Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Christian Science Monitor examines how the United States has muted its calls for Mideast reform and democracy in favor of aligning with Sunni allies to confront Iran and its allies (3.) In the International Herald Tribune, former U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer identifies four parameters by which to judge the success of the fall Mideast meeting (4.) The Jewish Telegraphic Agency looks at how the issue of Jerusalem is shaping up to be the key issue at the fall Mideast meeting (6.) The Times (UK) reports on the statements coming out of the Israeli political leadership regarding returning parts of occupied East Jerusalem to the Palestinians (9.) In Haaretz (Israel) Akiva Eldar examines how the recent expropriation of Palestinian land by the Israeli army ties into new Israeli plans to resume construction in the E1 area close to Jerusalem (10.) Also in Haaretz, Israeli historian and author Tom Segev explains why recent Israeli government statements concerning 'dividing' Jerusalem have hardly caused any controversy (11.)

As Mideast Realigns, Us Leans Sunni
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Howard Lafranchi - October 9, 2007 - 2:04pm

Americans are hearing much less from the Bush administration about democracy for the Middle East than they did a year ago. As Shiite Iran rises, the White House has muted its calls for reform in the region as it redirects policy to reembrace Sunni Arab allies – who run, to varying degrees, authoritarian regimes. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 shifted the balance of power in the Middle East, delivering a Shiite-led government to a country that had for decades been dominated by its minority Sunnis. That, in turn, opened the door to Iranian expansion.

Middle East Summit: A Recipe For Failure?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Herald Tribune
by Daniel Kurtzer - (Opinion) October 9, 2007 - 2:14pm

As diplomats scramble to piece together the parts of the Middle East peace meeting that the United States is determined to convene in November, one crucial question is getting too little attention: How will success be measured?

Gaza Blockade Stops Students From Studying Abroad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-mughrabi - October 9, 2007 - 2:16pm

Palestinian student Khaled al-Mudallal arrived home to Gaza on a mission: marry his fiancee Duaa then spirit her back to Britain where he would complete his university degree. Instead, they both ended up stuck in the impoverished Hamas-run coastal enclave because of an Israeli blockade that stops anyone without a permit from leaving. The 22-year-old student returned to Gaza half way through his 3-year business management course at Bradford University in northern England to get married and escort his new wife home.

Jerusalem Taking Center Stage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Leslie Susser - October 9, 2007 - 2:19pm

With just over a month to go before the Israeli-Palestinian peace conference is scheduled to take place, Jerusalem is shaping up to become the key issue. Talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams opened Monday with major differences on the table, but with both sides committed to making a concerted effort to produce a significant framework agreement for the parley in Annapolis, Md.

Understanding The Israeli Attack On Syria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Slate
by Shmuel Rosner - (Opinion) October 9, 2007 - 2:23pm

Israel's "ministers committee for the northern front" gathered in early August for the sixth time of the summer. The prime minister's office told the press that the committee was focused exclusively on preventive measures—making sure that Israel was ready for any possible eruption of hostilities on the northern border with either Hezbollah, which operates in Lebanon, or Syria. "Israel does not want a war with Syria," government sources emphasized time and again. Three weeks later, on Sept. 6, a couple of Israeli fighter jets hit targets deep inside Syria.

Palestinians Offered Jerusalem Olive Branch
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Hider - October 9, 2007 - 2:30pm

Israel is willing to hand over Arab east Jerusalem to the Palestinians as part of a new peace initiative, the Deputy Prime Minister said yesterday. The announcement came amid reports that the two sides were considering handing custody of the Old City’s holiest site to Jordan. Haim Ramon, the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, said that handing over parts of the predominantly Arab east Jerusalem could be on the table during a regional conference to be held in the United States next month.

Israel Takes Land To Ease Way To Build In E-1 Area
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - October 9, 2007 - 2:34pm

The Israel Defense Forces recently issued an order expropriating over 1,100 dunams of land from four Arab villages located between East Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim. The land is slated to be used for a new Palestinian road that would connect East Jerusalem with Jericho. That in turn would "free up" the E-1 area between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim - through which the current Jerusalem-Jericho road runs - for a long-planned Jewish development consisting of 3,500 apartments and an industrial park.

Heading To December
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Tom Segev - October 9, 2007 - 2:36pm

Haim Ramon has been going around for some time with a proposal for power sharing in Jerusalem, and the sky has not fallen. Ostensibly this is quite an amazing phenomenon; there was a time when the vice premier's idea was heard only among the radical left, somewhere between Yesh Gvul and Gush Shalom. This seems to be a turning point of historic proportions.

Sharing Jerusalem Makes Sense, But Who Will Make It Work?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) October 9, 2007 - 2:42pm

Israel's deputy prime minister, Haim Ramon, has stirred up a hornets' nest in the Jewish state by proposing that Occupied Jerusalem be shared with the Palestinians as part of any comprehensive peace agreement. His boss, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has studiously avoided public comment on the matter - which indicates very strongly that Ramon's statements have been trial balloons aimed at gauging the reactions of the Israeli public and the international community. It remains to be seen, therefore, whether or not the plan has a chance in the near future.

An Israeli Strike On Syria Kindles Debate In The U.s.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Mark Mazzetti And Helene Cooper - October 10, 2007 - 1:37pm

A sharp debate is under way in the Bush administration about the significance of the Israeli intelligence that led to last month’s Israeli strike inside Syria, according to current and former American government officials. At issue is whether intelligence that Israel presented months ago to the White House — to support claims that Syria had begun early work on what could become a nuclear weapons program with help from North Korea — was conclusive enough to justify military action by Israel and a possible rethinking of American policy toward the two nations.

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