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.


Palestinians Discouraged by Meeting's Outcome
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - May 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


JERUSALEM, May 18 -- Palestinian officials on Monday said they were disappointed that a round of U.S.-Israeli talks in Washington produced no clear progress on the removal of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank or other issues they feel are crucial to rejuvenating stalled peace negotiations.


Emphasis Differs for Obama, Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Scott Wilson - May 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu yesterday outlined the shared goals of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons and of achieving a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. But within those broad areas of agreement were significant differences in tone and terminology that exposed their divergent approaches toward achieving peace in the Middle East.


Polarized region, elusive peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Linda S. Heard - (Opinion) May 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


US President Barack Obama may be the right man to facilitate Middle East peace, but given the current climate, achieving anything of worth toward that goal would be nothing short of a miracle. Obama strongly backs a two-state solution and is proactively reaching out to the Muslim world. Moreover, unlike his predecessor, he’s not an ideologue who has to nurture a right-wing evangelical base and he has displayed a willingness to listen to all sides. Of course, it is almost a given that any American president is going to lean in Israel’s favor and Obama is no exception.


Obama, Netanyahu, and two states for spoiled brats
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - (Opinion) May 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to the Obama White House, the first such meeting since both men came to power, has been widely billed as a key indicator of the Obama administration's intentions in the realm of Mideast policy. "What may be Israel's most intransigent government ever elected," The Economist suggested this week, "is scared stiff that an American administration may squeeze it until its pips squeak." Fevered conjecture over the talks has tended to center on whether and how the prime minister will say aloud five of the world's most anemic magic words: two states for two peoples.


Obama to Netanyahu: New Mideast initiative soon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the U.S. will soon present a new peace initiative to include Arab nations alongside Israel and the Palestinian Authority in peace negotiations. The two met at the White House yesterday, including one hour and 45 minutes with no one else present. Obama pressed for a two-state solution to the Mideast conflict, but failed to win a public commitment from Netanyahu on Palestinian statehood.


PM praised, chided after Obama meet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
May 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


A day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's meeting with US President Barack Obama, the Israeli political arena was split, with left-wing MKs blasting Netanyahu's insistence on refusing to utter the phrase, "two-state solution," and warning that Israel's relations with Washington were headed for an impasse. The prime minister's colleagues on the Right, however, were pleased that Netanyahu hadn't "capitulated" and expressed optimism regarding bilateral relations with the US.


ATFP Strongly Welcomes President Obama’s Remarks and Commitment to a Palestinian State
Press Release - Contact Information: Hussein Ibish - May 17, 2009 - 11:00pm

Washington, DC, May 18 -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today expressed strong support for comments made by President Barack Obama following his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


ANALYSIS / Netanyahu's problem will be the Palestinians, not Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Analysis) May 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


The impression one gets on the eve of the meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama is that there has never been so much hype before. The media have employed typical hyperbole, describing it as a "clash of the titans" and speaking of a historic turning point in U.S.-Israel ties, and possibly in the Middle East at large.


Obama Tells Netanyahu He Has an Iran Timetable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Sheryl Gay Stolberg - May 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


President Obama said Monday that he expected to know by the end of the year whether Iran was making “a good-faith effort to resolve differences” in talks aimed at ending its nuclear program, signaling to Israel as well as Iran that his willingness to engage in diplomacy over the issue has its limits. “We’re not going to have talks forever,” Mr. Obama told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel after a two-hour session in the Oval Office. The president added that he did not intend to foreclose “a range of steps” if Iran did not cooperate.



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