May 27th

Turkish Fm: Israel, Syria Forming 'common Ground'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
May 27, 2008 - 6:13pm

Turkey said on Tuesday the indirect peace talks it is mediating between Israel and Syria could be upgraded to face-to-face encounters if progress is made. Israel and Syria announced last week they had begun a dialogue with the aim of a comprehensive peace, the first confirmation of negotiations between the long-time enemies in eight years. "A common ground is now being formed and that common ground is considered to be satisfactory by both sides," Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan told a news conference in Brussels.

Ehud Olmert Received Money In Envelopes, Says Key Witness
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Hider - May 27, 2008 - 6:12pm

An American entrepreneur described to an Israeli court yesterday how he gave wads of cash in envelopes to Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister, who is now at the centre of a bribery investigation. Morris Talansky, 75, a businessman and rabbi who was giving his deposition for the prosecution, also spoke of the Prime Minister’s taste for exclusive hotels, expensive watches and first-class air travel.

Palestinian Business Projects More Optimistic Reality
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Tobias Buck - May 27, 2008 - 6:10pm

Anywhere else in the region, such a conference would barely have raised an eyebrow. There were men in suits discussing deals and swapping business cards, company stands showing off little models of construction projects, investors hurrying to the next lecture about the future of the local financial services industry. Yet here, in the occupied Palestinian territories, the smooth normality of a humdrum business event struck many as nothing short of spectacular.

A Firmer Hand
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Newsweek
by Dan Ephron - (Interview) May 27, 2008 - 6:02pm

Thanks in part to the influence of the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC, the U.S. government rarely gets tough with Israel, even on issues like Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank, which Washington views as harmful to the peace process. A new lobby group formed last month, J Street, wants to change that. Founded by a number of liberal Jews, J Street wants to see the administration press Israel not only for an end to settlement construction, but also a real peace effort between Israel and Syria and possibly talks between Israel and Hamas.

Misreading The Arab Media
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Lawrence Pintak, Jeremy Ginges And Nicholas Felton - (Opinion) May 27, 2008 - 6:00pm

“ARABIC TV does not do our country justice,” President Bush complained in early 2006, calling it a purveyor of “propaganda” that “just isn’t right, it isn’t fair, and it doesn’t give people the impression of what we’re about.”

The Success Of The Investment Conference Gives Momentum To The Efforts To Remove Israeli Travel Restrictions In The West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-ayyam
May 27, 2008 - 5:59pm

[Translation by Mike Husseini of ATFP] Ziad Asali, president of the American Task Force on Palestine and a member of the American presidential delegation to the Palestinian Investment Conference, told Al-Ayyam that the participation of an American presidential delegation in the conference is both “unique and special.”

May 26th

Continued coverage of the Palestine Investment Conference offers a host of perspectives, including an ATFP translation of an interview with Dr. Ziad Asali in Al-Ayyam Daily (1) (4) (9). A New York Times opinion piece suggests that Arab media sources could be a potentially powerful ally in the Middle East (2). The J Street lobby is looked to as a counterbalancing influence for AIPAC in a Newsweek interview (3). Peace talks continue between Israel and Syria in Turkey (6) (7). Pending Israeli demolition in the West Bank threatens 3,000 Palestinian homes (10).

May 22nd

Rice: Israeli-palestinian Track Most Likely To Produce Results
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
May 22, 2008 - 4:52pm

Bush administration officials were cool to an announcement by Israel and Syria that they have resumed indirect peace talks and made clear the U.S. remains focused on the Israeli-Palestinian track that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said is "more mature" and more likely at the moment to produce results. Rice's brief three-paragraph statement did not address the announcement of Israeli-Syrian peace contacts, which the Bush administration has expressed reservations about in the past.

Ilo Says Growing Gap Between Peace Talks, Impact On Palestinians Daily Lives
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (kuna)
May 22, 2008 - 4:52pm

A senior International Labor Organization (ILO) official Philippe Egger said Thursday that a new ILO report evokes the concerns of the labor organization about the danger of a growing gap between peace talks, which have acquired a new momentum following the Annapolis Conference in November 2007, and the continuing 'facts on the ground'.

'no Agreement On Gaza Truce’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
May 22, 2008 - 4:50pm

Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas still differ on terms for a Gaza ceasefire that Egypt is mediating, a Palestinian official familiar with the talks said on Wednesday. Egypt has been trying to broker a truce to end violence that could derail US-backed peace negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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