November 30th

UN chief stresses importance of creating Palestinian State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 29, 2009 - 1:00am

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday expressed concern over the deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian talks and stressed the importance of creating the right conditions for the two sides to build sufficient mutual trust to resume negotiations. "It is vital that a sovereign State of Palestine is achieved," the UN chief said in a message marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which is observed annually on Nov. 29.

El-Baradei and George Mitchell
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Elias Harfoush - (Opinion) November 30, 2009 - 1:00am

How can diplomacy succeed, even when managed by men like Mohamed El-Baradei or George Mitchell, when they have to deal with Benjamin Netanyahu or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

If Mahmoud Abbas steps down, Hamas official next in line
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - November 27, 2009 - 1:00am

If Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of the mainstream Fatah party makes good on his threat to resign, the man constitutionally assured his post is from the rival Hamas faction. His name is Aziz Dweik, a leading member of Hamas who was released from Israeli prison this summer after being held for three years.

We should call Israel's bet, then raise
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) November 30, 2009 - 1:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement a few days ago, that Israel would suspend all new housing construction in the occupied West Bank for 10 months, while other building and colonial ventures continued, reminds us that we are passing through another episode of a long-running tale of biblical proportions: Arabs and Israelis reject or stall American peace-making efforts; stalemate ensues amid mutual accusations of insincerity; Israel takes a unilateral initiative that many hail as a positive step, but that the Arabs see as not enough and mostly deception; and the conflict and

Devious ways
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) November 30, 2009 - 1:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t really believe the Palestinians would thank him for deciding to temporarily freeze settlements in the West Bank. The Israeli prime minister received the Palestinian reply immediately after he announced a 10-month settlement freeze in the West Bank: Any temporary halt that did not include East Jerusalem is a nonstarter. The really important question, which interests Netanyahu more than anything else, is how US President Barack Obama will view his proposal.

Israel to Recruit More Building Inspectors to Enforce a Freeze on West Bank Construction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - November 29, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, instructed his staff on Sunday to recruit dozens of new building inspectors to supervise the government’s temporary construction freeze in West Bank settlements, while some settler leaders vowed to defy the building ban. Mr. Barak’s hurried efforts and the settler threats illustrated both the government’s seriousness and the difficulty it could face in carrying out its decision to halt new housing starts in the settlements over the next 10 months.

The vision and nightmare
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) November 30, 2009 - 1:00am

Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, has an idea. That happens to him quite often. One might almost say — too often. It goes like this: The US will turn its back on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The entire world will follow. Everybody is fed up with this conflict. Let the Israelis and the Palestinians sort out their problems by themselves.

Two alternative paths
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) November 23, 2009 - 1:00am

I continue to believe that a bilaterally negotiated two-state solution between Israel and the PLO is the optimal outcome and is possible. But not under the leadership currently in power in all the relevant capitals: Jerusalem, Ramallah, Gaza, Cairo and last but not least (on the basis of its first 10 months' performance) Washington. In the absence of credible hope for a near-term solution, a number of alternative paths to progress present themselves. Two are reflected in evolving realities on the ground, hence appear to be the most pragmatic. They are not mutually exclusive.

Diplomacy 101
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) November 27, 2009 - 1:00am

We were thrilled when President Obama decided to plunge fully into the Middle East peace effort. He appointed a skilled special envoy, George Mitchell, and demanded that Israel freeze settlements, Palestinians crack down on anti-Israel violence and Arab leaders demonstrate their readiness to reach out to Israel. The Israelis have refused to stop all building. The Palestinians say that they won’t talk to the Israelis until they do, and President Mahmoud Abbas is so despondent he has threatened to quit. Arab states are refusing to do anything.

November 27th

Why Should Obama Do Anything for the Peace Process?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - (Opinion) November 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the US President "is not doing anything at the present time" to revive the Israeli – Palestinian negotiations for peace, adding that Obama "called for us to resume the peace process…and I hope that he plays a larger role in the future." Abbas also said that the Palestinians "are waiting for America to put pressure on Israel to respect international law and follow the roadmap for peace."

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