Concrete Steps Forward
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Progress
(Interview) August 11, 2009 - 12:00am

What do you think administration officials are referring to when they say that Arab states have responsibility toward the Palestinian Authority, toward improving relations with Israel and for preparing their publics for peace?

Two opposing trends, the same failure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Two opposing trends were visible in Israel and Palestine on Monday, and one of them must disappear. The Fatah congress in Bethlehem reaffirmed the strategic decision among a majority of Palestinians to seek a negotiated peace with Israel, while a string of senior Israeli officials said that they would continue expanding settlements in East Jerusalem and would not repeat the “mistake” of withdrawing from Gaza.

For the Arab states, doing nothing is not an option
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Emile Hokayem - (Opinion) August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

When the Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al Faisal publicly expressed dissatisfaction with the slow and incremental US push for peace between Israel, Palestine and its other Arab neighbours two weeks ago, the Arab world was quick to applaud him. His frustration and impatience were made abundantly clear in the presence of the rebuffed US secretary of state Hillary Clinton: “Incrementalism and a step-by-step approach has not and we believe will not achieve peace. Temporary security, confidence-building measures will also not bring peace.”

Fatah provides role for youth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

After a long week of internal controversies, the Fatah Congress came to a conclusion in Bethlehem with the election results for the powerful central committee showing a few signs of progress. The highlight of the meeting was that younger Fatah leaders gained powerful posts, including the influential jailed leader Marwan Barghouti. Mohammad Dahlan, a controversial figure in the Gaza Strip also won - no surprises there. Ahmad Qurei, the first Palestinian prime minister, was among the veterans who lost their seats, signalling that many within Fatah are invested in taking a new direction.

Will Fatah Regain the Initiative?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Abdullah Iskandar - (Opinion) August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

After the Fatah Movement concluded its conference and elected its leadership committees, it is now expected to regain the initiative at all levels. Over the past years, especially after President Yasser Arafat passed away, the conflicts and personal positions amongst the historic leaders played an obstructing role in making decisions and protecting them. Each of these leaders was a pole in himself, and they all often pulled in every direction. This was mainly reflected on the movement, the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the relations with other factions.

Does Obama have a plan for peace—or a plan for a plan?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - August 10, 2009 - 12:00am

Are the parties in the Middle East ready for a U.S. peace plan? Or just for a plan for a peace plan? Talk of a near-term U.S. peace plan was spurred last week when a State Department official said one would be in place "within weeks" -- a projection confirmed within a day by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. "I think it will be in a matter of weeks," the spokesman, P.J. Crowley, said in an Aug. 3 briefing when he was asked when George Mitchell, President Obama's envoy to the Middle East, would present a plan.

Fatah's old guard ousted by election of intifada chief
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Ben Lynfield - August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

The once-dominant Fatah movement took a first step towards reversing its decline among Palestinians yesterday by electing new leaders – including a firebrand jailed for life by Israel. Marwan Barghouthi, the leader of the second intifada uprising who is serving five life sentences for attacks on Israeli targets, was one of a raft of new faces on Fatah's central committee. He is seen as a potential successor to Fatah's leader, Mahmoud Abbas, if he is freed by Israel in a future deal. "This is a great result, a great mix," said Ziyad Abu Ayn, a close associate of Mr Barghouthi.

Fatah: A new beginning?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Roger Hardy - August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

The party founded by the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat four decades ago is struggling to revive its fortunes. But has its latest congress really made it a more united and credible force? It was the first Fatah congress on Palestinian soil - and that in itself ensured that organising it would be a tall order. The event brought together more than 2,000 delegates, not just from the West Bank but from the Palestinian diaspora. Fatah needed Israel's permission for activists to come from Lebanon and Syria.

A brand new Fatah?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ziad Abu Zayyad - (Opinion) August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Convening Fatah's Sixth General Conference in Bethlehem represents a new chapter not only in the history of the movement but also in its future deliberations. Fatah was established as an underground resistance movement in exile inspired by the radical liberation movements of the 1950s and '60s in Vietnam, Latin America and elsewhere. The declared goal was to liberate all Mandatory Palestine from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

Israel: We 'won't make Jordan Palestine'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

A delegation of security officials secretly traveled to Jordan last week in an attempt to assuage concerns that Israel plans to transfer Palestinians from the West Bank to the Hashemite Kingdom, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The purpose of the visit was to ensure that strategic ties between the countries are not harmed. The delegation was led by several officials from the Defense Ministry's Diplomatic-Security Bureau, who met with senior officials close to King Abdullah II.

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