Alstom loses $10b Saudi railway contract
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Abbas Al Lawati - (Analysis) October 28, 2011 - 12:00am

French transport giant Alstom has lost a $9.4 billion rail tender in Saudi Arabia, a move thought to be punishment for the company's involvement in Israeli expansion projects in Occupied Jerusalem. The Saudi Railway Organisation (SRO) has awarded a contract for the second phase of the Haramain rail link between the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah to, Al Shoula, a consortium of 12 Spanish companies, after facing pressure for awarding its first phase, worth $1.8 billion, to Alstom in February, 2009.

Quartet on mission impossible in Mideast logjam
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tom Perry - (Opinion) October 28, 2011 - 12:00am

Some political analysts argue it is now time for them to scale back their ambitions. With faint hope of a deal, would-be peacemakers may inevitably find themselves seeking to manage rather than resolve the generations-old conflict. The latest effort by the Middle East Quartet -- a body comprising the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations -- was arguably a failure before it began.

Run silent, run cold—the silent freeze that isn’t so silent (or so real)
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - (Opinion) October 28, 2011 - 12:00am

There's a lot of reporting in Israeli media about U.S. pressure on Israel to impose a silent freeze on settlement to allow the Palestinians wiggle room to come back to the talks table. Maariv was apparently the first to report it Tuesday, it was picked up by Arutz Sheva, and soon enough there were the requisite squalls of outrage from the Israeli right. Two things: I can't find any evidence -- and I've dug in the right places -- of the United States making any such request.

Travel is a challenge in a Palestinian's life
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily News Egypt
by May Marei - (Opinion) October 28, 2011 - 12:00am

No words can describe how I felt, as a Palestinian, the moment I got my permit to Jerusalem from the Israeli government. I had waited seven hours in line with other Palestinians trying to get permissions for emergency visits to what is considered as an Israeli forbidden area. It’s been 12 years since my last visit to that holy amazing – as I believe – Palestinian city. The feeling of knowing that I will be in Jerusalem the next day was remarkable.

The UNESCO meltdown
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Alan Elsner - (Opinion) October 28, 2011 - 12:00am

On Monday, unless the Palestinians can be persuaded to back down, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will vote to accept Palestine as a full member state, triggering an automatic cutoff of U.S. funding and wreaking havoc with many of the agency’s programs. Under legislation adopted by Congress over 15 years ago, the United States is mandated to withdraw from any U.N. agency that accepts Palestine as a full member state in the absence of a peace treaty with Israel.

What Condi Rice's Memoir Gets Wrong (and Right) on Israel-Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Atlantic
by Zvika Krieger - (Opinion) October 28, 2011 - 12:00am

Newsweek's cover story this week features excerpts from former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's upcoming memoir, in which she reveals details of private interactions she had with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as she oversaw their negotiations beginning with the Annapolis process in 2008. She felt like her efforts were on the precipice of "push[ing] the peace process to a new level," and is quite breathless in reflecting on the Olmert's "remarkable" concessions in his private discussions with her, particularly on Jerusalem:

Behind Bars, Palestinians Find Love, Marriage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Omar Ghraieb - (Analysis) October 27, 2011 - 12:00am

He was from Fatah and she was from Hamas, the two rival Palestinian movements. They were both serving multiple life sentences. They had participated in killings – she for her role in a Jerusalem restaurant bombing, he in connection with the killing of an Israeli. As lovers go they could not have been more star crossed, yet Nezar and Ahlam Al Tammimi met, fell in love, got engaged and finally married while they were sitting in Israeli jails. Both were among some 450 Palestinian prisoners swapped for Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit last week.

The Palestinian struggle at a crossroads
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Arabiya
by Dawoud Abu Lebdeh - (Opinion) October 28, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israel-Hamas prisoner exchange last week was a very emotional moment for thousands of Palestinians who were reunited with family members they had not seen for years. But it came at a price. Some of the public perceive the prisoner release deal as an achievement for Hamas’ militant approach, a success story that Palestinian diplomatic efforts and negotiations with Israel have not yet been able to deliver.

Kadima source: Livni undermined peace talks with Palestinians during Olmert's term
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Verter - (Analysis) October 28, 2011 - 12:00am

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's autobiography indicates that former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni undermined a potential peace agreement with the Palestinians during Ehud Olmert's term as prime minister, according to a senior Kadima source. Two and a half years after ending their troubled relationship as prime minister and foreign minister, tensions have again flared between Olmert and Livni.

Post Script: No harm in thinking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hirsh Goodman - (Opinion) October 28, 2011 - 12:00am

Those who argue that America should reconsider its military aid package to Israel have a point.

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