December 19th

Bush's Itinerary Includes Jerusalem, The West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
December 19, 2007 - 3:06pm

President Bush will make his first trip to Jerusalem and the West Bank next month to push Israel and the Palestinians toward peace, the White House announced yesterday. Bush also plans to stop during his nine-day trip in Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The trip, which begins Jan. 8, comes after a conference in Annapolis last month reenergized White House efforts toward assisting Israel and the Palestinians in forming an independent Palestinian homeland.

December 18th

Annapolis Gains Momentum
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - December 18, 2007 - 12:36pm

There is great public skepticism regarding the outcome of the Annapolis meeting. Many of the skeptics state that at the end of the day, it was little more than a photo-op for the principals - Bush, Olmert and Abbas - and that it produced no real substance. The failure of the parties to produce a joint statement that contained any content on the principles for resolving the core issues for permanent status, for some, points to the Annapolis meeting as a failure.

Roadblocks Counter Funding
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) December 18, 2007 - 12:35pm

When Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni declared in Paris on Sunday that "a developed Palestinian economy is in Israel's interest," we can assume that she meant that it is also in the interest of the Palestinians. After all, it is for the Palestinian, not the Israeli interest that more than 90 representatives of states and organizations gathered in order to express their willingness to contribute to the economic development of Palestine.

The Demographic Argument Is Inherently Racist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Hanan Ashrawi - (Interview) December 18, 2007 - 12:34pm

bitterlemons: Israel's demand to be recognized as a "Jewish state" at Annapolis caused an uproar among Palestinians. This doesn't seem like a new demand, so why the uproar?

Har Homa Is Not In Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by J.r. Almoslino - December 18, 2007 - 12:33pm

Israel announced a plan last week to build 307 new housing units in what most international media are calling "a Jewish neighborhood of East Jerusalem." Har Homa's white apartment blocs are draped on a hillside overlooking the city of Bethlehem, where I work. Like other West Bank settlements, it was erected on high ground, with the intention of intimidating the Palestinian population below. Spatially speaking, Har Homa is no more in Jerusalem than Bethehem itself is.

It Will Take More Than Money To End The Plight Of The Palestinian People
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) December 18, 2007 - 12:31pm

Monday's gathering in Paris of donor countries to support the widely hoped-for establishment of a Palestinian state was necessary but not sufficient. Without the funds that were pledged, any form of Palestinian independence that might be negotiated as part of a peace agreement to end the Israeli occupation would be a flimsy thing indeed. The more important litmus tests are yet to come, however, and each demands unprecedented levels of seriousness from both the principals and their American mediators.

Annapolis Unsettled
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
(Editorial) December 18, 2007 - 12:30pm

The hopes raised by last month’s Annapolis conference on Middle East peace, at which Israel and the Palestinians undertook to negotiate a solution to the conflict by the end of next year, are already in danger of being dashed. Only days afterwards, the Israeli government gave the go-ahead to complete work on arguably the most contentious of its settlements on occupied Arab land.

Israel Alone Can Offer Something All The World's Money Cannot Buy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Bronwen Maddox - (Commentary) December 18, 2007 - 12:28pm

Today's conference in Paris, a drive to breathe life into the Palestinian economy, is as easily derided as last month's summit in Annapolis, but it is worth much more.

Blair's Uphill Battle To Revive Palestinian Economy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ian Black - (Special Report) December 18, 2007 - 12:26pm

It was hard to avoid the obvious seasonal message when Tony Blair, briefly playing the tourist, stayed overnight in Bethlehem recently: yes, there was room at the inn in the little West Bank town, a rare public vote of confidence in prospects for the Palestinian economy. Britain's former prime minister has been travelling incessantly since becoming the representative of the "Quartet" of Middle East peacemakers in the summer, and generally keeping a low profile.

Palestinian Aid: Where Will It Go?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
December 18, 2007 - 12:25pm

As donors meet in Paris to pledge aid to the Palestinian Authority, BBC Middle East analyst Roger Hardy explains the steps being taken to make sure the money will reach those who need it most. The idea is simple - to use a massive injection of outside aid to consolidate the fledgling peace process launched in Annapolis in November. But how will the aid get to those who need it? And how will it be spent?

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