Breakthrough or Breakdown: The Obama Administration and the Arab-Israeli Peace Process
Press Release - Contact Information: Ghaith al-Omari - May 21, 2009 - 12:00am

On May 11th, 2009 ATFP Advocacy Director Ghaith Al-Omari took part in a panel at the Woodrow Wilson Center entitled "Breakthrough or Breakdown: The Obama Administration and the Arab-Israeli Peace Process". Mr. Al-Omari mapped the current Palestinian political scene, focusing on the schism between Hamas and Fatah, the efforts to form a new PA government, and internal Fatah dynamics. He also laid out steps necessary to move the peace process forward.

Mr Abbas and a dangerous gambit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

The reappointment of Salam Fayyad, a respected independent, as the Palestinian prime minister should have been a welcome development. The PLO desperately needs a leader aloof from the cronyism and factional strife that define Palestinian politics. Unfortunately that is not the case. If anything, Mr Fayyad risks becoming a victim of naked partisanship.

Keeping Score on Obama vs. Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Helene Cooper, Mark Landler - (Analysis) May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

After the much anticipated White House meeting on Monday between President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, one question being asked in diplomatic circles is this: Did Mr. Obama give up more than he got? The meeting between the two, their first as leaders, was mainly an exercise in breaking the ice. But at the early stages of a relationship between the nations’ leaders that is likely to be more strained than it was during the Bush years, their dealings are being analyzed for signs of who has the upper hand.

Netanyahu's Broader Stance Earns Early U.S. Favor
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

During his first turn as Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington in 1996 with a chip on his shoulder and a long list of things he said he would not do -- from slowing the expansion of Israeli settlements to meeting with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. It was the start of a famously testy relationship with President Bill Clinton, characterized by public fights, haggling and ultimately a drop in support for Netanyahu in Israel.

New leaders face old problems in Mid-East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Jeremy Bowen - May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

When you are dealing with a conflict that has gone on for a very long time, it is wise not to infer too much from a single meeting between two men who are new to their jobs. But new leaders usually have a better chance of changing things than they do after they have been bruised and battered by a few years in office, so it does not do to be too cynical either. Before the meeting between US President Barack Obama and Israel's new prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu there were predictions of a rift between them.

Not budging
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Obdurate and unconcerned about the opinion expressed by the president of his country’s staunchest ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood his ground in Washington, insisting that he supports self government for the Palestinians, but not mentioning one word about a state for these people under decades of Israeli occupation.

Washington makes a sensible turnaround
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

The meeting in the White House Monday between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted significant differences as well as deep convergences in the two countries' approaches to two major sources of tension and conflict in the Middle East - the Iranian nuclear program and the Arab-Israeli conflict. The convergences are well known, but the new gaps are an important element to watch in the coming months.

Saudis pushing Obama for new Mideast plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn, Barak Ravid - May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

The United States expects Israel to make concrete concessions to the Palestinians before U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Cairo on June 4, an American official said during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington this week. The cabinet is due to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip this Sunday, and one concession the U.S. would like to see is for Israel to decide at this meeting to ease its restrictions on imports and exports of goods to Gaza. It also wants Israel to ease restrictions on movement in the West Bank.

Obama and the Israeli Rejection
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Randa Takieddine - (Opinion) May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

The talks between US President Barack Obama and his guest, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, clearly show the deep difference in their stances on the Palestinians and Iran; this difference will continue to dominate the relationship between the White House and the current Israeli government.

Clock ticking on peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Francis Matthew - (Opinion) May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

The leaders of the Arab world have become very clear in the past few months that there is a deadline for the Arab peace initiative, and they are not willing to let Israel continue stalling them for decades without any consequence as it refuses to withdraw from the West Bank, continues to expropriate land, and expands its colonies.

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