July 30th

'Netanyahu freezes East Jerusalem construction'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has frozen a project for the construction of some 900 apartments in East Jerusalem, Channel 10 television reported late Wednesday. The report of Netanyahu's order to freeze the project came a day after he held talks in Jerusalem with U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell. Netanyahu has been under tremendous pressure from the United States to freeze all construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Tough on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
(Editorial) July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

ONE OF THE MORE striking results of the Obama administration's first six months is that only one country has worse relations with the United States than it did in January: Israel. The new administration has pushed a reset button with Russia and sent new ambassadors to Syria and Venezuela; it has offered olive branches to Cuba and Burma. But for nearly three months it has been locked in a public confrontation with Israel over Jewish housing construction in Jerusalem and the West Bank. To a less visible extent, the two governments also have differed over policy toward Iran.

Top Fatah leader back in W. Bank after over 40 years in exile
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

A Fatah leader returned to the West Bank Wednesday after more than 40 years in exile. Mohammed Ghneim was one of Fatah's last holdouts in the diaspora. Only three of Fatah's two dozen top leaders refused to return with then-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to the Palestinian territories after the 1993 Oslo Accords. At the time, Ghneim said he would leave exile in Tunis only to enter a Palestinian state. Recently he relented. On Wednesday, he was greeted in Ramallah by hundreds of activists. He plans to run for a top post at next week's Fatah convention, the first in 20 years.

Arabs losing hope in Obama's ability to broker Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Nearly two months after President Obama's historic address to the Muslim world from Cairo, his administration made a high-profile drive this week to shore up Arab and Israeli support for a comprehensive peace deal. A trio of senior officials – US Mideast envoy George Mitchell, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and US National Security Advisor James Jones – have visited officials throughout the region, with particular emphasis on Israel.

UK funding political activity in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel is up in arms over a declaration by a British government spokesman that the UK is funding political activity in Israel. British spokesman Martin Day said in an interview in Dubai with Al-Arabiya television last week that the British government was "taking practical steps towards freezing settlement activities." "For instance," Day said, "we finance projects aimed at halting settlement activities. One of these projects seeks to build new Palestinian neighborhoods in east Jerusalem and save Palestinian houses from demolition."

The 9th of Av's new tears
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Yisrael Medad - (Opinion) July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

An apocryphal story is told of Napoleon Bonaparte entering a darkened synagogue and observing weeping Jews, sitting on low stools. Asking what misfortune had occurred to cause such behavior, he was informed that it was the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av.

West Bank Settlers Send Obama Defiant Message
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

In this land of endless history and ethereal beauty, several thousand Jewish settlers gathered on a dozen West Bank hills with makeshift huts and Israeli flags over several days this week to mark an invented anniversary and defy the American president, conveying to his aides visiting Jerusalem what they thought of his demand for a settlement freeze.

July 29th

Palestinian Authority Approves West Bank's First Planned City: Is Palestine Inching Toward Statehood?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Catesby Holmes - July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has officially approved the Master Plan for a large-scale mixed-used development on the West Bank, scheduled to break ground in September. Rawabi, which means "the hills" in Arabic, will be the first Palestinian city to be built in thousands of years and will provide affordable housing, office buildings, restaurants, retail shops, schools, banks, a movie theater, and more.

Washington reassures the Israeli bride
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

In traditional Arab culture, when a man wants to ask for a woman’s hand in marriage, his family undertakes a jaha – a delegation of men who visit the family of the would-be bride to request her in marriage. The jaha often includes prominent men in society from outside the groom’s family, the aim being to impress the woman’s family that she is marrying into a family with social standing and clout.

US steps up peace process efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

The Obama administration appeared to step up its diplomatic efforts in the Middle East this week, as a series of high-profile US officials descended on the region in what commentators described as a concerted bid by the US president to find a far-reaching solution for Arab-Israeli peace. “The new thing in the Obama approach is that it is comprehensive,” said Ghassan Khatib, a former Palestinian cabinet minister who currently co-edits bitterlemons.org, an Israeli-Palestinian online opinion journal. He added: “Obama is trying to talk to everybody.

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