Sunny day on 'Shara'a Simsim'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Ramallah, West Bank - It's always a sunny day on Sesame Street in the West Bank, where the neighbors are friendly and the muppets never see an Israeli army checkpoint. "Shara'a Simsim" teaches Palestinian children they can achieve an independent state through tolerance, education and national pride -- and not anti-Israeli violence.

Obama peace quest flounders in Mideast quicksand
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Alistair Lyon - (Analysis) October 23, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama's high-priority Middle East peace drive has run into predictable quicksands, even as other foreign policy challenges in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and beyond clamour for his attention. Israel has rebuffed Obama's request for a complete freeze on settlement construction, while Arab states, whose own peace offer has gathered dust since 2002, have brushed off his calls for goodwill gestures toward the Jewish state.

Mitchell: Mideast talks effort isn't a failure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Glenn Adams - October 22, 2009 - 12:00am

President Obama's Mideast envoy George Mitchell said Thursday it's too soon to brand his efforts to resume peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders a failure. The former Senate leader recalled being asked "hundreds of times" while negotiating for years in Northern Ireland when he was going home because the talks there were considered a failure. He finally brokered the Good Friday peace accords in 1999.

Clinton gives Obama Mideast progress report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Laura Rozen - October 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was at the White House giving President Barack Obama a report on efforts to relaunch Middle East peace talks this afternoon. But despite near constant diplomatic effort underway in recent months, and some progress achieved, success in getting peace talks even relaunche still eludes the Obama administration, a White House readout of Clinton's oral briefing suggests.

More concrete steps for rescuing Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Ahmad Majdoubeh - (Opinion) October 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Whenever we Arabs talk about rescuing Palestinians and Palestine, we always think of it in terms of settling the Arab-Israeli conflict. And this is correct, for peace is the utlimate guarantee for the safety and security of people (both Arab and Israeli) and for territorial integrity. But what happens when peace does not materialise, as the case is now? What should be done?

Mideast Gain Is Modest, Clinton Tells President
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Mark Landler - October 22, 2009 - 12:00am

On Sept. 22, President Obama summoned the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to an urgent three-way meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York and declared, “It is past time to talk about starting negotiations; it is time to move forward.” To that end, he asked both sides to send diplomats to Washington for intensive talks and directed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to report back to him in a month about where things stood.

Judge Goldstone’s wisdom
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) October 23, 2009 - 12:00am

The Goldstone report on the Israel war in Gaza that was released by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) late last month generated a brief flash of publicity because it criticised Israel and Hamas for conduct in the war that could be classified as war crimes and crimes against humanity. The deeper and wider implications of the report, however, have not been sufficiently discussed or acted upon, which is a shame.

Gaza Report Author Asks U.S. to Clarify Concerns
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Sharon Otterman - October 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Richard Goldstone, the lead author of a United Nations report that found evidence of war crimes committed by Israel and Hamas during last winter’s Gaza war, challenged the Obama administration in an interview broadcast Thursday to explain what it has called serious concerns about his report.

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