May 20th

Barak Warns Of Military Escalation In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
May 20, 2008 - 3:57pm

ISRAELI DEFENCE minister Ehud Barak warned on Monday after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that continued rocket fire from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip could accelerate a military conflict in the territory. Barak told Mubarak, whose government is mediating a truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, that "the ongoing rocket fire against civilian targets and terror activity from the Gaza Strip could accelerate an escalation towards a military conflict", his office said.

Bush's Heroes And Rogues
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Der Spiegel
by Christoph Schult, Daniel Steinvorth And Bernhard Zand - May 20, 2008 - 3:57pm

The refugees came in a magnificent white yacht, the Michka II. Under a brilliant blue sky, the boat glided smoothly into the harbor at Larnaca, on the east coast of Cyprus. Madame Habib, the wife of the Arab shipowner, bade farewell to her new friends with a peck on the cheek. Then the 12 elegantly dressed Lebanese passengers, with their fashionable sunglasses, handbags and trolley suitcases, disembarked.

Bush Castigated By Leading Palestinian
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald Macintyre - May 20, 2008 - 3:56pm

President George Bush yesterday tried to reassure sceptical Arab leaders that by the end of the year he wanted a Palestinian state "defined", after being criticised for missing an opportunity to highlight the matter when he lavished praise on Israel last week. Speaking before Mr Bush met the President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, in Sharm el-Sheikh, a leading Palestinian negotiator and moderate, Saeb Erekat, said: "He should have told the Israelis no one can be free at the expense of others. He missed this opportunity and we are disappointed."

ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Quarterly
by Various - May 20, 2008 - 3:55pm

Israel's Arab citizens comprise 18% of its population yet have languished on the margins of Israeli society for decades. Failed peace talks and political stalemates have convinced a growing number that Israeli Arabs will not only play an important role in a peace settlement between Israel and her Arab neighbours but could also hold the key to the future internal stability, security and prosperity of the Israeli state. Empowering them with the necessary social and political muscle will require a rethink on the part of most Israelis. Here, four key workers consider the possibilities.

Al-nakba: The Sponsor Of Arab Identities
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-ayyam
by Hassan Al-batal - (Opinion) May 20, 2008 - 3:54pm

Some Arabs and Israelis have started to take pleasure in asking Palestinians about their claim of being nation builders, and pointing specifically to their failure in building a nation of their own.

May 19th

The No-return Point Of A Return To Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amir Oren - (Opinion) May 19, 2008 - 5:56pm

Colonel Nir Peres has one of the most frustrating jobs in the Middle East. He heads the Israel Defense Forces' Coordination and Liaison Administration at the Erez border crossing. Peres' efforts are aimed at preventing a large humanitarian disaster in Gaza, and he is trying to get the local population to blame Hamas for its distress. He must convince the IDF's top brass to show restraint and use force for immediate operational needs only, in order to maintain a chance of a calmer future within a generation or two.

Pelosi's Pro-israeli Dictionary
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shmuel Rosner - (Blog) May 19, 2008 - 5:55pm

The speaker of the House of Representatives, the most powerful woman in the United States, perhaps in the world, has no doubts. She waves her hand dismissively, and says she relies on everyone. That includes the members of her Democratic Party who are running for president, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and also the Republican Party candidate, John McCain. They will all support Israel and all the rest is a matter of election-year politics and not real U.S. policy.

Settlement Stumbling Bloc
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Lara Friedman And Hagit Ofran - (Opinion) May 19, 2008 - 5:55pm

Last month, The Washington Post reported that the Bush administration had entered into a secret agreement with Israel to permit continued construction in areas of the West Bank popularly known as "settlement blocs." The story focused on the alleged agreement (the existence of which administration officials strongly deny), but missed the real point: Secret agreement or not, Israeli construction in and around "settlement blocs" has continued without pause throughout the tenure of President George W. Bush, and continues to this day, with only token opposition from the U.S.

Time To Free Barghouti
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yehuda Litani - (Opinion) May 19, 2008 - 5:53pm

Fatah and Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti has been in Israeli prison for more than six years now. Four years have passed since he was convicted of five counts of murder and an attempted murder and sentenced to five prison terms and another 40 years.

Barak To Mubarak: Gaza Terror Leading To Military Face-off
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - May 19, 2008 - 5:51pm

During his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in a Sharm el-Sheikh hotel on Monday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak reiterated Israel's commitment to the peace process, stressing that the continued terror emanating from Gaza can only lead to a full-blown escalation and even a military confrontation.

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