Hopeless In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by Stefanie Marsh - January 9, 2008 - 5:21pm


We were in east Jerusalem, the day before we were due in the Jordan Valley to document the plight of Palestinian farmers, when the man from Oxfam burst in to the room. This was last week, when I spent five days in the occupied territories – Gaza, Hebron, the Jordan Valley and Bethlehem – inspecting living conditions in anticipation of President George Bush’s visit to Israel today.


Soft Drink Fizz Goes Flat In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Tim Mcgirk - December 28, 2007 - 3:25pm


Every closed factory has its own kind of unbearable silence. The Yazegi Group's soft-drink plant in Gaza, with its maze of metal tubes and conveyor belts all switched off, has the hush of a futuristic mausoleum. Marketing manager Ammar Yazegi pauses beside empty 7Up bottles stacked in perfect emerald-green cubes up to the rafters and says, "I miss the music of the machines and workers. It's a beautiful noise. This silence drives me crazy."


Israel Looking At Hamas Truce Idea
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Laurie Copans - December 21, 2007 - 2:23pm


Israel is examining a Hamas truce proposal delivered by Egypt, defense officials said, but violence persisted Friday as a Hamas militant was killed in what the group said was a clash with Israeli troops near the Israel-Gaza border. Israeli calls for cease-fire talks with the militant group that rules the Gaza Strip grew Friday as an Israeli Cabinet minister said he supported such negotiations under certain conditions.


Paris Donors Conference For The Palestinian State: The Ball Is In Israel's Court
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Reut Institute
December 20, 2007 - 3:53pm


In light of yesterday's donor conference in Paris, the Reut Institute contends that the key to upgrading the PA's political status lies with Israel rather than with the donor countries. Yesterday, the Donors Conference for the Palestinian State (rather than the Palestinian Authority) was convened in Paris.


Israeli Operations In Gaza Meet Little Resistance In Washington
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - December 20, 2007 - 3:46pm


As Israel stepped up air attacks on Gaza this week, the Bush administration refrained from blocking any measures or criticizing Israel’s activity. The Israeli Air Force last week renewed the practice known as “targeted killing” against members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group in Gaza. Israeli officials have said in recent weeks that if rocket fire against Israeli towns is not stopped, further escalation might be imminent, including a full-scale ground incursion into the Hamas-controlled strip.


The Israel Lobby Revisited
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy In Focus
by Stephen Zunes - December 20, 2007 - 3:45pm


It has been 21 months since John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt published their article “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” in The London Review of Books and four months since their publication of a book by the same name. Their main arguments are that unconditional U.S. support for the Israeli government has harmed U.S. interests in the Middle East and that American organizations allied with the Israeli government have been the primary influence regarding the orientation of U.S. Middle East policy.


Will Donor Dollars Ensure Future State?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Miftah
by Caelum Moffatt - December 19, 2007 - 3:04pm


On December 17, the highly anticipated day-long donor’s conference commenced in Paris. The conference, brainchild of Middle East envoy Tony Blair and attended by 70 countries and 20 organizations, aimed at providing a monetary basis to reform and develop the dire economic situation in Palestine as well as to set the conditions for the creation of a secure, stable and sustainable Palestinian state.


Much European Ado About Nothing In Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) December 19, 2007 - 3:02pm


I was in Germany talking to Europeans involved in Middle East issues during the run-up to the Paris conference on Palestinian aid, which on Monday pledged $7.4 billion over three years to the Palestinian half-government headed by President Mahmoud Abbas. Europeans seem again to respond to the challenges of engaging in the Arab-Israeli conflict with their usual financial generosity and political wishful thinking.


Israel Alone Can Offer Something All The World's Money Cannot Buy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Bronwen Maddox - (Commentary) December 18, 2007 - 11:28am


Today's conference in Paris, a drive to breathe life into the Palestinian economy, is as easily derided as last month's summit in Annapolis, but it is worth much more.


Blair's Uphill Battle To Revive Palestinian Economy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ian Black - (Special Report) December 18, 2007 - 11:26am


It was hard to avoid the obvious seasonal message when Tony Blair, briefly playing the tourist, stayed overnight in Bethlehem recently: yes, there was room at the inn in the little West Bank town, a rare public vote of confidence in prospects for the Palestinian economy. Britain's former prime minister has been travelling incessantly since becoming the representative of the "Quartet" of Middle East peacemakers in the summer, and generally keeping a low profile.



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