March 25th

Bad For The Economy, Bad For Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) March 25, 2008 - 5:56pm

While economists are puzzling over the global financial crisis that started in the US and is most dramatically illustrated by the fall in the value of the US dollar, the effect in this region is massively and disproportionately felt. Most countries in the region either have their currencies directly tied to the dollar or are heavily invested in economic relations with the US.

Israelis Oppose Withdrawal From West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Angus Reid Global Monitor
March 25, 2008 - 5:55pm

The majority of people in Israel are against continuing a process of dismantling Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, according to a poll by the Mutagim Institute published in the Jerusalem Post. 64.9 per cent of respondents oppose withdrawing from Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank.

Israel Backs Larger Deployment Of Palestinian Forces
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous - March 25, 2008 - 5:54pm

Israel said on Tuesday it would allow up to 600 members of a Palestinian security force trained in Jordan under a U.S. program to be deployed in a West Bank city once considered a hotbed of militant activity. Israel hopes the Defence Ministry decision, announced ahead of a weekend visit by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, will help blunt Western and Palestinian complaints that it was not doing enough to bolster U.S.-backed peace talks and a Palestinian "law and order" campaign in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinians And Israelis Call For Stepped Up International Support To Achieve Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 25, 2008 - 5:47pm

The Palestinians and Israelis called Tuesday for stepped up international support to achieve peace, especially from the U.N. Security Council. In separate speeches to the council, the Palestinian U.N. observer Riyad Mansour and Israel's U.N. Ambassador Dan Gillerman said their leaders' agreement last November to reach a peace settlement by the end of the year needs greater backing from the international community if it is to work.

Saudi King Calls For Interfaith Dialogue
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Donna Abu-nasr And Abdullah Shihri - March 25, 2008 - 5:46pm

King Abdullah is calling for a dialogue among Muslims, Christians and Jews, the first such proposal from this strictly Muslim kingdom at a time of mounting tensions between followers of Islam and those of other religions. In a speech late Monday, Abdullah said the country's top clerics gave him the green light to pursue his idea. Their backing is crucial in a religiously conservative society that expects decisions taken by its rulers to adhere to Islam's tenets.

So You Wanna Be A Hizballah Fighter?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Andrew Lee Butters - March 25, 2008 - 5:45pm

Hizballah's state-within-the-Lebanese-state -- its hospitals, schools, banking system and even its consumer goods stores -- is a closed society that's off-limits to outsiders. But no part of the structure is more closed and more secret than the military wing, access to which is extremely limited for an American journalist such as myself.

March 24th

Olmert's Agenda
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Moshe Arens - (Opinion) March 24, 2008 - 6:05pm

Who says that our prime minister does not have an agenda? It is true that on occasion Olmert has said that there is no need for the prime minister to have an agenda - he simply needs to do his job. It is also true that since he came into office, Olmert has adopted and discarded agendas whenever it suited him. First there was "convergence," then victory over Hezbollah, and then Annapolis. He feels that the mantle of the man dedicated to bringing peace to Israel suits him, and that he will not let anything, no matter what, get in his way.

The Vision Of An Arab-free Knesset
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shahar Ilan - (Opinion) March 24, 2008 - 6:03pm

MK Zevulun Orlev's rage was not provoked by last week's pogrom at Jabel Mukkaber, where right-wing protesters attempted to storm the house of the terrorist behind the Mercaz Harav attack; rather, the National Religious Party lawmaker's anger was sparked by a remark made by Balad chairman MK Jamal Zahalka, who claimed Jerusalem was occupied land and that he refused to recognize a law stating otherwise.

Apply Merkel's Lesson In The Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) March 24, 2008 - 6:02pm

It has been a busy week - the fifth anniversary of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, Osama bin Laden's resurfacing with another audio tape threatening Western targets, sort-of elections in Iran, see-sawing global stock and commodity markets, a dramatic presidential primary contest in the United States, Egyptian-facilitated diplomacy on the Palestinian front, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel's official visit to Israel.

Top Palestinian Official Says Fatah Signed Deal Due To Mixup
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
March 24, 2008 - 6:00pm

Fatah signed the Yemeni-sponsored proposal for reconciliation with Hamas because of a mixup, a top Palestinian official said on Monday. The terms of the Yemeni deal, which was signed on Sunday, include rival factions Fatah and Hamas agreeing on the goal of uniting in a single Palestinian government. Senior Fatah official, former Palestinian Prime Minister Azzam Al Ahmad, signed the proposal on Fatah’s behalf, but top Palestinian negotiator, Ahmed Qureia suggested on Monday that this decision was hasty.

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