Israel's Netanyahu: Taking a Turn Toward Pragmatism?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Tim McGirk - May 18, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel is a nation of worriers. No matter how pleasant the evening, at a certain point, after the jokes and well into the merlot from the Judaean hills, the worrying starts. No doubt, Israelis have plenty to worry about. They live between wars and must contend with Hamas, Hizballah and--the biggest anxiety of all--Iran, whose President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has said Israel should be "wiped off the map."

Endgame diplomacy for Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
by Sam Bahour, Geoffrey Lewis - May 16, 2009 - 12:00am

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 15, 2009 - 12:00am

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.

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 14, 2009 - 12:00am

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.

Pope preaches against prejudice in Nazareth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
May 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Tens of thousands of Christians, among them many Arabs, attended the service in the north Israeli town of Nazareth, where Jesus is said to have grown up. Benedict later met Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, a day after vocally backing the idea a Palestinian homeland. Mr Netanyahu does not support the idea of an independent Palestinian state. The German-born Pope's visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories has sparked criticism from Jewish groups who say he did not condemn Nazi crimes strongly enough.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu visits Jordan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
May 14, 2009 - 12:00am

The previously unannounced trip is the Israeli leader's second this week. He went to Egypt on Monday, his first time on foreign soil since taking office. Mr Netanyahu is due in Washington for what are being seen as crucial talks with President Barack Obama on 18 May. The Jordanian ruler pressed the Israeli premier to endorse a Palestinian state which so far he has decline to do. A two-state solution based on independent is a goal strongly backed by the US and by Jordan and Egypt, Israel's only allies among Arab states.

Ex-diplomats, U.S. Jews urge Obama to push two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - May 14, 2009 - 12:00am

A number of leftist Jewish groups and former diplomats have urged United States President Barack Obama to push for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming visit to Washington. Four former U.S. ambassadors and officials of a left-leaning Jewish organization sent a letter to Obama on Wednesday asserting that there was a broad consensus within the American Jewish community and among policymakers in support of an active U.S. role in assisting the sides to reach such a solution.

Fatah unrest scraps new gov't plans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - May 14, 2009 - 12:00am

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 14, 2009 - 12:00am

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 14, 2009 - 12:00am

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.

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