Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Pres. Obama and PM Netanyahu are upbeat after their White House meeting. Israel is preparing to indict some soldiers for misconduct during the Gaza war. Several commentaries suggest that Pres. Obama has been trying to reassure Israel of US commitments with security in preparation for more pressure on peace moves. Aaron David Miller outlines steps for successful summit. A PA Minister is banned from entering Israel. Hamas arrests alleged collaborators. A reported secret document outlines US-Israeli nuclear cooperation. Two thirds of Palestinians oppose rocket attacks on Israel. Right wing Israeli MKs affirm that Pres. Obama is “still evil.” The JTA asks what the substance behind the meeting really was. Tariq Alhomayed says Israel is using Iran as an excuse not to move forward on peace, and that Iran is using Israel as an excuse for expanding its hegemony. Shlomo Avineri praises Palestinian state and institution building.

Netanyahu hears no discouraging words from Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Dana Milbank - July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

A blue-and-white Israeli flag hung from Blair House. Across Pennsylvania Avenue, the Stars and Stripes was in its usual place atop the White House. But to capture the real significance of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's visit with President Obama, White House officials might have instead flown the white flag of surrender.

President Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu try to mend fences
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Carol E. Lee, Laura Rozen - July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to exude a new sense of warmth in their rocky relationship Tuesday as both expressed confidence that the Israeli leader will soon hold direct peace talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “The bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable,” said Obama, seated in the Oval Office alongside Netanyahu following their meeting that lasted more than 90 minutes. “We’ve seen over the last year how our relationship has broadened,” Obama added. “In fact, our relationship is continuing to improve.”

U.S. and Israel Shift Attention to Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Mark Landler, Sheryl Gay Stolberg - July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

President Obama said Tuesday that he expected direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians to begin “well before” a moratorium on settlement construction expired at the end of September, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel pledged to take “concrete steps” in the coming weeks to get the talks moving.

Indictments in Gaza War Are Announced
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israeli military said Tuesday that it had indicted “a number of” officers and soldiers for their actions during Israel’s three-week offensive in Gaza in the winter of 2008-9, including a staff sergeant accused of deliberately shooting at least one Palestinian civilian who was walking with a group of people waving a white flag.

Mr. Netanyahu at the White House
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel satisfied their short-term political goals with an Oval Office meeting on Tuesday. It is less clear that they achieved much of substance.

Lessons for an Israeli-Palestinian summit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Aaron David Miller - (Opinion) July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

We were lost. The road to the presidential retreat at Camp David was winding and narrow; it was dark, the way it doesn't get in the city. We had clearly missed a turn somewhere. I kidded Dennis Ross, the lead U.S. negotiator for the imminent Israeli-Palestinian Camp David summit, that if we couldn't even find the president's compound, how were we going to help Bill Clinton negotiate an agreement between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat once we got there? My gallows humor turned out to be all too prescient.

Obama Says Direct Israeli-Palestinian Talks May Be Imminent
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Jonathan Ferziger, Roger Runningen - July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama said direct Israel-Palestinian talks may get started within less than three months, praising Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a leader prepared to take “risks for peace.” Obama and Netanyahu, speaking to reporters at the White House yesterday after an 80-minute meeting, both said they wanted to dispel concerns that the U.S. commitment to Israel has been weakened by disputes over construction in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem. The two leaders ate lunch together with advisers.

PA minister banned from entering Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

PA Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe was denied entry into Israel on Tuesday and stripped of his VIP card permitting him to cross Israeli military checkpoints without harassment. The minister told Ma'an that he was en route to a meeting in Nazareth with a follow-up committee on the cases of Palestinian prisoners in Israel who hold Israeli ID cards when he was detained.

Hamas arrests alleged collaborators with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Ibrahim Barzak - July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

The militant Hamas group launched a campaign to arrest suspected collaborators with Israel in the Gaza Strip, detaining five in overnight raids, a Hamas security official said Wednesday. The raids began after a two-month amnesty for collaborators expired and just three months after two collaborators were executed. Collaboration is viewed as an especially egregious offense in Palestinian society. The Hamas official said suspects would go to trial, adding, "We are not going to show any mercy to those involved in spying on our people."

Report: Secret document affirms U.S.-Israel nuclear partnership
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's Army Radio reported on Wednesday that the United States has sent Israel a secret document committing to nuclear cooperation between the two countries. According to Army Radio, the U.S. has reportedly pledged to sell Israel materials used to produce electricity, as well as nuclear technology and other supplies, despite the fact that Israel is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

ANALYSIS / Obama trying carrot, not stick, on Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Analysis) July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

From the White House's perspective, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in a constant state of vacillation, evading any decision that could get him into political trouble. United States President Barack Obama is striving to put an end to Netanyahu's hesitations and push him to make the historic decision to withdraw from the occupied territories and establish a Palestinian state in place of the settlements.

Poll: 2/3 of Palestinians against rocket attacks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Some 68% of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza do not want Hamas to resume its rocket attacks on Israel, while 25.5% believe the attacks against Israel's southern communities should be resumed, according to a survey conducted by the Ramallah-based Arab World for Research & Development (AWRAD) organization. The poll's findings, which are based on answers by 1,200 respondents, indicate that 35.4% of Palestinians residing in Hamas-ruled Gaza are interested in resuming the attacks, while only 19.5% of Palestinians in the West Bank share this opinion.

Analysis: President now working with the PM, not against him
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Tuesday's White House meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama was the fifth time the two leaders have met in some 14 months, but only the second time they have issued joint statements and answered questions together. And the difference in Obama's tone on Tuesday, compared to the last time they met the press in the Oval Office in May 2009, was striking.

Israeli Right-Wing MKs: US president is still evil
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman - July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

US President Barack Obama’s attempts to portray himself as pro-Israel in his press conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House on Tuesday failed to persuade right-wing MKs, who warned that Obama is “still evil.” The MKs questioned the president’s motives and suggested that he was putting on a show for American Jews ahead of the crucial November mid-term elections, in which the Democrats may lose control of Congress. “He doesn’t sound evil now because he needs Jewish votes and money,” said Deputy Negev and Galilee Development Minister Ayoub Kara.

Nice pictures, but what did Obama and Bibi discuss?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - (Opinion) July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

The optics were perfect, but the meaning was elusive. President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat together Tuesday, joshing and smiling, trying to project a clear message: The rift was over. Israel and the United States are on the same track again.

Saudi Arabia and Israel Once Again
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - (Opinion) July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Last Saturday, I wrote that two parties have been provoked by the intense Saudi Arabian political presence and activity at the international level, especially after the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz participated in the G20 summit in Canada, and following this visited Washington where he received a warm welcome from US President Barack Obama. These parties are of course Iran and Israel.

Palestine stands up
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Shlomo Avineri - (Opinion) July 7, 2010 - 12:00am

Although the crisis over Israel’s naval interventions to defend its blockade of Gaza is gaining all the headlines around the world, something of far more historic importance is taking place in the Middle East. The Palestinian Authority is preparing to issue a unilateral declaration of independence, and it is taking concrete steps on the ground to make any such declaration viable.

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