Damascus, Ramallah Or Tehran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amir Oren - (Opinion) April 7, 2008 - 5:57pm

In September 1984, when he became defense minister, Yitzhak Rabin summoned the American ambassador, Samuel Lewis, and surprised him with a message for Washington: a request to begin examining secretly to what extent, and under which conditions, Syria was prepared for peace with Israel. Rabin's initiative had no follow-up. The administration of Ronald Reagan and the regime of Hafez Assad were in direct confrontation, the Israel Defense Forces had not yet withdrawn from central Lebanon and Syria was clinging to its "strategic support," the Soviet Union.

Poll: Israelis Ready For Arab Anchor
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Meirav Crystal - April 7, 2008 - 5:55pm

The Israeli public is more than ready for an Arab newscaster, a survey held by Agenda, the Israeli Center for Strategic Communications, revealed Sunday.  The poll, performed by Agenda and the Teleseker polling company, included 400 native Israelis, 200 Israelis who emigrated from the former Soviet Union and 200 Arab Israelis, making up 800 participants.

Ignore Al-jazeera At Your Own Peril
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Lawrence Pintak - (Opinion) April 7, 2008 - 5:53pm

It appears that Israel is taking a page from the George W. Bush MBA-Presidents Sep-07 book of public diplomacy: It is attempting to influence coverage in Arab media by boycotting the most influential television station in the Arab world. In the latest news from Jerusalem, it seems that the Ehud Olmert government has decided Al-Jazeera favors Hamas over Israel in the Gaza conflict and will now refuse to deal with its reporters.

Israel Seeks To Calm Tensions Over Missile Drill
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
April 7, 2008 - 5:47pm

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sought to reassure Syria and Lebanon on Sunday that Israel did not want a major missile attack drill to worsen tensions along its northern border. "The goal of the exercise is to check the authorities' ability to carry out their duties in times of emergency and for preparing the home front for different scenarios," Olmert told a weekly Cabinet meeting. "There is nothing else hidden behind it. All the reports on tension in the north can be moderated and cooled down. We have no secret plans," he added.

Israeli Siege Bears Strange Fruit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Sunday Herald
by Alex Renton - April 7, 2008 - 5:45pm

FADEL DARDAR stares with weary gloom at the wreck of his orange grove. "They used to bring us $3000 a year - just the trees in this one field. Now they're worth nothing, less than nothing." It's early spring in Gaza, but most of the 100 or so trees have lost their leaves - and the few that remain are brown and brittle. Bizarrely, hundreds of ripe oranges still hang on the branches, but just as many of the fruit are rotting in the stinking, muddy ground.

Israel's Tough Choice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Nimrod Novik - (Opinion) April 7, 2008 - 5:42pm

For several decades now, Israeli policy toward the Palestinians has been all too frequently governed by false assumptions. These include the presumption to "produce" an alternative Palestinian leadership that is more amenable to Israeli preferences and an equally condescending claim to "reeducate" Palestinians to alternative thinking.

After Bush
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - (Opinion) April 7, 2008 - 5:40pm

It is fascinating, although not at all surprising, that the candidates for president almost never discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s not like it is some minor foreign policy issue. Ask Americans to name two or three of the most pressing foreign policy issues and they are bound to mention the Arab-Israeli conflict. How could they not? After Iraq, there is no other that is so extensively covered by the media nor is there another one of interest to as many voters.

Olmert, Abbas To Meet Again After Seven Weeks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
April 7, 2008 - 5:38pm

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas meet on Monday for the first time in six weeks as Middle East peace talks get back on track under heavy US pressure. Abbas, who suspended his bi-weekly meetings with Olmert at the beginning of March after an Israeli military operation in Gaza killed more than 130 people, said on Sunday that he would not accept a peace deal at any price.

Evangelist Hagee Pledges $6 Million To Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
April 7, 2008 - 5:35pm

American Evangelist John Hagee on Sunday announced donations of $6 million to a number of Israeli causes and declared that Israel must remain in control of all of Jerusalem. Hagee, who has been in the news lately for his endorsement of US Presidential candidate John McCain and his criticism of the Catholic Church, brought hundreds of backers on a solidarity trip to Israel.

Road Map To A Gaza War
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jackson Diehl - (Opinion) April 7, 2008 - 5:32pm

Seven years ago George W. Bush's incoming foreign policy team blamed the Clinton administration for an eleventh-hour rush for a Middle East peace agreement that ended with the explosion of the second Palestinian intifada. Now, with less than 10 months remaining in office, Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are engaged in a similar last-minute push -- yet they don't seem to recognize the growing risk that their initiative, too, will end with another Israeli-Palestinian war.

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