From Annapolis To Har Homa
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) December 12, 2007 - 5:44pm

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice demanded explanations from her Israeli counterpart, Tzipi Livni, last week about the plan to build another 300 apartments in the Har Homa neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Rice did not make do with posing a question to Livni; she hastened to go public with the Bush Administration's objections to the plan.

Two Non-states
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Opinion) December 12, 2007 - 5:40pm

Who says there is no cooperation between the Palestinian Authority/Fatah and Hamas? Indeed, ever since June the two sides have been working energetically, in a kind of pas de deux of demonstrative pirouettes, so that the Gaza Strip will become another quasi-state entity with its three governing authorities - executive, legislative and judiciary - separate from those in Ramallah. All three branches are acting outside the delegated powers of the PA president, with the help of a separate police force and a system of taxation, collection and other payments. Two non-states for one people.

Hamas - If We Can Kill Them, We Can Talk To Them
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - (Opinion) December 12, 2007 - 5:39pm

Call their bluff. Hamas this week inched one notch further toward some form of accommodation with a reality it cannot bring itself to stomach. Israel should do no less. In an open letter to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Ahmed Youssef, senior political advisor to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, wrote at the weekend that the Bush administration cannot at once "preach about exporting democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan and ignore the democratic process in Palestine."

Israel 60 Years On - Partition Or Apartheid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Gwynne Dyer - December 12, 2007 - 5:36pm

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was just back from the Annapolis summit where President George W. Bush tried to reboot the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. More importantly, November 29 was also the 60th anniversary of the United Nations vote that divided British-ruled Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. That promised Arab state still doesn’t exist, of course, but if the peace talks fail to produce it in the end, Olmert told the newspaper Haaretz, then Israel is “finished”.

The Middle East Needs A Lot, But Not More Weapons
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Raja Kamal - (Commentary) December 12, 2007 - 5:35pm

The United States Congress will soon debate the decision of the Bush administration to sell $20 billion in sophisticated weapons to several Arab countries. This package is being presented by the White House as a way of promoting stability in a Middle East threatened by Iran's ambitions and the rise of terrorism. Congress should flatly decline the sale on the grounds that arming the Arab world is neither in the best interest of the region nor that of the US in the long run.

Construction Threatens Mid East Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Telegraph
by Tim Butcher - December 12, 2007 - 5:33pm

The light in the night sky near Bethlehem this Christmas will be no heavenly portent but a safety beacon on a crane in a nearby Jewish community so controversial it threatens to derail the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Har Homa, largely overlooked on the world stage since construction began roughly ten years ago, has surged up the international agenda since Israeli authorities decided this week to build 307 new homes there.

Palestinians Demand Halt To Settlements As Peace Talks Begin
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by David Batty - December 12, 2007 - 5:29pm

The first formal Middle East peace negotiations in seven years got off to a tense start today with the Palestinian Authority demanding a halt to Israeli plans to build settlements on disputed territory. Palestinian negotiators said the planned construction in the Har Homa neighbourhood in disputed east Jerusalem, along with Israeli military activity in Gaza, threatened to undermine the new peace talks.

Hellish Journey Around Holy City
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Toronto Star
by Oakland Ross - December 12, 2007 - 5:27pm

It is not the volume of traffic, much less the issue of distance, that puts a pair of dents each day into the life of Mouse Hindi.I It is the city of Jerusalem. "There is no limit to the time it takes," says the 40-year-old Palestinian consulting engineer. "It could take two hours. It could take three hours. We don't know." The round-faced husband and father of five is talking about the daily journey he makes from his home in Beit Sahour near Bethlehem to his office in Ramallah.

Meet The Neo-cons' Neo-con
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Australian
by Greg Sheridan - December 12, 2007 - 5:23pm

Occasionally  you recognise that you are in the presence of human greatness. I had that experience this week in Jerusalem when I went to interview Natan Sharansky. Sharansky was one of the most famous dissidents and refuseniks of the Soviet Union. Refuseniks were Russian Jews who wanted to live as Jews and migrate to Israel. They were prevented from doing either of these things by the harsh, totalitarian Soviet system.

Creative Approaches Needed In Mideast Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Philadelphia Inquirer
by Eric Trager - (Opinion) December 12, 2007 - 5:21pm

The Annapolis Conference heralded a new strategy in Middle East peacemaking. Whereas conventional wisdom held that domestically strong Israeli and Arab leaders were a prerequisite for fruitful negotiations, Annapolis attempted to work backward, using negotiations to strengthen two very weak leaders.

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