Middle East News: World Press Roundup

As Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrives in Washington, the U.S. moves to bolster the Palestinian Authority (1) (3). The New York Times remembers Amos Elon’s warnings on the dangers of building settlements in the Occupied Territories (2). Israel evacuates two more settler outposts in the West Bank (13) (16). The Canadian government urges a halt to all settlement activity (4). Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu pledges to abide by existing Israeli agreements (12), while Vice-Premier Moshe Ya’alon rules out the creation of any “Palestinian entity” (17).

Abbas's Credibility Problem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - May 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas heads a fractured government and a fractured political party. His term expired four months ago. His handpicked prime minister, trusted to manage billions of dollars in foreign aid, is reviled by some Palestinians as a U.S. proxy.

Amos Elon’s Warning on Israel’s Settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Robert Mackey - May 26, 2009 - 12:00am

An image from the Web site of the Israeli settlement of Nokdim on the West Bank, where Israel’s Foreign Minister lives. In an essay trying to answer the question, “Israelis & Palestinians: What Went Wrong?” published in The New York Review of Books in 2002, Amos Elon, the Israeli journalist and historian who died on Monday, began with this anecdote:

Crippling the Palestinian Cause
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Dan Williams - May 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Abu Fadi, a police officer loyal to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, stood up among the roses and lemons in a Gaza garden and pulled down his trousers. Scars on each knee and ankle and one at his right hip attested to a vicious punishment. He said the wounds were caused by gunmen from Hamas, the Islamic party that rules the sandy coastal enclave and fiercely opposes the Abbas government, which governs the West Bank. The masked men came to his house, told him he was a spy for Israel, shot him nine times from less than a meter away and left him in a pool of blood on his driveway.

Canada urges halt to Israeli settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
May 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Ottawa trod yesterday into the controversy over whether Israel should allow its West Bank settlements to grow, saying that expansion is illegal and would hurt Middle East peace efforts. On the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a call from U.S. President Barack Obama for a total freeze on settlement building, telling his cabinet that a total stop is not justified.

Avoiding two states, getting one state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - May 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Over at her personal blog, War and Piece, Foreign Policy's Laura Rozen calls the latest New York Review of Books piece by Robert Malley and Hussein Agha on the prospects of Israeli and Palestinian peace "dangerous." She doesn't explain why but -- without having spoken with her -- I'll venture agreement with her, and not in a way that diminishes Malley or Agha*.

Palestinians still want peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
May 27, 2009 - 12:00am

PALESTINIAN president Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday stressed his willingness to reach a peace agreement with Israel, on the eve of a visit to Washington where he hopes to obtain support for the stalled Middle East peace process.  

Israel's 'emotions' are proving an obstacle to a settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Dominique Moïsi - May 27, 2009 - 12:00am

"It is reasonable to believe in miracles," David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, once said. Today's Israelis do not seem to believe in miracles. Instead, more than ever before they are obsessed by nightmares, foremost among them, the prospect of a nuclear Iran.

Exiting Failed Wars
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
May 26, 2009 - 12:00am

The Hebrew press is nearly unanimous that the meeting of President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House was a failure. Its failure resulted from two contradictory visions of the struggle in the Middle East. Obama set down a comprehensive view of how to save the United States from two failed wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan. This can only take place in cooperation with Arab countries, as well as Pakistan and Iran.

Rival Livni is vital to Netanyahu, say analysts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - May 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Pressure is mounting on Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, to bring the opposition leader Tzipi Livni into the government after last week’s difficult meeting with the US president, according to senior analysts. Yaron Ezrahi, a political science professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said Mr Netanyahu now understood that he faced a stark choice between clashing with the White House and ditching the far-right parties in his coalition.

Excuses from Israel grow ever more tiresome
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
May 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu waited until he returned to Israel to tell the truth. Free from the strictures of Washington, the Israeli prime minister has let the world know how intransigent his government intends to be in the peace process. We are told that there will be no halt to the construction of settlements. In fact, there appears to be little inclination on the part of the Israeli leadership for any progress on the peace process.

Hamas's Rationalism!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - May 26, 2009 - 12:00am

After meeting Hamas chief Khalid Mishal in Damascus, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that he noticed that the movement is taking "a more realistic evaluation of the situation" while also confirming the need to maintain the current calm in Gaza. In other words the Russian Minister hopes that Hamas will continue not to fire rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip, establishing a clam that has not been witnessed in Gaza for a long time. Was there anything in the Russian official's statement to cause surprise?

'US against all W. Bank building, including for natural growth'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
May 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Despite remarks made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in which the premier emphasized his position that settlements should expand to provide for natural growth, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that the United States was opposed to any construction in the West Bank. "The president [Barack Obama] was very clear when Netanyahu was here - not settlements, not outposts, not natural growth expansion," she told reporters at the White House.

Settler youth clash with leftists after trying to rebuild outpost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Border Police officers on Wednesday were forced to dismantle for the second time in less than 24 hours an illegal West Bank outpost. Settler youth had tried in the afternoon to rebuild structures in the Givat 18 outpost near Kiryat Arba, one of two settlement outposts razed overnight. After the troops left, a quarrel broke out between the youth and Palestinian and left-wing Israeli activists. There were no casualties reported.

Peres: 'Jordan is Palestine' plan is baseless hallucination
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yuval Azoulay - May 27, 2009 - 12:00am

President Shimon Peres on Wednesday criticized a rightist lawmaker's suggestion that Jordan should serve as the Palestinian state. National Union MK Aryeh Eldad's proposal that Jordan take responsibility for the Palestinians' welfare is a "baseless hallucination," the president told Israel Radio. Peres said Eldad had flagrantly intervened in Jordan's internal affairs and that his suggestion was a provocation that was made merely for the sake of arousing a commotion.

Welcome to Realistan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - May 27, 2009 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama's speech in Cairo will give voice to a turning point in U.S. foreign policy - not because of what he is expected to say about the peace process, but because of the change in direction. He aims to maintain order and stability, not educate the world and spread liberty and democracy. The choice of the stage is no coincidence: Obama will express support for President Hosni Mubarak's regime and tell the world that he has buried the doctrine of former president George W. Bush, who wanted to transform the Arab states into democracies.

Police evacuate 2 huts, tent in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Erfat Weiss - May 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Evacuation continues, bit by bit: Police and Civil Administration forces destroyed two hits on Hill 18 (Mitzpe Avihai), near the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, on Tuesday night. Six teenagers were present at the place at the time of the operation, but no unusual incidents were recorded.

Ya'alon: 'Palestinian entity cannot be formed'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman - May 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon, who is very close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, ruled out the creation of any "Palestinian entity" at a conference at the Knesset on Tuesday entitled "Alternatives to the Two-State Outlook."

Encountering Peace: Partner or pariah?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - May 25, 2009 - 12:00am

There is no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict other than "two states for two peoples." Any other proposal guarantees the continuation of the conflict and the end of the Zionist enterprise, the State of Israel.

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