Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Direct negotiations are haunted by the settlement issue and some experts worry they are too ambitious. Sec. Clinton urges Israelis and Palestinians to seek a future of peace. Ghaith Al-Omari, Gideon Grinstein and Aaron David Miller look back at previous negotiations. Hussein Ibish analyzes the settlement question. Ahmad Tibi says pressure on PM Netanyahu will be the key. Mohammed Dajani and Michael Zakim say there is hope for peace. The PA arrests two suspects in the killing of Israeli settlers near Hebron. Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza vow further attacks against Israelis. The US is pressuring Pres. Abbas to continue negotiations with or without a settlement freeze extension. The BBC looks at why Israeli-Palestinian peace is so crucial to American interests. Settlers voice opposition to negotiations. Daoud Kuttab looks at the Palestinian strategy for liberation. Shlomo Avineri says even cynics should entertain some hopes. The Arab News says the talks are off to a good start.

Settlements in West Bank Are Clouding Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Helene Cooper, Mark Landler - September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators cleared the first hurdle on Thursday in their elusive quest for Middle East peace: they agreed to keep talking, two weeks from now in Egypt. But on a richly choreographed day of diplomacy, filled with solemn promises to tackle the tough issues dividing them, the Israeli and Palestinian leaders did not confront the one issue that could sink these talks in three weeks: whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will extend a moratorium on the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Experts Fear Mideast Talks Are Too Ambitious
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

As the Israeli and Palestinian leaders pledged at the peace summit meeting in Washington this week to try to resolve the core issues that have long divided their people and bloodied the land, a growing number of stakeholders here in Israel worried that the two sides were aiming too high.

As Mideast talks begin, Clinton urges Israelis, Palestinians to seek 'future of peace'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Scott Wilson - September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The Obama administration formally innaugurated its foray into Middle East peacemaking on Thursday, bringing together the Israeli and Palestinian leaders for face-to-face talks and securing their pledge to meet every two weeks to pursue an end to the decades-old conflict.

Camp David Redux: A Look Back At Lessons Learned
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from National Public Radio (NPR)
(Interview) September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

MELISSA BLOCK, host: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. Im Melissa Block. ROBERT SIEGEL, host: And Im Robert Siegel. The resumption of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians in Washington this week, reminded us of the last time the parties aimed at settling their differences with an American president as mediator. Ten summers ago, there were two weeks of talks at Camp David. President Bill Clinton hoped to settle the conflict once and for all.

Contested Settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Hussein Ibish - (Analysis) September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories has proved to be among the most serious irritants in the U.S.-Israel relationship. It is also one of the most significant obstacles to a negotiated settlement.

President Obama flexes muscles
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Ben Smith - September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The launch of new direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders Thursday was the result of a rare flexing of U.S. muscle by President Barack Obama, whose extended hand has left him fewer opportunities for foreign policy chest thumping than his predecessor had. The Obama administration was able to force two reluctant adversaries to put tricky domestic politics aside and agree to show up for an unpredictable, unscripted series of meetings every two weeks, the next to be held in Egypt on September 14-15.

Pressing Netanyahu is the key to success in Mideast peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Ahmad Tibi - (Opinion) September 3, 2010 - 12:00am

It is unfortunate that the direct Palestinian-Israeli peace talks that got underway this week are saddled with an Israeli prime minister who has made clear his unwillingness to reach an equitable two-state solution.

Middle East peace talks: Why there's hope the bitter divide can be bridged
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Mohammad Dajani, Michael Zakim - (Opinion) September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

he Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a misnomer. The real political chasm actually runs down the middle of both societies, dividing them into separate camps of conflict and peace. The camp of conflict, for instance – both in its Israeli and Palestinian versions – is driven by a visionary messianism, the rejection of liberal values, a politics of violence, and the cult of death. This common zealotry has imposed a zero-sum reality of “all or nothing” on everyone else, including those majorities in both countries who would prefer to live together in peace. A common language of peace

Gaza militants vow wave of attacks against Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Joseph Nasr - September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian militant groups have joined forces to step up attacks against Israel, possibly including suicide bombings, the Hamas Islamist faction said on Thursday, after Palestinian and Israeli leaders launched direct peace negotiations in Washington. A spokesman for Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said some 13 militant groups had joined forces to launch "more effective attacks" against Israel. Asked if this included suicide bombings, he said: "All options are open."

Q&A-Settlements loom as Middle East talks resume
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Arshad Mohammed - September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli and Palestinian leaders held their first direct peace talks in 20 months on Thursday and agreed to meet every two weeks to try to settle the six-decade conflict within a year. Among the many obstacles are the deep divisions among the Palestinians and the Israelis themselves and the possibility of violence by hardliners who may wish to disrupt the effort. Here are some questions and answers about the talks. WHAT HAPPENED? The only tangible result was an agreement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud

Israel, Palestinians agree to more peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Toronto Sun
by Jeffrey Heller, Andrew Quinn - September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed to a series of direct talks Thursday, seeking to forge the framework for a U.S.-backed peace deal within a year and end a conflict that has boiled for six decades. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who hosted the first session of talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, expressed confidence that this effort could succeed where so many others have failed.

Palestinians authorities: We've arrested 2 suspects in deadly West Bank shooting attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - September 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority security forces detained two men on Thursday suspected of involvement in a deadly shooting attack in which four Israelis were killed on Tuesday. The four victims were residents of the Beit Hagai settlement in the West Bank. They were traveling in a car on route 60 late Tuesday when assailants opened fire at them, killing all four. Following the incident, Palestinian security forces in the West Bank carried out one of the largest arrest sweeps in history, bringing in over 300 suspects in efforts to locate the culprits.

Palestinian source: U.S. pressuring Abbas to continue talks even if settlements expand
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - (Analysis) September 3, 2010 - 12:00am

A senior Palestinian source told Haaretz that the American administration renewed its pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to stay in direct negotiations with Israel, even if some construction in the settlements resumes after the end of the current moratorium. The source warned that Abbas would not be able to agree to a renewal of construction and will be forced to withdraw from the talks.

Obama sets clock ticking on Middle East talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Jonathan Marcus - (Analysis) September 3, 2010 - 12:00am

For all the diplomatic theatre in the White House, the Middle East peace talks have by no means a full cast. Some key actors like Hamas are not present at all, preferring to mount their own bloody tableau in the West Bank. Others - like the hard-line Israeli settler movement - cast a long shadow over the deliberations. Indeed there is a clear risk that the future of Israel's partial settlement freeze, not the peace process, may dominate the early stages of these discussions.

Settlers reveal deep disdain for events in Washington
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - (Analysis) September 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Yaniv Mor, 30-year-old father of a one-month-old baby girl, and a settler was blunt: "We don't care about Washington. Nothing will come out of it, like always. This is a war of religions – we want everything, they want everything. There is no way there will ever be agreement. That is the reality."

Clinton: only you two can achieve peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Matt Bradley, Sharmila Devi - (Analysis) September 3, 2010 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON // Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday declared their commitment to arriving at a sustainable peace as they entered their first direct negotiations in 20 months. Both sides have set the deadline of one year to reach a deal, and flanked by the Palestinian and Israeli leaders, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, reminded both sides that the main responsibility for achieving it would fall on them.

Palestinian strategy towards independence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Analysis) September 3, 2010 - 12:00am

There is a chance that the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 will soon end and an independent Palestinian state will emerge. The direct peace talks taking place in Washington are a necessary step towards that goal, but this is not the only option the Palestinians have.

Peace this time? Even a lapsed optimist must hope
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Shlomo Avineri - (Opinion) September 3, 2010 - 12:00am

The resumption in Washington of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is good news. But whether these talks will lead to an agreement, let alone within one year as US President Barack Obama hopes, is another matter. When Obama, two days into his presidency, appointed former Senator George Mitchell as his special envoy to the Middle East, many hoped that within two years his efforts would lead to an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians – and to a comprehensive peace between Israel and all its Arab neighbors.

Mideast peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) September 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Direct talks have begun between the Palestinians and Israelis in Washington after a 20-month hiatus and to give the negotiations a good start, President Barack Obama organized a glittering political gathering. Not only were Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there, so were Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdallah of Jordan.

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