November 17th

US backs Palestinian state through talks - not UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 17, 2009 - 1:00am

The United States backs Palestinian efforts to achieve an independent state, but only through negotiations with Israel, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters on Monday. "We support the creation of a Palestinian state that is contiguous," he said. "We are convinced that has to be achieved through negotiations between two parties. We support a Palestinian state that arrives as a result of negotiations between two parties." Kelly also said he was unaware if the PLO had sought America's opinion, according to Agence France-Presse.

Israeli ministers threaten to annex West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 17, 2009 - 1:00am

Israeli ministers continued threatening to take unilateral measures if the Palestinian Authority (PA) declares statehood without a negotiated peace agreement. According to Israeli sources, Benjamin Netanyahu's administration may even consider withdrawing from the Oslo Accords. Israeli Minister of Environment Gilad Erian on Monday threatened to stop delivering taxes collected on behalf of the PA. He also threatened to erect more military checkpoints in the West Bank. "We will not allow the Palestinians to declare a state unilaterally."

US envoy demands halt to settlement growth in E. Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 17, 2009 - 1:00am

US Special Envoy George Mitchell called on Israel to stop construction in the Israeli settlement of Gilo, in east Jerusalem, according to Israeli media on Tuesday. The demand was made during a meeting on Monday between George Mitchell and Yitzhak Molcho, an Israeli official with the country's envoy to Washington, concerning plans to build a new residential complex in Gilo that are currently awaiting authorization from Jerusalem municipality officials, according to the Israeli daily Ynet.

Would Palestinian Security Forces Survive if Abbas Quits?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Tim McGirk - November 17, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' decision not to stand for re-election in January casts a pall over U.S. hopes to broker a two-state peace agreement with Israel. But it could also have dire consequences for the security situation in the West Bank. That's because Abbas' possible resignation threatens the future of the U.S.-funded Palestinian security forces that have begun to play a key role in preventing militants from launching attacks on Israel.

Q&A: No Unilateral Declaration of Palestinian State, Says Erekat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
(Editorial) November 17, 2009 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority has embarked on a new strategic drive to get renewed international recognition for the borders of the future Palestinian state. Last Thursday it gained backing for this approach from the Arab League. Going into a meeting with European representatives in Ramallah on the West Bank to explain the Palestinian strategy, and hours before embarking with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on a three-nation tour of Latin America, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator, Saeb Erekat, spoke exclusively Monday morning to IPS's Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler.

ISRAEL: Specter of Meir Kahane continues to haunt politics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - November 16, 2009 - 1:00am

Two decades after his party was banned from running for seats in the parliament, Rabbi Meir Kahane and his ideas are once more on its agenda.

To two faiths, a holy patch of land; to the world, a powder keg
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - November 17, 2009 - 1:00am

It is one of the most watched pieces of real estate in the world, 35 acres where an under-the-breath prayer or a whiff of a rumor can rouse warnings of war. In both Judaism and Islam, the area known respectively as the Temple Mount and the Noble Sanctuary is considered a formative location. Jews believe it to be the site of Solomon's Temple and key biblical events. Muslims regard it as the spot where Muhammad was brought by the angel Gabriel before embarking on a trip to heaven to visit the other prophets.

A Mideast Truce
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Roger Cohen - (Opinion) November 16, 2009 - 1:00am

I’ve grown so pessimistic about Israel-Palestine that I find myself agreeing with Israel’s hard-line foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman: “Anyone who says that within the next few years an agreement can be reached ending the conflict simply doesn’t understand the situation and spreads delusions.” That’s the lesson of early Obama. The president tried to rekindle peace talks by confronting Israel on settlements, coaxing Palestinians to resume negotiations, and reaching out to the Muslim world. The effort has failed.

November 16th

Between a rock and a hard place
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) November 16, 2009 - 1:00am

It is almost impossible to adequately convey the present degree of Palestinian despair but the recent announcement that President Mahmoud Abbas might resign and that the rest of the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership may follow – in effect dissolving the PA – should provide some indication.This seems to many to be the only real remaining weapon the Palestinian leadership has, albeit something of a doomsday scenario. Abbas and the others clearly feel all their other options have been systematically foreclosed.

New voices for Palestinian conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Adel Safty - (Opinion) November 16, 2009 - 1:00am

Although the peace process is at an impasse, two recent debates about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have started to redefine some of the most fundamental issues of the conflict: the first started in the US and focuses on the nature and appropriateness of the unconditional American support for Israel; the second is taking place in Israel itself and addresses such fundamental issues as the very nature of being a Jewish state, and, crucially, the wrongs the Palestinian people have suffered.

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