Middle East News: World Press Roundup

A detailed special report in the Chicago Tribune examines how new revelations by U.S. Navy veterans and documents suggest that Israel and the U.S. did not tell the full story about the attack on the USS Liberty by Israeli air force and naval forces in 1967 (1.) In the Terrorism.OpenDemocracy blog, Maria Stephan analyzes the significance of the replacement of 'armed resistance' by 'popular struggle' in the Abbas-Fayyad government platform and how such a non-violent struggle might shape up (4.) In Le Monde Diplomatique (France) Mariano Aguirre weighs in on the issue of whether criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic (6.) Miftah (Palestine) editorial addresses the issue of Palestinian prisoner by Israel (9.) A Haaretz (Israel) editorial labels the de facto separation between Israelis and Palestinians more akin to 'political apartheid' than to occupation, allowing Israelis to ignore the situation and its indefinite continuation (10.) Also in Haaretz, Shmuel Rosner identifies the real issue of the fall meeting as being that of a timetable for agreement on final status issues and their implementation (12.)

Olmert, Abbas To Talk Of Final Deal After Conference
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous - October 3, 2007 - 6:04pm

Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed on Wednesday that formal negotiations on Palestinian statehood would begin after a U.S.-sponsored conference expected next month, officials from both sides said. But Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert balked at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's call for setting a specific timeframe for resolving final-status issues, including borders and the fate of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.

Shooting The Messengers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Le Monde Diplomatique
by Mariano Aguirre - October 3, 2007 - 6:12pm

The New York Post editorial on 5 January 2007 read: “How did this man ever become president of the United States?” Readers might have thought this was a crack about President George Bush in a paper owned by Rupert Murdoch. But the editorial went on: “He’s gone from failed president to friend of leftwing tyrants and global scold of anything that represents America’s legitimate interests”; he wanted to “demonise Israel” and had secretly given “PR and political advice to Yasser Arafat”.

Analysis: Syria-israel Tensions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
by Lyse Doucet - October 3, 2007 - 6:14pm

The secret is out. But the speculation has not ended. And the tension lingers dangerously. Israel has suddenly broken its exceptional news blackout on a covert air raid against Syria, admitting officially its warplanes hit a "military installation" on 6 September. This unexpected disclosure, after weeks of mysterious silence, came hours after the first public comments from Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

A Bittersweet Homecoming
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Miftah
by Joharah Baker - (Editorial) October 3, 2007 - 6:30pm

In a perfect world, little could be comparable to the joy of receiving a son, daughter, father or husband from the clutches of Israeli incarceration. Even in the terribly distorted world of Palestine where absolutes do not exist and every political move is dissected, analyzed and reanalyzed, the release of a handful of Palestinian political prisoners from Israeli prisons is still a joyous event.

Where Is The Occupation?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) October 3, 2007 - 6:30pm

The occupied territories and the Palestinians living there are slowly becoming virtual realities, distant from the eye and the heart. Palestinian workers have disappeared from our streets. Israelis no longer enter Palestinian towns for shopping. There is a new generation on each side that does not know the other. Even the settlers no longer meet Palestinians because of the different road systems that distinguish between the two populations; one is free and mobile, the other stuck at the roadblocks.

The Right And The Return
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ruth Gavison - October 3, 2007 - 6:32pm

In his article "The problems are already here" (Haaretz, October 1), Danny Rubinstein reported that the Palestinians will oppose any move - which is said to be at the basis of the talks between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas - toward recognizing not only Israel's right to exist, but also its status as the state of the Jewish people. This opposition stems from both the implications of such recognition for the status of Arab citizens of Israel and the concession of the right of return that it implies.

Rice's Clock
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shmuel Rosner - October 3, 2007 - 6:35pm

Four former ambassadors to the Middle East, three of whom also served as under secretary of state, have signed a paper circulated this week under the sponsorship of the Israel Policy Forum, a dovish Washington institute. They were joined by a CIA man, an adviser and a professor - an impressive group. Tell me who your writers are and I'll tell you what's in the paper. In this case, it's advice to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in advance of the "Annapolis meeting," the Israeli-Palestinian peace summit planned for November.

J'accuse, Sort Of
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Slate
by Michael Kinsley - (Opinion) October 5, 2007 - 3:56pm

Rep. James P. Moran of Virginia, already a locally famous foot-in-mouther, went national last week by declaring at an anti-war rally that "if it was not for the strong support of the Jewish community," the war against Iraq would not be happening. He said that Jewish "leaders" are "influential enough" to reverse the policy "and I think they should."

Dissenting At Your Own Risk
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Star-telegram
by Cecilie Surasky - (Opinion) October 8, 2007 - 1:51pm

Last year, I agreed to speak to a Jewish youth group about my organization, Jewish Voice for Peace, and our opposition to Israel's occupation. My talk was to follow one from a member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which calls itself "America's pro-Israel Lobby." A week before, a shaken program leader said the AIPAC staffer had threatened to get the entire youth program's funding canceled if I was allowed in the door. The threat worked, and in disgust, they canceled the whole talk.

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