What is Israel afraid of?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ali Jarbawi - (Opinion) March 15, 2010 - 12:00am

The program of the 13th Palestinian government, commonly referred to as the Fayyad Plan, called for all Palestinian institutions, and Palestinian society as a whole, to unite behind a state-building effort. The program embodies an authentically Palestinian initiative to work pro-actively and constructively toward establishing the state of Palestine through non-violent means over a two-year timeframe, despite the lack of progress in negotiations and continued military occupation.

Netanyahu dodges real issues
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Francis Matthew - (Opinion) March 18, 2010 - 12:00am

Peace talks must focus on Israel's illegal colonies in the West Bank and Golan Heights, not merely future construction The present crisis between the US and Israel bears all the marks of a classic Netanyahu scheme in which he establishes some minor points with a lot of noise to distract attention from the main issue. Unfortunately, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is close to succeeding, so the Palestinian leadership need to keep their nerve and focus on the main agenda.

Waging on Washington’s Anger
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Osman Mirghani - (Opinion) March 17, 2010 - 12:00am

There’s nothing strange about Arab parties rejoicing at the “emergency crisis” between the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the US administration after US Vice President Joe Biden was angered by the timing of an announcement by the Israeli government to build another 1600 housing units in Jerusalem. The Obama administration considered it a blow to it and its diplomacy.

Are Israel’s Policies a Threat to the U.S.?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - (Opinion) March 17, 2010 - 12:00am

The dispute between Israel and the United States over building plans in East Jerusalem has left some supporters of Israel with a bitter aftertaste. It was not only the harshness of the Obama administration’s admonition of Israel; it was also the sense that a new element has been introduced to the bilateral relationship: the question of whether Israeli policies adversely affect America’s strategic interests in the region. Related Articles

Arab world says hopes in Obama are dwindling
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
March 18, 2010 - 12:00am

Arabs across the Middle East are unconvinced the United States will stand up to Israel despite Washington's rare public outrage over plans to build new Jewish homes in a traditionally Arab part of Jerusalem. The skepticism is eroding Arab hopes that President Barack Obama will push hard for a long-sought peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians to end a conflict that has fueled anti-US sentiment in the region. America's dwindling credibility could also jeopardize another major Mideast goal - uniting the Arab world against Iran. East Jerusalem Construction

Israel may freeze construction in east Jerusalem's Arab Neighborhoods
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - March 18, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been presented with a new proposal according to which construction in Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem that are located behind the Green Line will be reduced, while Jewish construction in Arab neighborhoods will be frozen altogether, Ynet reported Thursday. A similar proposal was brought before the "forum of seven ministers," but was apparently rejected by right-wing members of cabinet. President Shimon Peres, who met with EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton on Thursday, supports the proposal.

IDF vs. democracy and freedom of speech
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) March 18, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israel Defense Forces decision to declare the Palestinian villages Bil'in and Na'alin closed military zones on Fridays for the next six months is a serious anti-democratic move. The order issued by the GOC Central Command implementing this restriction is an act against the freedom to demonstrate.

U.S. tough love is the kind Israel needs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) March 18, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel - addicted to the occupation, and showing symptoms of overdose and accumulated damage - has finally found a savior to rescue it from its plight. Israel's redeemer hasn't just stood idly by for 40 years, but has even facilitated the habit. However, it seems that change may at last be in the air.

Obama: No crisis in U.S. ties with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya, Barak Ravid - March 18, 2010 - 12:00am

United States President Barack Obama said Wednesday that there was no crisis in ties with Israel, despite a high-profile diplomatic feud over the Netanyahu administration's plans to build 1,600 homes in East Jerusalem. "Israel is one of our closest allies, and we and the Israeli people have a special bond that's not going to go away," Obama said in an interview with Fox News. "But friends are going to disagree sometimes," Obama said.

Qaeda-labelled group claims fatal Gaza rocket
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
March 18, 2010 - 12:00am

GAZA, March 18 (Reuters) - A previously unknown group in the Gaza Strip calling itself Ansar al-Sunna (Followers of the Sunnis) send out an SMS message to media claiming to have fired a rocket that killed a man in Israel on Thursday. The name, which is also used by al Qaeda allies in Iraq and elsewhere, indicated that the group belongs to hardline Salafist tendencies in the Palestinian enclave which have challenged the ruling Hamas Islamist movement. Hamas has been trying to enforce an informal ceasefire between Israel and the territory.

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