Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Los Angeles Times profiles the South African judge picked to head the U.N.'s fact finding mission on the Gaza war (1). Middle East Progress features an interview with Robert Drumheller, vice-president of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, about the work being done to help build the Palestinian economy (2). Elliot Abrams argues against an Israeli settlement freeze (3), while Abbas Al Lawati thinks that new Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman's extreme views will be good for the Arabs (8). 16 Palestinians are injured in a clash with settlers in the West Bank village of Khirbat Safa (10). Following Lieberman's recent controversial remarks, the U.S. State Department reaffirms its commitment to a two-state solution (11).

Judge named to lead Gaza inquiry is known for fairness
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Boudreaux, Robyn Dixon - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa, and Jerusalem -- Richard Goldstone, a quiet, self-effacing jurist from South Africa, agonized for days over the job offer: Unravel the accusations and counter-accusations of war crimes related to Israel's winter assault on the Gaza Strip.

The Economic Piece of the Puzzle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Progress
April 7, 2009 - 12:00am

Can you tell us about the work that OPIC and its partners, both on the ground and in the United States, are doing to help develop the Palestinian economy?

The Settlement Freeze Fallacy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Elliott Abrams - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Will Israel's new government face American demands for a settlement freeze? If so, we are headed for a needless confrontation with the Netanyahu cabinet.

RPT-ANALYSIS-Obama reassures Arabs, nudges Israel on peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Arshad Mohammed - (Analysis) April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama reassured Arabs with his unambiguous support for a Palestinian state this week and he nudged Israel's conservative government, which has carefully avoided committing itself to that goal. Visiting Turkey, Obama twice in two days said he backed a two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict despite the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has shied away from the phrase. [ID:nL7380792]

Abbas 'reshuffles Fatah military posts' in Lebanon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered the reshuffling of Fatah's military posts in Lebanon, Palestinian sources told Al-Liwaa newspaper Tuesday. "The move follows last month's assassination of Kamal Medhat, the deputy of Palestine Liberation Organization representative in Lebanon Abbas Zaki," Al-Liwaa said. Medhat was killed along with three other people in a bombing that targeted his motorcade at the entrance to the southern refugee camp of Mieh Mieh on March 23.

Netanyahu and Barak won't get an American free ride
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Amnon Lord - (Opinion) April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

The second government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is centered on the Likud's partnership with Labor party leader Ehud Barak. This new and seemingly unlikely collaboration between rivals Netanyahu and Barak was born out of their mutual recognition that, regarding the two major challenges facing Israel, they think alike.

Abdullah holds ‘productive’ talks with Obama’s envoy to Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Erika Niedowski - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, held talks on Monday with the Obama administration’s special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, in a meeting the Minister of Foreign Affairs described as “productive”. “America, Europe and Arab nations must continue to work together towards a practical solution that will ensure the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations,” Sheikh Abdullah said in a statement after the session. “Today we had a productive discussion that confirmed our two countries’ mutual commitment to regional peace and stability.”

'Our man in Tel Aviv'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Abbas Al Lawati - (Opinion) April 7, 2009 - 12:00am

Ten years ago, the eloquent Arab Israeli politician Azmi Bishara sent a chill down Israel's spine and a cautious thrill in the Arab world by announcing his candidacy for prime minister of the Jewish state. Bishara's making of history as the first Arab to run for prime minister of Israel was cut short when he decided to withdraw early. Running against the more likely candidates for the position, Labour's Ehud Barak and Likud's then incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu, Bishara was under no illusion of winning.

Netanyahu's Second Chance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
by Alon Ben-meir - (Opinion) April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

The new Israeli government led by Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu has raised many conflicting feelings among those concerned about the fate of the Arab-Israeli peace process. Will Netanyahu scuttle the little progress that was made under his predecessor Ehud Olmert, or will he engage the Palestinians anew?

Palestinians injured by IDF fire near settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

At least 16 Palestinians were injured Wednesday morning during a clash which broke out between settlers and residents of the West Bank village of Khirbat Safa, near the Bat Ayin settlement. An Israeli citizen was lightly hurt in the incident. Last Thursday, a 13-year-old youth was killed in a terror attack in the Gush Etzion community. His family ended its seven days of mourning Wednesday morning.

US hits back at Lieberman: The goal is two states
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

The US State Department hit back at Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's warning on Tuesday to those pressuring Israel on its foreign policy agenda. The Yisrael Beitenu chairman and recent appointment to the top ministerial position also said that the world was willing to listen to his ideas, accusing the Israeli left of attacking his positions to score points abroad. "We have never interfered with other people's affairs and we expect of others not stand with a stopwatch in hand," Lieberman told party members at a conference.

Obama team readying for confrontation with Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

In an unprecedented move, the Obama administration is readying for a possible confrontation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by briefing Democratic congressmen on the peace process and the positions of the new government in Israel regarding a two-state solution. The Obama administration is expecting a clash with Netanyahu over his refusal to support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

U.S. giving Palestinian security forces top-level training
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

The United States has been training senior Palestinian security officials in an advanced officers course in Ramallah for top-brass, Haaretz has learned. The new course, entitled "senior leaders' course," is a two-month long program conducted in Ramallah with the assistance and supervision of the U.S., and is part of the project overseen by the U.S. security coordinator in the territories, Gen. Keith Dayton.

Obama's seder
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amir Oren - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Barack Hussein Obama is the one who highlighted his middle name. In a speech in Strasbourg, he did not wait for the Passover holiday to hold a "seder." Not just one seder (which means "order" in Hebrew) but a series of seders. There is the order of the day and a world order.

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