Obama Administration Overhauls US Mideast Policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Voice of America
March 11, 2009 - 12:00am

The Obama administration is moving quickly to overhaul American policy on the Middle East, sending top envoys to the region and promising to push hard for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some regional analysts warn conditions on the ground may make progress especially difficult. U.S. President Barack Obama has been in office less than two months. During that brief period, however, he has already dispatched Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, special envoy George Mitchell, and other diplomats from the State Department and White House to the Middle East.

The Real Israel Is Its Own Saving Grace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - March 13, 2009 - 12:00am

It's like this. If the only page you read in the newspaper is the obituary section, it's going to appear to you that people are sure dying a lot. That same metric applies to news about Israel. If you confine your reading to news about the Gaza war, the continuing blockade, and the rise of Avigdor Lieberman, it is pretty easy to give up on the whole place.

Concern as ultra-right winger set to lead Israel's foreign policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Scotsman
by Ben Lynfield - March 13, 2009 - 12:00am

CONCERN was mounting last night over Israel's plans to appoint as foreign minister an ultra-nationalist politician who based his election campaign on stoking fear of and hatred against the country's Arab minority. However, European Union countries are poised to give Avigdor Lieberman a chance unless the guidelines of the new right-wing coalition headed by Benjamin Netanyahu contain elements directed against Israel's Arab minority, a European diplomat said last night.

A Reality Check
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
March 12, 2009 - 12:00am

The (enhanced) Grad missiles that hit the southern city of Ashkelon several days ago underscore the bitter strategic defeat Israel incurred in the recent Operation Cast Lead.

Likud-Kadima coalition talks resumed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Atilla Somfalvi - March 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Netanyahu government continues to materialize: The secret talks between the Likud and Kadima parties have been resumed recently in a bid to form a joint coalition, sources in both parties confirmed Friday. Senior officials in both parties have been discussing this possibility in the past few days. According to the sources, Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni and are aware of these talks and were even involved in some of them Netanyahu himself has spoken to senior Kadima officials, but Likud sources clarified that these were not negotiations.

Is a right-wing government the answer?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
March 13, 2009 - 12:00am

A right-wing Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu is widely seen as spelling the end of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Given the ongoing expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which Netanyahu has promised to accelerate, no other outcome seems conceivable.

Seems like old times in Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Chicago Tribune
March 13, 2009 - 12:00am

There's a lot of talk, most of it from Republicans, about President Barack Obama reneging on one or another of his impassioned campaign promises, most of them having to do with our ever-worsening economic disaster. But the promise that is most serious, at least in foreign policy, is the Middle East—and one can't quite tell yet whether the "forgetfulness" over his earlier pledges of "change" toward the region are coming obliquely from his secretary of state or directly from Obama himself.

Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ali Sawafta - March 11, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian youth and wounded another on Wednesday after firebombs were thrown at their vehicle in the occupied West Bank, an Israeli military spokeswoman said. A Palestinian paramedic said Fayez Atta, 17, from a village near the West Bank town of Ramallah, had died of gunshot wounds and another youth had been taken to an Israeli hospital in a serious condition. The Israeli spokeswoman said troops opened fire when the Palestinians, whom they suspected had attacked their vehicle with firebombs, ignored their orders to surrender.

Palestinian rights group releases Cast Lead stats
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
March 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Some 1,434 Palestinians were killed, including 960 civilians, during Israel's military offensive in Gaza, a Palestinian human rights group said. The dead included 288 children and 121 women, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said on Thursday. The non-civilians killed included 239 police officers and 235 "fighters," according to the group. The group said it would publish a list of the names of those killed next week in Arabic, and would follow that with an English version, according to Reuters. Some 5,303 people were injured in the fighting, according to the group.

The one-, two-, five-state solutions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
March 13, 2009 - 12:00am

We enjoy the counting game when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict, hypothesising about the number of states that must be created to end this conflict. The one-state solution is an idea coming from part of the Palestinian liberal elite that calls for one state for two nations: Israelis and Palestinians. The idea is rejected by Israelis as political suicide because demographic trends will mean a Palestinian-dominated state in 20 years or so.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017