The Leadership Vacuum In Washington
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by David Dumke - November 19, 2007 - 4:44pm

Barring a major development, the situation in the “Greater Middle East” — defined by the Bush administration as the vast region from Morocco to Pakistan — will continue to play itself out with minimal US involvement until the inauguration of a new US president in January 2009. The weakness of President Bush both at home and abroad comes at a troubling time when international leadership is direly needed to prevent the further deterioration, which could have catastrophic, lasting consequences for the region.

Don't Play Fatah Off Against Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - November 19, 2007 - 4:43pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' call Thursday for the Hamas "gang" to be ousted from Gaza is understandable, but misguided. Hamas are no angels, and their police's shooting of seven Palestinian demonstrators from Abbas' Fatah faction earlier this week during a pro-Fatah rally in Gaza is the sort of act that blackens their name. Yet for Abbas to refer to Hamas as a "gang" and ask for their ouster is only going to worsen the tensions between Palestinians, at a time when precisely the opposite is required.

What Do You Mean When You Say 'no'?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - November 19, 2007 - 4:42pm

A festive day for peace: Israel is planning to announce a freeze on construction in the settlements as compensation for refusing to discuss the core issues. The Palestinians are ecstatic at all the good-will gestures Israel is throwing their way. First came the release of prisoners, now a freeze on construction, and the prime minister has already spoken with the settler leaders and informed them of the decision. They said it was a "difficult meeting," as it always is, winking at each other deviously.

Blair Unveils Palestinian Schemes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
November 19, 2007 - 4:41pm

The envoy of the Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators, Tony Blair, has announced a series of economic projects to help boost the Palestinian economy. Mr Blair unveiled four major projects, including a sewage treatment plant in Gaza, an industrial park in Jericho and an industrial zone in Hebron. The former UK prime minister warned that without the hope of prosperity, politics would never succeed. His announcement comes a week before a peace conference in the US.

Peace Is Possible
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ian Black - (Special Report) November 19, 2007 - 4:40pm

Like so many Palestinians of his generation, Sari Nusseibeh looks back at years of struggle that have achieved precious little. His entire adult life has been spent in the shadow of conflict with Israel and it is difficult to find even a glimmer of optimism that it is going to be resolved any time soon.

Race To Clear Air For Mideast Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Tobias Buck, Daniel Dombey - November 19, 2007 - 4:38pm

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators face intense diplomatic activity this week in an attempt to bridge differences ahead of a US-sponsored peace meeting intended to bring an end to six decades of conflict. In an early reminder of the obstacles in their way, the two sides are struggling to draft a joint statement that would form the basis for the meeting at Annapolis and for later talks.

A History Of Nonviolence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The American Prospect
by Matthew Duss - November 19, 2007 - 4:34pm

Naim Ateek had just turned 11 when forces of the Haganah, the pre-Israel Zionist paramilitary organization, occupied his village of Beisan in Palestine. Days later, the villagers were informed that they were to be "evacuated," forcibly moved off land that Palestine's Jewish minority now claimed for its own state.

Top Donors Criticize Aipac
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - November 19, 2007 - 4:31pm

Two top donors to AIPAC are raising objections over its support for a congressional letter that urges the Bush administration to increase assistance to the Palestinian Authority. Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate ranked by Forbes as the third wealthiest American and the sixth wealthiest man in the world, told JTA he raised the issue in a phone call with Howard Kohr, the executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. An active Republican, Adelson likened AIPAC to a friend assisting Israel's suicide.

Us Pushes Israel On West Bank Settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Josef Federman - November 19, 2007 - 4:30pm

The U.S. is pressuring Israel to meet a long-standing obligation to freeze all West Bank settlement construction ahead of a high-profile Mideast conference, rejecting Israel's stance that it be allowed to continue building in existing communities, Israeli officials said Sunday. The officials said that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Cabinet would discuss the settlement issue on Monday, though it remained unclear whether the ministers would endorse any changes in policy.

Abbas Sends Team To U.s. To Narrow Conference Gaps
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Wafa Amr - November 19, 2007 - 4:25pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dispatched top aides to Washington on Sunday to try to narrow differences with Israel and ensure wide Arab participation in a U.S.-led peace conference. Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert plan to meet on Monday in Jerusalem for the last time before attending the conference on Palestinian statehood, which senior officials expect to convene in Annapolis, Maryland, on Nov. 26-27.

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