September 28th

Settlement freeze? It was barely a slowdown
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Dror Etkes - (Opinion) September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

The official statistics supplied by the Central Bureau of Statistics describe the story behind the 10-month construction moratorium in the West Bank. The story can be called many things but "freeze" is certainly not one of them. What took place in the past few months is, in the best case scenario, not more than a negligible decrease in the number of housing units that were built in settlements.

Dozens of Arab families may be evicted from East Jerusalem neighborhood under court ruling
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nir Hasson - September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

A Supreme Court ruling Sunday may allow settler groups to move into dozens more homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Justices Yoram Danziger, Esther Hayut and Miriam Naor unanimously rejected an appeal by Palestinians claiming to own a large plot in the western portion of the neighborhood. The court ruled that the custodian general, and other owners, including settler representatives, succeeded in proving they owned the property.

World leaders criticize Israel for refusing to extend West Bank construction moratorium
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Reporting from Jerusalem — World leaders Monday criticized Israel's refusal to extend its construction moratorium on the West Bank even after Palestinians threatened to quit Mideast peace talks, but they vowed to prevent the stalled negotiations from collapsing.

U.S. envoy speeds to Mideast in effort salvage peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Washington's special Mideast envoy, using a slim lifeline from the Palestinians, rushed to the region on Tuesday on an emergency mission to keep peace talks from collapsing just weeks after they began. Israel's decision to resume new West Bank settlement construction after a 10-month moratorium expired on midnight Sunday has provoked Palestinian threats to walk out of the talks. It has also caused new friction between Israel and its powerful U.S. patron, which said it was disappointed with Israel's refusal to relent.

Encountering Peace: Declare victory and stop building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Let’s face it, the leaders of the settlement movement did not oppose the building moratorium because some young couples couldn’t afford their mortgage. They did not oppose it because a new classroom or nursery school could not be added even if needed as a result of natural growth. They did not oppose it because of the compassion they felt for real-estate developers whose profits were falling.

Fighting radicalism with reform in Lebanon refugee camps
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
September 27, 2010 - 12:00am

In the sprawling streets of the Burj Brajneh refugee camp, in the heart of Beirut, almost 20,000 people struggle to make a living. Mothers try to feed their children with food vouchers from the United Nations, and families live in ramshackle buildings with few of the basic facilities enjoyed by people in wider Lebanese society. Mohammed Al Shuli's grandfather fled to Lebanon in 1948 from his home in what is now the Israeli city of Acco.

Obama demands more than Israel can give
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Richard Cohen - (Opinion) September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Every so often, the sayings of Casey Stengel come to mind. The longtime manager of the New York Yankees, accustomed to a Prussian professionalism in the hitting and fielding of baseballs, moved over to the astonishingly hapless New York Mets in 1962 and, surveying his new team, uttered an exasperated question: "Can't anybody here play this game?" What applied to those Mets applies now to the Obama administration. In the Middle East, it's no hits and plenty of errors.

Solving the West Bank settler problem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Gabrielle Rifkind - (Opinion) September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israeli construction freeze in the West Bank hangs like a dark cloud over the peace talks. The moratorium expired on 26 September and President Abbas has continuously said he will withdraw from negotiations if settlement activity resumes. Last-ditch attempts to save the talks from an early collapse are taking place behind the scenes. Meanwhile Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has called on the settler movement to show restraint and only allow only small-scale construction to resume. Tensions remain very high.

Abbas pressured to halt peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian political factions yesterday urged the president, Mahmoud Abbas, to abandon direct peace negotiations with Israel after it failed to extend a partial freeze on construction of West Bank settlements. But Mr Abbas held back yesterday on a threat to quit the talks after the expiration of the freeze at midnight Sunday. He told reporters in Paris he would not rush to respond to Israel’s resumption of settlement construction, but would first consult with Palestinian and Arab leaders.

Peace might upend wealth of Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - September 27, 2010 - 12:00am

With the resumption of settlement construction in the West Bank yesterday, Israel’s powerful settler movement hopes that it has scuttled peace talks with the Palestinians, too. It would be misleading, however, to assume that the major obstacle to the success of talks is the right-wing political ideology the settler movement represents. Equally important are deeply entrenched economic interests shared across Israeli society.

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