Reframing Obama’s Approach to Negotiating Middle East Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Joyce Karam - (Opinion) August 12, 2009 - 12:00am

In addressing one of its most pivotal foreign policy challenges in the Middle East, the Obama administration needs to moderate its lexicon in framing the negotiations and expectations on the Peace Process. Using words such as “normalize” in addressing the responsibilities of Arab governments and sending mixed signals on its call for a “complete” settlement freeze from Israel, is creating misperceptions in the Arab Street of the administration’s efforts and undermining its objectives.

US complains to Oren over eviction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

The US State Department once again expressed its disapproval Tuesday night over Israel's eviction of two Palestinian families from their homes in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. The American officials made a phone call to Israel's Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren and protested the move. Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem stressed Wednesday that the call was not a reprimand. On Monday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the eviction "deeply regrettable" and "provocative."

US stands to lose if peace process stalls
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

Barack Obama is in a bit of a bind. Unlike any of his predecessors, this American president chose, admirably, to attempt to tackle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict shortly after taking office, realising that this long-festering issue has seriously damaged the US image in the Middle East. His first step, his choice of former Senate leader George J. Mitchell as his special envoy to manage the peace negotiations, was widely hailed as Mitchell played a key role in settling the Irish conflict.

Israel must allow evicted Arab families to return home
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) August 5, 2009 - 12:00am

The eviction of two Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in order to replace them with Jewish families, predictably sparked harsh condemnations. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the government to refrain from such actions, which she described as "provocative."

Netanyahu plans meeting with Mitchell
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - August 3, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold an important meeting with US Mideast envoy George Mitchell at the end of the month, sources said. Top sources in Jerusalem confirmed to Ynet that Netanyahu will meet with Mitchell in London, as part of the prime minister's European tour in which he will also meet with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

UK funding political activity in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel is up in arms over a declaration by a British government spokesman that the UK is funding political activity in Israel. British spokesman Martin Day said in an interview in Dubai with Al-Arabiya television last week that the British government was "taking practical steps towards freezing settlement activities." "For instance," Day said, "we finance projects aimed at halting settlement activities. One of these projects seeks to build new Palestinian neighborhoods in east Jerusalem and save Palestinian houses from demolition."

Worldview: Shoring up faith in peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Philadelphia Inquirer
by Trudy Rubin - (Opinion) July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Any president who tries to foster peace between Israelis and Arabs must be part diplomat and part shrink. President Obama seems to understand this. He came to office determined to restore trust between America and the world's Muslims. In his famous Cairo speech, he called for both sides to make a "sustained effort to listen to each other." He also pledged to pursue peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Few takers for engaging Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Mazen Mahdi - July 23, 2009 - 12:00am

An article last week by Bahrain’s crown prince calling on Arab countries to adopt a new approach to relations with Israel has unleashed a torrent of debate from Manama to Washington, and is testing the ability of Gulf states to leverage their growing economic clout into regional political influence. Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa, in his article for The Washington Post, argued that for the Arab-Israeli peace process to move forward “a great deal of campaigning – patiently and repeatedly targeting all relevant parties” was needed.

Mitchell, Gates, Jones to visit Jerusalem next week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The American administration has decided to send an "airlift" of senior officials to Israel for talks with the Netanyahu government – Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, special Mideast envoy George Mitchell and National Security Advisor James Jones. The first to visit will be US President Barack Obama's special envoy to the region, who will hold a series of meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah. Mitchell will land in Israel on Sunday as part of another effort to advance a resumption of the direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Anti-colonialism, the Barack Obama way
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

One of the most important political dynamics in the Middle East these days is the escalating war of words between the United States and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the international demand to freeze Jewish settlements and colonies in Arab lands occupied in 1967. It is surprising yet heartening that the Obama team has come out strongly demanding that Israel freeze the expansion of all settlements, with no exceptions for natural growth, pre-approved projects or anything else.

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