April 9th

Settlement Bloc Expansion Is The Most Destructive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yariv Oppenheimer - (Opinion) April 9, 2008 - 8:46am

Recently, the Israeli and international media has featured reports on progress in peace negotiations. Chief negotiators Ahmed Qurei and Tzippi Livni maintain silence about the details, but allow that the talks are ongoing, detailed and purposeful. Now of all times, when the core issues never before discussed appear to be on the agenda, the negotiating theater seems to be infinitely distant from the reality unfolding on the ground.

Barghuti Says Palestinians Ready For Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
April 9, 2008 - 8:44am

Jailed senior Palestinian leader Marwan Barghuti said on Tuesday Palestinians were ready for peace with Israel in a letter congratulating the Israeli Peace Now movement on its 30th anniversary. "The vast majority of the Palestinian people, myself included, are ready for a historic reconciliation based on international resolutions that will result in the establishment of two states," he said in a letter to the group.

Gazans' Latest Crisis: Fuel Cuts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Ibrahim Barzak - April 9, 2008 - 8:43am

Muin Abdul Ghani sleeps in his car, parked among dozens of other vehicles at a gas station, unwilling to give up his place in line in his desperate scramble for gasoline. It's one way Gaza's embattled 1.4 million residents are adjusting to their newest crisis: a protest by gas station owners who have refused to sell the small amounts they have in stock or accept future shipments after months of restricted Israeli fuel supplies.

Approach The Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
by Ori Nir - (Opinion) April 9, 2008 - 8:39am

The League of Arab States has re-adopted its six-year-old peace initiative, offering comprehensive peace and normal relations with Israel by all its members in return for an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders, and a resolution of all outstanding issues between Israel and the Palestinians. This initiative is to be commended, but it has a major flaw: it is addressed to the international community at a time when the Arab League really needs to focus on the Israeli public.

April 8th

This Editorial discusses the ease with which parties declare war in the conflict rather than peace (1). Mel Frykberg covers the effect the deteriorating economic situation in the Palestinian territories has had on children (2). A poll by Angus Reid suggests that most Israelis are disappointed over the performance of Olmert (3). Joshua Mitnick discusses the results of the recent dismantling of a checkpoint near Ramallah (4). Gazans, increasingly discouraged by fuel shortages, turn to the black market (5). Ghassan Khatib suggests that half-hearted efforts ultimately destroy the credibility of the various sides of the peace process (6). According to BBC, Egypt has declared that there shall be no more violations of the border it shares with the Gaza Strip (7). Barak Ravid and Yoav Stern report on the U.S.’s desire to hold a summit at the Sinai resort of Sharm during President Bush’s visit to the region in order to aid the peace process (8). Yossi Alpher insists in this opinion peace that the settlements themselves are the biggest impediment to security and the success of the economy of the West Bank (9).

April 7th

An opinion by Ori Nir in the Middle East Times suggests taking the Arab Peace Initiative directly to the Israeli public (1). In BitterLemons, Yariv Oppenheimer argues that continued settlement expansion is the biggest threat to the peace process (4). An editorial in the Daily Star presents a critique of Arab leaders (5). A Walid Awad opinion in Arab News puts forth the notion that an agreement between Palestinians and Israelis should be comprehensive and final and not a phased agreement (7). Shmuel Rosner blogs in Haaretz concerning the statement by evangelist John Hagee in response to recent accusations levelled at him by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, head of the Union for Reform Judaism (10).

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.

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