February 25th

U.S. Middle East envoy takes second trip to region
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 24, 2009 - 1:00am

U.S. special Middle East envoy George Mitchell has embarked on his second trip to the region to further President Barack Obama's pledge to work for Arab-Israeli peace, the State Department said on Tuesday. Mitchell was in London on Tuesday for talks with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and would also visit the Turkish capital Ankara, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Israel and the West Bank before returning to Washington on March 4.

Obama ties Israel talks to ‘new era of engagement’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - February 24, 2009 - 1:00am

President Obama coupled his calls for expanded diplomatic outreach to his quest for peace for Israel and its neighbors.

World Agenda: why the Middle East could thwart Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by Richard Beeston - February 25, 2009 - 1:00am

He has dispatched envoys, offered his hand in friendship to old enemies and even raised the matter last night in his first big speech to Congress on the state of the nation. But no matter how hard Barack Obama tries, the Middle East is proving even more challenging a problem than he could have reasonably expected. In the space of a few days the mess he inherited from George Bush has got a lot messier.

Musical Show of Unity Upsets Many in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - February 24, 2009 - 1:00am

Achinoam Nini, a singer and peace activist, has long stirred controversy here. Known abroad by her stage name, Noa, she has recorded with Arab artists, refused to perform in the occupied West Bank, condemned Israeli settlements there and had concerts canceled because of bomb threats from the extreme right.

Educating the Gap
Speech by Ziad Asali at Columbia University - April 20, 2007 - 12:00am

The following speech was given as part of a “Night of Arab-American Culture, Identity, and Solidarity’ at Columbia University. The event was sponsored by the Arab Students Association at Columbia University, the Young Arab Leaders Association at the Columbia Business School, the Rutgers University Palestinian American Organization, and United Arabs at New York University.

A win for women's rights
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Diaa Hadid, Nasser Shiyoukhi - February 25, 2009 - 1:00am

The Islamic courts were among the last male-only bastions in Palestinian society, where women have been presidential candidates, police officers and even suicide bombers. Now two stern-looking young women in Muslim head scarves and long black robes have smashed through the thick glass ceiling. Khuloud Faqih, 34, and Asmahan Wuheidi, 31, made history when they became the first female Islamic judges in the Palestinian territories.

Interview With Mr. Detlev Mehlis, The First Commissioner of UNIIIC In The Assassination Of Former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Mr. Rafik Hariri
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - February 25, 2009 - 1:00am

Detlev Mehlis, Former Commissioner of United Nations International Independence Investigation Commission in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others, stressed that the tribunal which commences its work on Sunday, March 1st, is the "raised finger of the international community to anyone who considers achieving his political goals in Lebanon through assassinations." In his exclusive statement to Al-Hayat, he added that "I hope one day this raised finger will turn into a finger pointing at the perpetrators."

Chas Freeman for NIC: Lots at Stake
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Nation
by Robert Dreyfuss - February 25, 2009 - 1:00am

A thunderous, coordinated assault against one of President Obama's intelligence picks is now underway. It started in a few right-wing blogs, migrated to semi-official mouthpieces like the Jewish Telegraph Agency, and today it reached the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, in the form of the scurrilous piece by Gabriel Schoenfeld, a resident scholar at some outfit called "the Witherspoon Institute."

'Palestine's' Next Stage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Peter Marks - February 25, 2009 - 1:00am

George Ibrahim tugs down at the top of his turtleneck and points to the bare skin of his throat. "This," he says in accented English, "is what kasaba means in Arabic. Center of breathing. Center of life."

Veteran Mideast negotiator will be Clinton's Iran advisor
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Paul Richter - February 25, 2009 - 1:00am

Reporting from Washington -- Veteran Mideast peace negotiator Dennis B. Ross, who was widely expected to be named special envoy to Iran, has been given a less ambitious mission as the Obama administration continues to weigh how best to deal with the Islamic Republic. President Obama named prominent negotiators to represent the administration in the Middle East and South Asia, and Ross was expected to be given a corresponding assignment for Iran.

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