Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The American Prospect features an open letter by Israeli author and journalist Gershom Gorenberg to U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on her recent statements regarding the political future of Jerusalem (1.) The Jewish Telegraphic Agency examines the debate within Israeli policy-making circles of how to deal with Hamas in the lead-up to the Fall Mideast meeting (4.) The Guardian (UK) reports on a letter sent to Secretary of State Rice from former U.S. diplomats warning of the failure of the Fall Mideast meeting if the groundwork for success is not laid and offering policy suggestions (6.) An Independent (UK) editorial suggests two steps Israel could take as bold gestures to demonstrate good faith in getting peace talks restarted (8.) A Haaretz (Israel) opinion by Amira Hass castigates Israelis for not exercising their democratic rights in opposing the many facets of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands (10.) A Daily Star (Lebanon) opinion by the Carnegie Endowment's Michele Dunne identifies three flaws in the new 'anti-elections' thinking about Mideast democracy (11.)

Syria Sets Conditions For Role In Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Robin Wright - October 2, 2007 - 12:00am

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad yesterday rejected his nation's participation in U.S.-brokered talks on Middle East peace unless issues critical to Damascus, such as the Golan Heights, are included. Syria's first high-level statement on the peace talks, planned for next month, may be an attempt to widen discussions aimed largely at a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. But Assad's rejection also could play into the Bush administration's preference that Syria not attend unless it moderates its position on several issues, U.S. analysts said.

Politics By Other Means
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Counterpunch
by Conn Hallinan - October 2, 2007 - 12:00am

Religion, sometimes, is a continuation of politics by other means," notes Jon Alterman, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies Middle East division, and it was hard to avoid that thought about last month's conference of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) in Washington D.C.

Ex-diplomats Say Us Faces Failure Of Peace Summit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Suzanne Goldenberg - October 2, 2007 - 12:00am

The Bush administration was warned yesterday by former senior US diplomats that it is setting itself up for the failure of its Middle East peace summit by neglecting to lay the groundwork for a successful meeting of American, Israeli and Arab leaders. The conference represents the Bush administration's most serious attempt to engage in Middle East peacemaking after seven years of violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

Only A First Step To Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
(Editorial) October 2, 2007 - 12:00am

It would be easy to be cynical about Israel's release of 57 Palestinian prisoners yesterday in an attempt to bolster the authority of the man they see as the moderate Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas. The number released is fewer than the average number of Arab militants detained by Israeli forces each month, joining 11,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails, many imprisoned without trial.

More Flexibility Required
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) October 2, 2007 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is scheduled to host Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas at his sukkah in Jerusalem tomorrow. Next month, senior representatives from both sides are expected to participate in a conference at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The frequency with which Olmert and Abbas meet and their seriousness in preparing for the meeting in the United States are raising expectations of significant progress in negotiations. However, the degree to which these expectations correspond to reality is still unknown.

Democracy Is More Than Going To The Polls
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Opinion) October 2, 2007 - 12:00am

"The protest wave has calmed down," some Israeli journalists said Friday of the Burmese military junta's success in driving thousands of demonstrators off the streets, using excessive violence. Despite the natural sympathy for the uprisers, several editors chose the word "calm," which embodies the rulers' point of view: The norm is "calm," even if it means constant government violence. The mass protest against the oppression is a disruption of order and calm.

Getting Over The Fear Of Arab Elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Michele Dunne - (Opinion) October 2, 2007 - 7:32pm

Concern about chaos in Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon and fear of Islamist political victories have led many American commentators to identify Middle East democracy promotion as unwise. The Bush administration should not have insisted on elections in Arab countries, according to the new conventional wisdom, but instead should have patiently promoted the growth of institutions, civil society, and the rule of law.

Realistically Speaking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) October 2, 2007 - 7:33pm

It is not too hard to figure out what Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni must have meant when she asked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, during their encounter in New York last Friday, to be realistic in his quest for peace with Israel. For Livni and the rest of the Israeli government, realism in the search for a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict means one thing only: the status quo. That means that few cosmetic changes might be made to peripheral issues only.

New Revelations In Attack On American Spy Ship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Chicago Tribune
by John Crewdson - (Special Report) October 3, 2007 - 6:01pm

Bryce Lockwood, Marine staff sergeant, Russian-language expert, recipient of the Silver Star for heroism, ordained Baptist minister, is shouting into the phone. "I'm angry! I'm seething with anger! Forty years, and I'm seething with anger!"

Is Israel Planning To Release Barghouti?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Sami Moubayed - October 3, 2007 - 6:29pm

The man who arrested Marwan Barghouti in 2002 is now lobbying for his release. Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, the Minister of National Infrastructure in the Kadima-led government, has made the following offer: Marwan Barghouti in exchange for Gilad Shalit.

Why, When And How The Us Challenges Israel’s Actions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Institute For Palestine Studies
by Nadia Hijab - October 8, 2007 - 4:13pm

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said bluntly during his recent meetings with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the credibility of the peace process could only be restored by, among other things, an immediate halt to Israeli settlement, an end to the closures that had ruined the Palestinian economy, and a timeframe to implement final status issues. [1] Abbas thus emphasized not only the need to address final status issues, but also to push for implementation.

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