From Initiating Peace to Managing Its Crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Abdullah Iskandar - (Opinion) November 5, 2009 - 1:00am

Barack Obama had great aspirations for change during his election campaign, ever since he was elected a year ago and also ever since he was inaugurated in the beginning of this year. These aspirations were then translated in our region into hopes that the peace process might be now resumed, on the basis of an assortment of ideas, and of the direct interest shown in the peace process [by the United States] through appointing personal envoy and through an unrelenting diplomatic endeavouring.

Mahmoud Abbas feels betrayed by Barack Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Telegraph
by Adrian Blomfield - (Analysis) November 6, 2009 - 1:00am

The Palestinian leader is a vital US ally and just about the only official in the occupied territories with whom Israel is prepared to negotiate. But the White House has done him few favours of late. Just six weeks ago, much to the delight of the Obama administration, Mr Abbas was enjoying a surprising renaissance. A successful congress of his Fatah party, which saw popular newcomers inducted into its hierarchy, and an impressive upswing in the economy had combined to convince many Palestinians to shift their support from the Islamists of Hamas to his moderate leadership.

Palestinian president: A dream turned sour
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
(Opinion) November 6, 2009 - 1:00am

Whether he makes good on the pledge he made last night not to stand in next year's elections, or whether he is eventually persuaded to stay, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has had enough already. And it is clear why. He was elected nearly five years ago to negotiate a Palestinian state and has got nowhere, even with two Israeli governments who understand that the alternatives to his leadership are worse. But even the best Palestinian president that Israel is going to get could not stop settlement construction, an obligation Israel signed up to in 2003.

Who can replace Abbas?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - (Opinion) November 6, 2009 - 1:00am

In the wake of Mahmoud Abbas' inclination not to run for-reelection as Palestinian Authority president, the rumor mill is working overtime in respect to possible replacements. Should Abbas follow through on his announcement, we may have to prepare for a new face near the negotiating table: Will it be the honorable President Mohammad Dahlan? Or perhaps Chairman Nasser al-Kudwa? And maybe even President-Prisoner Marwan Barghouti?

Abbas' absence would have a dramatic effect
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) November 2, 2009 - 1:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazen] is known as the Palestinian politician most dedicated to a peacefully negotiated end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. His possible absence from the scene could have serious implications for the peace process.

Hamas dismisses Abbas retirement plans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - November 6, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' announcement that he won't seek reelection is merely a pressure tactic that merits no serious response, Hamas says. Abbas' retirement threat is directed mostly at his "American and Zionist friends," Hamas Spokesman Dr. Sami Abu Zuhari said. "Abbas sought to let them know that he is dissatisfied with their conduct." Israel and the US have alienated Abbas and are merely using him as a means for their advancing their plans, he said, noting that Abbas' decision is an internal Fatah matter.

Lieberman satisfied with UN vote on Goldstone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - November 6, 2009 - 1:00am

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressed his satisfaction Friday with the results of the United Nations General Assembly vote on a report which accuses Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza. "On the whole, we are satisfied with the fact that 18 countries, which are a moral majority, supported Israel's stance and 44 abstained and did not vote with the automatic majority," he said.

Is Abbas just crying wolf again?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Zvi Barel - (Analysis) November 6, 2009 - 1:00am

Resignation, or rather the threat of resignation, is not an invention of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser used to wield the same weapon to boost his public support, and Yasser Arafat would from time to time threaten to quit just to shake up public opinion. It is true that Abbas sounded adamant on Thursday, but within the past year he has made decisive announcements on other matters only to backtrack later. He accepted the resignation of his prime minister, Salam Fayyad, only to reappoint him.

U.S. State Department: Israel is not a tolerant society
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - November 6, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel dismally fails the requirements of a tolerant pluralistic society, according to a new report from the U.S. State Department. Despite boasting religious freedom and protection of all holy sites, Israel falls short in tolerance toward minorities, equal treatment of ethnic groups, openness toward various streams within society, and respect for holy and other sites.

Abbas decision to withdraw from race draws Israeli, U.S. concern
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff, Barak Ravid - November 6, 2009 - 1:00am

Israeli and American officials expressed concern over Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's announcement on Thursday that he would not be running for reelection in January. President Shimon Peres telephoned Abbas on Wednesday night in an effort to persuade the Palestinian leader to change his mind. Peres told Abbas that he was worried that the decision would trigger political crisis in the Palestinian Authority, leading to a Hamas takeover in the West Bank.

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