EUROPE: Cosy With Israel, Despite the Headlines
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by David Cronin - (Analysis) December 18, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel's relations with the European Union were tense for most of 2009 - if newspaper headlines are to be believed. In the past week, a British court drew fierce criticism from Israeli politicians after it issued an arrest warrant for Tzipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister, following a complaint that she had authorised war crimes in Gaza.

The Palestinian Situation and the Egyptian Fig Leaf
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Mohammad Salah - (Opinion) December 20, 2009 - 1:00am

An Arab official challenged me and affirmed his conviction that no reconciliation will take place between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. He said that the current situation achieves the interests of the two sides, irrespective of the interest of the Palestinian people. When I asked about the Egyptian mediation efforts and their benefit, and Cairo’s expectation of a response by Hamas to the Egyptian negotiating card, the official said he was certain that Hamas would not agree to it as is.

Survey finds Abbas would win election
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - December 19, 2009 - 1:00am

In spite of political stalemates on all fronts, it was a relatively good week for Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority and the head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

A Netanyahu Conversion? The Case for Skepticism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Leonard Fein - (Opinion) December 16, 2009 - 1:00am

Too transparent to be a scam, more nearly a farce. I refer to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s 10-month “freeze” in settlement construction on the West Bank, about as gummy a freeze as can be imagined, a freeze meant to change nothing, only to placate the Americans.

Why Palin and Huckabee Dig Settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Noam Neusner - (Opinion) December 16, 2009 - 1:00am

The Republican field for 2012 is beginning to stretch its legs. Not surprisingly, presidential hopefuls have started to define themselves by what they are not: Barack Obama.

The two-wheel guide to a troubled land
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Lauren Booth - (Opinion) December 20, 2009 - 1:00am

Fifteen minutes' ride into the hills above the West Bank city of Nablus, our convoy of European and Palestinian cyclists takes an unplanned breather beside an Israeli army roadblock. Nearby, a Palestinian farming family shelters beneath twisted olive trees, enjoying a simple iftar (breakfast) of bread, water and dates. Visitors to the West Bank soon become familiar with its blend of ancient culture and modern occupation. Welcome to Palestine, 2009.

Gaza must be rebuilt now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Jimmy Carter - (Opinion) December 19, 2009 - 1:00am

It is generally recognised that the Middle East peace process is in the doldrums, almost moribund. Israeli settlement expansion within Palestine continues, and PLO leaders refuse to join in renewed peace talks without a settlement freeze, knowing that no Arab or Islamic nation will accept any comprehensive agreement while Israel retains control of East Jerusalem.

The conflict awaits Obama's program
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ophir Paz-Pines - (Opinion) December 20, 2009 - 1:00am

The peace train between Israel and the Palestinians has been derailed for some time. World leaders are at a loss and have perhaps given up altogether; both sides in the conflict are busy explaining why the other is the real peace "refuser," while real negotiations over a peace agreement are replaced by endless internal discussions.

Despair in Ramallah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Uri Misgav - (Opinion) December 19, 2009 - 1:00am

I recently committed a criminal act. I cannot even plead ignorance. A large red sign at the roadblock near the Qalandiya refugee camp made it clear. Israelis are forbidden from entering Area A in the West Bank. It may be a security constraint, but it also has a symbolic significance. The moderate and quiet capital of the Palestinian Authority is located a few minutes away from Jerusalem, yet visiting it is a crime.

Talk about 1967 borders, not settlement blocs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) December 21, 2009 - 1:00am

These days, it's tough to find a used car with a bumper sticker that reads "Peace is better than a Greater Israel." Nowadays, everyone seems to favor the latest formula: two states for two peoples. A few people on the right-hand margins are sticking to the belief that there's no difference between Yitzhar and Herzliya, but turbulent debates about the "heritage of the fathers" have given way to a consensus over "dividing the land." Instead of talking about the country's "narrow hips," we are erecting a fence that approximates the route of the Green Line.

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