July 29th

Yes indeed, the settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Tzvia Greenfield - (Opinion) July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Of all the strange things that have happened this peculiar summer, the strangest is the way that oddly assorted elements have lined up to explain to U.S. President Barack Obama why pressure regarding freezing the Jewish settlements in the territories is not the best way to deal with Israel's evasion of implementing the two-state solution.

The world smiles on Obama, but not Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Raphael Ahren - July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel alone in a poll of 25 nations has decreased its approval of the United States since President Barack Obama took office earlier this year, according to a recent survey.

Obama begins pressuring Arab leaders on deal with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nathan Guttman - July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Freezing the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank was once seen as a unilateral Israeli obligation. But the Obama administration is now treating this as part of a package that will require concessions from Arab states as well. An intensified and more public focus on this idea appears to be one of the byproducts of U.S. President Barack Obama's July 13 pledge to American Jewish communal representatives to address perceptions that he is pressuring only Israel.

In Israel, no settlement deal for US envoy – just more settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

US Mideast envoy George Mitchell wrapped up three days of talks here on Tuesday, heralding "good progress" in his meetings with Israeli officials. But he made no mention of a much anticipated agreement on the most visible point of contention in recent weeks and a key issue for Arabs: freezing settlement construction in the West Bank.

Telling Israel No: Obama's Bold Move
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Celestine Bohlen - July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama, who vowed to revive the Arab-Israeli peace process at the start of his term, has begun with a direct and public challenge to Israel’s latest plan to build new settlements in East Jerusalem. It’s a risky move that has already provoked a sharp rebuke from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But it is hard to see how the peace process could move forward if Washington had remained silent.

July 28th

US-Israeli talks make 'progress'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu say talks about reviving the regional peace process have made "good progress". There was no mention of Israel agreeing to halt settlement construction, a key demand the US has made of its ally. Mr Netanyahu has previously rejected such a freeze, saying "natural growth" of settlements must be allowed. Mr Mitchell is one of several senior US officials in the region pushing for a comprehensive Middle East peace deal.

Jewish leaders seek more pressure on Palestinians, Arab states
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Any good therapist will tell you: There’s pressure that hurts and there’s pressure that heals. Two weeks after President Obama promised more of the latter, establishment Jewish groups are still squirming -- complaining that the pressure on Israel is unrelenting, while pressure on Arabs and the Palestinians has yet to kick in. Jewish leaders, who reached out to JTA to describe in greater detail their White House meeting with the president on July 13, say they see progress, but are concerned that an imbalance persists.

'Obama unlikely to present peace plan'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Recent talks with US envoy George Mitchell have left Israeli officials with the impression that - contrary to expectations in some circles - President Barack Obama is not going to unfurl his own regional peace plan. Rather, according to these officials, the administration is aiming to create a positive dynamic that will lead to the relaunching of a Palestinian-Israeli diplomatic process, but this time with more regional players on board.

Congressional letter to Saudi king gathering signatures
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

A letter urging Saudi King Abdullah to "assert a strong leadership role" in the Middle East is gathering signatures in the House of Representatives. The AIPAC-backed letter, circulated by Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Ed Royce (D-Calif.), expresses disappointment with the Saudi government's public reaction thus far to President Obama's Cairo speech, noting that the Saudi foreign minister recently said that his country could not "take any step toward normalization before the return of all Arab land."

US Urges Concessions in Mideast Peace Drive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell on Monday appealed to Israel, the Palestinians and Arab states not to shy away from difficult or controversial steps towards peace in the region. Amid a flurry of US diplomatic activity across the Middle East, Mitchell told Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas that Washington is doing "everything we can to achieve a comprehensive peace.

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