The Goal is Democratization
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) February 6, 2012 - 1:00am

The relationship between the ongoing uprisings and revolutions in the Arab world and the Palestinian-Israeli peace process is a convoluted mix of cause and effect.

Abbas Juggles Initiative While Israel Takes None
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) February 6, 2012 - 1:00am

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process was dead well before the Arab revolutionary wave began a little over a year ago. Nor does it appear likely that the Arab revolutions, in and of themselves, will catalyze its revival. Still, they have affected the peace process in a number of significant, albeit still evolving ways.

A ‘Major Triumph for Qatari Diplomacy’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Qatar News Agency
(Editorial) February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

The Doha Declaration signed between the two main Palestinian movements - Fatah and Hamas - should be considered as a “major triumph for Qatari diplomacy”, a number of Palestinian and Arab political experts said yesterday. They said that that Qatari diplomacy’s “strenuous efforts” succeeded in bringing the Palestinian people back together. They expressed their thanks to Qatar, under the leadership of HH the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, for supporting Palestinian reconciliation.

From Across the Line: Do Palestinians Have a Life?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Nida' Tuma - (Opinion) February 3, 2012 - 1:00am

Accompanying an Israeli couple on a short tour of Ramallah, I opt to take them to a nice Palestinian American-style coffee shop – one of my favorite places to go. Interestingly, one of their first comments on the visit is that the coffee prices are just as high as those in Tel Aviv. NIS 15 for a cup of coffee is quite expensive considering the average Palestinian income, but still affordable to some.

Is Hamas Trying to Change its Stripes?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Mati Wagner - (Analysis) February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Is Hamas trying to change its stripes? Terrorist attacks against Israelis appear to be on pause, and rocket fire from Gaza is down significantly. The Hamas leader in Damascus, Khaled Meshaal, is trying to distance himself from the Assad regime and align Hamas with the forces of the Arab Spring. Hamas’ parent organization in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, has entered mainstream politics in Cairo, and U.S. officials have met with Brotherhood leaders.

‘Elections Won’t Keep DC From Pushing Peace’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - (Interview) February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

If Washington feels a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians is possible in the near future it will become actively involved in securing an agreement even during an election year, former ambassador to the US Sallai Meridor said Tuesday. Senior Israeli officials have said in recent weeks they did not feel Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was interested in serious negotiations with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu now because of the assumption that US President Barack Obama could not press Netanyahu to make concessions during an election year.

The New Palestinian Prime Minister
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Council On Foreign Relations
by Elliott Abrams - (Opinion) February 7, 2012 - 1:00am

Once upon a time, progress toward Israeli-Palestinian peace was thought to require reform of Palestinian political institutions. Creation of the post of Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister, separate from that of PA president, was viewed as a milestone. On March 14, 2003, President Bush marked creation of the prime minister post in a press conference:

Israeli, Syria, and the Double Standard of the Free World
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Carlo Strenger - (Opinion) February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

I have for years opposed Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, and I continue to be appalled by Israel’s continuing expansion of settlements. But I'm running into a linguistic problem: if I use ‘appalled’ for Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, what term is left for Assad’s butchering of his own people for almost a year?

West Does Not Have Monopoly On Veto Morality
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Zvi Barel - (Opinion) February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

"At the end of last week we received a reminder about the environment we're living in. We heard Iran's ruler talk about Israel's destruction, we saw the Syrian army massacring its own people. Some leaders have no compunctions about harming their people or their neighbors," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of the cabinet meeting. True, it's a lousy environment. Only one sentence is needed to complete the picture: "And there are governments that don't mind continuing to occupy other nations for nearly 50 years."

By Avoiding Peace, Netanyahu is Punishing Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

In a Pavlovian response to the reconciliation agreement signed by the rival Palestinian factions, under which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will also serve as temporary prime minister, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented Abbas with a simplistic ultimatum - peace with Hamas, or peace with Israel.

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