Middle East News: World Press Roundup

No compromise is reportedly reached on settlements. Israeli Amb. Michael Oren says Israelis want peace. The CSM looks at Israeli settlements and why Egypt seeks a major role in negotiations. P. Edward Haley offers four reasons not to be cynical. Sec. Clinton endorses Pres. Abbas, PM Netanyahu. Projectiles are launched against southern Israel from Gaza. Ha'aretz says the settlement freeze issue is a test for Netanyahu. Amira Hass says Palestinians have faced 40 years of building freeze. Some Palestinians say their leadership will have to continue with the talks no matter what happens with settlements. Israel is reportedly considering a prisoner release and expanded PA powers in the West Bank. Special Envoy Mitchell says the settlement freeze must be extended. Calev Ben-Dor says negotiations can be structured differently for better results. Gilead Sher says time is running out for a two state solution. The JTA says the Jewish American right is muted in the face of a potential extension of the freeze. Aaron David Miller says Netanyahu is the key to peace. Robert Danin provides an assessment of Palestinian state building efforts.

Netanyahu, Abbas to meet again in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Glenn Kessler - September 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton prepared Wednesday to convene a second set of peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, with no resolution of a conflict over Jewish settlements in sight.

Standoff over settlement construction bogs down Mideast talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Paul Richter, Edmund Sanders - September 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Despite prodding by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Israelis and Palestinians made little progress Tuesday toward resolving their standoff over Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank. The dispute will continue to loom over U.S.-brokered peace talks as they resume Wednesday in Jerusalem. For the third time in a week, American officials called upon Israel to extend its partial moratorium on construction, which is to expire toward the end of the month. Palestinians have threatened to quit the talks unless the moratorium continues.

Why Israelis care about peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Michael B. Oren - (Opinion) September 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Imagine that you're a parent who sends her children off to school in the morning worrying whether their bus will become a target of suicide bombers. Imagine that, instead of going off to college, your children become soldiers at age 18, serve for three years and remain in the active reserves into their 40s. Imagine that you have fought in several wars, as have your parents and even your grandparents, that you've seen rockets raining down on your neighborhood and have lost close family and friends to terrorist attacks.

Five largest Israeli settlements: who lives there, and why
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ariel Zirulnick - September 15, 2010 - 12:00am

The end goal of the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is two separate, sovereign states. Palestinians say that the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, deemed illegal by the United Nations, influence the outcome of such talks. With more than 300,000 Israelis now living in such settlements, Israel expects to keep at least some of them under a final peace deal – possibly as part of a land swap.

Israeli-Palestinian talks in Egypt address key issues of conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - September 14, 2010 - 12:00am

Meeting in Egypt for their second peace summit in two weeks, Israeli and Palestinian leaders began discussing for the first time Tuesday some of the issues at the heart of a possible treaty, even as a dispute over settlement expansion clouds the future of the talks. Both Israeli and US officials sounded upbeat about the atmosphere at the talks in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. US peace envoy George Mitchell, who accompanied Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the summit, said the discussions of those core issues were "serious, detailed, and extensive."

Why Egypt seeks prominent role in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Kristen Chick - September 14, 2010 - 12:00am

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak today hosted Israeli and Palestinian leaders for the second round of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. Most Middle East nations are sitting on the sidelines, not wanting to expend political capital on a potentially fruitless exercise. But for Mr. Mubarak, the negotiations provide a new opportunity to persuade the US that his role in the process should merit freedom from US pressure on key domestic issues like upcoming elections and the prospect of succession by the president’s son Gamal.

Middle East peace talks: four reasons not to be cynical
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
(Opinion) September 14, 2010 - 12:00am

Claremont, Calif. — It is impossible to know whether this latest round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which began Sept. 2 in Washington, will lead to peace. There are huge obstacles. Among them are domestic politics in Israel, which features a government led by conservative nationalist and religious parties. Compromise with the Palestinians is anathema to many within this fragile coalition, and its supporters.

Sources: No compromise on settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 15, 2010 - 12:00am

American mediators may step in and offer a solution to the settlements issue, an informed source told Ma'an on Wednesday. Citing what the source called precedents in the talks in both Washington and Egypt, the source said that on a growing number of occasions mediators had intervened during crisis points, and offered median solutions to the issues at hand.

Clinton warmly endorses Netanyahu, Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Arshad Mohammed - September 15, 2010 - 12:00am

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warmly endorsed Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Wednesday ahead of negotiations to try to break a deadlock over Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank. "This is the time, and these are the leaders," Clinton said before she was to see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who resumed direct peace talks two weeks ago after a 20-month hiatus.

Israel kills Palestinian in strike on Gaza tunnel, after day of rocket and mortar fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
September 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli aircraft bombed a smuggling tunnel under the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt on Wednesday, killing a Palestinian, witnesses said. The attack came hours after Gaza militants stepped up rocket and mortarfire on southern Israel, in an apparent attempt to scupper Middle East peace talks. Witnesses in the southern Gaza town of Rafah said the Israeli air strike killed a tunnel worker and wounded two other people. The Israeli army confirmed the attack.

The freeze as a test
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) September 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Direct negotiations on a final-status agreement opened yesterday at Sharm al-Sheikh, in the shadow of the ongoing dispute over a freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

PA knows must keep talking even if freeze ends
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - (Analysis) September 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Despite the Palestinian Authority’s tough talk on the issue of settlement construction in the past few days, Palestinian sources in Ramallah believe PA leaders will soon have to climb down from their high tree. Even as the direct talks were under way in Sharm e-Sheikh on Tuesday, several PA officials continued to issue threats that failure to extend the moratorium on settlement construction later this month would lead to the “collapse” of the US-sponsored negotiations.

Israel considers prisoner release, ceding territories to PA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - September 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel and the Palestinians have yet to reach a compromise on settlement construction, but Jerusalem is nonetheless considering a number of gestures, including releasing prisoners and transferring areas in the West Bank to Palestinian control, western officials familiar with peace talks told Ynet Tuesday night. The second round of direct negotiations began in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on Tuesday and will continue Wednesday when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet in Jerusalem. American Pressure

A new type of talk
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Calev Ben-Dor - (Opinion) September 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Much ink has been spilled on the direct talks between the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and their chances of success. Ironically, agreement between the sides regarding re-starting direct negotiations for the first time in 18 months seems to have been followed by disagreement over almost everything else, including over which subjects the sides will negotiate. While the Palestinians reportedly want to begin by discussing permanent borders, Israel insists on focusing on security arrangements and its recognition as a Jewish state.

Why I doubt Binyamin Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Gilead Sher - (Opinion) September 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Eleven years ago, on September 4 1999, the government of Israel, under Ehud Barak, and the PLO, under Yasser Arafat, signed an agreement called the Sharm-el-Sheikh Memorandum. It provided that accelerated permanent status negotiations would commence shortly, and that their goal was to reach a framework agreement on permanent status in five months and a comprehensive agreement in one year.

U.S. Jewish right muted ahead of possible extension of settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - (Analysis) September 14, 2010 - 12:00am

Don't expect a familiar American echo now that West Bank settlers are gearing up to fight the possible extension of Israel’s settlement freeze. Activists on the left and right in Israel usually get their allies in the American Jewish community to fight for the cause of the day with congressional lobbying and protests to Israeli and American officials.

Netanyahu's the Key
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
by Aaron David Miller - (Analysis) September 10, 2010 - 12:00am

Of all the questions hovering over next week’s Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in Egypt, the most intriguing and consequential are these: who is Benjamin Netanyahu, and is he willing to break his sacred taboos on issues like Jerusalem and borders to reach a historic agreement with the Palestinians? As important as Obama and Abbas are to the negotiations, Netanyahu is the key. Indeed, it is the cruelest of ironies that the man who has been least committed to serious Israeli-Palestinian negotiations now holds the key to their success.

An Assessment of State-Building Efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Progress
by Robert Danin - (Interview) September 14, 2010 - 12:00am

September 14, 2010 Last time we spoke, you were head of the Office of the Quartet Representative, and you just recently returned from that posting. What are the main things that you learned from that experience?

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