One Piece of a Larger Puzzle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Progress
by Ian Bomberg - July 14, 2009 - 12:00am

As the new U.S. administration lays the groundwork for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict, it is worth considering how such a process might unfold. On a recent visit to the West Bank and Israel, I witnessed the importance of an integrated approach that combines progress on political negotiations, implementation of Road Map obligations and day-to-day realities. Economic progress is a key component in this strategy and must be fostered, but development will only be sustainable and help bring an end to the conflict if it is carried out in concert with advancement on other fronts.

Why US diplomats are visiting Israeli settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - July 14, 2009 - 12:00am

While the Obama administration keeps up pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cap Jewish settlement expansion, locally based US diplomats are cultivating ties with the very communities they consider an obstacle to the creation of a Palestinian state.

Will EU Penalize Exports from Israeli Settlements?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Der Spiegel
by Ralf Beste, Christoph Schult - July 14, 2009 - 12:00am

The Israeli settlement known as Maale Adumim sits fortress-like atop a red stone plateau. In the Bible, the road to the plateau was known as the "steep red road." As the largest Israeli settlement in the Palestinian-administered areas of the West Bank, Maale Adumim is home to 40,000 people. Bulldozers are clearing lots for new houses on its outskirts. Its population is growing by the week and, in recent years, it has grown faster than any other settlement.

'Settlements aren't Obama's problem'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
July 14, 2009 - 12:00am

The Peace Now movement launched a new campaign on Tuesday, calling on Israelis to push for a freeze on settlement construction. The campaign focuses around the slogan: "Settlements are not Obama's problem, not the world's problem, but your problem." At a press conference held in Jerusalem Tuesday morning, Peace Now chair Yariv Oppenheimer said, "The Israeli public has been brainwashed, first by the Labor party, and then by Kadima, Likud and obviously the right-wing parties, that settlement building is in the nation's interest."

Obama tries to allay US Jews' concerns
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - July 14, 2009 - 12:00am

In their first official White House meeting, US President Barack Obama tried to reassure American Jewish leaders that there was a mistaken perception that the United States is pressuring Israel more than the Palestinians or Arab countries. Obama considers visiting Israel Instead, he spoke of the need for Palestinian and Arab leaders to take steps toward Israel, suggesting that effort would become more pronounced in the coming weeks and emphasizing his bedrock commitment to Israel's security, according to participants.

Israeli ships may have crossed Suez
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
July 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Two Israeli navy ships made a rare crossing of Egypt’s Suez Canal today, headed from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea a source at the port said. One of the ships, the Hanit, already crossed the canal both ways in June, in what the source said was the first case of a large Israeli warship using the strategic waterway, although this was not possible to confirm officially. After fighting several wars since Israel’s foundation in 1948, Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979.

Israel rejects EU call for Palestinian state deadline
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
July 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel on Monday rejected a European Union call for the United Nations to recognise a Palestinian state by a certain deadline even if Israel and Palestinians fail to agree on a peace deal. "A peace agreement can come only following direct negotiations and cannot be imposed," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told public radio. Lieberman was commenting on a speech by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in London on Saturday in which he called for the international community to set a deadline for recognising the state of Palestine.

Avigdor Lieberman: Politically Incorrect
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Romesh Ratnesar - July 13, 2009 - 12:00am

For a man reputed to be Israel's biggest loudmouth, Avigdor Lieberman speaks softly. His flat, Russian-accented baritone rarely rises above a murmur. He's not a shouter. But when Lieberman talks, people listen — less because he is Israel's top diplomat than because of his knack for saying decidedly undiplomatic things. Lieberman believes that Israel's Arab citizens, who make up nearly 20% of the population, should be forced to sign oaths of loyalty. He has advocated the death penalty for Arab members of parliament who meet with members of Hamas.

Gaza to Get $21.5 Million From World Bank to Rebuild
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Gwen Ackerman - July 14, 2009 - 12:00am

The World Bank pledged an additional $21.5 million for Palestinian Authority operations in the Gaza Strip, including the reconstruction of areas damaged during an Israeli military offensive in December and January. The funds will be administered by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s staff under assessment by the bank, which has encouraged donors to channel funds through the Palestinian Authority’s budget and Central Treasury Account.

Blair praises Israeli gestures to PA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from United Press International (UPI)
July 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Recent steps taken by Israel to improve the quality of life for Palestinians are not getting enough credit, Mideast envoy Tony Blair said. Blair made the statements at a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Silvan Shalom, minister of Regional Development in Jerusalem, Monday evening, Maariv said Tuesday. Blair praised the recent removal of West Bank checkpoints and roadblocks by Israel and recent steps taken to boost the Palestinian economy, the paper said.

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