May 27th

A Firmer Hand
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Newsweek
by Dan Ephron - (Interview) May 27, 2008 - 6:02pm

Thanks in part to the influence of the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC, the U.S. government rarely gets tough with Israel, even on issues like Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank, which Washington views as harmful to the peace process. A new lobby group formed last month, J Street, wants to change that. Founded by a number of liberal Jews, J Street wants to see the administration press Israel not only for an end to settlement construction, but also a real peace effort between Israel and Syria and possibly talks between Israel and Hamas.

Misreading The Arab Media
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Lawrence Pintak, Jeremy Ginges And Nicholas Felton - (Opinion) May 27, 2008 - 6:00pm

“ARABIC TV does not do our country justice,” President Bush complained in early 2006, calling it a purveyor of “propaganda” that “just isn’t right, it isn’t fair, and it doesn’t give people the impression of what we’re about.”

The Success Of The Investment Conference Gives Momentum To The Efforts To Remove Israeli Travel Restrictions In The West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-ayyam
May 27, 2008 - 5:59pm

[Translation by Mike Husseini of ATFP] Ziad Asali, president of the American Task Force on Palestine and a member of the American presidential delegation to the Palestinian Investment Conference, told Al-Ayyam that the participation of an American presidential delegation in the conference is both “unique and special.”

May 22nd

Rice: Israeli-palestinian Track Most Likely To Produce Results
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
May 22, 2008 - 4:52pm

Bush administration officials were cool to an announcement by Israel and Syria that they have resumed indirect peace talks and made clear the U.S. remains focused on the Israeli-Palestinian track that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said is "more mature" and more likely at the moment to produce results. Rice's brief three-paragraph statement did not address the announcement of Israeli-Syrian peace contacts, which the Bush administration has expressed reservations about in the past.

Ilo Says Growing Gap Between Peace Talks, Impact On Palestinians Daily Lives
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (kuna)
May 22, 2008 - 4:52pm

A senior International Labor Organization (ILO) official Philippe Egger said Thursday that a new ILO report evokes the concerns of the labor organization about the danger of a growing gap between peace talks, which have acquired a new momentum following the Annapolis Conference in November 2007, and the continuing 'facts on the ground'.

'no Agreement On Gaza Truce’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
May 22, 2008 - 4:50pm

Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas still differ on terms for a Gaza ceasefire that Egypt is mediating, a Palestinian official familiar with the talks said on Wednesday. Egypt has been trying to broker a truce to end violence that could derail US-backed peace negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

No Feathers In Bush's Hat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) May 22, 2008 - 4:49pm

The US President George W. Bush has just returned from his five-day Middle East trip without any feathers in his hat, primarily because of his tunnel vision regarding the war-or-peace issues in that region. More so, his lacklustre pronouncements in his waning days at the White House were by and large inarticulate, narrowly focused and out-of-line. He hurt people in the region as much as he has disappointed, if not, embarrassed his fellow Americans, including the Democratic Party's presumptive presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama.

What's Pushing Old Foes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - (Opinion) May 22, 2008 - 4:48pm

The diminishing fortunes of the Bush administration and the resurgent fortunes of Hezbollah may be behind the surprising announcement that Syria and Israel are renewing peace talks. The announcements Wednesday by the two countries, which said Israel and Syria would launch talks in Ankara under Turkish auspices, came despite longstanding U.S. opposition to talks with Syria. The news garnered only tepid endorsement from the Bush administration.

Where In The World Is Uncle Sam?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
(Editorial) May 22, 2008 - 4:47pm

In the world of high politics, as in the world of intelligence and counter-espionage, people have a hard time believing in coincidences. One such 'coincidence' occurred yesterday leaving a number of Middle East analysts asking themselves: were two major regional developments coincidental; or can a link be found between Lebanese rivals forging a deal, and Syria and Israel announcing a resumption of talks?

Olmert's Deft Golan Deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Der Spiegel
by Pierre Heumann - May 22, 2008 - 4:44pm

The announcement from the office of the Israeli prime minister in Jerusalem was short, dry and dramatic. Peace negotiations are underway between Israel and Syria, with Turkey serving as the intermediary. In making the announcement, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert confirmed for the first time what Syrian President Bashar Assad had already disclosed a month ago. At the time, Olmert had remained silent, only indirectly confirming Assad's statement.

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