March 26th

Netanyahu Says Peace Talks Will Continue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel's incoming prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said Wednesday that he will pursue peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, but he withheld any endorsement of an independent Palestinian state. "I think that the Palestinians should understand that they have in our government a partner for peace, for security and for rapid economic development of the Palestinian economy," he told a business group in his most substantial remarks on the peace process since the Israeli elections in February.

The Palestinian cause is being hijacked
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Michael Young - (Opinion) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

I first met Kamal Medhat, whom I always knew as Kamal Naji, in early 2007, when I was looking for background information to review a book on militant Islam in the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp. At the time, Kamal could still claim to have abandoned everything for the attractions of academia, though you knew even then that the finality of the man was not a fastidious thesis and a chalkboard.

A Tax Break Fuels Middle East Friction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by David Ignatius - (Opinion) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

For many years, the United States has had a policy against spending aid money to fund Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which successive administrations have regarded as an obstacle to peace. Yet private organizations in the United States continue to raise tax-exempt contributions for the very activities that the government opposes.

Israel phosphorus use criticised
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel's use of white phosphorus shells over densely populated areas during the recent Gaza conflict may constitute war crimes, a rights group has said. Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of "deliberately or recklessly" using the shells in violation of the laws of war, causing "needless civilian deaths". The New York-based group's report is based on research conducted immediately after the conflict ended in January. Israel has insisted that its use of weapons in the offensive was lawful.

Editorial: Chances of peace remote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

THIRTY years to the day after Egypt signed a peace deal with Israel, the Jewish state has demonstrated why that supposed first move in a resolution of its conflict with the Palestinians remains just that, a supposed first move. The anti-peace and uncompromising Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu is to form the next Israeli coalition. He has clinched a deal with the center-left Labor Party.

The Fierce Urgency of Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Roger Cohen - (Opinion) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Pressure on President Obama to recast the failed American approach to Israel-Palestine is building from former senior officials whose counsel he respects. Following up on a letter dated Nov. 6, 2008, that was handed to Obama late last year by Paul Volcker, now a senior economic adviser to the president, these foreign policy mandarins have concluded a “Bipartisan Statement on U.S. Middle East Peacemaking” that should become an essential template.

A government united by its disagreements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

The new government of Israel has finally taken shape. Likud will lead a hodgepodge of right wing and left wing, secular and religious as well as capitalist and socialist. This, Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition partners tell us, is the unity government that the Israelis want. But while the government appears to represent the full spectrum of the Israeli electorate, there is little to unify the coalition partners.

Report: Significant progress on Shalit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Significant progress ahs been made on the release of Israeli captive Gilad Shalit, a senior Palestinian official told Hizbullah's al-Manar television. The official said that "an Egyptian envoy arrived in Israel Tuesday evening and met with senior Israeli officials, including Ofer Dekel, who have been appointed by the government to handle the Shalit case, and Amos Gilad. "Great progress was registered during the meeting," he added.

The Last Chance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

It would appear that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister-designate, has struck a secret agreement with Avigdor Lieberman, head of the ultra-right wing Yisrael Beiteinu Party, to continue construction on the so-called E1 settlement plan, which will sever occupied East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.

The Lobby Falters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from London Review of Books
by John Mearsheimer - (Opinion) March 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Many people in Washington were surprised when the Obama administration tapped Charles Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council, the body that oversees the production of National Intelligence Estimates: Freeman had a distinguished 30-year career as a diplomat and Defense Department official, but he has publicly criticised Israeli policy and America’s special relationship with Israel, saying, for example, in a speech in 2005, that ‘as long as the United States continues unconditionally to provide the subsidies and political protection that make the Israeli occupation and the high-hande

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