Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Associated Press examines the positive shift in tone by the Israelis and Palestinians regarding expectations for the upcoming Annapolis meeting (2.) The Los Angeles Times looks at the report by the Israeli group Peace Now concerning Israel's continuing settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank despite an agreement not to do so (4.) A Forward opinion by Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar warns that a failure of the Annapolis meeting will put the future of Israel in danger (5.) A Baltimore Sun opinion by Anwar Sadat professor of peace and development at the University of Maryland Shibley Telhami identifies the two factors that could adversely impact Mideast peacemaking (7.) The Economist (UK) looks into reports of discord within Hamas (8.) A Middle East Times editorial refers to the American Task Force on Palestine's approach of articulating the U.S. national interest in achieving Mideast peace through a two-state solution (10.) A Jordan Times (Jordan) opinion by George Hishmeh addresses the issue of Arab Jews who moved to Israel, in the context of the Palestinian refugee issue (11.) A Daily Star (Lebanon) opinion by Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass, published in collaboration with Project Syndicate, identifies five steps to take regarding the Mideast conflict in order to avoid failure at Annapolis (12.) Haaretz (Israel) reports on Israeli-Palestinian agreement that any future agreement between them will be conditional on implementation of Phase 1 of the Roadmap (14.)

Cheerleaders For Assassination
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - (Opinion) November 9, 2007 - 5:46pm

Something terribly ugly is happening in Israel. It started during Yitzhak Rabin's term as prime minister when right-wing extremists and religious fanatics joined in calling for his death and it would seem to have culminated with his assassination. But the ugliness continues. Yigal Amir, Rabin's assassin, turned out to have been no "lone lunatic," no Lee Harvey Oswald or Sirhan Sirhan who acted for reasons that were perhaps psychological and not political.

Boosting The Slim Chances For Mideast Breakthrough
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Baltimore Sun
by Shibley Telhami - (Opinion) November 9, 2007 - 5:58pm

Should the imminent Israeli-Arab meeting in Annapolis inspire optimism? Critics of the Bush administration who have urged active peace diplomacy are hard-pressed to gainsay its seeming turnaround after years of neglect. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has convincingly projected seriousness, and many want to support her new activism. Even if the prospects for peace seem small, most breakthroughs in history come unexpectedly, often through surprising acts of leadership.

The Skeptic And The Believer
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) November 9, 2007 - 6:30pm

Defense Minister Ehud Barak rose to speak at the annual conference of the Saban Forum in Jerusalem, on Monday of this week. Unlike Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Quartet envoy and former British prime minister Tony Blair and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who had delivered their speeches the previous evening directly into the cameras transmitting directly into the news broadcasts, Barak maintained ambiguity and his remarks were ostensibly intended only for closed discussion.

Olive Branch Blossoms Amid Harvest Of Fear
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times
by James Hider - November 9, 2007 - 6:04pm

In an olive grove on the edge of Nablus, Fuad Amr and his sons keep one eye on the branches they are stripping and the other warily on the Jewish settlement that overlooks their land from a hilltop. The settlers could descend at any time to intimidate them or even beat them and steal the fruit of their labour, as happens every year across the West Bank in the olive season. The Palestinian farmers, however, have found unlikely allies - Jewish activists, some of them Orthodox rabbis, who risk violence to protect them.

Arab-israeli Dispute Percolates
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
(Editorial) November 9, 2007 - 6:06pm

For some 60 odd years the Arab-Israeli conflict has been percolating, periodically exploding into open conflict then returning to a simmering position on the back-burner of world politics, usually after intense diplomatic efforts. During those six decades Arabs and Israelis have stopped short of accepting the one piece to this geopolitical jigsaw puzzle needed to bring lasting peace to the region. That is the mutual acceptance by Israel and the Palestinians of each other and recognizing that a two-state solution is the sole avenue leading to peace in the region.

Israel, Pa Agree Future Deals Hinge On Implementing Road Map
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid And Mazal Mualem - November 9, 2007 - 6:33pm

Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed on Thursday that any future agreement between them will be conditional to the implementation of the first stage of the road map, which includes Palestinian counter-terrorism operations and a freeze on construction in the settlements. The agreement, which follows two weeks of stalemate in the negotiations between the two sides, may pave the way to the drafting of a shared declaration that will be presented at an upcoming peace summit in Annapolis, Maryland, that aims to set terms for relaunching peace talks.

Time For Modesty In The Middle East Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Richard Naass - (Opinion) November 9, 2007 - 6:29pm

"Ripeness is all," concludes Edgar in King Lear. I will leave it to Shakespeare scholars to decipher what he had in mind. But for diplomats and historians, understanding the concept of ripeness is central to their jobs: it refers to how ready a negotiation or conflict is to be resolved.

Enlarge Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
(Editorial) November 12, 2007 - 1:43pm

The good thing that may be said about the Annapolis meeting is that the expectations are gloomily but realistically low. There are not many illusions left in the Middle East, and little is expected from yet another U.S.-brokered summit between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Perhaps what is wrong is not just the plot of this over-familiar drama, but the personnel. Maybe it is the three-way relationship between Americans, Israelis and Palestinians, who all know each very well by now; that is the problem.

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