Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Mideast envoy George Mitchell continues his meetings with Israeli leadership (1) (2), and is set to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today (7). The Washington Post profiles the first-year accomplishments of new Jewish lobby J Street (3), while the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports on J Street's new campus initiative (5). Rahm Emmanuel is reported to have told a Jewish leader that President Obama is determined to see a Palestinian state created in his first term (4). A Palestinian man is shot dead after allegedly trying to stab residents of a West Bank settlement (6), while The Yesha Council of Settlements blames the attack on Israeli cooperation in the efforts to create a Palestinian state (13). A Palestinian protestor in Bilin is killed by the IDF (14).

U.S. envoy George Mitchell meets with Israeli foreign minister
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Jeffrey Fleishman, Batsheva Sobelman - April 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Reporting from Cairo and Jerusalem — U.S. envoy George J. Mitchell met Thursday in Jerusalem with top Israeli officials to push for what at the moment appears unlikely: substantive talks between a divided Palestinian leadership and the new right-wing government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

U.S.-Israel Divide Emerges On Palestinian Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
April 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Stark differences between U.S. and Israeli policy toward peace talks with the Palestinians emerged clearly Thursday in the first meetings between President Obama's Middle East envoy and top leaders of the new Israeli government. Former senator George J. Mitchell emphasized that the U.S. administration is aiming for creation of a Palestinian state. But the Israelis avoided mention of Palestinian statehood, and the new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said past Israeli concessions had led to violence, not peace.

New Liberal Jewish Lobby Quickly Makes Its Mark
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
April 17, 2009 - 12:00am

When a group of Jewish liberals formed a lobbying and fundraising group called J Street a year ago, they had modest hopes of raising $50,000 for a handful of congressional candidates. Instead, the group's political arm ended up funneling nearly $600,000 to several dozen Democrats and a handful of Republicans in 2008, making it Washington's leading pro-Israel PAC, according to Federal Election Commission expenditure records. Organizers say 33 of the group's 41 favored House and Senate candidates won their races.

Emanuel Says Obama Insists On Implementing Two State Solution, No Ifs, Ands, or Buts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - April 16, 2009 - 12:00am

Yedioth Achronoth, the largest circulation daily in Israel, reports today that President Obama intends to see the two-state solution signed, sealed and delivered during his first term. Rahm Emanuel told an (unnamed) Jewish leader; "In the next four years there is going to be a permanent status arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of two states for two peoples, and it doesn't matter to us at all who is prime minister."

J Street launches campus effort
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
April 16, 2009 - 12:00am

J Street is joining with the Union of Progressive Zionists to establish a campus outreach program. The left-wing, pro-Israel lobby group announced the project Wednesday, its one-year anniversary

Palestinian 'knife man' shot dead
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
April 17, 2009 - 12:00am

One Israeli was lightly injured before the man was shot by a resident of the settlement, the military said. Palestinian police confirmed the death and said they were investigating. A 13-year-old boy was killed and a seven-year-old wounded by a Palestinian carrying an axe through the Bat Ayin settlement earlier this month. The military wing of Islamic Jihad and Imad Mughniyeh Group was reported to have claimed responsibility for that attack. No group has claimed responsibility for Friday's incident.

Netanyahu 'no partner for peace'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
April 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Saeb Erekat was speaking after US envoy George Mitchell met Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, a day after talks in Israel. He said Mr Netanyahu's new demand that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state was meant to stall talks. Mr Netanyahu has not endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state. Mr Erekat also urged the administration of US President Barack Obama to act as an "even-handed" broker. Mr Mitchell is on his first visit to the region since Mr Netanyahu's right-leaning coalition took office.

Nasrallah: Between the Guide and the Professor
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Mshari Al-Zaydi - April 16, 2009 - 12:00am

There is nothing new about this prolonged war between the Iranian camp and the Arab camp represented by Egypt and Saudi Arabia; it is a complex war that is composed of elements from politics and religion to culture and media. The most recent chapter of this war has revealed that there is a Hezbollah-affiliated cell on Egyptian territory, and Hassan Nasrallah admitted this himself even if he did underplay the significance of the cell leader by describing him as a “porter”.

Calls for a Plan from Obama to Break the Stalemate in the Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Joyce Karam - April 17, 2009 - 12:00am

The stalemate in the Middle East peace process generated by the deepening divisions among the Palestinians, and most recently the diverging policy agendas of the Israeli government and the White House, is renewing calls by experts to the Obama administration to draft a "new comprehensive peace plan" to salvage the two-state solution.

Deeper than the Tunnels of Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
April 16, 2009 - 12:00am

There is no more prominent sign to the new chapter in Arab collapses than the Israeli spitefulness at the struggle between a major Arab country, Egypt, and Hezbollah, which considers itself the head of the resistance in the region. This is a prominent chapter in the struggle between the legitimate regimes and the resistance movements. No matter what explanation each side uses to justify its stance, this spitefulness doesn't cost the Israelis anything.

Fair journalism must brave the crossfire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Common Ground News Service
by Khaled Diab - April 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Although the Israeli-Palestinian media battlefield is bitter and deeply entrenched, journalists have a responsibility to venture into the no-man's-land between the two sides, even if it means getting caught in the crossfire. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most protracted and bitter in the world. The acrimony and polarization associated with the conflict has transformed media themselves into a veritable battlefield.

Netanyahu demands Palestinians recognize 'Jewish state'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - April 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting U.S. envoy George Mitchell on Thursday that his government would condition talks over Palestinian statehood on the Palestinians first recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. "Israel expects the Palestinians to first recognize Israel as a Jewish state before talking about two states for two peoples," a senior official in Netanyahu's office quoted the new prime minister as telling Mitchell, U.S. President Barack Obama's special envoy to the Middle East.

Settler council: Peace talks with Palestinians perpetuate terror
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nadav Shragai - April 17, 2009 - 12:00am

The Yesha Council of Settlements on Friday said that Israeli cooperation in the efforts to create a Palestinian state were to blame for the attempted terrorist attack on the West Bank settlement of Beit Haggai earlier in the day. A knife-wielding Palestinian infiltrated Beit Haggai Friday morning, and was shot dead by local security guards, preventing his apparent plan to carry out a terror attack, according to the Israel Defense Forces. One Israeli civilian was lightly wounded in the incident.

Palestinian killed in Bilin protest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - April 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian sources reported Friday that a local demonstrator was killed after being hit in the chest by a tear gas canister during a protest against the separation fence in the West Bank village of Bilin. The man, 30-year-old Bassem Ibrahim Abu-Rahma from Bilin, was evacuated to a Ramallah hospital in serious condition, where he then died of his wounds. The army confirmed the report of Abu-Rahma's death. Representatives of the IDF and the Coordination and Liaison Authority met with Palestinian officials later in the day as part of the joint investigation into the incident.

Lieberman: Israel still forming its foreign policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - April 17, 2009 - 12:00am

Lieberman: Israel still forming its foreign policy Foreign minister meets with Russian deputy minister for Middle Eastern affairs, asks for clarifications on Russian weapons supply to Iran, Syria Roni Sofer Israel's foreign policy has yet to be determined, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said during a meeting Friday with Russian Deputy Foreign minister for Middle Eastern Affairs Alexander Saltanov. The remark was made on the backdrop of Lieberman's firm declarations that the Annapolis peace process is no longer valid.

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