May 22nd

Abbas: 'east Jerusalem Must Be Returned'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - May 22, 2008 - 4:43pm

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday opened the Palestine Investment Conference in Bethlehem by declaring that east Jerusalem belonged to the Palestinian people and must be returned to them. "East Jerusalem is ours and it's an occupied territory," Abbas said in his speech. "It must be returned." The conference, the first of it kind in the PA, is aimed at boosting the Palestinian economy by encouraging local, Arab and international businessmen to invest in various projects.

U.s. Agency, Palestinian Firm Sign Deal To Boost Palestinian Exports
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
May 22, 2008 - 4:42pm

A U.S. government agency on Thursday presented a political risk insurance program to help guarantee investments in the West Bank, part of an international effort to help develop the local economy and pave the way for an independent Palestinian state. The measure, announced at an international investors' conference in this biblical town, is meant to allay concerns by investors about risking their money in the turbulent Palestinian territories, especially at a time when the fate of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is uncertain.

Palestinians Aim To Win Investment
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al Jazeera English
May 22, 2008 - 4:41pm

Hundreds of business and political leaders are attending a conference aimed at boosting the stagnant economy in the occupied West Bank through private investment.   The first ever Palestine Investment Conference, which started on Wednesday in Bethlehem, is aimed at encouraging investor interest by showcasing business opportunities and projects. 

At West Bank Conference, Dreams Of Investment
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - May 22, 2008 - 4:40pm

Hundreds of potential investors and dignitaries from the Middle East and beyond gathered here on Wednesday for the start of a vaunted conference under the slogan, “Palestine is open for business.” The Palestine Investment Conference, scheduled to last three days, is perhaps the most upbeat happening in Bethlehem since crowds packed Manger Square to see 2,000 doves of peace released at millennium celebrations at the end of 1999. Months later, the second intifada broke out, sending the Palestinian national enterprise into a tailspin of violence and chaos.

May 20th

5 Questions: Does Israel Need Rescue?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shmuel Rosner - (Blog) May 20, 2008 - 4:04pm

I got so much feedback to the interview with Jeffrey Goldberg two weeks ago (Is Israel finished? Five questions), that it was only natural to try a second round. This time, the topic is Goldberg's New York Times article, about "Israel's 'American Problem'". Goldberg is blogging here. Here is the (written) interview:

Cairo Is The Key
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ron Ben- Yishai - (Opinion) May 20, 2008 - 4:03pm

The rush of Israeli politicians to the World Economic Forum in Sharm el-Sheikh was more than a ceremonial move. Barak and Livni, and to some extent Benjamin Netanyahu as well, are currently managing a crucial phase in lull negotiations. However, we are not talking about indirect negotiations with Hamas via Egypt; rather, those are direct talks with Egypt over Cairo’s role in such deal.

America Is Tired
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Nahum Barnea - (Opinion) May 20, 2008 - 4:01pm

President Bush stood up at the Knesset plenum last Thursday and said things that every Israeli would be touched by. One of the declarations that would be remembered from that speech expands the limits of America’s commitment to Israel and almost turns it into the 51st state. Should Israel need to defend itself, the president said, 300 million Americans will stand by the seven million Israelis

Gaza: 4 Palestinians Killed In Idf Strikes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
May 20, 2008 - 4:00pm

Palestinian sources in Gaza reported Tuesday afternoon that two Palestinians were killed and five others were wounded by IDF artillery fire at a Gaza City neighborhood, raising the death toll in a series of IDF strikes to four.

Israel's Leading Team: An Unfulfilled Promise
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Nimrod Novik - (Opinion) May 20, 2008 - 3:59pm

For decades, we Israelis have found ourselves frustrated by the shortcomings of our leaders and yearning for the miracle of a mid-life genetic mutation: an act of nature or nurture that would mesh the best in each and thus produce the ideal leader.

Don’t Depend On Outsiders For A Settlement Of Mideast Dispute
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Shlomo Avineri - (Opinion) May 20, 2008 - 3:58pm

Israel’s 60th anniversary has come and gone. So, too, has President George W. Bush’s final visit to the Middle East. Amidst the celebrations and the soul-searching, no meaningful breakthrough in the deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is visible.

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