February 20th

Inside Track: Nato’s West Bank Nightmare
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National Interest
by Ted Galen Carpenter - (Opinion) February 20, 2008 - 6:49pm

Washington is sending up a trial balloon about stationing NATO troops as peacekeepers on the West Bank. The Jerusalem Post reports that former NATO supreme commander General James Jones, now the Bush administration’s special envoy to the Middle East, is floating the idea to various European countries.

Fayad To 'post': 2008 Peace Deal In Peril
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - February 20, 2008 - 6:48pm

If Israel and the Palestinians don't change their behavior faster in the West Bank, they will fail to finalize a peace agreement in 2008, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. He spoke with the Post briefly in the aftermath of a rare address to the annual Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which is meeting in Jerusalem this week. "There must be a greater focus. What we need to do is to pay close attention to the road map," said Fayad.

Jihadi Regime
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Walid Phares - (Opinion) February 20, 2008 - 6:46pm

As Americans debate whhich presidential candidate is best to confront the jihadists or at least preempt their offensives worldwide, the latter almost seized a key African country for the forthcoming Darfur peace missions.

For Palestinians, The Power Of Mass Non-violence Would Be Undeniable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Jonathan Freedland - (Opinion) February 20, 2008 - 6:45pm

Now that Fidel Castro has taken the carriage clock, international affairs has all too few fixed points of continuity. Her Majesty the Queen is still in place. The King of Thailand has been on the throne since 1946. Otherwise one has to turn to the Middle East for reassurance that some things never change. Fly-by-nights like Castro may come and go, but the Israel-Palestine conflict will, it seems, always be with us.

Abbas And Olmert Struggle To Move Talks Forward
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - February 20, 2008 - 6:42pm

The Israeli and Palestinian leaders met here on Tuesday amid growing dissonance over the content of their talks and the kind of agreement they are trying to achieve. The prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, met in the evening at Mr. Olmert’s official residence, first accompanied by their negotiating teams and then alone, a spokesman for Mr. Olmert said.

February 19th

Who's He Kidding?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) February 19, 2008 - 6:48pm

Essentially, the Sderot residents are a new version of "the victims of peace." Government spokesmen explain that an invasion of the Gaza Strip may strike a fatal blow to Mahmoud Abbas, the partner, because peace negotiations with the West Bank Palestinian leadership cannot take place under the shadow of scenes of hundreds of Palestinian casualties caused by an Israeli invasion of the Strip.

Intifada Redux
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) February 19, 2008 - 6:47pm

The intifada is back. Maybe not in full force, but the sights we saw last weekend suddenly brought us back 20 years. Israel Defense Forces bulldozers blocked the main entrance to the village of Azoun. Its roads were strewn with stones; Molotov cocktails were thrown; the IDF distributed threatening fliers; a curfew was imposed; and dozens of young men gathered on streetcorners, slingshots in hand, waiting for IDF jeeps - just as then.

Israel Says 'no'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Antiwar
by Ran Hacohen - February 19, 2008 - 6:45pm

On Jan. 23 Ha'aretz readers were utterly embarrassed. Just as the quality paper was printing its top headline, based on Israel's omniscient "security sources" – "New Israeli Policy in Gaza: Border Crossings Will Stay Closed" – the border crossings between Gaza and Egypt were being opened; a few hours later, they didn't exist anymore. Once again, the regional power was caught in surprise; Hamas won by breaking the siege.

Shoot Or Talk?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) February 19, 2008 - 6:44pm

It's no coincidence that tensions between Israel and both Hizballah and Hamas are escalating. Israel confronts these militant Islamist movements on two of its borders. Their activities are closely linked to Iran's aggressive drive to expand its regional influence and Syria's role as henchman.

Kouchner Believes Israelis Heard Him On Settlements, Palestinian Issues
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (kuna)
February 19, 2008 - 6:41pm

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who returned February 17 after a two-day visit to the Palestinian territories and Israel, believes that he was heard by Israel when he brought up a number of important issues relative to the peace process and Palestinian development, officials here said.

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