Interview with Bassem Khoury
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Progress
(Interview) July 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Q: Mr Khoury, as Minister of National Economy, you obviously have your work cut out for you. Where will you start? A: My first priority has been to draft a 100 day plan for the Ministry. I presented this plan to the Prime Minister on 2 June. The plan has been approved and work has already begun. Q: What are the main priorities set out in the plan?

Welcome to the Middle East, 2030
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Paul Eedle - (Opinion) July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

What if Barack Obama can make peace between the Arabs and Israel? It's easy to see how he might fail. But what if he succeeds and really does create a "new beginning between the United States and Muslims"? Here is a first draft of history for the next 20 years. The events are fantasy, of course, but the logic is based on four big trends:

Arabs must aid US efforts in peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) July 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel, and some American Jews, have been crying foul. Both are claiming that the United States has been leaning too hard on Israel in the peace process, while giving the Palestinians a free pass on their obligations. To counter perceptions of a bias towards the Palestinians, Barack Obama met privately on Monday with 15 American-Jewish leaders at the White House. While he reassured the attendees of the US’s continued support for Israel, the meeting included a pointed message.

A disaster for Jews and Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Antony Lerman - (Opinion) July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel's current disastrous policy direction and the responsibility for it shared by American Jewish leaders are exemplified in the recent appointment of Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet dissident and western human rights icon, as chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel (Jafi), the quasi-governmental, $640m-a-year body that promotes Zionism and encourages Jewish migration to Israel.

IMF: Palestinian economy showing signs of growth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

The West Bank economy could post its strongest performance in years in 2009, but only if Israel broadens recent efforts to ease restrictions on Palestinian trade and movement, the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday, offering a rare upbeat assessment after years of downturn.

Obama still worries some Jewish leaders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Several Jewish officials said Tuesday that US President Barack Obama's efforts to reassure them on US policy towards Israel had not assuaged their concerns. Though they welcomed Monday's intimate face-to-face discussion at the White House and were pleased that Obama acknowledged that some in the community were worried, they said it was insufficient to dispel their doubts about his approach towards Israel.

World Bank to give Palestinians $33.5m. in aid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - July 14, 2009 - 12:00am

The World Bank on Tuesday announced plans to spend an additional $33.5 million on Palestinian infrastructure initiatives, including $21.5 million for six Gaza projects. The new aid was announced in the morning at a signing ceremony in Ramallah attended by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad and Dina Abu Ghaida, the World Bank acting country director for the West Bank and Gaza (WBG).

Israeli Author's Zionist Novel Creates Controversy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider, Samuel Sockol - July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

The idea for Israeli author Alon Hilu's latest novel, "The House of Dajani," came to him one day in a Tel Aviv cafe when he began mentally stripping the city to its roots. Where he ended was with an Arab boy in the 1890s, at his family farm near what would become the Jewish metropolis, hallucinating about a future in which an army invades and builds skyscrapers over the land.

Akiva Eldar / How to apply PR spin to the settlement issue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

America's best Jewish minds are wracking their brains, trying to find a magic formula that will put the settlements close to the hearts of Israel's supporters, not to mention its critics. A new guide to the perplexed, disseminated by the leadership of the Israel Project, the organization spearheading Israel's public relations efforts in the United States, offers a glimpse into its very own internal confusion.

Israel soldiers speak out on Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

A group of soldiers who took part in Israel's assault in Gaza say widespread abuses were committed against civilians under "permissive" rules of engagement. The troops said they had been urged to fire on any building or person that seemed suspicious and said Palestinians were sometimes used as human shields. Breaking the Silence, a campaign group made up of Israeli soldiers, gathered anonymous accounts from 26 soldiers. Israel denies breaking the laws of war and dismissed the report as hearsay.

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