Democratic Suspicion
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Opinion) February 6, 2008 - 8:05pm

A Palestinian public sector strike, such as the one that began yesterday and is expected to continue today, is the type of news that here is considered a purely "internal Palestinian matter," lacking any media importance. But beyond the basic fact that the modest wage demands are a direct result of the policy of closure and economic attrition on the part of the true sovereign - Israel - the strike presents a genuine challenge to the stability and strength of Salam Fayyad's government, and demonstrates the erosion of its public credibility.

Mk Elon: Int'l Body Must Resettle Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Etgar Lefkovits - February 6, 2008 - 8:04pm

In a novel Israeli approach to one of the prickliest issues facing Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, MK Benny Elon (NU-NRP) is proposing the establishment of an international body in lieu of UNRWA to deal with the resettlement of Palestinian refugees over the next decade. The proposal, part of the hawkish parliamentarian's alternate peace plan known as "The Israeli Initiative," is meant to be "a first step" towards resolving one of the most difficult final status issues.

Self-defense, Not Occupation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Sheldon Schreter - (Opinion) February 6, 2008 - 8:03pm

In my January 30 op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, I contended that our settlements weaken rather than strengthen us by seriously eroding both our own and the world's belief in the justice of our cause. That cause is asserting the right of the Jewish people to a sovereign state in their ancient homeland. In over 100 "talkbacks" on, letters to the editor, and some personal communications, my views were mostly attacked, though occasionally supported. Let me address some of the criticisms of my argument.

Arab State Power Is On The Defensive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - February 6, 2008 - 8:02pm

The twin issues of the legitimacy and efficacy of power and authority are becoming more clear and urgent throughout the Arab world. This is the big ongoing story of our day, as a region of centrally controlled, mostly autocratic states evolves into a patchwork of different sources of power and authority. If we wish to address problems of violence and instability in many Arab quarters, we must grapple with the issue of the legitimacy of power that remains one of the few enduring taboos in the region.

The Gaza Fence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Editorial) February 6, 2008 - 8:01pm

Gaza’s convulsions have kept much of the world community riveted in horrified fascination for the past month, wondering what it all means and what could possibly happen next. Scenes of Palestinians leveling the barrier wall along the Gaza-Egypt border, flooding across by the tens of thousands and overwhelming Egyptian security forces, have provided some of the strangest news reports in years.

How About An Obama About-face?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) February 6, 2008 - 8:00pm

he arcane American election process can drive a saint crazy, certainly the average American, "on what could be the most significant night of the 2008 campaign to date." Recognising this, The New York Times, took the unprecedented step of warning its reader in its lead article on the front page to "brace yourself".

Olmert Too Weak To Deliver
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Osama Al-sharif - February 6, 2008 - 7:59pm

n the intricate and volatile workings of Israeli politics a day is a lifetime and the chances of survival are measured not by how many are on one’s side but by the weakness or strength of one’s opponents. Thus Ehud Olmert finds himself relatively stronger after the final findings of the Winograd Commission on the 34-day-war with Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the summer of 2006 were published last week.

New Revelations On The Opinions Of Youth, Women And Educated Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Miftah
by Arab World For Research And Development - February 6, 2008 - 7:59pm

Youth and the Educated Palestinians are Becoming Less Supportive of Hamas and More Supportive of Fateh Women are still more Supportive of Hamas Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) had conducted an opinion poll dated 16-18 January 2008 after and during the latest Gaza attacks. A representative sample, of 3200 Palestinians, was interviewed in all West Bank and Gaza districts. The main results were published on January the 23rd showing a decline in the support for Fateh and a slight increase in the support for Hamas.

West Bank Economy Shows First Signs Of Growth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Bassem Roomie - February 6, 2008 - 7:57pm

Things feel different these days in Ramallah, the de facto and economic capital of the Palestinian Authority, and its seat of government. The markets are crowded with shoppers. Stores are well-stocked with goods, dozens of brand new cars have appeared on the streets. And all over downtown Ramallah are banners and posters heralding the launching of new businesses—like flowers after rain.

Blair Calls For ‘urgency’ In Mideast Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Tobias Buck - February 6, 2008 - 7:57pm

Tony Blair has warned that the current round of Middle East peace talks must be pursued with ”greater urgency and greater focus” if Israelis and Palestinian are to achieve their goal of a peace agreement by the end of the year.

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