Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The New York Times examines how the shortage of parts is putting Gazans in danger of another sewage flood similar to the one earlier this year that drowned five people (2.) The New York Review of Books features the text of the letter sent to President Bush and Secretary Rice by a bipartisan group of former senior U.S. officials emphasizing the importance of the Annapolis meeting being successful and setting the parameters for such a success (4.) An International Herald Tribune opinion by Immanuel Wallerstein analyzes the prospects for a two-state solution based on current political realities (6.) The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports on the lobbying efforts for and against the Annapolis meeting within the Jewish-American community (8.) BBC (UK) interviews Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on the deepening political divisions between the two parts (10.) In the Daily Star (Lebanon) Rami Khouri interviews retired U.S. General Abizaid on the strategic problems confronting the U.S. in the Mideast (11.) A Haaretz (Israel) editorial urges Israeli actions that are considered achievements by the Palestinians in order to strengthen the Abbas government and its platform (13.)

Push For Annapolis Summit Triggers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - November 8, 2007 - 3:36pm

The buildup to the U.S.-backed Israeli-Palestinian summit to be convened later this month in Annapolis, Md., has set off a flurry of lobbying efforts throughout the Jewish community. A newly formed coalition of Orthodox and right-wing organizations dedicated to preserving Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem held meetings last week in Washington with White House officials and members of both houses of Congress.

Barak Still Bears The Scars From Camp David
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Tobias Buck - November 8, 2007 - 3:37pm

Even by the volatile standards of Israeli politics, the comeback of Ehud Barak has been a remarkable one. Ousted as prime minister in 2001 after the acrimonious failure of the Camp David peace talks, Mr Barak left the political stage for almost six years to pursue a career in business. Yet in June, Israel's most decorated soldier and former chief of staff was back, taking the helm of his centre-left Labour party and assuming the post of defence minister in the coalition government headed by Ehud Olmert.

Gaza And West Bank Viewpoints
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
November 8, 2007 - 3:39pm

Palestinians describe how they think divisions between the separate administrations of Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza are becoming more entrenched. SHAIMA, 22, GAZA CITY We are running out of lots of materials because Israel is blocking the borders. Food, every day materials, medicine - it's very hard to find what you want. And it's all much more expensive. Things which used to cost one or two shekels now cost five or six.

No Understanding For The Region
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
November 8, 2007 - 3:41pm

Tuesday, BBC radio ran a fascinating interview with former US undersecretary for public diplomacy Karen Hughes. Among her briefs, Hughes was in charge of “promoting American values and confronting ideological support for terrorism.” She was the first person to hold such a position. The interview was interesting for one particular response.

Israel And Palestinians Turn To U.s. As Talks Hit Snag
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Wafa Amr - November 9, 2007 - 5:43pm

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are turning to U.S. mediators to bridge serious gaps in drafting a common approach to peace negotiations, officials on both sides said on Thursday. A senior Palestinian negotiator told Reuters the two sides sought U.S. intervention on Tuesday after negotiators failed to resolve differences over a document they hope to present at a conference in the coming weeks in Annapolis, Maryland, that aims to set terms for relaunching peace talks.

Palestinians Ease Demands For Conference
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Josef Federman - November 9, 2007 - 5:45pm

Encouraged by a conciliatory speech by Israel's prime minister, Palestinian negotiators have eased their demands that an upcoming U.S.-hosted peace conference lay out a plan for statehood, officials said Thursday. The Palestinians said they were pleased with Israeli pledges to resume peace talks after the conference this month — and were now less concerned with a pre-summit understanding that had bogged down earlier negotiations.

Israel Flouts Pledge To Curb Settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Bourdreaux - November 9, 2007 - 5:47pm

Israel is enlarging 88 of its 122 West Bank settlements despite an agreement to halt the spread of Jewish communities in Palestinian territory, the watchdog group Peace Now said Wednesday. A report by the group, which documented the construction of new homes with aerial photography and on-site visits, heated up the debate here over a key issue for the U.S.-sponsored peace summit planned by year's end.

Has Hamas Split?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
November 9, 2007 - 6:01pm

JUST how divided is Hamas? Since the Islamist party took over the Gaza Strip in June, after months of violent clashes with the rival, secular-minded Fatah faction, Israel and the rest of the world have imposed an economic siege on the strip. Many perceive signs that Hamas is splitting under the pressure. That, in turn, has raised the prospect of Hamas becoming a busted flush—or of a moderate wing emerging that could do business with Fatah, rebuild a broader Palestinian front and perhaps even agree to the conditions that would enable it to negotiate with Israel.

Remembering Yitzhak Rabin
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
(Opinion) November 12, 2007 - 1:42pm

The inner price Israel pays for its continuing occupation of the West Bank “YOU were the pillar of fire before the camp and now we are left only as the camp, alone and in the dark”. So said his weeping grand-daughter, eulogising Yitzhak Rabin after he was shot in the back by a Jewish religious zealot 12 years ago. The murder of a strong and popular prime minister appeared briefly to unite the Jewish state. But the Israel of that time was in fact a camp divided. This year's anniversary has brought grim new evidence of how bitter the divisions have grown.

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