Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Christian Science Monitor examines the implications of the new Palestinian census on peace negotiations with Israel (2.) Inter Press Service reports on comments by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu likening conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories to apartheid (3.) BBC (UK) looks at how the intervention of the Israeli Attorney General to suspend Israel's plan to restrict power to Gaza raises the issue of Israel's obligations to the Strip under international humanitarian law (4.) The Independent reports on the UN's position that Israel's cuts in Palestinian power and fuel are illegal under international law (5.) A Daily Star (Lebanon) opinion by former Palestinian minister Ziyad Abu Zayyad, published in collaboration with Common Ground News Service, analyzes how the principle of public opinion impacting the political system does not apply to the Israel-Palestine case (7.) In BitterLemons (Israel/Palestine), Israeli lawyer and Jerusalem expert Danny Seidemann explains how Jerusalem's time to be resolved has arrived politically (8.) A Haaretz (Israel) editorial is critical of the punishment of the Palestinian civilian population of Gaza, concluding that it does not further Israeli security (10.)

Palestinian Census Carries Sobering Subtext For Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - October 30, 2007 - 1:07pm

The field worker matches the villa at 5 El Balu'a Street with a building survey map, scribbles a number in blue crayon, and then offers a brief introduction to the homeowner on what the counting means. "I'm a representative of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, and we're doing preliminary work for the census," says Raniah Haseebah, a youthful, bright-eyed statistician. "I'm giving you this questionnaire."

Gaza Sanctions: The Legal Argument
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
by Paul Reynolds - October 30, 2007 - 1:10pm

The intervention by Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to suspend a plan to restrict electricity supplies to Gaza raises the issue of Israel's rights and responsibilities under international humanitarian law. Earlier, there were protests from human rights groups, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon - who called the measure "unacceptable" - and the European Union External Affairs Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who said: "There should not be collective punishment".

Israel's Decision To Cut Power In Gaza Is Illegal, Says Un
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald Macintyre - October 30, 2007 - 1:11pm

The UN's top official in Gaza will tell British ministers today that Israel's cuts in fuel and power to the Palestinians violate international law, while the isolation of Hamas has strengthened extremism and started to drive non-affiliated moderates who can leave Gaza to do so.

Public Opinion And The Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Ziad Abu Zayyad - (Opinion) October 30, 2007 - 1:14pm

The importance of public opinion stems from the fact that in democratic regimes it can play a determining role in the shift of power between the different political forces. Political leaders and parties must always bear in mind that, come election day, it is the voters who will be judging their performance and deciding whether they deserve to be reelected, or whether they should be voted out for having disappointed their electorate. Thus the agenda of political parties must always take into account the wider public agenda and concerns.

Mazuz Prohibits Punitive Power Cuts In Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shlomo Shamir, Yuval Yoaz - October 30, 2007 - 1:19pm

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz yesterday prohibited the state from cutting off electricity to parts of the Gaza Strip, as the defense minister has threatened to do. After holding a debate in his office yesterday, Mazuz ordered the defense establishment to reexamine the issue.

Acting Out Of Frustration In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) October 30, 2007 - 1:20pm

One can appreciate the frustration behind the defense establishment's proposal to sporadically cut the electricity supply to the Gaza Strip: Powerful Israel stands by helplessly while Qassam rockets continue falling on Sderot and the Negev. And these are attacks that in the not-so-distant future may become increasingly more accurate and effective.

Condoleezza Rice: From Bethlehem To Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Christianity Today
by David Neff - (Blog) October 31, 2007 - 5:06pm

Last Friday, I joined five other evangelical Protestant leaders for an intense and rewarding half-hour conversation with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Our goal was to assure her of our support as she navigates the treacherous waters of Middle East politics—particularly as she arm-wrestles the various parties toward the summit planned for the beginning of December in Annapolis. The Bush Administration is hoping that foundations can be laid for an enduring, peaceful two-state solution in Israel-Palestine conflict.

Former Hamas Spokesman Decries Group's Extremism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from McClatchy News
by Dion Nissenbaum - October 31, 2007 - 5:12pm

For roughly two decades, Ghazi Hamad has been a reliable champion for Hamas and its hard-line Islamist ideology, first as a leader of Palestinian street protests, then as an editor of a pro-Hamas newspaper and most recently as the chief spokesman for deposed Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Now, however, Hamad has emerged as one of Hamas' most caustic critics. In an open letter to Hamas leaders, he criticizes the group as an uncompromising movement that's lost its way.

Mccain Sounds Skeptical Note On Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Jennifer Siegel - October 31, 2007 - 5:14pm

The United States should support a “step-by-step” peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians, presidential hopeful John McCain told an audience of Jewish leaders in New York this morning.

Gaza’s Reflection In A Foul Threat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Steven Erlanger - November 8, 2007 - 3:20pm

Fahmi al-Abrak, 70, was at home on March 27 when a lagoon of human waste broke through its sand embankment and hurtled downhill, inundating this poor village of Bedouins in northern Gaza. “It rose to here in 15 seconds,” he said, pointing to a discolored line on the walls, four feet above ground. Five people were drowned when the overflow pool for a lake of water and human waste failed in March. Residents of Umm al Nasser pulled belongings from their homes after the wave of sewage struck their village in March.

Tutu And St. Thomas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Century
by James M. Wall - (Commentary) November 14, 2007 - 12:44pm

The University of St. Thomas is the largest private institution of higher learning in the state of Minnesota, a school "inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition." Recently, the university found itself in the embarrassing position of having failed to do some basic research; it did not check its sources. The story behind this development began innocently enough in April, when a staff member from St. Thomas's Justice and Peace Studies program informed his colleagues that he had booked South African archbishop Desmond Tutu for a campus appearance.

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