March 29th

Fierce debate on Israel underway inside Obama administration
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Laura Rozen - March 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s tense visit to the White House last week, an intense debate inside the Obama administration about how to proceed with Netanyahu to advance the Middle East peace process has grown more heated, even as Israeli officials are expected to announce they have reached some sort of agreement with Washington as soon as tonight.

J’lem posters call for 3rd Temple
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Abe Selig - March 29, 2010 - 12:00am

While tensions continue to simmer around the Temple Mount after riots in and around the capital’s Old City earlier this month, a new campaign calling for the construction of the Third Temple atop the holy site has made its way to the sides of 200 Egged buses in the city, which now sport posters featuring a picture of a rebuilt temple on the Mount, and nothing else.

PA purges Hamas-linked educators
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - March 29, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank has over the past two years fired hundreds of school teachers and imams suspected of being affiliated with Hamas, Palestinian sources in Ramallah disclosed on Sunday. The firings are seen in the context of the PA’s efforts to prevent Hamas from taking control over the West Bank. The teachers and imams have threatened legal action against the government on the grounds that their dismissal was “politically motivated.”

Hobby or Necessity?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Thomas L. Friedman - (Opinion) March 27, 2010 - 12:00am

If you think this latest Israeli-American flap was just the same-old-same-old tiff over settlements, then you’re clearly not paying attention — which is how I’d describe a lot of Israelis, Arabs and American Jews today.

Israel should thank Obama for acting like a friend
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) March 29, 2010 - 12:00am

If Israel had a real peace camp, if the silent majority had broken its sickly silence, if more Israelis approached the situation as a collective rather than individuals yearning for the next holiday or car, if more Israelis refused to accept blindly the deceptions of Israeli diplomacy and propaganda, Rabin Square would have been filled with demonstrators yesterday. Among the banners and flags, one sign would have stood out in this hour of risks and fateful decisions: "Thank you, friend." Thank you, Barack Obama, friend of Israel.

Mr. Obama and Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) March 26, 2010 - 12:00am

After taking office last year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel privately told many Americans and Europeans that he was committed to and capable of peacemaking, despite the hard-line positions that he had used to get elected for a second time. Trust me, he told them. We were skeptical when we first heard that, and we’re even more skeptical now.

President’s demands do not constitute radical change in US policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Alon Pinkas - (Opinion) March 29, 2010 - 12:00am

US President Barack Obama is pro-Israel, even though he does not shower Israel with love on a daily basis, as was the case during 16 years of pampering under Clinton and Bush. In addition, the president does not mutter at every opportunity how deep America’s commitment is to Israel’s security and qualitative advantage; yet when it comes to all the parameters that count, Obama is pro-Israel.

Arabs Weigh Alternatives as Peace Stalls
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
March 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Arab states should prepare for the possibility that the Palestinian-Israeli peace process may be a total failure and prepare alternatives, the secretary general of the Arab League said on Saturday. The official, Amr Moussa, did not specify what the alternatives might be. But one possibility is a revival of an initiative first proposed eight years ago under which Arab states would normalize ties with Israel in exchange for concessions on territory.

Rift Exposes Split in Views on Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - March 28, 2010 - 12:00am

When Israel announced new housing units for Jews in East Jerusalem at the start of a visit this month by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for the timing and expressed regret at the embarrassment. Mr. Biden accepted his explanation, and the two sides seemed prepared to move on.

US 'may not veto UN resolution on Jerusalem'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
March 29, 2010 - 12:00am

The possibility surfaced at talks in Paris last week between a senior US official and Qatar's foreign minister. The official said the US would "seriously consider abstaining" if the issue of Israeli settlements was put to the vote, a diplomat told the BBC. US officials in Washington have not confirmed the report. There are no concrete plans at present to table such a resolution at the UN. But it is likely that the US is considering how to maintain pressure, and a UN resolution would be one way, says BBC state department correspondent Kim Ghattas.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017