Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discusses Palestine in her address to the Council on Foreign Relations yesterday (1). Former U.S. diplomat Thomas Pickering meets with Hamas officials in Switzerland (2). The group of U.S. Jewish leaders that met with President Obama on Monday report that the meeting has allayed their concerns about his approach to Israel and Mideast peace (3). The Palestinian Authority shuts down the Al Jazeera television network in the West Bank (5) (12). Prime Minister Netanyahu is reportedly considering attending and speaking at the UN General Assembly meeting in September (15). Quartet envoy Tony Blair lauds improvements made by the Palestinian Security Forces in the West Bank (18).

Foreign Policy Address at the Council on Foreign Relations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
December 31, 1969 - 8:00pm

Thank you very much, Richard, and I am delighted to be here in these new headquarters. I have been often to, I guess, the mother ship in New York City, but it’s good to have an outpost of the Council right here down the street from the State Department. We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.

Ex-U.S. Diplomat Talks With Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Glenn Kessler, Howard Schneider - July 16, 2009 - 12:00am

To Hamas officials Bassem Naim and Mahmoud al-Zahar, a recent meeting in Switzerland with a former senior U.S. diplomat represented an opening in relations with the Obama administration, and a path to easing the Islamist group's isolation. "I hope it will be the beginning of addressing some of the mistakes of the last three years," Naim said of his talks with Thomas R. Pickering, a former undersecretary of state and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. "This was a first meeting to investigate the positions in general terms of both parties without any commitment on any side."

Jewish Leaders Give Obama No Push-Back on Settlement Freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Forty-five minutes at the White House was all it took to crystallize the new paradigm defining the relations among the Obama administration, the Jewish community and Israel. As Jewish leaders left their July 13 meeting with President Obama — “glowing,” according to one of the participants — it became clear that despite some misgivings regarding the tone Obama has used toward Israel, the bulk of the organized Jewish community is in full support of his peace efforts, including his demand for a complete freeze of Jewish settlements on the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Advert 'implied Gaza in Israel'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

An Israeli tourism advert that showed the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as an undisputed part of Israel has been rejected by the advertising watchdog. The posters, on the London Underground, sparked hundreds of complaints from pro-Palestinian groups and members of the public. The Advertising Standards Authority said a map labelled Israel implied the occupied territories were in Israel. Israel's ministry of tourism said no political message was intended. It added that its aim was to give tourists an idea of the areas in and around Israel.

Shock of the new media
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Brian Whitaker - July 16, 2009 - 12:00am

Whether true or not, the idea that Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader who died rather mysteriously in 2004, had been deliberately poisoned continues to fascinate people. It's one of those stories that just won't go away – like the "murder" of Princess Diana and the various Kennedy assassination plots.

Britain backs call for Israeli settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
July 16, 2009 - 12:00am

A freeze on Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank could help restart the peace process in the region, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Thursday. "The deadlock has to be broken in some way," Brown told a committee of MPs. "I feel that if the Israelis were prepared to freeze settlement construction, there would be a response in the Arab world. And I think that is a way that you can see that movement forward could happen."

Palestinian Political Party Gears Up for Rare Meeting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Rachelle Kliger - July 16, 2009 - 12:00am

Fatah members will be gathering in Bethlehem in August for what will be the party’s first conference in 20 years. The general congress of the most prominent Palestinian political party has drawn a great deal of interest, as more than 1,500 delegates will be discussing the future of the movement that shaped Palestinian history, and electing a new leadership.

Disagreements inside the Same Family
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Elias Harfoush - (Opinion) July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

I don’t believe it would be an exaggeration to say that the meeting held between President Barak Obama and 15 of the most prominent leaders of the Jewish community in the United States on Monday will constitute a pivotal point that might restrain the momentum of the new president’s administration towards achieving a balanced settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Obama must make a move
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

Some key European governments, unlike the Obama administration, have now come up with some tangible steps to start the ball rolling toward a peace settlement between an anxious Palestinian National Authority and a right-wing Israeli government which seems to be reluctant to reach a two-state solution.

Yet more proof
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
July 16, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli soldiers have given testimony that in some cases the Israeli army made use of Palestinian human shields in its war on Gaza in January. The accounts, from an Israeli human rights group, provide yet more proof, if more is needed, that Israel stood in grave contravention of the laws regulating combat behaviour and should be charged with war crimes.

Editorial: Brazen testimony
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) July 16, 2009 - 12:00am

The world saw for itself how — for 22 days — the densely populated Gaza ghetto was bombarded by Israeli forces killing 1,400 Palestinians and injuring thousands more. But the Israelis have always claimed that the stark images flashed around the world were Palestinian propaganda and did not represent what was really happening. On Wednesday, however, came a report drawing on testimony from some of the soldiers who took part in the Gaza operation — and it proves that the Israeli government statements are lies.

Palestinians suspend Al Jazeera in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
December 31, 1969 - 8:00pm

The Palestinian government shut down the West Bank operations of the Arabic satellite channel Al Jazeera yesterday, a day after a guest on the station accused the Palestinian president of involvement in Yasser Arafat’s death. For the feisty news station – the Arab world’s most popular – the closure represents the latest clash with a Middle Eastern government. Israel often criticises it, Iraq has expelled it and Saudi Arabia only let it resume work recently after a long ban.

Obama to set binding timetable for Israel-PA talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - July 16, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to announce a diplomatic plan soon for renewal of the Middle East peace process. A central feature of the plan, which will be presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, will be a binding timetable for negotiations on the core issues involved in a final resolution of the conflict. It may also be precluded by an easing of pressure for a building freeze in the settlements on the part of the Unites States.

Man responsible for Israel's cruelest wars only attracts praise
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) July 16, 2009 - 12:00am

A huge weight has been lifted off our chests: Maj. Gen. Yoav Gallant will stay in the Israel Defense Forces. Although Gallant was not named deputy chief of staff, Defense Minister Ehud Barak publicly declared that he views him as a candidate to succeed Gabi Ashkenazi as chief of staff. The military correspondents, those who only spoke glowingly of Gallant during the entire appointments commotion, put their minds at ease. And the brainwashed public, which shows no interest in learning what our soldiers did in Gaza, were also put at ease.

Netanyahu mulling UN speech
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Itamar Eichner - July 16, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering heading an Israeli delegation to the opening of the United Nation's General Assembly session scheduled for September, which world leaders including US President Barack Obama and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are scheduled to attend. The session will open on September 23, and the Prime Minister's Office has instructed the Foreign Ministry and Israel's delegation to the UN to prepare for the possibility of Netanyahu's arrival.

Clinton doesn't rule out compromise with Israel on construction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - July 15, 2009 - 12:00am

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not rule out the possibility of a US-Israeli compromise that will allow the construction of several thousand housing units to be completed in a number of West Bank settlements.

World may back Iran op as part of deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
July 16, 2009 - 12:00am

A deal taking shape between Israel and Western leaders will facilitate international support for an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities in exchange for concessions in peace negotiations with the Palestinians and Arab neighbors, The Times reported Thursday. According to one British official quoted by the paper, such an understanding could allow an Israeli attack "within the year."

Blair: Improved PA security opens many doors
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - July 16, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli and Palestinian officials continue to meet at a technical and expert level to move economic projects forward, even though there are currently no high-level political negotiations, Quartet envoy Tony Blair told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

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