All's Quiet On The Golan Heights, For Now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from McClatchy News
by Dion Nissenbaum - October 5, 2007 - 4:21pm

  Deep, freshly carved military trenches cut through rocky pastures filled with Israeli cows. Green Israeli army jeeps zip along the narrow mountain roads that parallel the Syrian border. United Nations patrols in white SUVs rumble along uneven dirt roads that run among empty Israeli tank positions and rolling fields stretching northeast toward Damascus. For decades, this 45-mile border has been one of Israel's quieter ones. These days, however, many Israelis are wondering if this is where the next war will start.

Pre-summit Accord To Cover Only Points Of Clear Agreement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff, Barak Ravid, Aluf Benn - October 5, 2007 - 4:19pm

The joint statement to be formulated by Israel and the Palestinians ahead of the regional meeting in Annapolis next month may include references to the core issues of the final-status agreement. However, such references would be non-committal, and the statement will deal only with issues that enjoy clear agreement. Israeli sources say the conference has been set for November 26. Sources in Jerusalem said the joint statement will be "significant enough but general enough to avoid a blow-up and a crisis."

Order Of Things
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) October 5, 2007 - 4:13pm

The Syrian president said that his country will not attend the November peace conference on the Palestinian question, called for by US President George Bush, unless the occupation of the Golan Heights is also an item on the agenda. On the one hand this is understandable, since an end to the Arab-Israeli conflicts cannot be reached as long as peace efforts are not comprehensive; in other words, talks must be extended to the occupied Syrian territory for any regional peace agreement to be lasting.

Here We Go Again: Making Much Noise But Very Little Sense
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) October 5, 2007 - 4:10pm

The US government announced a few days ago that anyone invited to a planned Middle East peace conference next month will have to abide by a set of conditions (without stating that those rules are largely written by the United States and Israel). A few days later, a Syrian government daily, Tishrin, charged that Washington seeks to destabilize the Middle East and said a US-sponsored conference was unlikely to make any progress toward peace.

Palestinians Struggle In Dire Straits
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
by Martin Asser - October 5, 2007 - 4:07pm

Hassan is 53, but the lines on his face suggest a man at least 20 years older; when asked to describe what his life is like he uses a single word: "al-mawt" (death). He is a charcoal-burner in the blackened, smoke-filled valleys around Yabad, in the northern West Bank. It takes two weeks of low-oxygen incineration to make charcoal from the carefully packed mounds of citrus wood covered in cinders. The burners must constantly tend the mounds, applying wet straw to maintain the temperature for producing charcoal.

Haidar Abdel Shafi
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
October 5, 2007 - 4:05pm

IN THE spring of 1948, around March as he remembered it, Haidar Abdel Shafi found himself at nightfall, waiting, in a small mud hut by the side of the main road in Deir al-Balah. Around him stretched groves of olive and orange trees. Palestine, in those days, was a community of peasants and landowners; a man was judged by how many trees he had. Haidar's father had had none, preferring—as he told the astonished neighbours—to save money for schooling his six children rather than buy plantations.

Ok, Here We Go, The Israel Lobby
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Daniel Levy - (Blog) October 5, 2007 - 4:02pm

I have not commented thus far on the publication of the Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer book on the Israel lobby. The reason is simple – I agreed to review the book for Haaretz and so have waited for that to be published. Well the review came out yesterday in the monthly Haartetz book supplement and should be on the website any day (it is being delayed by the Succot holiday). I have though decided to post that review here below. (I will provide the Haaretz link once it’s available.)

J'accuse, Sort Of
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Slate
by Michael Kinsley - (Opinion) October 5, 2007 - 3:56pm

Rep. James P. Moran of Virginia, already a locally famous foot-in-mouther, went national last week by declaring at an anti-war rally that "if it was not for the strong support of the Jewish community," the war against Iraq would not be happening. He said that Jewish "leaders" are "influential enough" to reverse the policy "and I think they should."

Lobbying Degree Zero
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Nation
by Daniel Lazare - (Opinion) October 5, 2007 - 3:51pm

On March 23, 2006, John Mearsheimer, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt, a professor of international affairs at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, published a lengthy article called "The Israel Lobby" in the London Review of Books. Their thesis: a group of pro-Israel activists and propagandists is actively manipulating policy in Washington to benefit the Jewish state at the expense of the United States' national interests.

Bush Says 'very Optimistic' On Mideast Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 5, 2007 - 3:39pm

President George W. Bush said in comments aired on Friday he was "very optimistic" a Palestinian state could be set up alongside Israel and that next month's Middle East conference could lead towards peace in the region. The U.S.-sponsored conference is due to take place in the Washington area in mid to late November, although there are doubts over how far it will go towards ending decades of conflict and uncertainty over which Arab states will attend.

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