Taboo broken in US Middle East offensive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Harvey Morris - May 9, 2009 - 11:00pm

A period of high-level diplomacy on the Middle East opens in New York on Monday, promising further insights into an emerging strategy from Barack Obama’s administration that is already raising concerns among Israel’s supporters. On Monday, King Abdullah of Jordan said the US was promoting a “57-state solution” in which the entire Muslim world would recognise Israel. But he also warned that the new US administration had little time, before fresh violence erupted, to promote a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Netanyahu can be a peacemaker, says Quartet emissary Blair
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by David Horovitz - May 7, 2009 - 11:00pm

Quartet emissary Tony Blair on Thursday offered a strong endorsement of Binyamin Netanyahu's capacity to achieve peace, backing the prime minister's focus on fostering West Bank economic growth and bolstering the Palestinians' security capacity. Netanyahu "most certainly can play the role of peacemaker," Blair told The Jerusalem Post in an interview, adding that there was now "a moment of opportunity" that required both negotiation from the "top down" and improving the economy and security realities from the "bottom up."

'Lieberman sees Europeans as cowards'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
May 7, 2009 - 11:00pm

A day after Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wrapped up his first diplomatic trip to Europe with a meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin, German lawmakers on Friday said the visit left them somewhat disappointed. "It was a swan song of soft power in every way," Werner Hoyer, a foreign policy expert for the pro-business Free Democrats told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper, according to a translation provided by the German English language Web site The Local. "Lieberman sees us Europeans as a pile of cowards."

The West Bank Archipelago
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Robert Mackey - (Blog) May 6, 2009 - 11:00pm

This week, leading Israeli, Palestinian and American officials have agreed that the creation of a Palestinian state on territory in the West Bank and Gaza is essential to peace in the Middle East. But spend any time looking at a map of the West Bank as it is today, or with any of the many different proposals for how that map might be redrawn to accommodate the aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians, and it becomes clear why any sensible mapmaker might choose to steer well clear of the challenge of drawing up that state.

U.S.: We are committed to Syrian-Israeli peace deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid, Yoav Stern - May 6, 2009 - 11:00pm

The United States told Syria on Thursday it was committed to seeking a peace deal between the Syrian government and Israel, a main objective for Damascus in its rapprochement with Washington. "We conveyed...President Obama's sincere commitment to pursue Arab-Israeli peace on all tracks, including on the Syrian-Israeli track," senior State Department official Jeffrey Feltman said after meeting Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem in the Syrian capital.

Nation building for Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - (Opinion) May 6, 2009 - 11:00pm

Not everything is bad. True: The situation in Pakistan is deteriorating from day to day. True: Iran is continuing to gallop toward nuclearization. True: The new U.S. administration has yet to find its strategic path. True: Benjamin Netanyahu is still holed up in a bunker, outside of which bizarre coalition partners wait in ambush. But there is good news in the diplomatic world surrounding Israel.

Where Will Israel Respond?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Hassan Haidar - (Opinion) May 6, 2009 - 11:00pm

Every time it finds itself cornered, Israel resorts to a balance-shattering violence that deflects attention away from the main problem at hand by depicting it as less important than reaching a ceasefire for example or ending the torture of civilians or the destruction of their economy - as has repeatedly happened with Lebanon and the Palestinians.

AIPAC Confronts A New Reality as Obama’s Agenda Becomes Clear
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - May 5, 2009 - 11:00pm

Washington — “You’re not going to like my saying this,” Vice President Joe Biden told 6,000 delegates from the podium of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference — a spot that politicians usually vie over vigorously for the privilege of telling the crowd what they want to hear.

Blair Says Resolving Mideast Conflict Critical to Curbing Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Gwen Ackerman, Jonathan Ferziger - May 5, 2009 - 11:00pm

Middle East envoy Tony Blair said resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would remove a toxic barrier between the West and Islamic nations and help deal with the nuclear threat from Iran. Peace in the region would “hugely help in resolving this bigger problem” and remove an “issue which puts such a poison into the relationship between the West, Israel, if you like, and the world of Islam,” the former British prime minister said yesterday in an interview in Jerusalem.

A moment of reckoning in the Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) May 5, 2009 - 11:00pm

The US-Israeli relationship today is like a bunch of oranges, apples and bananas thrown into a blender to make a fruit smoothie. Action is the name of the game, but outcomes are not clear.

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