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.

Endgame diplomacy for Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
by Sam Bahour, Geoffrey Lewis - May 15, 2009 - 11:00pm

PRESIDENT OBAMA has acknowledged that "we can't talk forever" about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "At some point," he said recently, "steps have to be taken so that people can see progress on the ground." This attitude sheds a cautious ray of hope that the United States may be finally considering a policy shift gauged by facts on the ground instead of the number of meetings held to discuss a peace process. This is a wise starting point.

PM 'intent' to hold peace negotiations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - May 14, 2009 - 11:00pm

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Jordan's King Abdullah II sent out starkly different messages following an unannounced meeting between the two in Aqaba on Thursday. Netanyahu called it an "excellent" meeting, while Abdullah released a statement spelling out the demands he had made, including that Israel immediately declare its commitment to a two-state solution.

Fatah unrest scraps new gov't plans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - May 13, 2009 - 11:00pm

The swearing-in ceremony for the new Palestinian government headed by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad scheduled to take place on Tuesday has been postponed by several days due to widespread objection within Fatah regarding its makeup. Fatah is demanding control over the appointment of its members to the cabinet rather than the current arrangement, which grants Fayyad sole power.

Pope calls for end to hostilities that led to Israel's barrier
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Boudreaux - May 13, 2009 - 11:00pm

Standing near a towering concrete wall at the edge of the West Bank, Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday called the Israeli-built barrier a stark reminder of the deadlocked Middle East conflict but declared that walls could be taken down. "First, though, it is necessary to remove the walls that we build around our hearts, the barriers that we set up against our neighbors," he said during a stop at a Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem. He urged Israelis and Palestinians to overcome mutual mistrust and "break free from the cycle of aggression."

In Bethlehem, Pope Benedict XVI makes strongest call yet for a Palestinian homeland
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory McCarthy - May 13, 2009 - 11:00pm

Pope Benedict XVI held his hands out wide to greet a crowd of applauding Palestinian refugees in the afternoon sun. Behind him stood the most striking symbol of Israel's occupation: a paint-spattered military watchtower rising above the tall, concrete wall that presses on Bethlehem.

Obama to Confront Israeli Settlement Surge in Netanyahu Meeting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Jonathan Ferziger - May 13, 2009 - 11:00pm

On a West Bank plateau overlooking the desert road to Jericho, crews are building cottages and paving streets for a new neighborhood in Maale Adumim, Israel’s biggest settlement. A town of 35,000 with a suburban-style shopping mall, Maale Adumim is one of about two dozen settlements Israel is expanding in the face of demands from U.S. and European leaders to halt construction. The push has helped increase the number of Jewish settlers in the West Bank, where Palestinians hope to create a state, by 40 percent in the last seven years to almost 300,000.

A letter to Obama from former Mideast ambassadors
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Eric Fingerhut - May 13, 2009 - 11:00pm

Four former U.S. ambassadors to the Middle East, including three former envoys to Israel, have signed a letter to President Obama urging an "active U.S. role" in pushing for a two-state solution. The letter was put together under the auspices of the Israel Policy Forum and,was signed by Samuel Lewis, a former ambassador to Israel; Robert Pelletreau, a former ambassador to Egypt; Thomas Pickering, a former ambassador to Israel and Jordan; and Edward Walker, a former ambassador to Israel and Egypt.

Tony Blair holds out hope for two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Barry Schweid - May 13, 2009 - 11:00pm

A self-described optimist, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told Congress on Thursday there is no workable alternative to a two-state solution to the long and bloody conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and both sides are in favor of it. But in practice, "they doubt it can happen," Blair told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

It's not up to Israelis to determine the status of Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) May 13, 2009 - 11:00pm

As the summit between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approaches, most of the discussion has focused on whether or not the newly elected Israeli leader will finally say that he backs a two-state solution. This is the wrong approach. Israelis should not determine the status of the Palestinian entity, nor should Palestinians have a say in what Israelis call their own state.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017