Middle East News: World Press Roundup

In a Christianity Today blog, U.S. evangelical leader David Neff reports on a meeting he and five other Evangelical leaders held recently with Secretary Rice to express their support for her current Mideast peacemaking efforts (1.) McClatchy Newspapers examines the recently released public letter by former Hamas government spokesman Hamad, criticizing the movement for ideological rigidity and for its military takeover of Gaza (3.) A Christian Science Monitor commentary by Tariq Ramadan addresses his barring from the U.S. resulting in his inability to assume his professorship at Notre Dame university (5.) Middle East Progress interviews Palestinian NY Times Gaza journalist Taghreed El-Khodary about the situation in Gaza during the current closure (7.) A Daily Star (Lebanon) opinion by Rami Khouri relates his attendance at a panel featuring 'Israel Lobby' authors and professors Walt and Mearshiemer and ties in their analysis to growing calls for war against Iran (10.) Haaretz (Israel) reports on the recent visit to Israel by U.S. national security advisor Hadley and his urging Israel to provide tangible changes on the ground for the Palestinians including the removal of outposts (12.) Also in Haaretz, an opinion by Shmuel Rosner examines how it is the fear of the consequences of failure that is bringing the parties to the Annapolis meeting (13.)

The U.s. Blacklisted Me. Let's Talk.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Tariq Ramadan - (Commentary) October 31, 2007 - 5:16pm

Living in a democratic society that grants an individual's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the cherished privilege and pride of Western citizenry and the dream longed for by the rest of the world. Countless have fought and died to secure these rights in the West, and millions the world over are dying for them today – dying to be free to worship, free to associate, free to speak, free to participate in the governance of their own countries.

Mideast: Replying To Rockets, Israel Chokes Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Peter Hirschberg - October 31, 2007 - 5:18pm

Israel has begun limiting fuel supplies to Gaza as part of punitive measures it is implementing in an attempt to stem the firing of rockets by militants from the coastal strip into Israel. But Palestinian leaders and human rights groups are warning the move could spark a humanitarian crisis.

Olmert Must Justify Palestinian Fuel Blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Telegraph
by Charles Levinson - October 31, 2007 - 5:24pm

Israel's supreme court ordered the government last night to justify its stranglehold on the Gaza Strip amid concern that Palestinian civilians will face dire humanitarian consequences due to punitive energy cuts. The intervention came as the administration of Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, was accused by the European Union of inflicting "collective punishment" on the territory's civilian population by cutting fuel and electricity supplies.

Gaza Offensive Could Exact Heavy Price
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
October 31, 2007 - 5:25pm

If Israel carries out threats of a massive offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip the army could encounter unprecedented resistance from an army of fighters using guerrilla tactics, officials say. The relatively high number of casualties Israel has suffered in its limited raids in Gaza over the past months — three soldiers killed and dozens injured — suggests Palestinian militants have developed new tactics and weapons.

The Israel Lobby Has Its Sights On Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) October 31, 2007 - 5:27pm

A year and a half after they published their ground-breaking article "The Israel Lobby" in the London Review of Books, the distinguished American academics John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have now published their book entitled "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy."

Rice Back In Middle East Carrying Many Hopes And Few Trump Cards
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Kuwait News Agency (kuna)
by Joe Macaron - October 31, 2007 - 5:29pm

US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice travels on Thursday to the Middle East on her third mission to the region in two months amid dim hopes on resolving Palestinian-Israeli quandary ahead of upcoming Annapolis meeting. "Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are engaged in an effort to produce a document that could serve the foundation for a serious negotiation for the establishment of a Palestinian state," said a senior State Department official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.

U.s. Ups Pressure On Israel To Quit W. Bank Outposts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn, Barak Ravid - October 31, 2007 - 5:30pm

The U.S. has renewed pressure on Israel to evacuate illegal outposts in the West Bank and has asked Jerusalem to broaden efforts to help West Bank Palestinians in the run-up to the Annapolis peace summit next month. During talks in Jerusalem late last week, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said the U.S. expects Israel to take measures that will assist Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Summit Of Fear
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shmuel Rosner - (Opinion) October 31, 2007 - 5:32pm

n September 13, 1993, when the Oslo Accords were signed, president Bill Clinton called the day "a great occasion of history and hope." The ceremony's participants mentioned the word "hope" 21 times in their speeches. Even the normally dry Warren Christopher, then secretary of state, tried to produce some excitement, saying the negotiators' courage gave hope that they would "complete the journey that has been begun today."

Carter’s Efforts To Mend Ties With Community Get Cold Shoulder
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - November 1, 2007 - 2:21pm

Jimmy Carter’s newest efforts to repair relations with the Jewish community were rebuffed not once but twice last week — and at the very highest levels. Carter’s first outreach effort came in an invitation to Jewish groups to discuss ways that the former president could help make the upcoming Middle East peace conference a success. While Carter invited most of the major Jewish organizations, the event was only attended by representatives of the Reform movement and by several smaller dovish Jewish groups.

A Mis-step On The Path To Middle East Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Jon B. Alterman - (Commentary) November 1, 2007 - 2:38pm

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, is bringing the wrong people together in Annapolis, near Washington, in November. Belatedly deciding that the time has come for the Bush administration to put energy and focus into Arab-Israeli peacemaking, her effort to gather Israeli and Palestinian leaders and whatever other dignitaries will join her is not only too little, too late. It is also the wrong thing to do.

America And Gaza In Darkness
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - November 1, 2007 - 2:43pm

Although the Bush administration may be on the verge of taking a big leap forward in paving the way for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, brewing for nearly 60 years, none of the US presidential candidates have yet bothered to make any noteworthy comment about the upcoming Mideast peace meeting in Annapolis at the end of November.

'fence Driving Christians Out Of Holy Land'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Matthew Wagner - (Blog) November 1, 2007 - 2:47pm

Socioeconomic hardships caused by the West Bank security barrier are contributing to the decline in the Christian population in the Holy Land, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. "I recently met with Christians in Bethlehem, people by no means extreme, and they told of the daily burdens driving in and out of the city that were created by the wall," Williams said by telephone during a break in his 24-hour visit to these parts.

For Israel’s Sake, Replace Politics Of Either/or With Both/and
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Leonard Fein - (Opinion) November 2, 2007 - 4:53pm

Dualism is built into us — perhaps part of our neural make up, surely part of our cultural inheritance: light/dark, war/peace, hot/cold, wet/dry, joy/sorrow. Fortunately, we know that there’s a continuum between the antipodes, that things can sometimes be neither hot nor cold but simply lukewarm, neither wet nor dry but simply moist. And in truth, we often find ourselves, whether by choice or perforce, at a place along the continuum.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017