On America's Strength And Weakness
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shlomo Avineri - December 13, 2007 - 1:07pm

All that the participants in the Annapolis conference agreed upon was to begin negotiations on several parallel channels. It is clear the results will depend, to a large extent, on the United States' ability to navigate these moves. In this context, it is worth trying to recall where in the past the U.S. was successful in its diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, and where it failed. From the point of view of processes and events from past decades, the U.S. is successful in the Middle East if one of two scenarios is in place. When lacking, the U.S. fails.

World Bank: Pa Economy Depends On Mobility
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - December 13, 2007 - 1:06pm

A report released today by the World Bank warns that even if the donor countries meet all of the PA's demands for aid, the Palestinian economy will continue to deteriorate if Israel does not alter mobility and trade restrictions in the West Bank. The dire message comes ahead of the Pledging Conference to the Palestinian Authority next Monday in Paris.

No Peace Without Justice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
December 13, 2007 - 1:05pm

Negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis started yesterday under a cloud. Understandably, both sides preferred to keep their talks as low-key as possibly, choosing a secret location in Jerusalem rather than, as expected, the King David Hotel [where Jewish terrorists once killed British soldiers]. One suspects that this decision came at the behest of the Palestinian team who could hardly afford to be seen grinning and backslapping at that place while Palestinians were being killed in Gaza and yet more land is set to be confiscated in the West Bank.

How They Stole The Bomb
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - December 13, 2007 - 1:04pm

It was like an atom bomb falling on Israel. The earth shook. Our political and military leaders were all in shock. The headlines screamed with rage. What happened? A real catastrophe: the American intelligence community, comprising 16 different agencies, reached a unanimous verdict: already in 2003, the Iranians terminated their efforts to produce a nuclear bomb, and they have not resumed them since. Even if they change their mind in the future, they will need at least five years to achieve their aim.

New Media Dodge Mid-east Censors
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
by Robin Lustig - (Special Report) December 13, 2007 - 1:03pm

It's never easy writing about media freedom. Even in countries where there is no official censorship, all reporters know there will always be some restraints on what they can say - editors need to be persuaded, owners need to be kept happy, the law has to be obeyed.

Angry Start To Palestinian Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald Macintyre - December 13, 2007 - 1:02pm

The first formal Israeli Palestinian negotiating process for seven years made an acrimonious start yesterday in the shadow of plans for new Jewish housing in Arab East Jerusalem and the threat of military escalation in Gaza. Palestinian negotiators used the first session since the international Middle East conference in Annapolis to express their outrage over plans for an expansion of the settlement of Har Homa - already criticised by the US, EU and UK government.

Thanks, But No Thanks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Samih Khalidi - (Commentary) December 13, 2007 - 1:01pm

The Palestinian state has now become the universal standard for all solutions to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The international community applauds the concept. President Bush proudly proclaims it as his "vision". The Israelis have come to it belatedly, after years of steadfast refusal and rejection.

Politics: U.s. Jews Tilt Rightwards On Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Jim Lobe - December 13, 2007 - 12:59pm

U.S. Jews appear to have become more opposed both to Israel's making key concessions in renewed peace talks with Palestinians and to the U.S. carrying out a military attack against Iran's nuclear facilities, according to the latest in an annual series of surveys of Jewish opinion released here this week by the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

Prerequisites For Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Baltimore Sun
by Mustafa Barghouthi - December 13, 2007 - 12:58pm

As one who for decades has supported a two-state solution and the nonviolent struggle for Palestinian rights, I view the recent conference in Annapolis with a great deal of skepticism - and a glimmer of hope. Seven years with no negotiations - and increasing numbers of Israeli settlers, an economic blockade in Gaza and an intricate network of roadblocks and checkpoints stifling movement in the West Bank - have led us to despair and distrust. Any commitment must be made not only to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008 but also to end Israel's occupation.

Insider Account Of Peacemaking Details History Of Misguided Diplomacy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - December 13, 2007 - 12:56pm

As negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians reached their peak at the Camp David summit of 2000, the Clinton administration was facing such a shortage of manpower that a translator who had no diplomatic experience was drafted to fulfill diplomatic missions in the most delicate moment of the negotiation process.

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