Obama demands that Israel stop settlements. But how feasible is that?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - May 21, 2009 - 12:00am

This week, US President Barack Obama conveyed a clear message to his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu: the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank must stop. On Thursday, Israeli police evacuated an unauthorized settlement outpost of Maoz Esther, but Israeli peace activists said the move was a public relations stunt, since no settlers live there on a permanent basis.

Keeping Score on Obama vs. Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Helene Cooper, Mark Landler - (Analysis) May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

After the much anticipated White House meeting on Monday between President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, one question being asked in diplomatic circles is this: Did Mr. Obama give up more than he got? The meeting between the two, their first as leaders, was mainly an exercise in breaking the ice. But at the early stages of a relationship between the nations’ leaders that is likely to be more strained than it was during the Bush years, their dealings are being analyzed for signs of who has the upper hand.

Vote Fatah (or Hamas)
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Khalil Shikaki - (Opinion) May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

THE performance of the Palestinian Authority during the past 17 months has been impressive. It has managed against the odds to restore order in the West Bank to a degree not seen in many years. And it has confronted and disarmed nationalist and Islamist groups. Corruption is also not as rampant as it was a few years ago.

Don't do us any favors
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Issa Amro - (Opinion) May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

I am unfamiliar with any location in Israel or in the occupied territories where a Jew cannot travel to his own home in his car. Yet for us, the Palestinians in Hebron, this is the norm. Since 2001, the main street in Hebron's Wadi Hassan, which you refer to as the Zion Route, has been closed off to the movement of Palestinian vehicles. The street is only open to Israelis, even though all its residents are Palestinian. Not even one Jew resides on this street.

Palestinians Try to Prune Branches of Core Party
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - (Analysis) May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

There is the Central Committee and the Revolutionary Council, the Old Guard and the Young Guard. There are the insiders, the outsiders, the cell leaders, branch chiefs and district heads. And there is the Office of Mobilization and Discipline, also known as the Office of Indoctrination. Fatah, the core of the Palestinian national movement for five decades, has the organizational transparency of a Soviet republic and was long run like one by its founder, Yasir Arafat. Talk of reform arose after his death five years ago and again when Hamas defeated it in legislative elections in 2006.

"Fixation on two-state solution is childish"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - May 21, 2009 - 12:00am

"This idea of two states for two peoples is a stupid and childish solution to a very complex problem," senior members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu staff said on Wednesday as the entourage made its way back to Israel from Washington. They were determined to emphasize that Israel would continue to build in the larger settlement blocs and Jerusalem despite US President Barack Obama's resolute opposition.

A friend of Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) May 21, 2009 - 12:00am

It's already clear: the U.S. president is a great friend of Israel. If Barack Obama continues what he started this week, he might prove to be the friendliest president to Israel ever. Richard Nixon saved Israel from the Arab states in 1973, and Obama is about to save Israel from itself. Nixon sent us arms and ammunition at a critical time, and Obama is sending us, at a time no less critical, the substance of a complete peace plan, a plan that would save Israel.

Israel removes West Bank settler outpost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Baz Ratner - May 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli police broke up an unauthorized settler outpost in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, bulldozing makeshift cabins, police said. About 40 members of paramilitary border police evacuated five settler families from a hilltop camp called Maoz Esther where they were living in wooden huts with sheet metal roofs. The camp was about 300 meters from the Jewish settlement of Kokhav Hashahar, northeast of the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Clinton calls on Israel to halt 'any kind' of settlement activity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - May 21, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took a hard line against settlement construction in the territories Wednesday, including a call to freeze building for natural growth. Her statement came in contrast to the general terms U.S. President Barack Obama expressed about the issue to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the week. "We want to see a stop to settlement construction - additions, natural growth, any kind of settlement activity - that is what the president has called for," Clinton said in an interview with Al-Jazeera.

Israeli Arabs blast plan for PA to cede Temple Mount sovereignty
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn, Avi Issacharoff, Jack Khoury, Barak Ravid - May 21, 2009 - 12:00am

The northern branch of the Islamic Movement blasted Thursday a proposal for the Palestinian Authority to relinquish sovereignty over the Temple Mount in exchange for international Islamic control of the site. "The proposal to transfer sovereignty to a third state stems from the attempted to internationalize the Al Aqsa Mosque, and actually this is a proposal whose significance is the continuation of the occupation; therefore, such a proposal must be aggressively rejected," the Israeli Arab group said in a statement.

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