The language that absolves Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Saree Makdisi - June 19, 2009 - 12:00am

On Sunday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech that -- by categorically ruling out the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state -- ought to have been seen as a mortal blow to the quest for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On Monday morning, however, newspaper headlines across the United States announced that Netanyahu had endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state, and the White House welcomed the speech as "an important step forward."

Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - June 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's insistence that Palestinians recognize Israel as a "Jewish state" seems to rely on the certain knowledge that the Palestinians will never agree. This demand is of recent vintage. How recent? In 2006, after Hamas won the Palestinian elections, Israel demanded that the West insist on three conditions before dealing with it. Now known as the Quartet Conditions, they are still in effect today: "Hamas must recognize Israel, forswear terrorism and accept previous Palestinian commitments."

Gaza mud houses are answer to a prayer for the homeless
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Hider - June 19, 2009 - 12:00am

With no cement or construction materials being allowed by Israel or Egypt into the Gaza Strip, residents are starting to build homes out of mud, using earth excavated from smuggling tunnels that provide an uncertain lifeline to the outside world.

Israeli police humiliate Palestinians in video
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
June 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli border guards have posted videos online in which they humiliate Palestinians, including ordering a young man to sing and slap himself, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported on Saturday. In one video clip posted on YouTube the man is ordered to repeatedly slap himself in the face while chanting "I love the border police" as off-screen border guards laugh and cheer him on. "Say one hummus, one ful (fava beans), I love the border guard," the off-screen voice says. The Hebrew and Arabic phrase rhymes.

Report: Hamas to present new list of prisoners
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - June 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian and Egyptian sources estimated Friday that the Hamas organization might soon relax its conditions and present a new list of prisoners for an exchange deal with Israel, which would secure the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has been invited for a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Sunday.

Congressman Ellison: ‘We Need to Support Peace, Not Partisan Politics’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson - June 18, 2009 - 12:00am

United States Congressman Keith Ellison was recently referred to by President Obama in his Cairo speech as the nation’s first Muslim representative to swear the oath of office on Thomas Jefferson’s Quran. Representing Minnesota’s 5th District, Mr. Ellison has made the Middle East a priority, traveling to the region on a number of occasions since entering Congress in 2007. Below is a complete transcript of The Media Line’s June 7th interview with the congressman. Ellison: I was as surprised as anyone when I heard the President refer to my swearing in.

Mideast peace deal could happen 'within year': Blair
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
June 18, 2009 - 12:00am

A Middle East peace deal is possible "within the year," but only if all sides agree to peaceful negotiations, international envoy Tony Blair says in comments to be aired Friday. The former British premier said there was a "great sense of hope and expectation" in the region after US President Barack Obama's recent speech on relations between the West and the Islamic world. "If President Obama gets the right partner, on the Israeli side but also on the Palestinian side, his determination to do this I have no doubt about at all," he told interviewer David Frost.

Palestinians: Don't start talks 'from scratch'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
June 17, 2009 - 12:00am

The chief Palestinian negotiator said Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must resume peace talks from the point where they ended under Israel's previous, more moderate government. Ahmed Qureia told reporters at his office just east of Jerusalem that talks cannot "start from scratch," but Netanyahu wants to restart the process at the beginning.

Arab world sees settlement row as test of Obama's credibility
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - June 19, 2009 - 12:00am

The clash on the settlements between the Obama-Clinton administration and the Netanyahu-Lieberman (and Barak) government is not some petty haggling over expanding a kindergarten in Ofra or adding a balcony in Ma'aleh Adumim. It's an argument on the legal status of the West Bank settlements and East Jerusalem's Jewish neighborhoods and the sovereignty issue in the territories.

How to Achieve Israeli-Palestinian Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Hosni Mubarak - June 19, 2009 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama's seminal address in Cairo marked a turning point in America's relations with the Muslim world. His message was clear and incontrovertible: It is issues of politics and policy, not a clash of values, that separate the Muslim world and America. It is the resolution of these issues that will heal the divide. The ambitious agenda outlined by President Obama must now be followed by forward-looking steps in order to chart a new course in America's relationship with the Arab and Muslim world. I look forward to working with the president to achieve that objective.

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