PA says in charge of pope's east J'lem visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Erfat Weiss - May 11, 2009 - 12:00am

Several hours before the pope's visit, the question of east Jerusalem's status has been put to the test once again: The Jerusalem Police on Monday morning sealed off a conference hall at the Ambassador Hotel in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood following the Palestinian Authority's plan to hold a briefing for foreign and Palestinian journalists ahead of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Israel. A senior PA official told Ynet in response that "when the pope arrives in east Jerusalem, he and his visit are our responsibility."

To gain a true affinity for Arab Jerusalem, visit it
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Sultan Al Qasemi - (Opinion) May 10, 2009 - 12:00am

This year Jerusalem was chosen as the Unesco Arab capital of culture. What Unesco doesn’t understand is that Arabs only honour Jerusalem in their minds and with their rhetoric, and that there is no real support for the Holy City.

Barack Obama’s promising push for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) May 10, 2009 - 12:00am

Quietly, momentum has been building in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian peace process. You could be forgiven for missing it amid the diplomatic flurry that defined Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office. But given the signs, Mr Obama appears to be planning a major push to get peace efforts back onto a productive path. The most encouraging development is that after seven years, the Saudi-authored Arab Peace Initiative appears to be gaining traction in Washington.

Netanyahu to meet Egyptian leader
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - May 11, 2009 - 12:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu will meet Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president today, for the first time since being re-elected Israel’s prime minister amid differences between the two countries on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and tensions stirred by Israel’s ultranationalist foreign minister. The Israeli leader will meet Mr Mubarak in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh. The trip marks Mr Netanyahu’s first official visit abroad since being sworn in on March 31, and comes just a week before he holds a key meeting with Barack Obama, the US president, in Washington.

A Papal Visit and Then It's Over!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Elias Harfoush - (Opinion) May 10, 2009 - 12:00am

I read a comment made by a reporter for an American Catholic newspaper about the visit of Pope Benedict XVI's to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, saying: "If he simply manages to get back to Rome without starting a war, some might declare the trip a success!"

Between Egypt and Hizbullah, a crisis just waiting to happen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Gamal A. G. Soltan - (Opinion) May 11, 2009 - 12:00am

The current tension between Egypt and Hizbullah is a crisis that has been waiting to happen for years. The causes of tension between the two sides are multifaceted. This is a conflict between nationalism and supra-nationalism, between Egypt and Iran, between moderation and radicalism, between Sunnis and Shiites and between status quo and revisionist forces in the Middle East. Hizbullah's ideology, its nature as a non-state armed actor and its strong alliance with Iran are sufficient to generate heavy doubts and concerns among mainstream Arab states regarding the movement.

Hamas leader rejects two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from United Press International (UPI)
May 9, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas will accept no less than a fully sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, the group's political leader in exile said Saturday. Khaled Meshal, who lives in Syria, called a two-state solution unacceptable because Hamas cannot envision living with Israel in peace and security. Meshal spoke Saturday at a news conference, following a gathering of several Palestinian factional leaders in exile, reported KUNA, the Kuwait news agency.

UN to Debate How to Revive Flagging Mideast Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
May 11, 2009 - 12:00am

The UN Security Council on Monday is to hold talks on reviving the stalled Middle East peace process and creating an independent Palestinian state living side-by-side with a secure Israel. Although Israeli and Palestinian representatives will not take part in the UN talks, Russia called for the debate saying that "vigorous" diplomacy was needed to resolve the issue of Middle East peace. Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who chairs the 15-member Security Council this month, called the Council meeting to stress the "urgency of reaching comprehensive peace in the Middle East."

Only 13% of Bethlehem land available for Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times of India
May 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Continued expansion of Israeli settlements and their outposts, along with other measures, have significantly reduced the availability of land for Palestinians restricting their livelihoods and development, a new report by the UN humanitarian affairs agency has said. Israeli expansionist measures have reduced to 13 per cent the availability of land in Bethlehem for Palestinian use, limited the area's access to resources and restricted its potential for development, said the report by the UN Office for Coordination on Humanitarian Affairs (UCHA).

Hostage to Israel’s far right
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Le Monde Diplomatique
by Joseph Algazy, Dominique Vidal - May 1, 2009 - 12:00am

David Rotem’s leitmotif is allegiance to the state, but he never spells it out. So much so that, before leaving, we put it to him: “Imagine yourself in Nazi Germany. Where would your loyalty lie?” “To the state,” he replied, without blinking an eye. That retort, given in the Knesset building in Jerusalem, left us stunned, particularly since he went on to tell us how his father left Germany when Hitler came to power.

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