"Fixation on two-state solution is childish"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - May 20, 2009 - 11:00pm


"This idea of two states for two peoples is a stupid and childish solution to a very complex problem," senior members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu staff said on Wednesday as the entourage made its way back to Israel from Washington. They were determined to emphasize that Israel would continue to build in the larger settlement blocs and Jerusalem despite US President Barack Obama's resolute opposition.


Determined Obama is key to resolution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) May 19, 2009 - 11:00pm


The Arab world was generally anxious that President Barack Obama would retreat from his view, reiterated recently by several of his key officials, that a Palestinian-Israel settlement merits top and immediate attention, especially from Israel. But the fact that he did not in his talks last Monday with the hawkish Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and had actually stressed the need for several more positive steps, was generally well-received in the Arab world.


Mr Abbas and a dangerous gambit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) May 19, 2009 - 11:00pm


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 19, 2009 - 11:00pm


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 19, 2009 - 11:00pm


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 19, 2009 - 11:00pm


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 19, 2009 - 11:00pm


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 19, 2009 - 11:00pm


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 19, 2009 - 11:00pm


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 19, 2009 - 11:00pm


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.



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