Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Reuters looks at the issue of Israel's cutting financial links with Palestinian banks in the Gaza Strip to prevent money being transferred to organizations affialiated with Hamas (2.) A Daily Star (Lebanon) editorial is critical of Hamas allowing Palestinian rocket fire out of Gaza as undermining the Palestinian cause of liberation (5.) A Middle East Times (Pan Arab) opinion by Sherwood Ross looks at the issue of the influence of the pro-Israel lobby based on the Walt/Mearshiemer book and the James Petras book on that issue (7.)

Exclusive-money Trail To Hamas Begins With Israeli Banks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous - September 28, 2007 - 12:00am

Israeli authorities tracking Hamas's funds said they made an unexpected discovery last month -- cash from one of Israel's biggest banks had found its way to a security force loyal to the Palestinian Islamists in Gaza. Officials, speaking to Reuters this week on condition of anonymity, said the incident sparked a inquiry by the Justice Ministry's anti-money laundering authority and fuelled debate within the Israeli government and banking community over whether to cut financial links to Palestinian banks in the Gaza Strip.

A Mideast Real Estate Deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
(Editorial) September 28, 2007 - 12:00am

A TINY, disputed parcel of land called Shebaa Farms, located where Israel, Syria, and Lebanon converge, has long been used as a pretext for armed confrontation. But Israel may now have a chance to remove this sliver of real estate as a source of conflict. This is an opportunity that should not be missed.

Saudis Urge Hamas And Fatah To Form New Coalition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - September 28, 2007 - 12:00am

Saudi Arabia – potentially a key player in current diplomatic moves on the Middle East – has warned that Fatah and Hamas will have to form a new coalition if any peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians is going to work. At the same time it has expressed cautious optimism about the international Middle East conference called by George Bush for November – without yet committing itself to attend, as Israel and the United States would like it to.

Rockets Launched From Gaza Are Only Hurting Palestinian Civilians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) September 28, 2007 - 12:00am

As miserable as conditions have become in the Gaza Strip, there is plenty of potential for the situation to get even worse. Straining under the weight of a collapsed and besieged economy, the civilian population is already heavily dependent on foreign aid for basic foodstuffs, and the United Nations warns that drugs and other medical supplies are at dangerously low levels. To make matters worse, the continuation of rocket strikes into Israel produces a steady stream of violent responses from the Jewish state that often claim the lives of innocents.

Plan Carefully For Peace Meeting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) September 28, 2007 - 12:00am

The proposed international peace conference called by US President George W. Bush should be carefully planned because the Middle East cannot afford the failure of another peace gathering. This probably is the reason some in the region, including Saudi Arabia, are reluctant to take part. The failure of peace efforts will only frustrate the region's people and allow radicals to exploit sentiments. As the history of the Middle East tells us, bloody conflicts usually follow the collapse of peace talks.

Twilight Zone / The Children Of 5767
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) September 28, 2007 - 12:00am

It was a pretty quiet year, relatively speaking. Only 457 Palestinians and 10 Israelis were killed, according to the B'Tselem human rights organization, including the victims of Qassam rockets. Fewer casualties than in many previous years. However, it was still a terrible year: 92 Palestinian children were killed (fortunately, not a single Israeli child was killed by Palestinians, despite the Qassams). One-fifth of the Palestinians killed were children and teens - a disproportionate, almost unprecedented number. The Jewish year of 5767.

Create Jobs Or Create Extremists, Says Arab Minister
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Krishna Guha - September 28, 2007 - 12:00am

Business and social entrepreneurs need to take urgent action to create 80m jobs for young people in the Middle East and north Africa over the next decade to stop them falling prey to extremists, Mohammed Al Gergawi, minister of state for cabinet affairs in the United Arab Emirates, said on Friday. Mr Al Gergawi told the final day of the Clinton Global Initiative “either we have in the next ten years 80m productive young people…or we have 80m radical extremists in the Middle East.”

America's Diplomatic Fig Leaf
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Amir Taheri - September 28, 2007 - 12:00am

What do diplomats do when they don't know what to do? You guessed it; they propose holding an international conference. The device is useful on several grounds. It covers one's political nakedness with the fig leaf of an impression that something is being done. It creates a crowd to divert attention from one's isolation. And, last but not least, it enables one to put a tiresome problem on the backburner for a while. Does the rule apply to Washington's proposal to convene an international conference on the Middle East peace in November?

The Teflon Alliance With Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Counterpunch
by Katleen And Bill Christison - October 3, 2007 - 6:10pm

Two recent offhand comments, both widely publicized, have seriously undermined whatever progress might have been made in exposing the fact that the Iraq war was initiated at least in large part to guarantee Israel's safety and regional dominance in the Middle East.

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