September 29th

Clinton: Israeli settlement move counter-productive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel's decision to build 1,100 settlement homes on West Bank land is counter-productive to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday. The decision appears to make it even less likely that the two sides will answer a call on Friday by the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States, collectively known as the Quartet, to resume peace talks within a month.

Clinton, Egypt FM call for negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

The Egyptian foreign minister and his US counterpart called on Israelis and Palestinians to resume talks in a joint press conference on Wednesday. "Negotiations should resume as soon as possible between Israelis and Palestinians with clear terms of reference and with a clearly defined time-line," Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr told reporters after a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington. "Israeli illegal settlement activities continue to be an impediment in the road for peace, and we would like to see them stop," he added.

UN refers Palestine bid to review panel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 28, 2011 - 12:00am

The UN Security Council on Wednesday pushed back a decision on a Palestinian bid to join the United Nations in a move that will give more time to international efforts to revive direct talks. But UN envoys for the two foes wrangled over who is to blame for the latest year-old negotiations deadlock, with diplomats warning both sides are hardening their positions. The 15-member Security Council sent the bid made by President Mahmoud Abbas last Friday to a special membership committee to give its verdict.

Palestinian statehood bid stokes tensions in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

In this village tucked among the rocky hills of the northern West Bank, flags are flying to celebrate the bid for membership of a Palestinian state in the United Nations. A poster in the village center carries a picture of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is riding a wave of popularity after defying U.S. pressure and submitting the membership application last week.

Israelis Happy at Home but Glum About Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

With the start of the Jewish New Year at sunset on Wednesday, a traditional time for stock-taking in Israel, the public mood seemed paradoxical: a growing disillusionment with the prospect of Middle East peace yet a marked sense of satisfaction with life here. That gap, reflected and discussed in news media commentaries, was evident in a survey of Israeli Jews published on Wednesday in the newspaper Yediot Aharonot. Two-thirds of the respondents said there was no chance — ever — of achieving peace with the Palestinians. But asked if Israel was a good place to live, 88 percent said yes.

September 28th

NEWS: Israel confirms approval for more than 1,000 new settler housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. The US, EU, PA and many others condemn the move. Palestinians say Nigeria has committed to voting in the Security Council for Palestinian UN membership. The US hopes to avoid using its veto in the event of a vote. Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launch a hunger strike over worsening conditions. Palestinians say that to facilitate economic development they need to revise some terms of the 1994 Paris Agreement. Israel's cabinet cannot agree on a response to the new Quartet statement. Pres. Obama's popularity is surging in Israel according to a new poll, and former New York Mayor Koch re-endorses him for president. Israel's internal security forces recommends government defunding of an extremist settler religious school. The Jerusalem Post interviews PM Netanyahu. COMMENTARY: Tom Friedman says both sides are acting as if they want two states for one people, not two states for two peoples. Sefi Rachlevsky says the messianism PM Netanyahu indulges in could lead to an attack on Iran. Uri Savir is the status quo is untenable and things will either get better or worse depending on what the parties do Josh Mintz says some Israeli lawyers argue that recognizing a Palestinian state could help Israel legally defend the blockade of Gaza.Lawrence Grossman says that the US Jewish vote is in play for 2012, in part because of perceptions about Obama's policies towards Israel. Rami Khouri says at the UN Palestinians shed their mantle of victimhood and asserted their agency. Osama Al Sharif says Pres. Abbas' UN move is not a "gambit"but the right thing to do. Hani al-Masri says a new Abbas and the old Netanyahu addressed the UN. John Judis says the US should support Palestinian statehood.

U.S. hopes to not use veto to aid Israel
Media Mention of Hussein Ibish In The Washington Times - September 28, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinians have yet to lock down a nine-vote majority in the U.N. Security Council for their statehood bid, raising U.S. hopes that it could be spared the embarrassment of using its veto power in defense of an increasingly isolated Israel. Amid indications that Colombia and the Security Council’s four EU member states will abstain from any vote, attention has focused on Nigeria, Gabon and Bosnia, which have offered few signals about how they will vote.

‘If Palestinians want to live in peace, it can be achieved'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - (Interview) September 28, 2011 - 12:00am

The most striking thing about meeting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his Jerusalem office Monday afternoon – some four hours after he returned from a grueling five-day trip to New York – was the degree to which he didn’t look or act as if he just stepped off a transatlantic flight. He looked relatively fresh and his words were crisp. “Adrenalin,” someone in his office said.

Why the U.S. Should Support Palestinian Statehood at the U.N.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New Republic
by John B. Judis - September 28, 2011 - 12:00am

The Obama administration, after failing to head off a Palestinian request to the Security Council for United Nations membership, is prepared to use its veto against it. In an undistinguished address to the General Assembly on Wednesday, President Barack Obama advised the Palestinians to bypass the UN and to confine their campaign for statehood to negotiations with Israel.

The new Abbas and the old Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Hani al-Masri - September 26, 2011 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas appears to be a new man. What led to this change? Since taking office, he has always said that only negotiations can lead to the establishment of the state. When the talks faltered or faced an obstacle, he often said, "The alternative to negotiations is the negotiations." When President Abbas set conditions for the resumption of negotiations, these quickly became mere demands. Even in recent days, he repeated that negotiations were his first, second, and third choice.

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