May 15th

Israel's Secret Fears
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from New Statesman
by Haim Baram - May 15, 2008 - 4:43pm

Israel marks its 60th birthday in a climate of increasing racism, intolerance, corruption and militarism. A nation that has long seen itself as one of the most misunderstood is now almost unable to understand the world beyond its borders. Fear and anxiety provide the mood music of the celebrations.

Interview With David Makovsky: Probe Into Olmert's Finances Imperils Israeli-palestinian Peace Outline
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Council On Foreign Relations
by Bernard Gwertzman - (Interview) May 15, 2008 - 4:41pm

David Makovsky, an expert on Israeli politics, says there is concern that if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is forced to resign as a result of the investigation into his finances, this could turn "to an unraveling of whatever has been done on the Palestinian issue." In an interview from Israel, Makovsky says Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were close to some statement of principles that might serve as a document for both sides to ratify on the outlines of a peace treaty.

Army Ready For Gaza Assault After Rocket Attack: Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
May 15, 2008 - 4:39pm

Israel warned on Thursday that its forces were prepared to launch a major military operation in the Gaza Strip after a rocket attack that wounded at least 14 people while US President George W. Bush was in Israel. ‘The Israeli army has never been this ready to launch a large-scale operation in Gaza,’ said Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, a member of Israel's security cabinet.

The Squeeze On The Middle East's Moderates
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by David Ignatius - (Opinion) May 15, 2008 - 4:38pm

Watching the news from Lebanon, it's poignant to read the title of a new memoir by Jordan's former foreign minister, Marwan Muasher, "The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation." The daily headlines tell us that centrist Arabs such as Muasher are becoming an endangered species.

Bush Leaves It To Olmert To Push Mideast Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Terence Hunt - May 15, 2008 - 4:37pm

President Bush gently urged Mideast leaders to "make the hard choices necessary for peace," leaving it to embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to stand before a divided parliament Thursday and forcefully declare that this war-weary nation is ready for a historic agreement with Palestinians.

Palestine: Liberation Deferred
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Nation
by Rashid Khalidi - (Opinion) May 15, 2008 - 4:37pm

The "Palestine Question" has been with us for sixty years. During this time it has become a running sore, its solution appearing ever more distant. Whether the events sixty years ago that created this question solved the previously perennial "Jewish Question" is once again open to debate. This is the case after many years when the apparent triumph of Zionism stilled doubts and drowned out the protests of those who argued that what purported to be the solution to one problem had created an entirely different one.

May 14th

Olmert: Understandings Reached In Talks With Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - May 14, 2008 - 5:18pm

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Tuesday that he and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have reached "understandings and points of agreement" on key issues in U.S-backed peace talks but he gave no details. "There has been significant progress, and understandings and points of agreement have been reached in important matters, but not on all the issues," Olmert said in a speech to visiting world leaders at the "Facing Tomorrow" presidential conference.

Al-zahar: Israeli Military Not Beyond Defeat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - May 14, 2008 - 5:16pm

Senior Hamas member Mahmoud al-Zahar spoke Wednesday at a Gaza Strip event marking the 60th anniversary of the Nakba – the anniversary of the 1948 events which led to the induction of the State of Israel – and promised his listeners that "the right of return is closer than ever." The events of the Gaza pullout and the Second Lebanon War, he added, proved that the Israeli military is not beyond defeat.

The Palestinian Narrative Is Here To Stay
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) May 14, 2008 - 5:15pm

That both Israeli independence and the Palestinian catastrophe, or nakba, of 1948 are now acknowledged virtually simultaneously around the world is a great achievement for the Palestinians, just as the creation of Israel was a miracle in the eyes of the world's Jews. The two big stories 60 years later are the strength and vitality of the Israeli state and the depth, vigor and relentless quest for life, land and liberty of the Palestinian people.

Rice: Peace Deal By 2009 'improbable'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
May 14, 2008 - 5:15pm

Ahead of a visit to the Middle East, US President George W. Bush expressed some optimism that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would be struck before his term ends while holding out little hope for a major breakthrough when he arrives in Israel. His Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, on Tuesday said reaching such a deal within the next eight months "might be improbable but it's not impossible."

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