Pentagon eyes impact of Israel-Palestinian tension
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous - March 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have an "enormous" effect where U.S. military forces operate in the Muslim world and are closely monitored, the U.S. general who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan said on Tuesday. The comments by General David Petraeus, who heads U.S. Central Command, put a spotlight on the concerns among senior officers as they are drawing down U.S. forces in Iraq, carrying out a major troop surge in Afghanistan and preparing for a possible showdown with Iran over its nuclear program.

Fateful choice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) March 17, 2010 - 12:00am

In still another sign of the rapidly deteriorating relations between Israel and the US – a function of the Obama administration’s unwarranted and shocking overreaction to the Ramat Shlomo dispute – special Mideast envoy George Mitchell postponed his arrival here, originally slated for Tuesday.

'Report demonizing Israel risks Presbyterian-Jewish ties'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by E.B. Solomont - March 17, 2010 - 12:00am

American Jewish leaders are slamming a report by the Presbyterian Church USA that blames Israel for the “Palestinian resistance” and denounces companies doing business with Israel. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, which circulated a memo to its member agencies and board of directors Monday, said the biased report reduced the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a caricature, demonizing Israel and delegitimizing its right to exist as a Jewish state.

Groups petition court for Gaza to W. Bank movement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Dan Izenberg - March 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Thirteen human rights organizations spearheaded by Hamoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual and Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement petitioned the High Court of Justice on Monday against a new Defense Ministry regulation severely restricting the right of Palestinians living in Gaza to move to the West Bank.

Netanyahu's brother-in-law: Obama is an anti-Semite
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - March 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's brother-in-law Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi on Wednesday called U.S. President Barack Obama an anti-Semite in an interview with Army Radio. "It's not that Obama doesn't like Bibi," he referring to Netanyahu using his nickname. "He doesn't like the nation of Israel." Netanyahu was quick to distance himself from Ben-Artzi's remarks, saying he completely disagrees with his brother-in-law.

It's time for Netanyahu to say yes to Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) March 17, 2010 - 12:00am

The cancellation of the visit by American envoy George Mitchell, who has been delegated to renew the diplomatic negotiations, embodies the slippery slope facing Israel during the past week. Even before completing the first year of his second term in office, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has managed to foment crises in two key strategic areas: the peace process with the Palestinians and relations with the United States.

Israel's Titanic moment: Does Obama want Bibi's head?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - (Opinion) March 16, 2010 - 12:00am

Hamas has designated this day, in this place, its Day of Rage. Why, then, the smiles on the faces of Mahmoud Zahar and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Perhaps it's because after more than 22 years of costly trial and error, Hamas has finally come upon the secret of how to bring down the Jewish state: Let the ship sink itself. This month, down here in the engine room of the Titanic, a single coherent order continues to sound from the officers shrouded in fog on the bridge: "More power!"

Pan-Islamic body accuses Israel of dragging Mideast into "religious war"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
March 16, 2010 - 12:00am

A pan-Islamic body accused Israel of trying to drag the Middle East into a religious war after the Jewish state inaugurated on Monday a restored historic synagogue in the Old City in East Jerusalem, not far from the third holiest site for Islam, al-Aqsa Mosque. Organization of Islamic Conference Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu "renews his call on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities in pre-empting Israel from dragging the region into a religious war by continuing its blatant assault on the sanctity of Muslims," the Jeddah-based body said in a statement.

Israel lifts closure of West Bank as tensions calm
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - March 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel on Wednesday lifted its tight restrictions on Palestinian access to Jerusalem's holiest shrine and called off an extended West Bank closure after days of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces. Despite moving to end the lockdown, Israel still kept thousands of police officers on alert as an uneasy calm settled over the holy city. The recent violence has taken place against a backdrop of deep Palestinian frustration over a yearlong standstill in peace talks and dovetailed with the worst U.S.-Israeli diplomatic feud in decades.

PREVIEW-Israeli settlement dispute clouds quartet meeting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Conor Sweeney - March 17, 2010 - 12:00am

A bitter dispute over Israeli settlements is clouding the chances for progress on Friday at a high-level Moscow meeting aimed at advancing Middle East peace. Russia, eager to raise its profile as a Middle East peacemaker, has long hoped to push the process forward by hosting a follow-up to the 2007 Annapolis peace conference in the United States, with all the major players on hand.

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