Rice’s Insistence On Palestinian-israeli Talks Can Work – If She Means It
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) March 5, 2008 - 7:52pm

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has achieved a major breakthrough for her country's foreign policy by insisting that Palestinian-Israeli peace talks continue despite a dramatic increase in violence in the Gaza Strip. Undeterred by an Israeli onslaught that has killed more than 120 people - including dozens of civilians, among them at least 23 children - Rice has forced Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas back to the table after he demanded that a truce be put in place first.

' Birthright Palestine' Mimics Jewish World's Flagship Program
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Haviv Rettig - March 5, 2008 - 7:51pm

A new Palestinian NGO is taking a page out of the Jewish educator's handbook in its search to strengthen the connection of Palestinians overseas to their "historic homeland" and Palestinian society. The name of the program leaves no doubt as to its intent, or its inspiration. Birthright Palestine is described on its Web site as a "program created by native Palestinians for diaspora Palestinians."

Forward From Gaza: How The U.s. Can Lead ((interview With Daniel C. Kurtzer)
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Progress
by S. Daniel Abraham - (Interview) March 5, 2008 - 7:51pm

The problem right now is that everyone is looking only at tomorrow. There is no long-term thinking or activity taking place. The Israelis and Hamas are engaged in an effort to hurt each other. Hamas finds it in its own very significant interest right now to not only inflict some pain on Israel but to demonstrate that it has the capacity to hit Ashkelon and to withstand Israeli incursions.

Arab Initiative Still The Best Deal Around
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
by Alon Ben-meir - (Opinion) March 5, 2008 - 7:50pm

The Arab summit, scheduled for the latter part of March in Damascus, is in serious trouble even before it begins because of several political discords among Arab states as well as the region's continuing violent conflicts. Whereas a resolution to the crisis in Lebanon over the selection of a new president seems a prerequisite to holding the summit in Damascus, no one expects its leaders to even attempt to resolve the many other crises that have plagued the Arab world.

Rice Encircled By Mideast Troubles
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
by Sana Abdallah - March 5, 2008 - 7:49pm

The mission of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to restart the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations was Tuesday facing serious challenges as the Palestinian leadership insisted that Israel first halt its military operations in the Gaza Strip. Following talks with Rice in Ramallah, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said he was committed to the peace process, but blamed the Israeli attacks and the siege of Gaza for sabotaging the negotiations.

Hamas Rejects Arab-league Proposal For Truce With Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
March 5, 2008 - 7:48pm

Hamas has turned down a recent proposal by the secretary general of the Arab League, ‘Amru Mousa, for a unilateral truce stopping rocket firing into Israel, sources in Gaza said.   The proposal, which was presented to Hamas leader, Khalid Mash’al during Mousa’s visit to Damascus last week, also suggests declaring a unilateral cease-fire with Israel.   The plan, according to the League’s sources, was meant to stop the current military operation against Hamas and avoid further escalation and a likely massive Israeli invasion of Gaza.   Mash’al

Palestinian Drag Queens At Odds With Nearly Everyone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from McClatchy News
by Dion Nissenbaum - March 5, 2008 - 7:47pm

His friends call him "The Bride." This night, he was standing behind a storefront art-gallery window in a bloodied wedding dress. His face was ghostly, and he was clutching a large rock in his right hand. A small crowd had gathered on a south Tel Aviv street as The Bride opened his mouth and began to sing — in Arabic. To be more accurate, The Bride was lip-synching the words of a political anthem by one of Lebanon's best-known divas.

Arab League Vows To Drop Out Of Npt If Israel Admits It Has Nuclear Weapons
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 5, 2008 - 7:46pm

Arab countries will walk away from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty if Israel ever officially acknowledges it has nuclear weapons, the Arab League announced in a statement Wednesday. As Arab foreign ministers met at the Cairo headquarters of the Arab League to prepare for their annual summit at the end of the month, they also issued a series of statements on regional issues, including extremely sensitive matter of Israel's refusal to join the NPT.

Gaza Clashes Cloud Rice's Trip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Tim Mcgirk - March 5, 2008 - 7:46pm

In the southern Israeli port city of Ashkelon, the bull's-eye of Palestinian rocket attacks, pharmacists noted that the sale of tranquilizers shot up by more than 60% in the past week as residents sought to calm their shattered nerves. But with Ashkelon's 120,000 citizens now in the range of the Russian-made Grad rockets recently hauled out of Hamas' arsenals to escalate the confrontation, the drug of choice for Israeli leaders and U.S. officials trying to revive peace talks is more likely to be aspirin or any other pain reliever to help treat their frequent headaches.

Rice: Israeli-palestinian Talks On Again
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Nicholas Kralev - March 5, 2008 - 7:45pm

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said today, before departing Jerusalem at the end of a two-day trip, that Israelis and Palestinians had agreed to resume peace talks. “The parties have just informed me that they intend to resume negotiations and that they are in contact with one another as to how to bring this about,” Miss Rice told reporters at a joint press conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. Afterward, Miss Rice boarded a plane and headed back to Washington. She gave no indication when talks would resume.

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