Middle East News: World Press Roundup

After meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak yesterday, President Obama voices his optimism about the peace process, but says it is stuck in "a rut." Polls show that Israelis support Prime Minister Netanyahu's resistance to a full settlement freeze, though he has reportedly suspended West Bank settlement construction. Washington Jewish lobby J Street unveils plan for a grassroots effort to engage U.S. citizens. Amira Hass reports on increased Israeli restrictions on Palestinian-Canadian businessmen and other travelers to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. In an op-ed for the Financial Times Shai Feldman and Gilead Sher argue for a revival of the Arab Peace Initiative.





Obama Sees ‘Positive Steps’ in Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner, David Stout - August 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


President Obama said Tuesday that he saw “movement in the right direction” on the thorny issue of Israeli settlement construction in Palestinian areas, and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, a visitor to the White House, said prospects for restarting Middle East peace talks were good.


Netanyahu's Defiance of U.S. Resonates at Home
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - August 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


For five months, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been fending off U.S. pressure to halt the expansion of West Bank settlements. Now he is reaping dividends for his defiance. Although Israeli leaders have historically been reluctant to publicly break with the United States for fear of paying a price in domestic support, polls show that Netanyahu's strategy is working. And that means that after months of diplomacy, the quick breakthrough that President Obama had hoped would restart peace talks has instead turned into a familiar stalemate.


Obama Optimistic About Mideast Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Anne E. Kornblut, Mary Beth Sheridan - August 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


Acknowledging that the Middle East peace process is in a "rut," President Obama nonetheless voiced confidence Tuesday that a breakthrough can be achieved -- and he thanked Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, whom he hosted for meetings at the White House, for playing a constructive role. "There has been movement in the right direction," Obama said. "If all sides are willing to move off of the rut that we're in currently, then I think there is an extraordinary opportunity to make real progress. But we're not there yet."


Obama says Mideast peace process is in a 'rut'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Greg Miller - August 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


President Obama said Tuesday that the Middle East peace process was in a "rut," and prodded Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to help break an Arab-Israeli standoff that has frustrated the administration's effort to restart talks. "If all sides are willing to move off of the rut that we're in currently, then I think there is an extraordinary opportunity to make real progress," Obama said in an appearance with Mubarak at the White House. "But we're not there yet."


Despite rhetoric, Netanyahu has suspended Jewish settlement building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Boudreaux - August 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


Cameras were rolling, capturing the defiant Israeli mood over President Obama's stand on Jewish settlements. With three other Cabinet officials at his side, Interior Minister Eli Yishai toured a Jewish outpost in the West Bank on Monday and declared: "Israel must do what it believes is right, and the Americans will understand that there was no choice but to continue building" on Palestinian-claimed land.


Mubarak: U.S. will unveil first draft of Mideast plan next month
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - August 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


U.S. President Barack Obama has promised Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that he will present a rough draft of his Middle East peace plan in September, a Mubarak spokesman said following their White House meeting Tuesday. Suleiman Awad said the two presidents had agreed that time was of the essence in forging an Israeli-Palestinian deal, and a detailed plan with a clear vision of how a final agreement would look was necessary.


J Street unveils grassroots field effort
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - August 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


J Street announced Tuesday that it would be launching field operations around America to encourage grassroots activists to become involved in shaping local debates on Israel and US Middle East policy.


Why is Israel limiting movement of Palestinian-Canadian businessman?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - August 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


Mohammed Sabawi, 65, could have played a leading role in all the stories about the economic revival in the West Bank's cities. His goal of "strengthening the economy of Palestine by utilizing its own capabilities" sounds like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's vision of "economic peace." In recent months, however, the Palestinian-Canadian businessman has been considering reducing his business activity here, after Israel started limiting his freedom of movement and that of his son and business partner, Khaled. The Sabawis are considering Cyprus as an alternate location.


More E. Jerusalem evictions likely
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Mohammed Mar’i - August 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


The Jewish-dominated Jerusalem municipality is planning to seize more Palestinian homes and real estate in East Jerusalem even as Israel has quietly stopped approving new West Bank projects in an attempt to heal a rift with the United States , Palestinian and Israeli sources said.


Swedish daily: IDF killed Palestinians for organs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - August 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


Leading Swedish daily Aftonbladet claimed in one of its articles that IDF soldiers killed Palestinians in order to trade in their organs. On Tuesday the Israeli Foreign Ministry responded by saying that the article "is a shocking example of Israel's demonization." According to the ministry, the Stockholm-based paper accused the Israeli army of organ theft.


Fatah's gauntlet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Analysis) August 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


The decision by Fatah's Sixth Congress that the movement is sticking to negotiations as a means of achieving independence, statehood and peace is an admission that the use of arms during the second intifada was disastrous. That is a difficult admission for a movement founded on the sanctification of the armed struggle. And despite being tacit, it is a brave admission for Fatah at a time when most Palestinians are convinced that Israel does not want peace. Nevertheless, the decision has sparked a few questions from the side of the occupied.


The grand bargain that is the Mideast’s best hope
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Shai Feldman, Gilead Sher - (Opinion) August 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


Saudi Arabia recently rejected America’s request that it reciprocate an Israeli freeze on settlement construction by beginning to normalise relations with the Jewish state. “Incrementalism and a step-by-step approach, has not and, we believe, will not lead to peace. Temporary security and confidence-building measures will also not bring peace,” Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, said in Washington on July 31.


The Holocaust's shadow over Israel's choices
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Bill Glucroft - (Opinion) August 16, 2009 - 11:00pm


No people mourn better than the Jewish people. For seven days after death, the family sits shiva, a vigil at home for loved ones to comfort one another and reflect on the life lost. During the following year and then beyond, the stages of mourning develop to allow next of kin to continue their lives while still remembering who is gone from them.





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