Joe Biden delivers 'hardest truth' in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Laura Rozen - March 12, 2010 - 1:00am

Vice President Joe Biden departed from Israel Thursday leaving behind a raging controversy over the consequences of what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists was the unintentional embarrassment of the highest-ranking member of the Obama administration to visit his country.

Israel Seals off West Bank to Prevent Unrest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
March 12, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel has sealed off the West Bank for 48 hours, preventing Palestinians from entering Israel because of fears of unrest. There have been clashes after Friday prayers at mosques in Jerusalem and elsewhere in recent weeks, sparked by deadlock in peace talks and Israel's inclusion of two West Bank shrines on a list of national heritage sites. Several Palestinians have been badly wounded and dozens of protesters and Israeli policemen have suffered light injuries.

Israel's Challenege to the U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
March 10, 2010 - 1:00am

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was unpleasantly surprised in Israel on Tuesday when the country’s Interior Ministry declared that it would expand housing units for Jews in East Jerusalem. Mr. Biden, who earlier that day had expressed American support on Israel’s security needs, condemned the announcement, which had been made without the knowledge of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. What did the incident reflect about the state of the Obama administration’s relations with Israel and the future of talks with the Palestinians? Aaron David Miller -

Washington is the indispensible partner for a settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Ziad Asali - (Analysis) March 12, 2010 - 1:00am

The situation facing Israel, the Palestinians and all other interested parties, especially the United States, is difficult, but it also presents important new opportunities. Negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians may resume soon, although continued disagreements over Israeli settlement building may yet derail this.

Breaking down the Biden speech
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - March 11, 2010 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's attempt to reassure Israel of American steadfastness survived a steadfast Middle East tradition of self-sabotage. Biden's intended message in a much ballyhooed speech Thursday -- that the United States would stand by Israel in thick and thin -- was unequivocal. Yet it was clear that he and his speechwriters tweaked the text to encompass references to the Israeli settlement building and Palestinian incitement that almost marred his trip.

How Bibi lost a best friend
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) March 12, 2010 - 1:00am

UN humanitarian chief criticises Israel over Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
March 12, 2010 - 1:00am

The UN's top humanitarian official, John Holmes, has criticised Israel for linking the 2006 capture of an Israeli soldier to its blockade of Gaza. Mr Holmes also said Israeli actions in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, including expanding settlements, was counter to the peace process. He urged a relaxation of the blockade, warning Gaza was "de-developing". It came as Israel ordered the army to seal off the West Bank for 48 hours until midnight on Saturday. An army spokesman said the move had been made because of heightened tensions in Jerusalem.

The peace movement's new leader
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Editorial) March 11, 2010 - 1:00am

As a believer in the cause of the two-state solution, which would preserve Israel as a Jewish and democratic state by ending the occupation, I ask myself: Who is our leader? Until recently, I said: Barack Obama. But he caved in to the Netanyahu government and its supporters in the US. As a Mideast peacemaker, Obama has become a joke, and nobody takes his envoys or these “proximity talks” seriously.

PA fears East Jerusalem building will make it look weak
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - March 12, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority will not begin indirect talks with Israel unless construction in the settlements, including in East Jerusalem, is completely frozen, PA President Mahmoud Abbas told the Arab League on Thursday. Abbas' statement was reported by both chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.

Abbas seeks U.S. pledge for East Jerusalem construction freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
March 12, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday sought guarantees from Washington that it would pressure Israel to cancel its plan for 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, Palestinian media outlets reported. U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell spoke with Abbas late Thursday and urged him not to walk away from indirect peace negotiations with Israel, a senior Palestinian official quoted in the reports said.

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