Middle East monitors welcome Israel's shift on Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

The Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators on Monday welcomed Israel's decision to ease its blockade of Gaza but said the situation in the territory remained "unsustainable and unacceptable". In a statement agreed during a conference call, the Quartet -- the United States, European Union, Russia and the United Nations -- said Israel's change of policy towards Gaza was encouraging but said much more needed to be done to alleviate pressure on the Palestinian territory's population.

UC Irvine protest case raises questions about discipline practices
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Raja Abdulrahim - June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

UC Irvine's recent decision to recommend suspension of a Muslim student group for its alleged role in disrupting an Israeli diplomat's speech has focused attention on the largely hidden world of student discipline and group punishment on college campuses. The 1-year suspension, which the group is appealing, has raised questions about whether a university should penalize only individual students for behavior that violates rules of conduct, or if collective punishment is sometimes appropriate. And it has triggered debate about whether political pressure was a factor in the case.

Hamas, Fatah crisis continues
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Efforts to end the crisis between Hamas and Fatah suffered a setback over the weekend when Egypt announced that it won’t make any changes to its plan to achieve reconciliation between the two parties. Hamas said last week that it would accept the Egyptian initiative only if Cairo agreed to make some changes in it. Hamas is worried that the Egyptian initiative will undermine its authority in the Gaza Strip and allow the Palestinian Authority to reassume full control over the area. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Saturday that Cairo would not succumb to Hamas pressur

Lebanon grants permit for blockade-busting ship bound for Gaza to sail to Cyprus
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Zeina Karam - June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Another blockade-busting ship with activists and aid on board could embark within days on a new attempt to reach Gaza after Lebanese authorities granted permission Monday for it to sail first to Cyprus. Israeli navy commandos raided a blockade-busting international flotilla bound for Gaza on May 31, killing nine pro-Palestinian activists. An international outcry over the raid pressured Israel to ease its three-year-old blockade of the Palestinian territory.

'Waiting for Hamas on Schalit deal'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday spoke up against freeing convicted terrorists into the West Bank in exchange for the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. "We can't release dangerous terrorists to places in the West Bank, where they can kill Israeli citizens," he told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, though he noted, "We're constantly looking for new ways to bring Gilad home safe and sound."

Obama to meet with Israel's Netanyahu on July 6
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

President Obama's latest White House meeting with Israel's prime minister is set for July 6 -- more than a month after their last one was scuttled at the last minute. Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu had planned talks on June 1. But that fell apart after Israel's deadly raid May 31 on an aid flotilla hoping to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. The raid has strained U.S. and Israeli relations, and the White House has announced a $400 million aid package for Gaza and the West Bank.

Israeli Easing of Blockade of Gaza Draws Praise of U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - June 20, 2010 - 12:00am

Bowing to worldwide pressure and condemnation, Israel on Sunday formally announced an eased blockade of Gaza that could significantly expand the flow of goods overland into the impoverished coastal Palestinian enclave, isolated by the Israelis for three years.

Misled by mythical heroes, Arabs still keep dreaming
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Khairallah Khairallah - June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

The Arab world continues its search for the ideal hero. Within our culture there is a steadfast determination to find the perfect representative – and a strict adherence to the image of a saviour on a white horse. In the popular imagination, it is an image of a hero who will come and, with the help of the Almighty, rescue Arabs from the dire straits in which they find themselves. Tens of millions go to sleep every night, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf, dreaming about his arrival.

There is work to be done to prepare for a Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Ziad Asali - (Opinion) June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Almost everything about the second Palestine Investment Conference held in Bethlehem earlier this month, which I had the honour of attending as a member of the US president Barack Obama’s official delegation, was encouraging.

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