Netanyahu to shift Israel to right
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Tobias Buck - March 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu will be sworn in as Israel’s prime minister, marking a decisive shift to a more rightwing, hawkish government, just as the country is facing mounting international criticism.

Bibi and Barack Can Unite on Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Yossi Klein Halevi - (Opinion) March 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Enemies of the American-Israeli alliance could not have conjured a scenario more fraught with potential for misunderstanding. In Washington, a new president is reaching out to the Muslim world, including Iran. In Jerusalem, the government about to take office represents the disillusionment of the Israeli public with 15 years of failed peace talks. For President Barack Obama, power is a means to encourage the rational self-interest of opponents. For Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, power is the means of defending his people from irrational hatred. Mr.

Israel's Netanyahu says he can work with Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Boudreaux - March 31, 2009 - 12:00am

In the weeks since he was chosen to form Israel's next government, Benjamin Netanyahu has labored to dispel the perception that he's on a collision course with the country's most powerful ally. Never mind his history of spats with Washington, or that he refuses to embrace the goal of an independent Palestinian state, a cornerstone of American policy reaffirmed by President Obama last And never mind that religious parties in his coalition call for expanding the Jewish settlements in the West Bank that Obama has criticized. Or that his foreign minister lives in one.

Israel Ends Inquiry Into Abuse in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - March 30, 2009 - 12:00am

The Israeli military said Monday that its advocate general had decided to close an investigation into allegations of abuses by soldiers during the recent campaign in Gaza. The allegations arose from the accounts of soldiers at a conference of graduates of a premilitary course at an academic college in northern Israel. The military police found that “the crucial components of their descriptions were based on hearsay and not supported by specific personal knowledge,” the army said in a statement.

Netanyahu set for inauguration as Israel's leader
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Jeffrey Heller - March 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu was to be sworn in as Israel's prime minister Tuesday, returning to a post he held a decade ago and with no explicit commitment to the internationally-backed goal of Palestinian statehood. Netanyahu, 59, planned to ask parliament to ratify his right-leaning coalition government at a session starting at 5 p.m. (1400 GMT), officials said. Debate could last for hours.

March 30th

Israel's Step Back From Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Saeb Erakat - March 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Emphasizing diplomacy and engagement over isolation and confrontation, President Obama has spoken eloquently of a new era of American leadership. Of the changes he has promised, the most important to Palestinians is his commitment to reinvigorating the Middle East peace process.

Settlers using government transition to step up construction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - March 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Construction activity on West Bank settlements has increased in the transition period between the February general election and the formation of the new government, Haaretz has learned. One notable example is the extensive earthworks being carried out in preparation for the construction of a road connect the settlement of Eli, north of Ramallah, with the Hayovel outpost Yuval, just south of the Arab city.

State: No reason to disqualify Lieberman from office
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
March 30, 2009 - 12:00am

The State Prosecutor's Office informed the High Court of Justice on Monday that it found no legal grounds to contest appointing Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman as Israel's next foreign minister. The State was responding to a petition filed by the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, demanding Lieberman be disqualified from office due to the police investigations against him.

Hamas: Netanyahu will get identical prisoner list
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - March 30, 2009 - 12:00am

With a new Israeli government a mere day away, a Hamas source said Monday that the Islamist group "is undeterred by (Prime Minister-designate Benjamin) Netanyahu. He, as well as (Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor) Lieberman and their other partners, will have to discuss our prisoners list." Should the negotiations on the prisoners Hamas wants released as part of an exchange deal meant to secure the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit stall, warned the source, Netanyahu "may find himself with a new, harder to swallow list."

Palestinians celebrate Land Day
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - March 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Arrabeh, Israel // Palestinians across the Middle East were due to commemorate Land Day today, marking the anniversary of clashes in 1976 in which six unarmed Palestinians were shot dead by the Israeli army as it tried to break up a general strike. Although Land Day is one the most important anniversaries in the Palestinian calendar, sometimes referred to as the Palestinians’ national day, the historical event it marks is little spoken of and rarely studied.

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