Using New Language, President Shows Understanding for Both Sides in Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jacqueline Salmon - June 5, 2009 - 12:00am

There was no mention of "terrorists" or "terrorism," just "violent extremists." There was the suggestion that Israeli settlements are illegitimate and the assertion that the Palestinians "have suffered in pursuit of a homeland." There were frequent references to the "Holy Koran" and echoes of Muslim phrases.

Varying Responses to Speech in Mideast Highlight Divisions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Michael Slackman - June 4, 2009 - 12:00am

On one level, President Obama’s speech succeeded in reaching out to Muslims across the Middle East, winning widespread praise for his respectful approach, his quotations from the Koran and his forthright references to highly fraught political conflicts.

Addressing Muslims, Obama Pushes Mideast Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Alan Cowell, Jeff Zeleny - June 4, 2009 - 12:00am

In opening a bold overture to the Islamic world on Thursday, President Obama confronted frictions between Muslims and the West, but he reserved some of his bluntest words for Israel, as he expressed sympathy for the Palestinians and what he called the “daily humiliations, large and small, that come with occupation.”

Analysts See Growing US-Israeli Rift Over Settlements Issue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Voice of America
by Meredith Buel - June 4, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama is calling on Israel to stop construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. In a speech at Cairo University, Mr. Obama says the building of settlements is undermining efforts to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Mr. Obama's latest remarks highlight a growing rift between Israel and the United States. President Obama used unusually blunt language in calling on the Israeli government to stop expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Muslims in U.S.: Speech hit 'right notes'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from USA Today
by Marisol Bello - June 5, 2009 - 12:00am

President Obama's call for Arabs, Israelis and Americans to abandon their suspicions and work together for a more secure future was welcomed more enthusiastically by Muslims on this side of the world than by Jews who expressed concerns about his support for the Palestinian cause. "He hit the right notes with the right tone," said Ziad Asali, president of the American Task Force on Palestine. "He gave the big picture in a speech that takes the high moral ground. It takes courage to say the things that are not exactly what your audience wants to hear."

US official: Settlement deal possible
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - June 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Washington feels "an arrangement that works" can be hammered out with Israel on the settlement issue, a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, indicating the US recognizes some wiggle room in defining a "settlement freeze." "There's a professional, constructive dialogue on this issue," the official said, shortly after US President Barack Obama delivered his speech in Cairo. "We have differences, but believe we can find an arrangement that works."

Some Israeli, U.S. officials move to keep the volume down
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - June 4, 2009 - 12:00am

Stop the shouting, we're trying to get something done over here -- that's the message from some U.S. and Israeli officials after weeks of reports about widening divergences over the settlements. The first example came Tuesday in the form of an e-mail from a senior White House official to the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for public policy groups.

Yesha Council: Obama 'more Hussein than Barack'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Erfat Weiss - June 5, 2009 - 12:00am

"Only time will tell if the US president is Barack or Hussein," Yesha Council Director-General Pinchas Wallerstein said Thursday in response to Obama's historic speech in Cairo, in which called for a "new beginning between the United States and Muslims."

Obama sees 'great opportunity' in Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
June 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Following his historic speech in Cairo Thursday, US President Barack Obama submitted to a special interview with seven journalists, including Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent Nahum Barnea, saying he sees a great opportunity to advance Mideastern peace. Noting that Israel is an economic power, the president said Israel could achieve greater prosperity though trade with Gulf States, while the Palestinians would enjoy the investments of Palestinian expatriates.

Israel considered two-state solution just after Six-Day War
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Tom Segev - June 5, 2009 - 12:00am

On December 5, 1967, then-chief of staff Lt. Gen. Yitzhak Rabin suggested to prime minister Levi Eshkol that a Palestinian state be established in the West Bank. The minutes of that conversation are kept today in the state archives. Rabin had in mind a state "that would be connected to Israel."

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017