Amid Public Clash, U.S. Moves Israel Closer to Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - March 24, 2010 - 12:00am

Under the klieg lights, American officials calmly repeated their opposition to key policies of Israel’s current government. Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu snorted defiance in the face of the American warnings. And nothing appeared to change. But as high-profile leadership meetings and major policy speeches fixated the public during the annual conference of American Jewry’s primary pro-Israel lobby, U.S. officials moved the ball steadily, if incrementally, forward toward substantive negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The real price of Israel's settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Seth Freedman - (Opinion) March 25, 2010 - 12:00am

The cost of building Israeli settlements in the occupied territories stands at more than $17bn, according to a report released this week. The painstaking study into the economics of construction in the West Bank encompasses every building and road in the settlements, which cover a combined space of 12m square metres, and in doing so quantifies the enormity of the 43-year-old project of colonisation.

Israel’s new Center
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Gadi Taub - (Opinion) March 24, 2010 - 12:00am

A Yedioth Ahronoth poll published this past weekend revealed that Kadima had not only maintained its status as Israel's largest party, but even boosted its advantage over Likud, climbing up to 32 Knesset seats. Yet if Kadima officials are overjoyed because of this poll, they are wrong to do it – the same poll shows that the rightist bloc remains the only one capable of forming a government; Kadima only takes votes from the Left.

Obama may have edge over Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) March 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Barack Obama must be feeling ecstatic and very confident that he is going down in history as the first American president able to guarantee health care coverage for all Americans, regardless of their background or social status. The landmark health care bill which the American president signed into law on Tuesday at a White House ceremony will eventually extend health insurance to about 32 million Americans who could not afford health insurance.

Netanyahu to US: I need cabinet's approval on understandings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - March 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Aides to Benjamin Netanyahu met with American officials at the Mayflower Hotel for several hours overnight Thursday (Israeli time) in an effort to resolve the disagreements that had resurfaced during the Israeli prime minister's meeting with President Barack Obama and agree on trust-building Israeli measures that would advance the so-called "proximity talks" with the Palestinians.

Pride comes before the fall for Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) March 24, 2010 - 12:00am

When Israel ignores its strongest allies when they call its behaviour insulting, one wonders if the word hubris has a translation in Hebrew. Judging by his comments to the pro-Israeli lobby group Aipac, a shameless Benjamin Netanyahu went further earlier this week, taking the fight straight to Washington. Despite the US administration’s vocal denunciation of his decision to continue building settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and its warning that this would endanger much-needed peace talks, the Israeli prime minister did not budge.

Labor minister: Government in danger
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Atilla Somfalvi - March 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Commentators said after an exceptionally chilly welcome received by the prime minister at the White House that Benjamin Netanyahu may be forced to alter the composition of his government, due to disagreements between his coalition and the US on construction in east Jerusalem. A Labor minister said Thursday that "the government in its current state may be in danger". But a senior Likud minister disagreed, saying that it was "too soon to assume that the composition of the coalition will change".

Israel is losing the battle of narratives
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Michael Young - (Opinion) March 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Some will argue that the United Kingdom’s expulsion this week of an Israeli diplomat, by most accounts a Mossad agent, was a transitory spat between allies, following Israel’s use of forged British passports in the recent assassination of a Hamas operative in Dubai. After all, they might add, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher did something similar in 1988, without lingering consequences. Yet things seem rather different this time.

Netanyahu leaves U.S. disgraced, isolated and weaker
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) March 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Details emerging from Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington remain incomplete, but the conclusion may nonetheless be drawn that the prime minister erred in choosing to fly to the United States this week. The visit - touted as a fence-mending effort, a bid to strengthen the tenuous ties between Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama - only highlighted the deep rift between the American and Israeli administrations. The prime minister leaves America disgraced, isolated, and altogether weaker than when he came.

Netanyahu: Progress made in talks with U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya, Barak Ravid - March 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that progress had been made toward resolving the diplomatic crisis with the United States over the contentious plan to build more Jewish homes in East Jerusalem. "We are trying to find the golden path between our will to advance the peace process along with the United States, and between maintaining the standard policy of all Israeli governments," said Netanyahu just before boarding a plane back to Israel early Thursday.

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