September 29th

Israel Hands Ancient Site to Ideologues
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Sarah Kreimer - (Opinion) September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Imagine stepping off the ferry to find that the Statue of Liberty monument is not run by the U.S. National Park Service, but that an evangelical Christian group has a special concession to operate this historic site. Also imagine that the film shown at the Ellis Island museum no longer emphasizes America’s multi-cultural history of immigration, but instead focuses almost exclusively on the contribution of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Sounds absurd?

There was no political tsunami for Israel after all
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Moshe Arens - (Opinion) September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

The month of September is almost gone and Israel does not lie devastated like north-eastern Japan after the tsunami that hit that region in the wake of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake last March. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas submitted an application to the United Nations that Palestine be recognized as a state and admitted to the UN. Hamas, as was expected, objected to this move, and President Barack Obama said what any sensible person should have known - that bypassing direct negotiations by applying to the UN was not going to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Statehood Bid - What Comes Next?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Hussein Ibish, Saliba Sarsar - (Opinion) September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu all played mainly to their domestic political bases at the United Nations General Assembly meeting last week. Despite the drama, nothing in the basic discourse has changed, no party shifted its bottom-line positions, and none of it brought us any closer to peace or improved the situation on the ground.

Obama Sold Israel Bunker-Buster Bombs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Eli Lake - September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

While publicly pressuring Israel to make deeper concessions to the Palestinians, President Obama has secretly authorized significant new aid to the Israeli military that includes the sale of 55 deep-penetrating bombs known as bunker busters, Newsweek has learned.

U.S.: Republican plan would cut aid to Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
(Blog) September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

U.S. House Republican leaders signaled this week that they are serious about cutting off aid to the Palestinian Authority if its leaders continue their quest for U.N. recognition as a sovereign state. The Republican leaders of the House Appropriations Committee this week released a preliminary 2012 spending plan that would prohibit aid to the Palestinian Authority unless the State Department certifies that the Palestinians aren’t seeking to gain full membership in the United Nations.

Palestinians could pursue war crimes charges without full statehood: ICC prosecutor
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Star
by Olivia Ward - September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

In the fierce debate over the Palestinian bid for UN membership, one unseen presence has cast a long shadow. It’s that of Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court — the body Israel has long feared would take up Palestinian allegations of war crimes if its statehood bid is successful. A few blocks away from the UN this week, the man at the centre of the controversy said if Palestine becomes a member state, or a lower-ranked non-member observer state, it could be eligible to pursue claims against Israel.

Palestinians deny bid to remove Tony Blair from Quartet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
by Jon Donnison - September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Mr Blair, a former UK prime minister, has held the position of special envoy for four years. Palestinians see him as biased towards the Israelis. The Quartet, made up of the US, Russia, the EU and UN, was established in 2002 to help mediate peace in the region. There have been no direct Israeli-Palestinian talks for more than a year. A spokesman for the PA said that while there was great unhappiness with Mr Blair's role as envoy, his removal was not a priority. He said there were no plans to formally ask for Mr Blair to be replaced. 'Suspicion'

PA: We are one vote shy of a majority in Security Council
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said Thursday that the Palestinians have received approval from eight members of the UN Security Council in support of their bid for full membership to the United Nations. If nine members of the Security Council vote in favor of the Palestinian state bid, the the resolution will pass, unless one of the council's five permanent members uses a veto. While the US, one of those five, has said before that it would veto the Palestinian resolution, it has also stated that it would rather not be forced to use the veto.

Clinton: Israeli settlement move counter-productive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel's decision to build 1,100 settlement homes on West Bank land is counter-productive to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday. The decision appears to make it even less likely that the two sides will answer a call on Friday by the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States, collectively known as the Quartet, to resume peace talks within a month.

Clinton, Egypt FM call for negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

The Egyptian foreign minister and his US counterpart called on Israelis and Palestinians to resume talks in a joint press conference on Wednesday. "Negotiations should resume as soon as possible between Israelis and Palestinians with clear terms of reference and with a clearly defined time-line," Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr told reporters after a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington. "Israeli illegal settlement activities continue to be an impediment in the road for peace, and we would like to see them stop," he added.

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