s safety and interests over his entire time in office, the events of this month in particular – both in the US and in the Middle East – serve as a sharp rebuttal to these partisan efforts to spread misrepresentations and falsities.

Palestine an Israeli interest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Frances Raday - (Opinion) September 22, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli government has brought us to absurdity, using all its powers of diplomatic persuasion to preempt UN recognition of a Palestinian state, when it is in Israel’s strategic interest that Palestine should be recognized as a state. A march of folly has brought us to this point: the settlement policy of this and previous governments and Netanyahu’s failure to promote genuine negotiations with the moderate leadership of Abbas and Fayyad, to make concessions, which are in any case foregone conclusions, or to freeze building in occupied areas.

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