Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Los Angeles Times examines Arab misgivings regarding the intentions behind the fall Mideast meetings as well as prospects for its success (2.) The Associated Press reports on plans for the first Palestinian census in the occupied territories in a decade and how the results could impact future peace talks with Israel (3.) The New York Times reviews the new book by Israeli historian Zertal and Israeli journalist Eldar on the Israeli settlement project in the occupied Palestinian territories (5.) The Christian Science Monitor assesses the prospects of reviving the Mideast peace process as the Bush administration ratchets up its engagement in the lead up to the fall meeting (7.) The Guardian (UK) looks at new statements by Israeli PM Olmert regarding Israel's willingness to return parts of occupied East Jerusalem to the Palestinians (9.) The Independent (UK) reports on the impressions being made on Quartet envoy Tony Blair as he travels the West Bank as part of his mission of strengthening Palestinian institutions and the economy (11.) An Arab News (Saudi Arabia) editorial finds positive signs for movement on the peace process in recent Israeli and Palestinian statements on the issue (13.) A Haaretz (Israel) opinion by Akiva Eldar spells out what an personal involvement by President Bush in advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace should be composed of (15.)

Palestinian Census First In Decade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Dalia Nammari - October 15, 2007 - 2:46pm

The Palestinians are preparing to conduct their first census in a decade, with hopes the results will help them in future peace talks with Israel. Demographics play a central role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rapid Palestinian growth would bolster Palestinian territorial demands, while Israelis' fear of being outnumbered in areas they now control might make them more willing to consider a West Bank withdrawal.

Rice Pushes Israelis, Palestinians Toward Middle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Arshad Mohammed - October 15, 2007 - 2:47pm

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tried on Monday to push Palestinians and Israelis toward a middle ground in drafting a joint document seen as key to the success of a U.S.-hosted peace conference this year. After meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Rice said the document should "seriously and substantively" address the core issues of the conflict -- a sharp contrast with Israeli hopes to keep it as vague as possible.

Palestinians Prepare To Stand Up For What Matters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Ramsey Ben-achour - October 15, 2007 - 3:02pm

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are expected to take part in demonstrations highlighting poverty and inequality in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Palestinians in the territories number three to four million. Oct. 17 has been picked as the United Nations-recognised International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Israel Signals Readiness To Cede Parts Of Jerusalem To Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Mark Tran - (Special Report) October 15, 2007 - 3:13pm

The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, today signalled his readiness to give up parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians in an apparent concession ahead of a US-sponsored peace conference. Mr Olmert noted that Israel had built a series of thriving Jewish neighbourhoods in east Jerusalem, but signalled that Israel's control of Arab areas was not necessary.

Condoleezza Rice Warns Israelis Over Land Grab
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by Carolynne Wheeler - October 15, 2007 - 3:15pm

Condoleezza Rice gave a warning yesterday that progress would be slow as the US Secretary of State embarked on a round of shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East in advance of a peace conference next month. Progress on a joint statement on Palestinian statehood, the framework of the US-hosted conference in Annapolis, Maryland, is still so limited that invitations have yet to be issued, and Dr Rice conceded yesterday that the coming days were unlikely to produce any significant breakthroughs.

Colonization And A Mediator's Bias Remain The Death Knells Of Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) October 15, 2007 - 3:20pm

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in the Middle East over the weekend to try and prod the parties into attending the planned Arab-Israeli gathering in Annapolis next month. Her arrival coincided with the 13th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to the late Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin, and to Shimon Peres. The Oslo Accords that Arafat, Rabin and Peres signed in 1993 were a breakthrough in their day; but they never achieved their promise.

Editorial: Positive Signs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) October 15, 2007 - 3:22pm

The two biggest problems straddling the Palestinian fence today — Israel on one side and the Palestinian divisions on the other — are currently undergoing treatment with possible remedy in sight. For one, Hamas has said it is ready to hold reconciliation talks with the rival Fatah group of President Mahmoud Abbas, hinting it might be willing to relinquish control of Gaza.

Declarations Of A United Jerusalem Are Just Empty Slogans In A De Facto Divided Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yossi Beilin - (Opinion) October 15, 2007 - 3:39pm

Two weeks ago a young journalist, Daniel Ofir, reported a story on "Hot News" that ought to have created quite a storm: The Palestinian Authority is paving a highway inside Israel's sovereign territory in "united" Jerusalem, our eternal capital. The highway begins in the Atarot area and passes through the Kafr Akab neighborhood in Jerusalem along 2.6 kilometers inside the sovereign territory of united Jerusalem, and ends in Ramallah.

Only Bush Can
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) October 15, 2007 - 3:41pm

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice insists that the Annapolis declaration will detail the principles of the permanent settlement, so yesterday's newspaper headlines proclaimed. Prior to her arrival in the region, her aides had said that the United States would not issue invitations to the peace conference before Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas succeed in drafting a clear and mutually agreed upon document. In practice, this means that the peace summit initiated by President George W. Bush will not convene next month. Nor next year.

U.s. Too Often Follows Israel's Lead In Diplomatic Situations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arabic Media Internet Network
by Paul Findley - (Opinion) October 16, 2007 - 12:53pm

  There is an open secret in Washington. I learned it well during my 22-year tenure as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. All members swear to serve the interests of the United States, but there is an unwritten and overwhelming exception: The interests of one small foreign country almost always trump U.S. interests. That nation of course is Israel.

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