The US must put bite into its position
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

The open disagreement and tough words exchanged in public by the United States and Israel a few weeks ago on Washington’s demand that Israel freeze all new settlements in occupied Arab East Jerusalem has now entered Phase Two. Now, both sides are working quietly behind the scenes to harness their political resources, gauge the other side’s intentions, and prepare to continue the battle.

Small comfort for traders as Gaza blockade loosened
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory McCarthy - April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli authorities have allowed shoes and clothes into the Gaza Strip for the first time in three years of the tight economic blockade of the Palestinian territory. But Gazan businessmen say much of the shipment is ruined and their spiralling costs will never be recovered. Ten containers were allowed into Gaza on Sunday and a further 10 today of goods have sat in storage for three years, costing their owners thousands of pounds in fees and in some cases arriving so riddled with damp that the items are unsellable.

American Jewry’s deafening silence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Shmuley Boteach - (Opinion) April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

When it came to protecting the right of the Libyan Ambassador to the UN living immediately next door to me in Englewood, my Democratic Congressman, Steve Rothman, found his voice, issuing a three page press release about a deal he had brokered with the State Department 27 years ago for the Libyans to bizarrely remain in a New Jersey suburb.

Barak shows who's boss
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - (Analysis) April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

The timing of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's announcement on Tuesday not to extend IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi's term leaves little doubt that despite the growing threats against Israel, two of the country's main security officials do not get along. Why else would have Barak released such a statement? After all, when the government approved his appointment in 2007, Ashkenazi's term was set as four years, in contrast to his predecessor Dan Halutz, who stepped down prematurely due to the Second Lebanon War.

Obama weighs new peace plan for the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by David Ignatius - April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Despite recent turbulence in U.S. relations with Israel, President Obama is "seriously considering" proposing an American peace plan to resolve the Palestinian conflict, according to two top administration officials.

Losing legitimacy in the Jewish Quarter
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by David Newman - (Opinion) April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

The first day of Pessah is a good time to pray at the Kotel if you want to experience the festival atmosphere on the one hand, but avoid the crowds that tend to pray there on most other festivals. A late-night Seder the previous night means many regular worshippers give this particular morning a miss, and you can even find an orderly prayer group (minyan) with enough space and relative privacy to participate with appropriate contemplation.

A capital for 2 nations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yoram Kaniuk - (Opinion) April 6, 2010 - 12:00am

At the end of the day, both the Jews and the Arabs have been fooled for years now. Jerusalem will be neither Arab nor Jewish, but rather, the city of the three major religions. It sits in the narrow margins between a populated country and the desert; between the jackals and Tel Aviv’s skyscrapers. Its light, which comes from the Dead Sea, filled it with glory even before the existence of monotheistic religions in the world. Yet its sanctity has turned it into a punching bag for thousands of years now.

A state in progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Moshe Elad - (Opinion) April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad said a while ago that they intend to declare Palestine’s independence at the end of 2011. In the past, such statements would anger the Americans, who would rush to reprimand the PA, noting that a Palestinian state will only be established following negotiations with Israel. Yet this time around, even if we heard a response from the White House or the State Department, it was rather meek.

The race is on for next IDF chief
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced Tuesday that Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi's term will not be extended for a fifth year. Ashkenazi will thus step down at the end of his term in February 2011. The race is now open for the next man to take up the job. Front-runners for the moment are GOC Southern Command Yoav Gallant, deputy chief of staff Benny Gantz, GOC Northern Command Gadi Eizenkot and Maj. Gen. (res.) Moshe Kaplinsky.

Israel seizing hundreds of millions of shekels meant for Palestinian services
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - April 7, 2010 - 12:00am

For the past 15 years, Israel has been channeling hundreds of millions of shekels it had collected in the West Bank into its state coffers. The move is considered illegal, since international law prohibits an occupying power from appropriating the fruit of economic activity in an occupied territory. Following protests by military lawyers, the deputy attorney general has ruled that the practice should be stopped and ordered an inquiry into whether the Civil Administration in the West Bank should be compensated retroactively.

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