In search of the invisible Arab lobby
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Book Review) September 1, 2010 - 12:00am

This week HarperCollins released a new book by Mitchell Bard called The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance that Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East, an obvious and ham-handed effort to counter the influential 2007 book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.

Don't over-expect peace from Washington
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) September 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Conventional wisdom says that President Barack Obama will not seriously pressure Israelis and Palestinians in their peace negotiations before the United States’ mid-term congressional elections in November, for fear that the wrath of the pro-Israel lobby might hurt the Democrats and perhaps give the Republicans control of the House of Representatives. Well, conventional wisdom will be put to the test in a serious way this week, as Obama participates in the first session of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in Washington on Thursday.

Middle East talks: no real desire for change spells little hope of success
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ian Black - September 1, 2010 - 12:00am

No previous round of Middle East peace negotiations has begun with such rock-bottom expectations as the one being launched in Washington tonight. Neither side expects to be able to reach an agreement unless the US tries to impose one. And few believe that if Barack Obama does attempt that, Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas will be able to live with it – the Israeli premier because of his fractious rightwing coalition and the Palestinian president because of Hamas opposition and wider despair over years of peace "process" without change.

Historic absence of housing starts in Judea and Samaria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - September 1, 2010 - 12:00am

For the second quarter in a row, there were almost no new housing starts in the West Bank settlements, according to numbers released Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics. The report of what is an historic absence of housing starts in Judea and Samaria comes on the eve of the start of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. It is the first such meeting since talks broke down in December 2008. Halting settlement construction has been one of the key demands Palestinians have made of Israel.

In the shadow of attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Nahum Barnea - (Opinion) September 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Last night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu experienced something that happened to many of his predecessors before, and to him too in his previous term as prime minister: He boarded a plane in a relatively peaceful state, but when he landed, the news of a murderous terror attack landed along with him. He boarded the plane in a certain mood, and disembarked from it in a wholly different mood.

U.S.: Direct talks can achieve Mideast peace in one year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - September 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority can be concluded within a year, U.S. special Mideast envoy George Mitchell said Tuesday, hours before the talks were set to begin in Washington. U.S. President Barack Obama considers the possibility of achieving peace in the Middle East a top priority, Mitchell told reporters at a briefing.

Terror attack achieved its goal - embarrassing the PA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff - (Blog) September 1, 2010 - 12:00am

The shooting attack in the Hebron Hills on Tuesday could not have been a surprise. Palestinian opposition groups, especially Hamas, were highly motivated to embarrass the Palestinian Authority on the eve of the start of direct talks in Washington. A short conversation with the members of the Palestinian delegation to Washington Tuesday night shows that the mission was indeed accomplished.

Palestinian forces arrest dozens of Hamas activists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Mohammed Assadi - September 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian security forces in the West Bank detained dozens of Hamas activists on Wednesday in response to a lethal attack on Jewish settlers in the occupied territory, a senior security source said. The Hamas armed wing claimed responsibility for the killing of four Jewish settlers near Hebron on Tuesday on the eve of a new round of U.S.-backed peace talks. "Dozens of Hamas members have been arrested, mainly in Hebron area and across the West Bank," the source said. "We are investigating if they have any links to the shooting attack. There will be more arrests."

Israel hints Jerusalem compromise in peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Joseph Nasr, Matt Spetalnick - September 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's defence minister said on Wednesday the Jewish state would be willing to hand over parts of Jerusalem in peace talks with the Palestinians to be launched by U.S. President Barack Obama. A flare-up of violence in the occupied West Bank and a deadlock over Jewish settlements there loom as potential deal-breakers for Obama, who will host Middle East leaders for dinner at the White House in Washington.

PA condemns attack claimed by Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 1, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority has condemned Tuesday's shooting attack that left four Israeli citizens dead near a settlement close to Hebron in the occupied West Bank. "What happened tonight in Hebron was timed to coincide with the PLO's decision to engage in negotiations to end the occupation and achieve freedom and independence for our people," Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said.

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