September 24th

A vision exists for Middle East peace – it's 423 pages long
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Globe and Mail
by Patrick Martin - September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with Israeli and Palestinian leaders at the United Nations this week, refusing to give up on Middle East peace in spite of the failure of his emissary, George Mitchell, to find enough common ground between the two sides to justify a summit with Mr. Obama. If there ever is to be a two-state solution to the 61-year conflict, the final treaty will look a lot like a 423-page blueprint released last week.

No meetings between Israelis, Palestinians planned
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - September 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Israelis and Palestinians said Wednesday that their envoys would meet with U.S. officials but not with each other, cementing the impression that a U.S.-sponsored meeting between their leaders had fallen flat. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said there would be no follow-up session with the Israelis because the two sides hadn't bridged the divides that have prevented them from resuming talks. "It's not happening because we agreed to continue dealing with the Americans until we reach the agreement that will enable us to relaunch the negotiations," Erekat said.

Starting Point for Mideast Talks Remains an Issue, Analysts Say
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

President Obama's personal push to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks will face a tough early hurdle in simply getting the two sides to agree on a starting point for negotiations, according to Israeli and Palestinian analysts.

MKs on Right: Netanyahu 'celebrated prematurely'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman - September 24, 2009 - 12:00am

US President Barack Obama's statements to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday about "not accepting the legitimacy of West Bank settlements" and "ending the occupation that began in 1967" proved that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "prematurely celebrated" what he thought was an American policy shift in Israel's favor, MKs on the Right said Wednesday.

September 23rd

So what if Obama wants to move peace process forward?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) September 23, 2009 - 12:00am

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat opposite U.S. President Barack Obama Tuesday, perhaps he was overcome by the sullen recollection from the days when he served as deputy foreign minister under David Levy. Even then, 17 years ago, there was an American president who entertained the idea of resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict and thought that this concept was incompatible with the expansion of settlements.

Source: Obama strongly expressed his impatience to Netanyahu and Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - September 23, 2009 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday that he was dissatisfied with their recent foot-dragging on getting Israeli-Palestinian talks restarted. A senior U.S. administration source Tuesday told Haaretz that "during the tripartite meeting Obama strongly expressed his impatience." The source said the meeting was "businesslike" but not cordial. Netanyahu and Abbas voiced their opinions but did not attack.

Peace talks begin with little Palestinian or Israeli support
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 23, 2009 - 12:00am

An inglorious beginning to peace talks was kicked off with what some described as a “civil” meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday. The two leaders reportedly stated their previous positions of stalemate, while the US diplomatic machine put its gears into drive and arranged for US special envoy George Mitchell to return to the region after he failed to convince sides to sit down in New York. Teams of Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will also travel to Washington for a resumption of efforts.

Obama is doubling down, not backing down, on Middle East peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Blog) September 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Most reactions to the tripartite meeting at the UN yesterday between Pres. Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu and Pres. Abbas were negative, and this is entirely understandable since no one had anything particularly new to say. Reaction in the Arab world was particularly agitated, with many commentators arguing that Obama has "capitulated" to Israel's position on settlements, and some even throwing up their hands entirely about any possibility of progress under this president.

Palestinian PM cites support for statehood plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Karin Laub - September 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said in an interview Tuesday that he has won broad international support for his plan to ready the Palestinians for statehood within two years. However, Fayyad sidestepped the question of whether the Palestinians would unilaterally declare statehood at the end of that period if a peace deal with Israel is not in place. He said that decision would have to made by the Palestine Liberation Organization and others when the time comes.

A Mideastern farewell photo at the UN?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Zahi Khouri - (Opinion) September 23, 2009 - 12:00am

No concrete results were expected from Tuesday’s meeting at the United Nations that brought together US President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The gathering marked the end of the first phase of Obama’s intriguing foray into Arab-Israeli peace-making.

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