Peek At An Agreement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - January 18, 2008 - 6:44pm

President George W. Bush has given Israel and the Palestinian Authority until the end of his term to reach an agreement on the creation of a viable democratic Palestinian state that will live peace with Israel. The assumption is that the sides will negotiate in secret and will reach a declaration of principles which will then be brought to the electorate in Israel and Palestine - either through full elections or through referenda.

The March Of Cynics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Meron Benvenisti - January 18, 2008 - 6:43pm

The prize for the most sharply cynical remark goes to President George W. Bush, who said in Ramallah of the Israel Defense Forces crossing points: "You'll be happy to hear that my motorcade of a mere 45 cars was able to make it through without being stopped." No doubt, he was speaking ironically, but even if he added that he wasn't "so exactly sure that's what happens to the average person," he should be reminded of the saying that one doesn't mention rope in a hanged man's home.

A Shameless Deserter
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yoel Marcus - January 18, 2008 - 6:39pm

There is nothing more dishonorable than a soldier who deserts his unit during a war. There is nothing more cowardly and despicable than a soldier who runs off and abandons his comrades on the battlefield to save his own skin. How selfish, spineless and ugly of the Yisrael Beiteinu party to quit the coalition while a bloody battle is underway in Gaza. How egotistical of its chairman, Avigdor Lieberman, to choose the worst possible moment to shirk his government responsibility.

President Bush — Neither A Peacemaker Nor A Warmonger
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Osama Al-sharif - January 18, 2008 - 6:37pm

There were two sides to President Bush as he toured the Middle East last week. One was Bush the peacemaker, who called for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and vowed to see negotiations culminating in a peace treaty between the two sides before the end of his term in about a year. The other side was Bush the Iran basher — not exactly the warmonger since no one believes the president of the United States has the clout or the stomach to launch another war in this troubled region.

Is It A Budding Partnership?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Ziad Asali - (Opinion) January 18, 2008 - 6:35pm

Even the most sceptical of us would have to concede that things are better now than they were a few months ago, as they hasten to add that we have been here before and that this too shall pass. Yes, things are better: Palestinian and Israeli officials are talking, and final status issues are being discussed, though they are not being resolved.

The Recent Outbreak Of Violence In Gaza Only Serves Hamas' Enemies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) January 18, 2008 - 6:34pm

The past week has seen a rapid degeneration from bad to worse in the Gaza Strip, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's vow to continue waging "war" on the besieged territory does not bode well for more than one million civilians who live there. Having already been half-starved into submission by the economic strangulation imposed on them by Israel and the international community, Gazans now find themselves caught between an escalating battle between militants and Israeli forces.

Hard To Make Friends
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
January 18, 2008 - 6:32pm

DURING half a century of American engagement with the Arab world, American presidents have tended to get nicer to the Arabs towards the end of their term, when they have less to lose at home by doing so. With his Middle East tour, George Bush has stuck to that rule. The difference is that, with America's failure to sort out Iraq or make peace between Israelis and Palestinians or to persuade Muslims that the war on terror is not unfairly directed at themselves, no other president has had to control quite so much damage.

Us Urges Ally Israel To Show Restraint In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
January 18, 2008 - 6:31pm

The United States urged Israel Thursday to avoid the loss of innocent life in the violence-wracked Gaza Strip, but defended the Jewish state's right to strike against rocket and mortar attacks from Islamic militants. "Certainly they have every right to act in their self-defense and it is well documented the Kassam rocket attacks have been coming out of Gaza and are unabated at this point," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

Peace No Closer After Bush’s Departure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Opinion) January 18, 2008 - 6:30pm

As Air Force One took off from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport last week, taking President Bush off to the second leg of his Middle East tour, the air of optimism surrounding peace prospects in the region gave way to a more sober and downbeat approach. The promise held out by Bush of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord before year’s end is now regarded, by experts and policymakers in Jerusalem and Washington, as unrealistic or even misguided.

Olmert Government Teeters As Lieberman Quits, Others May Follow
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Roy Eitan - January 18, 2008 - 6:29pm

A right-wing party delivered Ehud Olmert the most overt domestic rebuke yet to his attempts to seek a peace deal with the Palestinians by quitting the prime minister's coalition government. The pullout of the Yisrael Beiteinu party announced Wednesday comes just two weeks before what might be an even tougher challenge to Olmert: the publication of the final report on his handling of the 2006 Lebanon war.

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