Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Roger Cohen profiles PM Fayyad, and Time magazine lists him in its top 100 most influential people in the world. Fayyad calls for lifting the siege of Gaza. A cosmetics company ceases operating in Israeli settlements. Sec. Clinton says Arab states should do more on peace. Pres. Abbas says the US has pledged to stop Israeli provocations, and US officials reportedly promise not to veto a Security Council resolution if further settlement activity occurs in Jerusalem. Tzvia Greenfield says Israel must make peace if it wants to survive. Pres. Obama has reportedly said that if talks are still stalemated in the fall, he will call an international conference. Israelis worry that settler violence is spinning out of control. Jordan's King Abdullah says Israel is playing with fire. Israelis are concerned Palestinians will seek UN recognition of a state. The State Department says Israel must remove unauthorized outposts. Some Palestinians urge Pres. Abbas to appoint a deputy. The UN distributes laptop computers to Gaza students. Divestment bills do not pass in two California universities. Tariq Alhomayed asks when Arab tolerance for Hamas will end. ATFP President Ziad Asali outlines new nonviolent Palestinian strategies for independence.

Fayyad's Road to Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Roger Cohen - (Opinion) April 29, 2010 - 12:00am

I spoke to the Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, for 90 minutes, and the word he uttered most often, by far, was “security.” As in, “The absence of security has been our undoing.” When Palestinian leaders are talking about their self-inflicted undoing, as well as the undoing inflicted on them by Israel, things may be starting to move.

Fayyad calls for lifting Gaza siege
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 30, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister of the caretaker government Salam Fayyad called Thursday for lifting the siege on Gaza. Following talks with South African foreign affairs chief Ibrahim Ismail Ibrahim in his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Fayyad affirmed the necessity of lifting the siege to enable the Palestinian Authority to begin rebuilding Gaza by implementing developmental and vital projects similar to those being accomplished in the West Bank.

Former settler cosmetic company departs West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 29, 2010 - 12:00am

The Gush Shalom Settlement Boycott Team decided to remove the name of the cosmetics company Intercosma from its list of settlement products, following confirmation that the company finally left the Atarot Industrial Zone on the West Bank.

Clinton seeks concrete action on peace from Arabs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Arshad Mohammed - April 30, 2010 - 12:00am

Arab states should offer more moral and financial support to Palestinians, reach out to Israelis and stop arming militants to foster Middle East peace, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday. In her third speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in two months, Clinton stressed U.S. support for Israel after a period of acute U.S.-Israeli tension while laying out actions she expects of Israel, the Palestinians and Arab countries.

Interview: U.S. pledges to stop Israeli provocations: Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Zhao Yue - (Interview) April 29, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas revealed that he has got a U.S. pledge to stop "any provocative activities" by Israel as part of Washington's efforts to resume Middle East peace talks. In an exclusive interview with Xinhua in Amman on Wednesday, Abbas, 74, said Washington made the pledge during a recent visit of U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell to the region. Once "the credibility of the U.S. pledges are demonstrated," the negotiations, stalled since December 2008, "would restart immediately," he said.

The 2010 TIME 100: Salam Fayyad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
April 30, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's uniqueness strikes you as soon as you meet him — a passionate advocate of the Palestinian cause with a clear vision of the unequivocal, nonviolent path to statehood and peace with Israel. In his three years in office, he has greatly strengthened the capacity of Palestinian government ministries and the security services despite both physical and political constraints.

Israel's choice: Make peace or disappear
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Tzvia Greenfield - (Opinion) April 30, 2010 - 12:00am

The student senate at Berkeley University in California recently passed a resolution calling for divestment from Israel. Prof. Judith Butler, the feminist theoretician, expounded to the enthusiastic audience on her new "Jewish" vision, which calls for renouncing the State of Israel. In this way, the intellectual elites once again expressed their strong belief in the theological principle whose basis is opposition to Western culture.

Israeli officials: Obama to call world summit if Mideast peace talks fail
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - April 30, 2010 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama has told several European leaders that if Israeli-Palestinian talks remain stalemated into September or October, he will convene an international summit on achieving Mideast peace, senior Israeli officials told Haaretz on Thursday.

'U.S. told Palestinians it would consider allowing UN censure of Israel'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
April 30, 2010 - 12:00am

The Obama administration would consider allowing the United Nations Security Council to censure Israel over its activity in West Bank settlements in order to encourage the Palestinians to participate in peace talks, a Palestinian source told The Guardian on Friday. According to the source, U.S. special Mideast envoy George Mitchell's deputy, David Hale, told Abbas that the Obama administration views Israeli construction in East Jerusalem as "provocative."

Price tag: Who's to blame for settler violence?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Anat Shalev - April 30, 2010 - 12:00am

Torching fields, vehicles and houses, uprooting olive trees, vandalizing kindergartens – these are part of a long list of almost routine violent acts of settlers against Palestinians, dubbed "price tag." The latest incident occurred Thursday in the village of Hawara, when residents from the settlement of Yitzhar hurled stones, torched fields and caused havoc in a kindergarten and in private homes.

Jordan's Abdullah: Israel playing with fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
April 30, 2010 - 12:00am

Jordan's King Abdullah II said Thursday that Israel was "playing with fire" in Jerusalem, stressing that the Hashemite Kingdom retains all political, diplomatic and legal options to "protect" Jerusalem and its Muslim holy sites. Speaking to foreign ambassadors on the shores of the Dead Sea, Abdullah said reaffirming the Palestinian quest for statehood was a top priority for his country.

J'lem fears PA may seek UN recognition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh, David Horovitz - April 30, 2010 - 12:00am

While Israel and the Palestinian Authority are finally expected to begin US-mediated indirect “proximity” talks in the very near future, concern is growing among some in the Israeli government that the PA is planning to marginalize the diplomatic process and instead unilaterally seek UN recognition for a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines.

'Israel must remove 23 outposts'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - April 30, 2010 - 12:00am

The US pushed back against indications Israel has abandoned its commitment to take down authorized outposts Thursday, calling on Jerusalem to live up to its obligations. “The Israeli government has pledged to take specific actions,” US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. “They have responsibilities and we would expect them to fulfill those responsibilities.”

Abbas urged to name deputy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - April 30, 2010 - 12:00am

In the wake of reports that he’s facing health problems, Fatah is demanding that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appoint a deputy, The Jerusalem Post has learned. Senior Fatah officials who met with Abbas, 75, over the past week urged him to consider appointing a deputy president, to prevent power vacuum if he were unable to carry out his duties.

One Laptop Per Child reaches Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
April 29, 2010 - 12:00am

The UN in the Gaza Strip has begun distributing thousands of laptop computers to children in its schools. The rugged laptops are made by the non-profit organisation One Laptop Per Child, which aims to give a computer to every child in the developing world. One Laptop Per Child say computers are a good way of improving the education of children living in poverty. Humanitarian conditions have deteriorated in the Gaza Strip in the last three years, the UN says.

US gives Abbas private assurances over Israeli settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory McCarthy - April 30, 2010 - 12:00am

The US has given private assurances to encourage the Palestinians to join indirect Middle East peace talks, including an offer to consider allowing UN security council condemnation of any significant new Israeli settlement activity, the Guardian has learned.

Divestment Bills Fail at Two Calif. Universities
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
April 29, 2010 - 12:00am

The student government at the University of California, Berkeley fell a vote short in a bid to override a veto against a divestment bill. Meanwhile, a vote early Thursday morning by the Associated Students at the University of California, San Diego reportedly was unsuccessful in passing a similar measure. At Berkeley, 13 senators voted early Thursday morning to override the veto, with five voting to uphold it. Fourteen votes were necessary for the override. The vote at about 4 a.m. followed a meeting that began in the evening attended by about 200 people, according to reports.

Gaza…The Next Explosion
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - (Opinion) April 29, 2010 - 12:00am

The Arabs might be taken by surprise by the situation in the Gaza Strip blowing up at any moment; all the signs indicate that the situation on the street has reached boiling point and that divisions between the Hamas leaders, as well as divisions between Hamas and its other allies in the Gaza Strip, have increased.

The sensible Palestinian statehood plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Ziad Asali - (Opinion) April 30, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinians have recently been developing a peaceful multilevel strategy to achieve their national goals of a negotiated peace agreement with Israel, an end to the occupation, and the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.

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