June 24th

The moment to move
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) June 24, 2011 - 12:00am

With Greece in turmoil, the Spanish economy collapsing and the French political system in a state of upheaval, the leaders of the European Union are nonetheless putting time and energy into getting the ball rolling again on the Israeli-Palestinian front. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, followed by European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, last week visited the offices of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Both returned to Brussels as confused as ever.

AP Exclusive: Palestinians ready to ease demands
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - June 23, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinians are ready to ease their demand for a freeze on Israeli settlement construction to get peace talks back on track, a top official told The Associated Press on Thursday. The softened position reflects the Palestinians' growing realization that their alternative strategies to talks — reconciling with the Hamas militant group and seeking unilateral recognition at the United Nations — are both in trouble.

ISRAEL: No more perks for Palestinian prisoners, says Prime Minister Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - June 23, 2011 - 12:00am

After Hamas rejected a call from the International Red Cross for access to Gilad Shalit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an end to perks for Hamas prisoners in Israeli prisons.

Obama's fake promises of peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Marwan al-Kabalan - (Opinion) June 24, 2011 - 12:00am

As the attention of the world is focused on the Arab region and its overdue democratic transition, the Middle East peace process seems to have completely disappeared from the international agenda and particularly that of the US. When Barack Obama was elected President of the US two and a half years ago, he seemed intensely interested in solving the Arab-Israeli conflict and establishing a Palestinian state. As he approaches his final year in office, nothing of these proclaimed promises has materialised.

Palestinian PM attends Bilin protest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Elior Levy - June 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad participated Friday at an anti-security fence protest staged in the village of Bilin, west of the city of Ramallah. Hadash Chairman Mohammad Barakeh was also present. Palestinian sources said that the protesters brought a bulldozer to the site in order to dismantle the fence, and were actually successful in removing part of it. Live ammunition was reportedly fired toward the bulldozer's wheels and teargas grenades were hurled at the protesters. The driver of the bulldozer fleed the area and escaped arrest.

Brzezinski to Al-Hayat: U.S. Position Deteriorating in the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Joyce Karam - (Interview) June 23, 2011 - 12:00am

As the political turmoil sweeps across the Middle East, former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski laments the declining American influence in the region . He tells Al-Hayat about a sense of disappointment among Washington's allies from its shy performance especially on the peace process.

Hamas Refuses Plea to Prove Israeli Is Alive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - June 23, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — The International Committee of the Red Cross on Thursday publicly demanded that Hamas provide proof that an Israeli soldier captured five years ago and held in Gaza is still alive. Hamas promptly rejected the demand.

Change the coalition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yehuda Ben Meir - (Opinion) June 23, 2011 - 12:00am

A book can be written about errors made by the Israeli left, about its exaggerated or extremist approaches, and its estrangement from reality. At first, the left's blunders really do not seem like anything anyone has to fret too much about. But the lamentable thing is that the left's stances and statements drive large sectors of the Israeli public away from moderate, balanced positions.

EU casts doubt on chances of UN vote on Palestinian statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - June 24, 2011 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV // The European Union's foreign policy chief yesterday cast doubt on whether the United Nations will proceed with a Palestinian push for the 192-member body to vote in September on backing Palestinian statehood. Catherine Ashton, speaking in an interview with Haaretz newspaper after a visit to the Middle East, said the EU has been making major efforts, so far unsuccessfully, to press the Israelis and the Palestinians to resume negotiations before the possible UN vote.

Caring enough to engage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jeremy Benami - (Opinion) June 24, 2011 - 12:00am

We live at a time when serious decisions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are under discussion, the resolution of which will have implications not just for the future of Israel but for Jews living all over the world. It's not surprising that these discussions are accompanied by deep tensions, as they raise questions of life and death, and about the success or failure of the State of Israel and the heart and the soul of the Jewish people.

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