U.S. Looks Increasingly Irrelevant as Mideast Peace Broker
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Jonathan Guyer - (Opinion) October 22, 2011 - 12:00am

"…[M]oving forward, we want to see progress on the peace talks," State Department spokesman Mark Toner has emphasised repeatedly over the last two weeks, which have seen Washington's special envoy David Hale shuttling between Jerusalem and Ramallah. "We want to see the two parties, the Palestinians and the Israelis, get back into direct negotiations. And that's where are our focus remains," he said. But there is little reason at this point to believe that Washington's efforts will bear fruit.

After the swap, a chance for peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) October 22, 2011 - 12:00am

The prisoners exchange that Hamas and Israel concluded this week could be a potential historic turning point in an otherwise moribund “peace process” where no noteworthy breakthrough has occurred in the past nearly 20 years of American-mediated, and therefore mostly Israeli-defined, talks. The prisoners exchange is significant for showing that the most implacable and violent enemies are able to negotiate and reach agreement, when both sides obtain gains that are sufficiently important for them to be able then to make concessions on issues of equal importance to the other side.

Some Israeli citizens just refuse to accept the occupation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Haggai Matar - (Opinion) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

“I personally don’t have a problem with Israelis, but for your own sake you’d better not tell others around here where you’re from,” a taxi driver said to me during my last visit to Amman. Little did it help to explain that I attend demonstrations against the Israeli occupation regularly and came to Jordan with Palestinian friends.

How Shalit became everybody’s son
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

THE MOST sensible — I almost wrote “the only sensible” — sentence uttered this week sprang from the lips of a 5-year old boy. After the prisoner swap, one of those smart-aleck TV reporters asked him: “Why did we release 1027 Arabs for one Israeli soldier?” He expected, of course, the usual answer: Because one Israeli is worth a thousand Arabs. The little boy replied: “Because we caught many of them and they caught only one.”

How a new Israeli attache renounced his U.S. citizenship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Eli Groner - (Opinion) October 23, 2011 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV (JTA) -- After being named Israel's minister for economic affairs to the United States, Eli Groner was required by U.S. law to revoke his U.S. citizenship. The following is the statement he submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv upon his renunciation. Because I love America, it is with hesitant hands and a heavy heart that I am writing this note. I never expected to request revocation of my citizenship, and while I certainly understand the circumstances requiring me to do so, it is important for me to share with you why I have decided to take this step.

Israel Asserts Control Over East Jerusalem Textbooks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Arieh O'Sullivan - (Analysis) October 23, 2011 - 12:00am

Is it an expression of Palestinian nationalism or is it delegitimizing the State of Israel? That’s the question at the heart of a controversy over Israel’s decision to expurgate Palestinian symbols and a nationalist take on history from the textbooks used by students in largely Arab east Jerusalem. Jalal Abukhater, a high school senior who studies in Palestinian-ruled Ramallah, brought the controversy to the public eye over the weekend in the +972 website, a forum for left-of center Israelis, in an essay “Israel imposes censored Palestinian textbooks in East Jerusalem.”

The new U.S. Zionist: Israel-bashing, made kosher
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - (Opinion) October 23, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel-bashing is not what it used to be. In fact, Israel-bashing is not what it was a week ago. The difference is Gilad Shalit. The difference is that it now turns out to be just fine for U.S. Jews to denounce the actions and policies of the government of Israel – so long as it's being done by hard-line rightists.

Livni breaks ranks over prisoner exchange deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - (Analysis) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni yesterday broke sharply with the mainstream consensus of support for the prisoner exchange which secured abducted soldier Gilad Shalit’s release with an emphatic warning that it had strengthened Hamas and weakened Israel. Ms Livni yesterday called on the government to co-ordinate the second batch of 550 prisoner releases with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to offset a deal in which “an extreme right wing [Israeli] government has provided legitimacy for the Hamas.”

IDF recommends freeing Fatah prisoners as gesture to Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff, Barak Ravid - (Analysis) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel should make a series of gestures to the Palestinian Authority to reduce the damage caused the PA by last week's deal for the return of Gilad Shalit, the Israel Defense Forces' General Staff believes. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's advisers vehemently oppose the idea, as do several members of his forum of eight senior ministers, arguing that PA President Mahmoud Abbas "should be punished" for his unilateral bid for UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

Freed Palestinian prisoners hope to rebuild lives
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Tara Todras-Whitehill - (Analysis) October 23, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian prisoners sent to the Gaza Strip in a swap for a captive Israeli soldier last week are contemplating the rest of their lives after years behind bars. Some say they want to put their violent pasts behind them and move on, now that the celebrations marking their release have faded.

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