January 28th

News Laundering
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Tariq Alhomayed - January 28, 2009 - 1:00am

What’s worse than money laundering in our Arab world is news laundering. This happens around the clock without any consequences or supervision. In the world of the internet, satellite channels, and SMS text messaging, it is clear to see that news laundering is widely popular and some media organs are contributing to this whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Egypt attacks Iran and allies in Arab world
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 28, 2009 - 1:00am

Egypt aired its grievances against Iran, the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and the Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah, saying they worked together in the fighting over Gaza to provoke conflict in the Middle East. "(They tried) to turn the region to confrontation in the interest of Iran, which is trying to use its cards to escape Western pressure ... on the nuclear file," Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in an interview with Orbit satellite channel broadcast Wednesday.

Peace Now: Israel settlement building accelerated in 2008
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
January 28, 2009 - 1:00am

Settlements and outposts in the West Bank expanded more quickly in 2008 than the previous year, a Peace Now report said Wednesday. According to the group, 1,257 new structures were built in settlements during 2008, compared to 800 in 2007, an increase of 57 percent. The group said in the report that building more than doubled in outposts, which unlike settlements are not recognized by the Israeli government. It says 261 structures were built in outposts, compared to 98 the year before.

George Mitchell and the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Gerry Adams - (Opinion) January 27, 2009 - 1:00am

In the crowds of Washington's Union Station last week, I bumped into George Mitchell. We were both in the city for Barack Obama's inauguration, but at that point there was only speculation that George might be made US special envoy for the Middle East – it wasn't until I returned to Ireland that the appointment was confirmed.

A Bibi-Barack Collision?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Creators Syndicate
by Pat Buchanan - (Opinion) January 27, 2009 - 1:00am

"Where there is no solution, there is no problem," geostrategist James Burnham once wryly observed. Ex-Sen. George Mitchell, the latest U.S. negotiator to take up the Palestine portfolio, may discover what it was that Burnham meant. For Israel's three-week war on Gaza, where Palestinians died at a rate of 100 to one to Israelis, appears to have been, like Israel's wars in Lebanon, another Pyrrhic victory for the Jewish state.

Abdullah II: The 5-State Solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Thomas L. Friedman - (Opinion) January 27, 2009 - 1:00am

In February 2002, I traveled to Saudi Arabia and interviewed the then crown prince, now king, Abdullah, at his Riyadh horse farm. I asked him why the next Arab summit wouldn’t just propose to Israel full peace and normalization of relations, by all 22 Arab states, for full withdrawal from all occupied lands and creation of a Palestinian state. Abdullah said that I had read his mind (“Have you broken into my desk?” he asked me) and that he was about to propose just that, which he later did, giving birth to the “Abdullah peace plan.”

At a Border Crossing, Drivers and Truckloads of Aid for Gaza Go Nowhere
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Michael Slackman - January 27, 2009 - 1:00am

France sent technical equipment to help Gazans draw water from the ground. The Swiss sent blankets and plastic tarps. Mercy Corps, a relief agency, sent 12 truckloads of food. And on Tuesday all of it, including dozens of other trucks carrying sugar, rice, flour, juice and baby formula, sat in the hot sun here going nowhere.

Gaza ceasefire of critical importance, says US envoy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ewen Macaskill, Rory McCarthy, Peter Walker - January 28, 2009 - 1:00am

A continued ceasefire in Gaza is of "critical importance", Barack Obama's Middle East peace envoy, George Mitchell said today, as Israeli jets bombed smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border amid the worst violence in the territory since a truce began 10 days ago. Mitchell arrived in Israel this afternoon after talks in Cairo with the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak. In Jerusalem, he held talks with the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, and was due to meet the prime minister, Ehud Olmert, before travelling to the West Bank to see the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

January 27th

In his first interview with Arabic television President Obama reaches out to the Muslim world and says that peace talks should resume (1). Israel launches fresh attacks into southern Gaza after an IDF soldier was killed by a bomb planted on the Gaza-Israel border (2). Newly appointed Mideast envoy George Mitchell is in Cairo on the first leg of his week-long tour of the region (3). The British Gaza appeal by the Disasters Emergency Commission raises record funds despite being refused airtime by the BBC (4). Egypt proposes a start date of February 22nd for Palestinian reconciliation talks (5). The situation in Gaza could complicate Pope Benedict XVI’s planned trip to Israel (6). Benjamin Netanyahu, along with a third of the Likud candidates, refuse to sign a loyalty oath ruling out the possibility of a Palestinian state (11).

Bibi won't rule out Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman - January 27, 2009 - 1:00am

Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu and three quarters of the Likud's candidates declined to sign a loyalty oath ruling out a Palestinian state that was distributed to all the parties on the Right. The oath, distributed by the Matot Arim organization, included a vow not to lend a hand to the formation of a Palestinian state. The National Union, Habayit Hayehudi, Israel Beiteinu and Shas signed the document. Shas chairman Eli Yishai signed the document on behalf of his party. Meir Porush was the only United Torah Judaism MK who made the pledge.

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