Peace And The Nation-state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Eyal Chowers - (Opinion) January 7, 2008 - 6:25pm

Outposts / Status Quo Is Just Fine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) January 7, 2008 - 6:24pm

The archives of newspapers and Internet sites are filled with hundreds of reports from recent years along the following lines: "The government will soon remove the illegal outposts. The evacuation will be done gradually. Defense officials are worried about violent resistance by settlers and the hilltop youth." All these reports were belied: the Sharon and Olmert governments did not want to remove the West Bank outposts. They preferred to risk political and legal contempt, to be seen to have violated repeated promises to U.S. President George W.

Another Obstacle To Zionism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - January 7, 2008 - 6:23pm

After recognizing "Jewish population concentrations" in the territories, President George W. Bush brought down from the attic the old American position under which the settlements are an obstacle to peace. Bush was not entirely accurate. The settlements are not an obstacle to peace. What would happen if the Palestinians were to announce tomorrow morning that they welcome the settlers and are relinquishing their demand for an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with its capital in East Jerusalem?

Israel Uses Absentee Land To Build Settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Mohammed Mar’i - January 7, 2008 - 6:22pm

The Israeli Housing Ministry expropriated land belonging to residents from West Bank cities of Bethlehem and Beit Sahour in accordance with the “absentee law” for the construction of more than 1,000 housing units in East Jerusalem’s Har Homa settlement in Jabal Abu Ghneim. The ministry’s move is in violation of both an instruction from the Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to stop applying the absentee law in East Jerusalem and explicit promises by Israel to the United States that it will not apply that law in Jerusalem’s eastern quarters.

What, Me Worry That Bush Is Coming?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) January 7, 2008 - 6:21pm

Recent experience suggests that we should be very worried that President George W. Bush is coming to the Middle East next week to promote peace. The last time he made such a journey, in June 2003, what ensued was an accelerated cycle of violence and ideological conflict that sees most of the Middle East today wracked by warfare, routine terrorism, and intense political confrontation, threats, and stress.

Storm Grows Over Jerusalem District
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
by Martin Patience - January 7, 2008 - 6:19pm

Yellow cranes swivel in the winter sun on a hill in south-east Jerusalem; occasional bursts of drilling puncture the otherwise peaceful atmosphere. In almost any other part of the world this scene would go largely unnoticed. But for Israelis and Palestinians the issue of construction at Har Homa/Jabal Abu Ghneim has rapidly become a political battleground. The Israeli government announced plans last month to build 300 new apartments at the Har Homa development in occupied East Jerusalem, drawing a furious diplomatic response from the Palestinians.

Israel "committed To Dismantling West Bank Settlements"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Fred Attewill - January 7, 2008 - 6:18pm

Israel today said it was committed to acting "expeditiously" to dismantle unauthorised West Bank settlement outposts and would tell that to President George Bush when he arrives for talks on Wednesday. A spokesman for the prime minister, Ehud Olmert, did not set a deadline for the removal of the outposts, which are typically makeshift encampments often set up by hardline settlers.

Bush Sees Mideast Peace Deal This Year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Daniel Dombey - January 7, 2008 - 6:17pm

George W. Bush has predicted a peace deal this year between Israel and the Palestinians ahead of his most extensive visit yet to the Middle East. US officials say the president will devote the week-long tour, in which he will travel to six countries and the Palestinian territories, to pushing for Middle East peace, rallying his regional allies against Iran and reviving Washington’s stalled democratisation agenda.

Leading Article: A Belated Awakening To Middle East Obligations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
(Editorial) January 7, 2008 - 6:15pm

Given how central the Middle East has been to US foreign policy in recent decades, it is remarkable that it has taken George Bush the best part of seven years to make his first visit to Israel as President. There have, of course, been extenuating circumstances: the preoccupation with terrorism and Afghanistan after the attacks of 11 September 2001; the ill-conceived and mismanaged war in Iraq; and Mr Bush's own home-body temperament. Even at the best of times, he was a notoriously reluctant traveller.

Hardline Israeli Settlers Plan Chilly Reception For Bush
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
by Michael Blum - January 7, 2008 - 6:14pm

Residents of one of the oldest and most radical Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank are dreading the upcoming Middle East visit by US President George W. Bush. The settlers of Kiryat Arba west of Hebron -- one of the first set up after the West Bank's capture in 1967 -- fear for their future amid new peace talks with the Palestinians. But they remain defiant over American pressure to freeze settlement activity during the talks, and plan to make their voices heard during the landmark visit.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017