Politics & Policies: Mideast More Unstable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
by Claude Salhani - (Opinion) January 8, 2008 - 6:07pm

It is under a cloud of heavy pessimism that U.S. President George W. Bush leaves for the Middle East, a region that one former administration official described as today being more dangerous, unstable and problematical for the United States than since before the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the former high-ranking member of the Bush administration said that most of the trends are bad and are not likely to get better anytime soon. "That's the context under which the president departs," he said.

Bush To Visit An Ambivalent Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Bourdreaux - January 8, 2008 - 6:06pm

For seven years, President Bush has been a distant defender of Israel, working from Washington to tilt America's policies in the Middle East more firmly behind its longtime ally. When he arrives here Wednesday on his first presidential visit, however, Bush will find an ambivalent Israeli public. It is appreciative of his efforts, yet critical of U.S. setbacks that have made the region feel more threatening.

On First Trip To Israel, Bush Hopes To Inject Vigor Into Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Michael Abramowitz, Jonathan Finer - (Opinion) January 8, 2008 - 6:05pm

In the six weeks since Israeli and Palestinian leaders left Annapolis, Md., pledging to end "bloodshed, suffering and decades of conflict between our peoples," violence has escalated over long-standing territorial disputes and security concerns, leaving little optimism here on the eve of President Bush's visit that the fledgling dialogue will bring peace.

January 7, 2008 - Vol. 9, Issue 18
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Americans For Peace Now
by Middle East Peace Report - January 8, 2008 - 6:04pm

NO OUTPOST CRACKDOWN, PART I: On the eve of President George W. Bush’s visit to Israel, Peace Now held a demonstration at the site of the largest unauthorized West Bank settlement outpost. This outpost, known as Migron, was constructed on privately-owned Palestinian land and the Israeli government has repeatedly expressed to the High Court of Justice its intention to remove it. At the rally, former Knesset Member and Peace Now leader Mossi Raz said that all illegal outposts “must be evacuated now, and the settlements as well.

Bush Takes Altered Goals To Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Howard Lafranchi - January 8, 2008 - 6:04pm

Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, President Bush has vowed to transform the Middle East for the sake of American security. This week, Mr. Bush sets off on a nine-day tour of a region that, if anything, has transformed him.

Drawing A New Map For Journalism In The Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Robert Worth - January 8, 2008 - 6:01pm

IT has been almost four years since Abdul Rahman al-Rashed set out to cure Arab television of its penchant for radical politics and violence. It was never an easy task. But as the director of one of the leading satellite channels in the Middle East, he thinks he has made a difference.

The Christian Science Monitor examines how Bush administration goals and policies for the Middle East have evolved over the years (2.) The Washington Post looks at the different reasons for the faltering peace process following the Annapolis meeting (4.) The Los Angeles Times reports on mixed feelings among Israelis regarding his support for Israel and the consequences of U.S. Mideast policies for their country (5.) In the New Republic, WINEP counselor and fellow Dennis Ross urges President Bush to work with Israelis and Palestinians on adopting modest and achievable steps towards peace that can be built upon with progress and revive both publics' faiths in a negotiated settlement (7.) The Jewish Telegraphic Agency examines how this week's trip to Israel and Palestine by President Bush might be used to exert some pressure on Israel on the issue of settlements (8.) The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) looks at the Israeli Defense Ministry's opposition to the publication of an official government report revealing greater settlement activity than admitted (9.) BBC (UK) analyzes the timing of the Bush trip to Israel and Palestine, seven years after he became president (11.) Asharq Alawsat (pan Arab) examines how efforts to reconcile Fatah and Hamas have not yielded progress to-date (14.) A Haaretz (Israel) editorial is critical of the Olmert government for only utilizing military means to deal with the Hamas issue while neglecting offering Palestinians a diplomatic horizon to a future state (16.)

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