Arabs outraged by bloodshed in Gaza venting their anger at Egypt, as much as at Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Sarah El Deeb - December 30, 2008 - 12:00am


The Israeli bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip has unleashed outrage across the Middle East — but the anger is being vented as much against Egypt as it is at Israel. Protesters have attacked Egyptian embassies, accusing Cairo of helping Israel's longtime blockade of the territory and even giving a green light for the offensive — a sign of the gulf between an Arab public and some U.S.-allied governments that dislike Gaza's Hamas rulers.


Moderate Arab States Feel Popular Anger
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Robert Worth - December 30, 2008 - 12:00am


After four days of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, an outpouring of popular anger is putting pressure on American allies in the Arab world and appears to be worsening divisions in the region. The sharpest rhetorical attacks have been aimed at Egypt, which is widely seen as having aided the Israeli campaign by closing its border with Gaza.


Behind closed doors, U.S. seeks Israel exit strategy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Paul Richter - December 31, 2008 - 12:00am


While publicly declaring strong support for Israel, the Bush administration is increasingly nervous about the 4-day-old campaign in the Gaza Strip and is urging its ally to settle on a timetable and exit strategy, say foreign diplomats and Middle East experts close to the discussions. U.S. officials are concerned that the campaign could drag on without destroying Hamas, and might even bolster support for the militant group -- just as the 2006 Israeli campaign in Lebanon strengthened Hezbollah, they say.


Defiant Hamas Says It Can Outlast Israel as Gaza Strip Smolders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Saud Abu Ramadan, Jonathan Ferziger - December 31, 2008 - 12:00am


Amid the smoldering ruins of European-built ministries demolished by air raids, Hamas leaders say they are confident of their ability to outlast the Israeli military onslaught in the Gaza Strip. “Our people are willing to pay the price and resist this brutality,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a telephone interview from Gaza. “Israel will eventually weaken, and the popularity of Hamas will only grow.”


IAF bombs Gaza mosque being used as weapons storehouse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff - December 31, 2008 - 12:00am


The Israel Air Force on Wednesday evening bombed a mosque in a southern Gaza Strip which Hamas had been using to store part of its rocket arsenal. Shin Bet officials said that over the last few days, Palestinian militants have been seen carrying Katyusha and Qassam rockets, as well as a large supply of other weapons, around the vicinity of the mosque. The Shin Vet said that these weapons were destroyed in the IAF strike.


Israel set to maintain offensive for 'weeks'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Tobias Buck, Andrew England, Peggy Hollinger - December 31, 2008 - 12:00am


Israel said yesterday its military was ready for "weeks of action" in spite of growing diplomatic pressure and Arab anger over its bombardment of the Hamascontrolled Gaza Strip. The quartet of Middle East peace brokers - the United Nations, the US, Russia and the European Union - last night urged a ceasefire in Gaza and southern Israel. The UN said: "They called for an immediate ceasefire that would be fully respected." An emergency meeting of EU ministers in Paris was expected last night to call for a 48-hour truce to allow medical supplies through to Gaza's civilian population.


Israel Rejects 48-Hour Cease-Fire Plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner, Taghreed El-Khodary - January 1, 2009 - 12:00am


After five straight days of punishing air attacks, Israel rejected a proposal for a 48-hour cease-fire in its military onslaught in Gaza on Wednesday, saying it would maintain pressure on Hamas. But it did not rule out future diplomacy and was open to ways of increasing humanitarian aid. The decision was announced after a security cabinet meeting here.


December 30th

Israel’s air attacks against Gaza continue for a fourth day (4, 6, 7, 8, 9). Press speculation grows about the extent of the operation in the coming days and weeks (1, 2, 3). In the Los Angeles Times, Gershom Gorenberg argues that both Israel and Hamas could and should have avoided confrontation, while Daoud Kuttab warns in The Washington Post that Israel may have breathed new life into Hamas through the attacks and the Orlando Sentinel thinks the organization has at least gained in stature (12, 13, 10). Spencer Ackerman in the Washington Independent examines the challenge the violence in Gaza poses to Jewish American peace groups (14).

Progressive Jewish Groups See Test in Crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Independent
by Spencer Ackerman - December 30, 2008 - 12:00am


As the Israeli bombardment of Gaza enters its fourth day, there is no shortage of tests. The wisdom of Israeli strategy is being tested. The resilience of the Palestinian people is being tested. The ability of the U.S. and the international community to impose a ceasefire is being tested. And the might of the new progressive American Jewish infrastructure that emerged in 2008 — unapologetically pro-peace and pro-Israel — is undergoing its own test as well: How to effectively argue that an Israeli war is counterproductive to Israel’s long-term security while the bombs are falling.


Israel, Hamas and the seduction of blind force
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Gershom Gorenberg - December 30, 2008 - 12:00am


Reporting from Jerusalem — Asewage reservoir in the northern Gaza Strip was in danger of bursting, my morning paper reported last week. The sewage couldn't be pumped to new filtration ponds because of power shortages caused by Israeli restrictions on fuel supplies to the Hamas-ruled territory. If heavy rain -- or a stray rocket -- cracked the reservoir's earthen sides, a flood of filth would threaten lives and poison the surrounding land. The Haaretz reporter got the story by phone. For security reasons, Israel doesn't let its journalists enter Gaza.



American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017