Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The New York Times examines how the Palestinian campaign to bring law and order to the West Bank city of Nablus is caught up in the larger picture of an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and U.S. attempts to strengthen the Abbas/Fayyad government (2.) The Christian Century looks at the recent banning of Archbishop Desmond Tutu from speaking at the University of St. Thomas based on his criticism of Israeli occupation policies (4.) The Forward reports on the groundbreaking statement of support or current Mideast peacemaking efforts by the top ranking Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders in the Holy Land (6.) The LA Times reports from Gaza on the arrests of hundreds of Fatah members by Hamas in recent days (8.) The Guardian (UK) reports on a possible partial Israeli settlement freeze in the lead-up to the Annapolis meeting (10.) A Haaretz (Israel) opinion by Amira Haas analyzes growing indications of Palestinian disapproval of Hamas rule in Gaza (12.) Also in Haaretz, an opinion by Oxford University M. Phil. candidate Seth Anziska examines the growing uncertainty with two-state solution prospects (13.) Asharq Alawsat (pan Arab) interviews Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (16.)

Bush's Turn To Step Into Mideast Peace-making
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Steve Holland - November 14, 2007 - 12:41pm

Richard Nixon left office hopeful that "peace can settle at last over the Middle East." Jimmy Carter staked his career on it. Bill Clinton told Yasser Arafat, "I am a failure, and you have made me one." Now George W. Bush becomes the latest president to try to resolve the bitter, long-standing differences between close U.S. ally Israel and the Palestinians.

Tough Homecoming For Lebanon's Refugees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Nicholas Blanford - November 14, 2007 - 12:46pm

Abu Tawfiq stands in the soot-encrusted ruin of his home as cold rain blows in where an outside wall once stood. "This room is Hiroshima and the other one is Nagasaki," says the former school teacher who, agreed to speak on condition of anonymity. He's one of some 5,000 Palestinians who recently returned to the battle-ravaged ruins of this coastal refugee camp in north Lebanon, home to more than 40,000 people before the outbreak in May of three months of fighting between the Lebanese Army and Al-Qaeda-inspired militants of Fatah al-Islam.

Hamas Cracks Down On Fatah In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Rushdi Abu Alouf, Ken Ellingwood - November 14, 2007 - 12:51pm

Officials of the Fatah faction said Tuesday that hundreds of its members were detained by Hamas after deadly violence marred a massive rally in the Gaza Strip a day earlier. Fatah leaders said a wave of arrests in Gaza targeted activists, including ranking party figures who had organized the rally marking the third anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death. The gathering erupted in gunfire, leaving seven people dead and dozens injured.

Mourning Families In Gaza Blame Hamas For Deaths At Rally
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald Macintyre - November 14, 2007 - 12:53pm

On Monday morning, 13-year-old Ibrahim Ahmad, devoutly religious as well as a keen sports fan, went to dawn prayers at the local mosque before taking a taxi with his three older brothers to the neighbouring town of Beit Lahiya and joining the steadily growing procession on foot to the Yasser Arafat commemoration in central Gaza city. By the afternoon, he was in the morgue in Shifa hospital, shot in the neck and side, the youngest of the seven victims of the bullets fired by Hamas forces in the bloody aftermath of the rally.

Israel 'will Halt New Settlement' Before Peace Summit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Haroon Siddique - November 14, 2007 - 12:55pm

Israel will announce a freeze in West Bank settlement construction prior to peace talks with the Palestinians in the US, it was reported today. But the moratorium would probably exclude large settlement blocs that Israel wants to retain in a final peace agreement, the Israeli paper Haaretz said. The Palestinians are demanding that all of the West Bank, which Israel captured in the 1967 six-day war, be included in a future state.

Like On The First Land Day
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Opinion) November 14, 2007 - 1:02pm

"Armed Hamas policemen who were stationed in the streets and watching the masses of people marching toward the square, gazed down at the ground. Out of shame. They saw themselves the way the marchers to the memorial rally for Yasser Arafat saw them - like Israeli policemen on the first Land Day in Israel. It was women whose votes had led to the defeat of Fatah in 2006, so it was significant now that many women came to the rally. I saw one woman go up to an armed policeman and dare him: Kill me, you Shi'ite."

Are Two States Still Viable?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Seth Anziska - (Opinion) November 14, 2007 - 1:05pm

Oxford dons were reeling at their high table dinners late last month, in the wake of a startling controversy over the Middle East. A debate at the Oxford Union on the motion "This house believes that one state is the only solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict" was compromised by external political pressure, generating serious concerns about academic freedom and the principles of free speech.

More Than Words Needed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Susie Becher - (Opinion) November 14, 2007 - 1:08pm

Hardly a day goes by without some new twist in the preparations for the Annapolis conference, and speculation is rife on whether it will end in success or failure. The Israeli prime minister is trying to lower expectations, emphasizing that it is not a peace conference but a starting point for negotiations toward a peace accord. The Palestinian president has his eye on the day after Annapolis, pushing for a time limit on the negotiations that will follow the event. The truth is that the summit itself cannot fail, because nothing will be left to chance.

Subversion Is No Way For America To Make Friends In The Islamic World
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) November 14, 2007 - 1:10pm

A recent commentary by Robert Satloff - executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), the pre-eminent pro-Israel think tank - acknowledges a small part of what has gone wrong with US policy on the Middle East. Unfortunately the article, which appeared in the Washington Post, recommends remedies that promise only to make matters worse.

Hamas To Curb Press, Gatherings In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Sarah El Deeb - November 15, 2007 - 6:12pm

Gaza's Hamas rulers issued an edict Wednesday banning journalists from working in the coastal strip unless they submit to sweeping press restrictions, and it said it would soon impose new restraints on public gatherings. The moves, which follow the arrests of hundreds of opposition activists, appeared to be part of an intensifying clampdown after the Islamic militant group was confronted with a mass demonstration called by the rival Fatah movement that led to violence.

Fear Of Hamas Looms Over Statehood Bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Week
by Stewart Ain - November 15, 2007 - 6:15pm

The bloody end to a massive rally in Gaza Monday marking the third anniversary of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat’s death is seen as underscoring the disunity of the Palestinian people whose aspirations for their own state are proving more and more elusive.

White House Implores Organized Jewry To Support Peace Summit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - November 15, 2007 - 6:25pm

The Bush administration is making a last-ditch effort to push the mainstream Jewish community into action in advance of the upcoming peace summit. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made the pitch Tuesday in a high-profile speech in front of United Jewish Communities, the roof body of North America’s local federations of Jewish charities. The organization was having its annual General Assembly here. Speaking to 3,500 Jewish communal leaders, Rice said that “failure is not an option” for the upcoming summit, which is set to take place in Annapolis, Md.

Israelis On Us Mission Ahead Of Peace Meeting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
by Charly Wegman - November 15, 2007 - 6:26pm

Two top aides to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert flew to Washington overnight ahead of expected peace talks, amid reports of a freeze on construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Olmert plans to freeze the growth of settlements as a concession to Palestinians ahead of the planned US-sponsored meeting.

Annapolis At The Crossroads
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) November 15, 2007 - 6:29pm

This is not the best of months, it seems, for Palestinians to undertake major steps because the record to date has not been very promising. If nothing else, there has been the deadly events in the Gaza Strip when about 250,000 Gazans were commemorating the third death anniversary of Yasser Arafat, last Monday. Seven supporters of Arafat's party, Fatah, were killed when surprisingly the police of its rival party, Hamas which is now in control of Gaza, opened fire on the rally. More than 100 were injured and about 400 Fatah supporters were arrested in this ugly encounter.

In Lawless Nablus, The Law Changes At Sundown
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Matthew Gutman - November 16, 2007 - 4:05pm

Tawfiq Kalboni fidgets with some wayward bills. A moneylender in this central West Bank city, Kalboni, 42, owed another moneylender about $150,000. When he failed to pay, he said, the creditor collected on the debt, Nablus style. Five weeks ago, masked gunmen kidnapped his 14-year-old son from the doorstep of his house.

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