Allies Divided
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The American Interest
by Benjamin E. Schwartz - (Analysis) March 1, 2010 - 1:00am

The storm following Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s rebuff of the Obama Administration’s appeal for Israel to halt all settlement expansion—including “natural growth”—overshadows a rarely noted but more fundamental and intractable divergence between Israeli and American policies. This split is rooted in the two governments’ contrasting answers to the following question: Is Palestinian political and geographic fragmentation a barrier to peace?

Are the Settlements Illegal?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The American Interest
by Nicholas Rostow - (Analysis) March 1, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli settlements in the territories that came under Israeli control as a result of the June 1967 war have long been a subject of often highly emotional debate within the United States, Israel and the international community. The Obama Administration’s decision to focus on settlements right out of the gate heightened attention on this already salient issue, but it is by no means clear that heightened attention will by itself facilitate resolution of the Palestine/Israel problem.

Behind the Settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The American Interest
by Daniel Kurtzer - (Analysis) March 1, 2010 - 1:00am

Ariel Sharon was considered the godfather of the Israeli settlements movement. His ardent support of settlements construction and the legitimacy he lent to the strategic argument for settlements as a means of enhancing Israeli security were vital to the success of the enterprise, particularly in the years after he left the Israeli military for politics. Sharon’s basic argument revolved around security. During my time as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Sharon would often hold forth on the rationale for and his own role in the planning of new settlements.

ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) March 1, 2010 - 1:00am

This is an annexation of the mosques, which is illegal, and an attempt to trigger religious confrontation. The two mosques are the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque near Bethlehem and the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.

Israel’s warped priorities hurt peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) March 1, 2010 - 1:00am

On the Jewish holy day of Purim in 1994, Baruch Goldstein entered the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron and began shooting; 29 Palestinians died in the midst of their prayers, another 150 were wounded. It was Goldstein’s perverse reinterpretation of the story of Esther, which Purim commemorates. This year, Jews across the world have just finished celebrating Purim, and once again Hebron and the Ibrahimi mosque, which contains the tomb of Abraham, are a flashpoint for conflict.

39 army raids, 28 arrests: Just another day in the West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Opinion) March 1, 2010 - 1:00am

"The year 2009 was the quietest for Israelis from the security point of view and the most violent for the Palestinians from the point of view of attacks by settlers in the West Bank." Just as he was saying this - as an example of one of the absurdities that characterize the political situation - Palestinian Agriculture Minister Ismail Daiq received a phone call from the Jenin district to inform him that five artesian wells in the village of Daan had been destroyed that morning. One person was shot and wounded in the abdomen when he tried to lift the pump to save it from damage.

No country would accept Netanyahu's conditions for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) March 1, 2010 - 1:00am

The decision to add the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb to the list of historical heritage sites up for renovation was not made with the intention of inflaming tempers and sabotaging efforts to revive final-status talks with the Palestinians. It was merely a routine move by a rightist government, further proof that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "two states" speech at Bar-Ilan University was a milestone on the road to nowhere.

Moshe Dayan's widow: Israel doesn't know how to make peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Interview) February 28, 2010 - 1:00am

She turned 93 last Friday, according to the Hebrew calendar. On Thursday, Herzliya awarded her honorary citizenship. Ruth Dayan doesn't rest for a moment. In the Bedouin town of Segev Shalom and in the Palestinian village of Kharbata, she founded an arts and crafts workshop for women. Once every week or two she drives to these places by herself. She's also busy with countless humanitarian issues in the territories. A few months ago she flew to Malta to meet the daughter of Yasser Arafat, the granddaughter of her soulmate, Raymonda Tawil.

Palestinians expect Arab nod on indirect negotiation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Fares Akram, Emad Drimly - February 28, 2010 - 1:00am

A Palestinian official on Sunday expected that Arab leaders would okay indirect talks between the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and Israel. On Tuesday, an Arab League's committee would meet in Cairo to make a decision on a U.S. offer to mediate indirect talks between Israel and the PNA on the borders of the future Palestinian state. "I think the meeting will come out with a conditional acceptance on the U.S. proposal," Hanna Amira, a member of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), told Xinhua.

Hamas seeks extension of detention of UK reporter
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Rizek Abdel Jawad - February 28, 2010 - 1:00am

A Gaza military prosecutor wants to extend the detention of a British journalist, claiming he poses a security threat, a Hamas government official said Sunday. Freelance journalist Paul Martin has been held in Gaza since Feb. 14, the first foreigner to be arrested since Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007. Martin's case is being closely watched by international organizations with staff in Gaza as a gauge of how the Hamas government will deal with foreigners.

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