A New Two-way Street Called Bush
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) January 10, 2008 - 5:00pm

The objective of the US president is to rally the Arab neighbours of Iran against the latter's nuclear ambitions These are not the best of times for George W. Bush. The unpopular US president, a lame duck to boot, should not even consider venturing abroad, certainly to areas such as the turbulent Middle East where America's image has hit rock bottom during his tenure. The blame is attributed to his administration's policies which have wrecked havoc in the region and yielded little to brag about.

The Case Of The White Bird
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - January 10, 2008 - 5:00pm

Tzipi Livni, as her name indicates, is the white bird of Israeli politics (Tzipi is short for Tzipora, “bird”, and Livni comes from Lavan, “white”). As against the hawk Binyamin Netanyahu, the vulture Ehud Barak and the raven Ehud Olmert, she was seen as the immaculate feathered friend. In public opinion polls, she has enjoyed a remarkable popularity. She trumps all the other politicians in the governing coalition. While the rating of the two Ehuds — Olmert and Barak — was going down, hers was on the way up.

Palestinians Believe Bush Won't Pressure Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yoav Stern - (Analysis) January 10, 2008 - 4:58pm

U.S. President George W. Bush was not the bearer of big news for the Palestinian people when he spoke in Ramallah after meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday. Apart from a broad presentation of his vision for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, Bush spoke inarticulately about his concerns over Israeli settlements, said his convoy managed to get through Israel Defense Forces checkpoints without delay and suggested the Palestinians abandon United Nations resolutions, because they were of no help to them in the past.

The Evil Decree
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) January 10, 2008 - 4:55pm

The scene shown Tuesday night on television was one of the most harsh and shameful seen here in recent times: a two-and-a-half-year-old boy, Ahmed Samut from Khan Yunis, and a nine-and-a-half-year-old girl, Sausan Jaafari, of Rafah, as they entered the Erez crossing alone, after being torn from the arms of their weeping parents. The two children have heart conditions and need urgent surgery to save their lives. Wolfson Medical Center in Holon agreed to care for them, as part of their Save a Child's Heart program that saves the lives of children around the world.

Bush’s 5 Objectives
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Eytan Gilboa - (Opinion) January 10, 2008 - 4:53pm

Leaders visit other countries and take part in international events in order to demonstrate support for allies, change the positions of rivals, promote issues and interests, mediate conflicts, and boost approval ratings back home. Despite the close ties between Israel and the United States, American presidents tend to stay away from Israel during their term in office, including the ones considered Israel’s greatest friends, such as Ronald Reagan.

Bush Sees Middle East Deal In 2008 - But Warns Israel Over "swiss Cheese" Solutio
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by Philippe Naughton - January 10, 2008 - 4:51pm

President Bush declared today that a Middle East peace treaty would be signed before he leaves the White House in January next year - but warned Israel against a "Swiss cheese" solution for the borders of an independent Palestinian state. “I believe it’s possible - not only possible - I believe it’s going to happen, that there’ll be a signed peace treaty by the time I leave office. That’s what I believe," Mr Bush told a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah after meeting Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President.

Differing Opinions Fail To Dent Israel's Love Affair With Bush
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald Macintyre - January 10, 2008 - 4:48pm

The Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, declared last night that Israel reserved the right to expand existing Jewish settlements in Arab East Jerusalem and in parts of the West Bank that it hopes to retain in any final peace deal.

Bush Fails To Gain Concessions On Settlements From Olmert
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory Mccarthy - January 10, 2008 - 4:47pm

The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, last night refused to rule out further settlement building in East Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank, highlighting the deep gulf between Israel and the Palestinians that confronts George Bush on his first visit to Israel and the West Bank as president. Against a backdrop of bristling security that accompanied the presidential visit, the Israeli prime minister said the US and the Palestinians knew there was an Israeli "moratorium" on new settlements and on the new expropriation of Palestinian land in the occupied territories.

Bush Cautions Israel On Undermining Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Tobias Buck - January 10, 2008 - 4:45pm

George W Bush on Thursday cautioned Israel not to undermine the authorities and security forces of a fledgling Palestinian state, as he sought to reassure Palestinian leaders that the US will act as an even-handed mediator in the Arab-Israeli peace talks launched last year.

In Exclusion, Hamas Counts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Mohammed Omer - (Opinion) January 10, 2008 - 4:44pm

Leaders from the Palestinian party Hamas that won the elections in Gaza two years back have inevitably not been invited to meet Bush. The U.S. considers Hamas a terrorist organisation. Hamas took control of Gaza by force from the Fatah party headed by Abbas in June last year, about a year and a half after it swept the polls in January 2006. As Hamas leaders and supporters see it, Bush's talks with Abbas can count for little if they are kept out. And so with Abbas's talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert just ahead of Bush's visit.

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