Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The New York Times looks at attempts within the Israeli Knesset to pass a bill making the return of occupied East Jerusalem to the Palestinians more difficult (2.) Reuters reports on Palestinian rebuilding of government administrative buildings in the West Bank as a symbols of authority (4.) A Washington Post opinion by David Ignatius urges Israel and the U.S. to give the Palestinians the capacity to establish security and to allow them to do so, otherwise any achievements at Annapolis will be frustrated (5.) A Baltimore Sun editorial stresses the importance of Palestinian unity and the addressing of the Hamas issue if a peace agreement with Israel is to be successful (6.) The Forward looks at the push by the Bush administration to get the organized mainstream Jewish-American community to support the Annapolis meeting (8.) The Guardian (UK) reports on Palestinian hopes that a one year timetable will be set to secure a peace agreement with Israel (10.) A Jordan Times (Jordan) editorial urges the rise of a 'third political faction' among Palestinians weary with Fatah and Hamas (12.) A Haaretz (Israel) editorial is critical of the Israeli demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as a 'Jewish state' (14.)

Palestinians Begin Rebuilding Symbols Of Authority
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Wael Al-ahmed, Adam Entous - November 15, 2007 - 6:17pm

Work crews are laying foundations for a Palestinian state, clearing away the twisted ruins of government compounds destroyed by Israel to start a major rebuilding campaign. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's plan calls for rebuilding eight muqatas -- Arabic for headquarters -- and other administrative buildings flattened by Israel across the occupied West Bank after the start of a Palestinian uprising in 2000.

Palestinian Security Paradox
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by David Ignatius - (Opinion) November 15, 2007 - 6:20pm

Here's a safe prediction in advance of the Annapolis peace conference scheduled to take place in a few weeks: The Palestinians won't be ready to fulfill their obligation to provide security in the West Bank under the "road map to peace." The Palestinian Authority simply doesn't have the people, the training or the equipment to maintain order in the territories.

What About Hamas?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Baltimore Sun
(Editorial) November 15, 2007 - 6:21pm

The Islamic militant group Hamas brutally put down a rally by thousands of Gazans who turned out this week to mark the third anniversary of the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The demonstration was a tribute to Mr. Arafat, but more important, it was also a show of support for his Fatah faction and a strong sign of Gazans' growing antipathy toward Hamas. In Gaza, though, Hamas gunmen rule, and they may well become the uninvited spoilers of the peace summit planned for Annapolis.

Palestinians Aim For Agreement With Israel Within Year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory Mccarthy - November 15, 2007 - 6:28pm

Palestinian negotiators want to set a timetable to secure a peace agreement with Israel within a year, according to Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior Palestinian official, who yesterday stressed that the bold agenda was "realistic". Abed Rabbo, a senior figure within the Palestine Liberation Organisation and a leading negotiator, said the peace conference expected to be held in Annapolis, Maryland, within a fortnight, was aiming at a renewed peace process based on a fresh approach to the US "road map" of 2003.

The Middle Road
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) November 15, 2007 - 6:31pm

So much for Hamas’ hope. Those willing to give the movement the benefit of the doubt, even after its June takeover of the Gaza Strip, have posited the Islamist movement as a necessary cleaning up of the chaotic state of internal Palestinian politics.

Still A Democracy?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shulamit Aloni - (Opinion) November 15, 2007 - 6:33pm

The government of Israel, with all due respect, does not represent the Jewish people but rather the citizens of the State of Israel who elected it. Israel is a sovereign state, which is still considered to be a democracy. In other words, it is a state for all of its citizens. Therefore it must not demand of the Palestinians to recognize it as a Jewish state, because in that way it would be declaring that any citizen whose mother is not Jewish or who did not convert with our strict Orthodox rabbis is a second-rate citizen, and his rights as a human being and a citizen are not ensured.

Who Wants A Jewish State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) November 15, 2007 - 6:34pm

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has been speaking enthusiastically about "two states, two nations" ever since her conversion from the Greater Israel ideology. She can easily convince people why Israel must have a right of return only for Jews, while an independent Palestine would grant the same right only to Palestinians.

The Gaza-west Bank Divide
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
(Editorial) November 16, 2007 - 4:10pm

It is now three years since Yassir Arafat’s death on November 11, 2004, and a good time to evaluate the prospects for Palestinian statehood. Perhaps the best evaluation has been provided by Arafat’s successor.

No Clear Way Forward For Middle East Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Philip Stephens - (Opinion) November 16, 2007 - 4:14pm

Some time ago I asked one of Europe’s foreign ministers why we should hold out any hopes for the forthcoming Annapolis conference on the Middle East. Had something changed to suggest Israelis and Palestinians would strike the bargain that has so long eluded them?

Judging Hamas's Actions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
(Editorial) November 16, 2007 - 4:27pm

Hamas broke away from the Palestinian Authority and took over Gaza by force. Some of its members threw a defenseless Fatah employee from the rooftop of a 15-story apartment building to his death. Hamas’ security forces killed peaceful demonstrators in the streets and prevented people from praying in public squares; all this in just under five months. Hamas openly abused the political system that brought it to power and in the process ruined intra-Palestinian relations. Therefore we wonder, why the reckless behavior and why all this violence?

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