What makes for an effective mediator: The case of James Wolfensohn
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Nizar Farsakh - (Blog) July 7, 2011 - 12:00am

In 2005, the Quartet appointed James Wolfensohn, former head of the World Bank, as special envoy for the Gaza disengagement. His job was to get the parties to cooperate in the withdrawal process, as well as to revive the Palestinian economy post-withdrawal by harnessing the Quartet's resources, both financial and political. In my opinion, his case is illustrative of the conditions for effective mediation and their demise.

Panel on water solutions in Middle East gets heated
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Sharon Udasin - July 6, 2011 - 12:00am

A panel whose aim was to address “cross-border cooperation in managing water basins” quickly became a political struggle that overpowered participants’ individual ideas toward improving the water situation for the region. During the International Water Symposium on Tuesday, experts from Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority discussed the increasingly dangerous situation the region is facing as water sources deplete, a problem they all agreed could only be solved by cooperation between neighbors, despite political differences.

What do we do with our accumulated experience?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ron Pundak - (Opinion) July 7, 2011 - 12:00am

When I think back and analyze the Oslo negotiations with regard to the task of the mediator, I recall three episodes that best describe the mission the Norwegians took upon themselves. The first took place on the first day of our meetings. Following an official event that provided cover for the Israelis and Palestinians to come to Oslo, the Norwegians left us in the room and our host Terje Roed-Larsen said, "We'll return only if you summon us or if we hear you quarreling . . ."

Mediators matter, and good mediators can broker agreements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Daniel Kurtzer - (Blog) July 7, 2011 - 12:00am

Mediators matter, especially in the Arab-Israel conflict, where all parties have looked to the United States to play the role of third party helper. During the more than 30 years of active American mediation, the parties have sometimes defined what they wanted the US to do or to avoid doing, but they have not defined clearly the structure or functioning of the mediator's role.

For America, An Arab Winter
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
by Aaron David Miller - (Opinion) July 7, 2011 - 12:00am

Mark Twain once observed that history doesn’t repeat; it rhymes. As America reacts to the dramatic changes sweeping the Arab world, it would be wise to keep Twain’s insight in mind. These aren’t quite secular revolutions like those of 1789 and 1917, and they certainly aren’t Islamic ones, like Iran’s in 1979, at least not yet. They more resemble popular uprisings like those in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union between 1989 and 1991.

Hamas arrests man for styling women's hair
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
July 6, 2011 - 12:00am

The Hamas government in Gaza has arrested a man for violating a recent legislation that prohibits men from styling women's hair, the BBC reported Wednesday. The report said that following the arrest, many male hairstylists could be found loitering at the entrance to their salons, terrified of being detained as well. Last year Hamas officially announced a new law prohibiting men from styling women's hair, as it negates Sharia.

Is Israel the 'National Home of the Jewish People'?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Tony Karon - (Opinion) July 7, 2011 - 12:00am

In a scathing commentary on the folly of the Obama Administration relying on Dennis Ross to resuscitate Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar notes that Ross has been at the center of just about every failed initiative on that front over the past two decades -- and that now, as ever, he is running interference for the Israelis, sustaining what he says is an illusion of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's willingness to make major concessions while restraining the U.S. from putting any significant pressure on him.

Palestinian official: UN vote on statehood won't contradict peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - July 7, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat attended a meeting with U.S. officials at the U.S. State Department Wednesday, at which U.S. officials were expected to push the PA negotiator to accept American terms for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. Acting Middle East Envoy David Hale and diplomat Dennis Ross both attended the meeting with Erekat. Following their meeting, Erekat said in a brief press conference that he does not expect the Quartet’s meeting scheduled for July 11 to “invent the wheel.”

Israel and Turkey row delays UN flotilla report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Catrina Stewart - July 7, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli and Turkish officials are working feverishly behind the scenes to agree on a reconciliation document which would draw a line under Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla last May, which left nine Turkish activists dead and chilled relations with its closest ally in the region.

PNA lifts immunity for ministers over corruption inquiry
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
July 7, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) lifted immunity for several ministers in a rare move aimed at investigating charges of corruption, a Palestinian official said Thursday. The PNA commission against corruption presented the names of some ministers to President Mahmoud Abbas who accepted to withdraw their immunity, said Rafiq Al-Natsha, the head of the commission.

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