Middle East News: World Press Roundup

A Baltimore Sun opinion by visiting professor of politics at Harvey Mudd College Suheir Daoud urges the delaying of the Mideast fall meeting due to internal Israeli and Palestinian weaknesses and divisions (2.) The Jewish Telegraphic Agency looks at the dual message the U.S. is sending Israel in terms of support against Iran coupled with a determination to facilitate peace with the Palestinians (4.) The BBC (UK) looks at an Amnesty International report on how Palestinian factional fighting has exacerbated human rights abuses (5.) A Guardian (UK) comment by Jonathan Freedland examines the extremely low expectations for the fall meeting, while noting that all sides seem determined to put on paper the outlines of a settlement along the lines of the Taba negotiations (7.) A Haaretz (Israel) by Prince Hassan of Jordan calls on Muslims to diffrentiate between Israeli policies and Judaism with which Islam and Christianity share a common heritage (9.) A Daily Star (Lebanon) opinion by Rami Khouri comments on recent remarks by UNRWA commissioner general Karen Abuzayd about Palestinian loss of faith in the international community's ability to be fair and objective in their treatment of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (10.)

Internal Divisions Make It A Bad Time For Israeli-palestinian Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Baltimore Sun
by Suheir Abu Oksa Daoud - (Opinion) October 24, 2007 - 2:20pm

While Israeli and Palestinian teams seek to iron out conditions for renewed peace talks in Annapolis this fall, deep divisions among the Palestinian and Israeli political leaderships doom any Middle East peace summit to failure.

In Raid's Wake, Syria Turns Defensive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Julien Barnes-dacey - October 24, 2007 - 2:23pm

The peace overtures were nuanced and often veiled. But in the months before Israeli jets struck a Syrian military facility in the northeast of the country, Syria had expressed some interest in sitting down with its enemy to the south, Israel, to strike a deal on the status of the disputed Golan Heights. Rime Allaf of Chatham House, a London-based strategic think tank, points to secret negotiations, reported to have been backed by both governments, that became public in January.

Feud 'hurting Palestinian Rights'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
October 24, 2007 - 2:27pm

Amnesty International says illegal detentions and torture have become commonplace in both Hamas-controlled Gaza and Fatah's West Bank stronghold. It notes that the situation in Gaza has deteriorated sharply since June when Hamas seized control by force. The UK-based group is calling for an independent investigation. According to Amnesty, arbitrary detentions and the torture of opposition supporters have become widespread in the Gaza Strip where there have also been attacks on demonstrators and journalists covering such incidents.

Hamas And Fatah Both Accused Of Torturing Their Opponents
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald Macintyre - October 24, 2007 - 2:29pm

Gross and illegal abuses against political opponents – including torture or ill treatment of arbitrarily held detainees – have been repeatedly committed by both Fatah and Hamas since last June, according to Amnesty International.

At Last, Consensus In The Middle East: All Agree These Talks Are Bound To Fail
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Jonathan Freedland - (Opinion) October 24, 2007 - 2:33pm

It takes a special kind of genius to unite the warring parties of the Israel-Palestine conflict, but George Bush may just have pulled it off. His proposal for what the US administration calls a "meeting", rather than a peace conference, in Annapolis, Maryland, before the end of the year has elicited a unanimity unheard of in the Middle East. From the hardmen of Hamas to the hawks of Likud, there is a rare consensus: Annapolis is doomed to failure.

Reflections On A Common Heritage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by El Hassan Bin Talal - October 24, 2007 - 2:42pm

In many societies, religious festivals and set periods of spiritual reflection have been commandeered by commercial interests and misrepresented by ideologues. Their message of spiritual reflection and communion with God has lost out to the temporal imperatives of greed, acquisition and triumphalism. In our region, this process has been accelerated by very worldly conflicts and man-made sectarian hatred.

Clarity From Experienced Public Servants
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) October 24, 2007 - 2:44pm

It is very refreshing when law, international responsibility and human courage converge in the remarks or actions of a single person. This occurred earlier this month in New Zealand in a talk by Karen Abuzayd, commissioner general of UNRWA, the United Nations agency that provides humanitarian aid and basic social services to Palestinian refugees. She made a few points that are noteworthy precisely because international officials rarely speak with such clarity, moral force and political urgency. I quote her at length for the pertinence of her remarks:

Activists: Israel Pressuring Ill Palestinians To Be Informers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from McClatchy News
by Dion Nissenbaum - October 25, 2007 - 11:18am

Yasser Hiyya didn't know why he was always so weak and tired until this summer, when doctors discovered a small hole in his heart. Israel gave Hiyya permission to leave the Gaza Strip last month and cross Israeli territory for immediate surgery in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank. But when he arrived at the Israeli border crossing, he learned that there was a catch. In a daylong interrogation, Hiyya said, Israeli intelligence offered him a deal: Tell us about your brother, a wanted militant, and we'll let you enter Israel for the operation you need.

Hawkish Handlers Guide Giuliani On Foreign Policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Herald Tribune
by Marc Santora, Micheal Cooper - October 25, 2007 - 11:27am

Rudolph Giuliani's approach to foreign policy shares with other Republican presidential candidates an aggressive posture toward terrorism, a commitment to strengthening the military and disdain for the United Nations. But in developing his views, Giuliani is consulting with, among others, a particularly hawkish group of advisers and neoconservative thinkers. Their positions have been criticized by Democrats as irresponsible and applauded by some conservatives as appropriately tough, while raising questions about how closely aligned Giuliani's thinking is with theirs.

Israel Works On Plan To Cut Power Supplies To Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Dan Williams - October 25, 2007 - 11:29am

Israeli officials prepared a plan on Wednesday to cut power supplies to the Gaza Strip amid rising violence that killed two Palestinian boys after a rocket salvo damaged an apartment building in the Jewish state. We plan to dramatically reduce the two-thirds of power that is supplied by Israel, which will take several weeks," Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai told Army Radio.

Don’t Rush Mideast Talks, Experts Urge
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - October 25, 2007 - 11:31am

Skepticism was the name of the game as leading Middle East analysts and policymakers gathered last weekend and discussed the prospects for an upcoming Middle East peace conference. Diplomats, administration officials and regional experts all seemed to agree that the task facing the American-led conference is nearly impossible if peace between Israelis and Palestinians is the goal. Among the impediments mentioned were the lack of time for ironing out differences before the summit, significant gaps in expectations and a lack of commitment on behalf of the Bush administration.

‘israel Lobby’ Writers Miss The Real Jewish Conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Opinion) October 26, 2007 - 5:40pm

Among the (many) things that John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt get wrong in their controversial book, “The Israel Lobby,” is their characterization of the American Jewish community. According to their understanding, there’s a substantial contrast between the policies “the lobby” espouses and the more dovish views of the community at large. For the most part, as they see it, the lobby opposes a two-state solution to the chronic conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, while most American Jews very much favor such a solution.

Rebuilding Trust Remains At The Core
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arabic Media Internet Network
by Alon Ben-meir - (Opinion) October 26, 2007 - 5:58pm

Since President Bush declared his intention a few months ago to convene a Middle East peace conference, experts on the region and government officials have proposed specific agenda items that should be addressed to insure its success.

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