September 28th

PA slams Israeli settlement plans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) September 26, 2011 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday slammed Israel's approval of construction plans to build 1,100 new housing units in a settlement in East Jerusalem. Israel's regional planning and construction committee on Tuesday approved the plans, described by one committee member as "a nice gift for Rosh Hashanah," the Israeli news site Ynet reported. Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 and illegally annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community. All settlements built on occupied territory are illegal under international law.

US, EU condemn Israeli plan to expand settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Allyn Fisher-Ilan - (Analysis) September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Israel approved on Tuesday the construction of 1,100 settlement homes on annexed land in the West Bank, complicating global efforts to renew peace talks and defuse a crisis over a Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations. The plan was met with a chorus of Western criticism. Britain and the European Union called on Israel to reverse the decision, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said new settlement building would be "counter-productive" to the efforts to revive peace talks.

2 for 2, or 2 for 1?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Thomas L. Friedman - September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of Israel, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and President Obama all spoke at the U.N. last week and, honestly, it is hard to decide whose speech was worse. Netanyahu’s read like a pep rally to the Likud Central Committee. Abbas’s read like an address to an Arab League meeting. Obama’s read like an appeal to Jewish voters in Florida. The president meant well, but domestic politics required that he whisper where he once spoke bold truths to both sides.

Israel approves new housing despite pleas for delay
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - (Analysis) September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Reporting from Jerusalem— Israel gave preliminary approval Tuesday to the construction of about 1,100 new housing units in East Jerusalem, brushing aside pleas from U.S. and European diplomats to delay the controversial project as they attempt to restart peace talks. The Interior Ministry's green light will clear the way for a significant expansion of the Jewish development of Gilo, on land seized by Israel during the 1967 Middle East War.

September 27th

The speech Yasser Arafat never gave
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ moving speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Friday was certainly the high point of his career. His address will be forever remembered because Abbas was able to do what no Palestinian leader has ever done in the past: make the moral case for Palestinian independence in a clear, coherent, reasonable manner at the highest international forum.

Abbas Strikes Out
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National Review
by Elliott Abrams - (Opinion) September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

The rapturous applause that greeted Mahmoud Abbas, appearing before the U.N. General Assembly in his role as chairman of the PLO, was deceiving. The collection of states that swooned when he mentioned Yasser Arafat’s 1974 appearance in the same hall will never give him a state — nor even the foreign-aid money to pay his delegation’s hotel bills.

Price to be paid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

This past week witnessed the culmination of the Palestinian political move to the United Nations. We have seen key speeches by US President Barack Obama, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in addition to the submission of the Palestinian application for state membership to the United Nations and, finally, a statement by the Middle East Quartet.

Three speeches, no progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Last week, we heard three dramatic speeches at the United Nations General Assembly that were ostensibly intended to offer new ideas for dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian issue. They did not. United States President Barack Obama made an unusually pro-Israel speech that was obviously motivated by domestic American political considerations. Obama made clear that he was abdicating a leadership role regarding Israel-Palestine for the coming US election year. It's doubtful the rest of the Quartet, meaning essentially Europe, can fill the gap.

Dynamics of Arab Spring
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Joschka Fischer - (Opinion) September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Regardless of whether democratisation in the ‘new Middle East' succeeds or authoritarian forms of government prevail once again, one fundamental change has already become clear: no one will be able to govern without taking into account domestic public opinion.

After U.N. Drama, Little Hope for Peace Breakthrough
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Forward
by Nathan Guttman - (Opinion) September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

An intense week of high-profile speeches and backroom diplomacy, which reached its climax with an official Palestinian bid for statehood, has reshaped the Middle East peace process, eroding the American position as lead player — which may, in fact, be President Obama’s strategy.

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