A sign of optimism for Palestinian freedom
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Chicago Tribune
by Mustafa Barghouthi - (Opinion) June 10, 2009 - 12:00am

Throughout decades of struggle for Palestinian freedom, there has been little cause for optimism. Today, I am optimistic.

Reform rabbis back Obama on settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Eric Fingerhut - June 10, 2009 - 12:00am

The Reform rabbinate is backing President Obama's position on Israeli settlements. The Central Conference of American Rabbis, which represents nearly 2,000 Reform rabbis, said it believes the president's call for a stop to all Israeli settlement activity and his "outspokenness" on the issue is "in the best interest of the United States, of the State of Israel, and of peace."

Bottom line for Palestinian entrepreneurs: Reinvent the economy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - June 10, 2009 - 12:00am

nder pressure from visiting US Mideast envoy George Mitchell, Israeli cabinet ministers mulled easing a siege on the Gaza Strip that was designed to weaken Hamas. Amid US-Israeli disagreement over the Gaza blockade, West Bank settlements, and other issues involved in restarting the peace process, there is one point both sides agree on: The promises to boost the Palestinian economy during the recent round of talks stretching the final year of the Bush administration have produced insufficient results.

Palestinian police arrest 36 Hamas supporters as Fatah widens crackdown
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Canadian Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - June 11, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian security forces arrested 36 Hamas supporters, many of them professors and students, the Islamic militant group said Thursday, signalling a widening crackdown by Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Palestinian police spokesman Adnan Damiri confirmed that arrests were made, but would not say how many persons are held. The arrests come less than two weeks after a pair of deadly shootouts between security forces and Hamas militants in the West Bank town of Qalqiliya left nine people dead, including four police officers.

Obama's Stance Infuriates Israeli Settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from CBC News Today
by Mark Phillips - June 10, 2009 - 12:00am

Like everything else in the Middle East, there are two opinions of the work going on in Israel's West Bank settlements. The Palestinians call it Israeli expansion - another land grab. The Israelis call it "natural growth," to accommodate growing families. Whatever it is, President Obama says it has to stop. No more construction, period. "This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve piece," Mr. Obama said last week in Cairo. The settlers are furious, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips.

U.S. Envoy Reassures Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
June 10, 2009 - 12:00am

George J. Mitchell, President Obama’s Middle East envoy, assured Palestinians on Wednesday of Washington’s commitment to a state of their own, calling its establishment the only viable solution to their conflict with Israel. Mr. Mitchell, speaking after talks with the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, urged both sides to meet their obligations under a 2003 “road map” that commits Israel to halting settlement expansion and Palestinians to reining in militants. Mr. Abbas, after his talks with Mr. Mitchell, made no comment to reporters.

Pro-Palestinian Advocates Sense Winds of Change in Washington
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - June 10, 2009 - 12:00am

Changes in America’s policy toward the Middle East conflict are sending positive vibrations throughout the small and struggling pro-Palestinian advocacy community.

Rattling the Cage: Imagine Palestinian settlers in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Analysis) June 10, 2009 - 12:00am

People want to know: What is the big deal about the settlements? Houses, neighborhoods, towns - are they hurting anybody? Do they kill anybody? How can anybody compare settlements to Palestinian terror or to Iranian nuclear weapons? How can anybody believe that Jewish families living in Judea and Samaria are an obstacle to peace?

Knesset speaker: Bibi doesn't believe in 2-state vision
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Erfat Weiss - June 11, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not believe in the two-state vision, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said Tuesday, days ahead of Bibi's much anticipated speech. Speaking during a West Bank tour, Rivlin said that the Arab-Israeli conflict must be resolved before going ahead and addressing the Palestinian question.

Obama to Mubarak: Netanyahu fears peace moves will ruin coalition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - June 11, 2009 - 12:00am

During his recent visit to Cairo, U.S. President Barack Obama relayed to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that any cessation of settlement construction and acknowledgment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders will result in the collapse of his coalition government. Arab sources say Mubarak was not impressed and retorted it was Netanyahu's choice to form a right-wing coalition and he could therefore not repeatedly use that excuse for doing nothing.

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