Egypt's Tunnels Sustaining Hamas Economy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Erica Silverman - January 9, 2008 - 6:08pm

An elaborate network of tunnels from Egypt has become the primary transport route for commercial goods entering the Gaza Strip, enabling the area's Hamas rulers to maintain a rudimentary economy in the face of an Israeli embargo. Food products, machinery parts, raw materials and even antibiotics are delivered to Gaza through the tunnels, subject to fees from private families that own some of the passages and to taxes by Hamas. Other smuggled products range from cigarettes to mobile phones.

On First Trip To Israel, Bush Hopes To Inject Vigor Into Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Michael Abramowitz, Jonathan Finer - (Opinion) January 8, 2008 - 6:05pm

In the six weeks since Israeli and Palestinian leaders left Annapolis, Md., pledging to end "bloodshed, suffering and decades of conflict between our peoples," violence has escalated over long-standing territorial disputes and security concerns, leaving little optimism here on the eve of President Bush's visit that the fledgling dialogue will bring peace.

Bush's Mideast Mission
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
(Editorial) January 7, 2008 - 6:10pm

IN AN effort to bring about enormous changes at the last minute, President Bush will arrive in Israel Wednesday to begin an eight-day trip to a half-dozen countries in the Middle East. This will be his first state visit to all the countries on his itinerary except Egypt, and Americans must hope this belated trip to such a strategically vital region means Bush now recognizes the mistake he made in waiting so long.

Bush's Final Effort
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) January 3, 2008 - 5:46pm

President George Bush will complete his second term in the White House in one year and two weeks, at his successor?s inauguration. Bush?s final year in office is already under the shadow in the battle over succession. Because of this, the U.S. media is expected to focus during his visit to the region next week on the first formal stages of the nominating process of the two main parties in Iowa and in New Hampshire, rather than on Bush?s meetings with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Beilin Syndrome
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - January 3, 2008 - 5:32pm

Mephisto, the demon who bought the soul of Faust in Goethe’s monumental drama, describes himself as “a part of that force which always wants the bad and always creates the good.” Yossi Beilin, who resigned this week as chairman of the Meretz Party, is Mephisto’s opposite: he always wants the good and all too often creates the bad.

Here's To The '67 Borders, The New Middle Of The Road
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - January 2, 2008 - 2:42pm

There was a time, not long past, that the mere mention of the 1967 borders was seen by many in the Jewish community as an expression of disloyalty, of sacrilege, of foolhardy risk, almost of profanity. Gradually, remarkably, there are signs that the route of the middle of the road has shifted. That we've come a long, long way. At this point, for many on the Israeli side and, in fact, on the Palestinian side as well, the middle of the road passes very, very close to the Green Line, the post-1948 war, pre-1967 war boundary between the West Bank and Israel.

Experts: Extreme Rightists Will Use Violence If Settlements Are Evacuated
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amoss Harel - December 20, 2007 - 4:55pm

Extreme right-wing activists are expected to use severe violence to disrupt any move to evacuate outposts or settlements, even the destruction of a few homes, according to an evaluation recently presented to the government by the security establishment and law enforcement officials in the territories. The evaluation states that the violence during any attempt at evacuation would be more serious than that seen during the evacuation of Amona two years ago.

Egypt: Israel Recognised By Govt, Not By People
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Khaled Moussa Al-omrani, Adam Morrow - December 19, 2007 - 3:40pm

Thirty years after late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat's historic trip to Israel, Egyptian diplomatic relations with the Hebrew state remain cordial. On a popular level, however, the relationship -- buttressed by the 1979 Camp David peace agreement -- still represents a major source of contention. "The so-called peace between Egypt and Israel continues to lack popular approval," Ahmed Thabet, professor of political science at Cairo University told IPS. "Meanwhile, Israel has exploited the situation to maintain racist, expansionist policies."

Israel And Iran’s Bomb
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Jonathan Power - (Opinion) December 17, 2007 - 1:24pm

Across most of the political spectrum Israel is in a state of shock. The recently released US National Intelligence Estimate which concludes that Iran probably stopped work on its nuclear bomb back in 2003 has pulled the rug from under Israel’s proclivity to shoot first and ask questions after. The Israeli media and government have done a good hatchet job on the inconsistencies buried within the fine text of the estimate but they have nonetheless got the message that the Bush administration seems intent on delivering.

On America's Strength And Weakness
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shlomo Avineri - December 13, 2007 - 1:07pm

All that the participants in the Annapolis conference agreed upon was to begin negotiations on several parallel channels. It is clear the results will depend, to a large extent, on the United States' ability to navigate these moves. In this context, it is worth trying to recall where in the past the U.S. was successful in its diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, and where it failed. From the point of view of processes and events from past decades, the U.S. is successful in the Middle East if one of two scenarios is in place. When lacking, the U.S. fails.

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