September 24th

Obama's UN speech greatly strengthens the Palestinian position in negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Blog) September 23, 2009 - 12:00am

If Netanyahu and the Israelis felt like gloating last night and this morning, that feeling is long gone. President Obama’s speech at the UN General Assembly this morning laid down some very important markers for all parties and committed the United States to a number of principles and positions that are going to make life extremely difficult for any Israeli government that does not wish to cooperate on peace or thinks it is going to get a free ride from this administration.

What Remains of Obama's Initiative?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Elias Harfoush - (Opinion) September 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Senator George Mitchell does not deserve to end his diplomatic life amidst failure because of a conflict in the Middle East. But in reality, the reason behind this failure is not due to the experienced senator's lack of skills in rounding corners, but because he was deployed to a region witnessing a conflict that has marked its second decade and was not provided with the necessary weapons to achieve any progress.

Abbas: Partial halt on settlement activity is not a freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Just days after meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama in New York, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that he saw no common ground on which to renew peace negotiations. In an interview with the Al-Hayyat daily, Abbas called the Netanyahu government "a real problem." The Palestinian leader added that he could not agree to Israel's compromise for a partial settlement freeze, which he said inherently implied continued construction. Advertisement

Obama has joined the Arabs in falling for Netanyahu’s trap
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Emile Hokayem - (Opinion) September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

The Arab press has few good words for the US president Barack Obama’s recent performance on the Israeli-Palestinian front. Abdel Bari Atwan, the incomparable editor of the pan-Arab daily Al Quds al Arabi, wrote that it amounted to an outright surrender to the conditions of the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of a meeting that brought the two men and the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas together on Tuesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Elsewhere, the tone is less venomous but the bitterness is unmistakable.

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to meet in New York Thursday
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

The first meeting of the Palestinian and Israeli negotiation teams will be held in New York on Thursday, sources said. According to the Hebrew Israeli daily paper Ma’ariv, heading the Israeli team will be aide to the Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Mulkho. Heading the Palestinian team is Chief Negotiator for the Palestine Liberation Organization Dr Saeb Erekat.

Trilateral talks head on path to nowhere
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Aaron David Miller - (Opinion) September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

In fall 2001, assigned as a State Department adviser to Middle East envoy Tony Zinni, I asked the general why he wanted to ruin a brilliant career by taking on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Smiling, he replied that he liked hopeless causes. In that case, I said, he’d come to the right place. Tuesday’s three-way meeting in New York among President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas strongly suggests that after six months of hard labor, another great American — George Mitchell — is being ground up in the maw of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Can Obama make Middle East peace?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Jeremy Bowen - September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama is good at making speeches. His best ones create a powerfully seductive political mood that change is coming, not just at home but in the way the United States does business with the rest of the world. His address to the UN General Assembly showed, once again, not just his rhetorical skill but his understanding of the forces that drive international affairs. But his speeches cannot answer the biggest question about Mr Obama's leadership: can he translate fine words into concrete actions?

UN announces 400 million PA shortfall; donors pledge 400 million
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

Following an announcement that the Palestinian Authority would face a 400 million dollar shortfall at year-end, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad made an announcement from New York that donors have pledged to make up that 400 million.

White House: Official ‘misspoke’ on Goldstone report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
September 23, 2009 - 12:00am

The White House says an official "misspoke" when he said the Obama administration would not allow the Goldstone report recommendations on Israel's conduct in the Gaza war to reach the International Criminal Court.

Jewish groups, clerics back Obama peace efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
September 23, 2009 - 12:00am

A number of Jewish groups and rabbis joined an open letter backing President Obama's intensive efforts toward a broader Middle East peace. Leaders of J Street, Americans for Peace Now and the Reconstructionist movement as well to former presidents of the Reform movement's Central Conference of American Rabbis signed the letter published Tuesday, saying that "we believe bold American leadership can help Israelis and Palestinians make the difficult decisions necessary to achieve lasting peace and hold the parties to account should they fail to honor their commitments."

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