Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Associated Press looks at statements by Secretary Rice that the window of opportunity for realizing a two-state solution is small and in jeopardy (2.) Reuters reports on Israeli plans to cut electric power to Gaza's population in response to militant rocket fire out of the strip against Israel (4.) The Forward examines the consensus coming out of a recent Washington Institute conference that the fall meeting could not be expected to produce Israeli-Palestinian peace (6.) BBC (UK) reports on the call by Israeli minister Ami Ayalon for the Israeli government to invite 'moderate' members of Hamas to the fall Mideast meeting providing that they recognize Israel's right to exist (7.) A Guardian (UK) editorial warns of the erosion to President Abbas' standing due to the continued isolation of Gaza, both in terms of the Palestinian people and Israel (8.) A Gulf News (UAE) opinion by George Hishmeh examines efforts in the U.S. to increase knowledge about the Mideast and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (9.) A Haaretz (Israel) opinion by Shmuel Rosner analyzes the divisions within the Republican party over Mideast policy and the importance of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (11.)

Israel Moves To Further Isolate Gazans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - October 25, 2007 - 11:30am

Ratcheting up pressure on Palestinians in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, Israel prepared to cut electricity supplies to Gazans in retaliation for an escalation in cross-border rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian militants. After declaring Gaza an "enemy entity" in September, Israel has kept Gaza's borders sealed save for humanitarian foodstuffs and medicines. The policy has triggered dramatic inflation, shuttered businesses, and spurred demand for black-market goods smuggled through tunnels that were once used by gun runners and drug dealers.

Israeli Seeks Hamas Participation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
October 25, 2007 - 11:32am

An Israeli minister has called on his government to invite "moderate" members from the Palestinian movement Hamas to an upcoming Middle East conference. Minister without portfolio Ami Ayalon said any invitation would be conditional on Hamas members fully recognising Israel right to exist. Mr Ayalon said that Israel should be talking to moderates regardless of their political stripes. The conference is planned for late November in Annapolis in the US.

Images That Shock
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
(Special Report) October 25, 2007 - 11:33am

Occasionally the mask slips and unpalatable truths emerge. The Guardian has filmed rare scenes inside Hamas-controlled Gaza which the various players in the unfolding tragedy of the Middle East would rather we did not see - Hamas beating up Fatah dissenters, Palestinian doctors forced by their Fatah paymasters to go on strike or forfeit their salaries, the militants who log on to Google Earth to search for Israeli targets for their Qassam rockets. The images, now on the Guardian's website, affront our concept of right and wrong, but they serve our understanding of what is going on.

Breaking The Taboo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Special Report) October 25, 2007 - 11:34am

The general feeling in Washington is that most Americans - there are over 300 million Americans - are not knowledgeable about world affairs, certainly the Middle East, and especially the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In small part, this explains the lopsided US policy towards the region and, in greater part, exposes the failure of Arab governments and to some extent the Arab-American community in meeting this challenge.

Policy In No-man's-land
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - October 25, 2007 - 11:35am

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's trip to Europe this week once again illustrated that the "peace process" is the most convenient diplomatic situation for Israel. Conducting high-level talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority; Israel's willingness to discuss the principles for ending the conflict; and gestures such as the release of prisoners are in themselves sufficient to remove international pressure on Israel to withdraw from the territories and to end the occupation.

The Voice Of The Old Bush
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shmuel Rosner - October 25, 2007 - 11:37am

Three days before he announced that he was dropping out of the presidential race, Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) spoke to the Republican Jewish Coalition, and succinctly summed up his opinion on the Bush administration's moves toward ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: "It's time we looked at other ideas."

Chaotic Nablus: Testing Ground For Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
October 26, 2007 - 5:35pm

The Palestinian president has chosen the West Bank's most chaotic city to show he's in control, winning U.S. praise Thursday for beefing up his security forces here as part of an attempt to reassure Israel that he can implement a future peace deal. However, Mahmoud Abbas' campaign to disarm hundreds of militants in Nablus has had mixed results.

Gaza Christians Fear 'those More Extreme Than Hamas'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
October 26, 2007 - 5:48pm

The kidnapping and killing of Rami Ayyad, manager of the Gaza Strip's only Christian bookstore, sent shudders through the Palestinian coastal enclave's tiny Christian community. Spared by the summer's fierce factional clashes in which the Islamist Hamas movement seized power by routing their secular Fatah party rivals, Christians began to worry they too might be driven from the volatile coastal strip.

Prioritizing Palestinian Dignity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Palestine Chronicle
by Sherri Muzher - (Opinion) October 26, 2007 - 5:54pm

"I am Mr. Nobody," stated Palestinian Mahmoud Jnaid in an October 19th Reuters article.  Jnaid recently doused himself in fuel and tried to set himself on fire before other Palestinian on-lookers overpowered him.     "When I poured the petrol on my body I felt life was the same as death," the 25-year-old said while he sat next to his wife and children.  

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