December 28th

With Shalit On Table, Israel Weighs Ceasefire With Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Leslie Susser - December 28, 2007 - 2:32pm

Although they are not talking to each other directly, Israel and Hamas may be about to strike a deal that would include a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of the abducted Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Rice\'s History Lessons
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Herald Tribune
by Daniel Levy - (Opinion) December 28, 2007 - 2:29pm

With the Annapolis conference and the Paris fund-raising effort to aid the Palestinians behind us, the Middle East peace process is now in need of constant vigilance. President George W. Bush will visit the region in January, but it is Condoleezza Rice who will be looked upon to provide a guiding hand. The new peace effort is very much her baby. A look at the war in Lebanon last summer, and Rice's management of it, provides some clues to the challenges ahead.

Mideast Peace Talks Go Nowhere
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Ken Ellingwood - December 28, 2007 - 2:27pm

Meeting for the second time this month as part of a new U.S.-launched peace effort, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators Monday bogged down again over familiar issues: proposed Israeli construction in areas the Palestinians claim for a future state and Israel's demand that the Palestinians crack down on armed groups.

Addressing Atfp Gala, Undersecretary Of State Burns Stresses U.s. Interest In Palestinian State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Washington Report On Middle East Affairs
December 28, 2007 - 2:26pm

THE AMERICAN TASK Force on Palestine (ATFP) held its second annual gala Oct. 17 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, DC. The theme was a hopeful one: “Choosing Peace, Embracing Hope: Honoring the Contributions of Palestinian Americans.”

Israel Rejects Hamas Overture, And Presses Housing Construction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - December 28, 2007 - 2:18pm

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel on Sunday rejected overtures by Hamas, the militant Islamic group that rules Gaza, for discussions about a temporary cease-fire. At the same time, Mr. Olmert’s government raised the ire of Palestinian representatives from the West Bank, with whom Israel is embarking on negotiations for a permanent peace, by seeking budget approval to build more housing for Jewish residents in areas that the Palestinians claim for their future state.

Settlement Dispute Stalls Mideast Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous - December 28, 2007 - 2:16pm

Israel is considering easing criteria for freeing Palestinian prisoners, a move one Israeli official said on Monday could pave the way for the release of Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouthi. Israel's deputy defense minister, Matan Vilnai, said Barghouthi, a Palestinian uprising leader from Fatah and a possible successor to President Mahmoud Abbas, could be a candidate for release. Also on Monday, a second round of peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams were bogged down in a dispute over settlement building near Jerusalem.

Bethlehem Basks In Calm And Cheer
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Dalia Nammari - December 28, 2007 - 2:15pm

Encouraged by renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Christian pilgrims from around the world converged on Jesus's traditional birthplace Monday to celebrate Christmas -- a palpable contrast to the sparse crowds of recent years. The diverse crowd included festive American tourists, clergymen in brown flowing robes and Palestinian scouts wearing kilts and playing bagpipes.

December 21st

Constructing The Defenses Of Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Richard Jones - December 21, 2007 - 3:40pm

The American poet and public figure Archibald MacLeish once wrote that "since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed." These words, subsequently incorporated into the preamble of UNESCO's 1945 constitution, remain as relevant today as they were when they were penned during the waning days of World War II.

Start With The Unmanned Roadblocks!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Daniel Gavron - December 21, 2007 - 3:39pm

This week's request from French President Nicholas Sarkozy, made at the conference of nations donating money to the Palestinian Authority, that Israel remove the roadblocks in the West Bank is hardly new. World Bank reports have been saying for years that the roadblocks are a major impediment to Palestinian economic development. Tony Blair, the Quartet's special envoy, one of whose briefs is to help develop the Palestinian economy, has also made the same point several times.

Palestinian Statehood Is The Key
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Tanvir Ahmed Khan - (Opinion) December 21, 2007 - 3:37pm

Two important events have taken place in quick succession and yet a pall of uncertainty hangs over a possible route to a viable two-state solution in Palestine. Implicit in both events - the largely attended meeting in Annapolis, Maryland on November 26-27 and the just concluded donors conference in Paris - is a fresh recognition by the international community that in the final analysis the denial of Palestinian aspirations for statehood is the real locus of instability in the region.

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