Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The New York Times examines the approach by the U.S. in securing key Arab participation at the Annapolis meeting and achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement by the end of the Bush administration (2.) Also in the Times, an opinion by Roger Cohen lists the many challenges facing the Annapolis meeting (3.) The Washington Post analyzes the reasons behind the delay in the U.S. issuing official negotiations to the meeting next week (4.) The Associated Press reports on American efforts to secure a comprehensive Israeli settlement freeze in the occupied West Bank (6.) The American Prospect profiles leading Palestinian non-violence advocate Reverend Naim Ateek (8.) In an interview with the Guardian (UK), Palestinian university president Sari Nusseibeh explains why a change of focus at Annapolis could lead to success in peace negotiations (10.) A Haaretz (Israel) opinion by Gideon Levy examines how the Israeli settlement enterprise on occupied Palestinian territories has prevented any chance for peace (12.) A Daily Star (Lebanon) opinion by Rami Khouri is critical of policies meant to sow further Palestinian discord by encouraging a Fatah-Hamas confrontation (14.)

Israel, Palestine, Crab Cakes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Roger Cohen - (Opinion) November 19, 2007 - 4:20pm

I would like to invest hope in the Annapolis Middle East peace conference, or meeting, or parley, or whatever the term is. Really, I would. The 59-year battle for the same land of Zionist and Palestinian national movements has not been good for anyone.

Mideast Conference Nears, With Few Plans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Glenn Kessler - November 19, 2007 - 4:21pm

A few days after Thanksgiving, President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plan to open a meeting in Annapolis to launch the first round of substantive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks during Bush's presidency. But no conference date has been set. No invitations have been issued. And no one really agrees on what the participants will actually talk about once they arrive at the Naval Academy for the meeting, which is intended to relaunch Bush's stillborn "road map" plan to create a Palestinian state.

A History Of Nonviolence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The American Prospect
by Matthew Duss - November 19, 2007 - 4:34pm

Naim Ateek had just turned 11 when forces of the Haganah, the pre-Israel Zionist paramilitary organization, occupied his village of Beisan in Palestine. Days later, the villagers were informed that they were to be "evacuated," forcibly moved off land that Palestine's Jewish minority now claimed for its own state.

Blair Unveils Palestinian Schemes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
November 19, 2007 - 4:41pm

The envoy of the Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators, Tony Blair, has announced a series of economic projects to help boost the Palestinian economy. Mr Blair unveiled four major projects, including a sewage treatment plant in Gaza, an industrial park in Jericho and an industrial zone in Hebron. The former UK prime minister warned that without the hope of prosperity, politics would never succeed. His announcement comes a week before a peace conference in the US.

The Leadership Vacuum In Washington
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by David Dumke - November 19, 2007 - 4:44pm

Barring a major development, the situation in the “Greater Middle East” — defined by the Bush administration as the vast region from Morocco to Pakistan — will continue to play itself out with minimal US involvement until the inauguration of a new US president in January 2009. The weakness of President Bush both at home and abroad comes at a troubling time when international leadership is direly needed to prevent the further deterioration, which could have catastrophic, lasting consequences for the region.

Israel Setting Tone For Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Abraham Rabinovich - November 20, 2007 - 1:37pm

Israeli leaders have taken to using a new phrase loaded with hidden meaning ahead of a proposed conference this month in Annapolis — "two states for two peoples." The phrase is a variation on the Bush administration's repeated calls for a "two-state solution," which implies Israel's abandonment of the notion of a Greater Israel that incorporates the West Bank and the Palestinians' abandonment of any notion of destroying Israel.

High-level Saudi Presence Seen Unlikely At Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Andrew Hammond - November 20, 2007 - 1:41pm

Saudi Arabia could keep the United States guessing until the last minute on whether it will attend a Middle East peace conference next week, but analysts and diplomats say a high-level delegation is unlikely. Saudi Arabia -- a key U.S. ally whose presence would give a major boost to the U.S.-sponsored November 26-27 summit in Annapolis, Maryland -- has said it will attend only if core issues are tackled at the latest in a line of high-profile Arab-Israeli meetings dating back to Madrid in 1992.

Blair Gives Fillip To Mideast Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Tobias Buck - November 20, 2007 - 1:48pm

Tony Blair, in his new role as Middle East envoy, unveiled a package of measures on Monday designed to aid the moribund Palestinian economy and inject fresh momentum into Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The former British prime minister said the four development projects outlined on Monday had been the subject of debate for some time, and that their significance should not be exaggerated. But he insisted that “without hope of prosperity, rising living standards and an economic stake in the future for ordinary Palestinians, the politics will never succeed”.

Un Aid Chief Attacks New Israeli Checkpoint Plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rory Mccarthy - November 20, 2007 - 1:50pm

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees launched a scathing attack today on a new Israeli plan for a system of checkpoint terminals across the occupied West Bank. Karen AbuZayd, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), said Israeli authorities had told them of plans to install six specially built terminals to check people and cargo, including aid deliveries. She said it would hamper the agency's work and dramatically raise costs.

Sidetracked By The Roadmap
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) November 20, 2007 - 1:53pm

The sudden reference by Palestinian and Israeli negotiators to the roadmap, drafted years ago in an attempt to rescue the parties from the quicksand of violence and recriminations, was a bit confusing for analysts on both sides. The shift seemed inconsistent with the major political issues that require sorting out through negotiations, particularly the final status issues. In addition, Palestinians and Israelis have already tried the roadmap--and failed to navigate it.

Term Limits
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison - November 22, 2007 - 10:22pm

During the week of Oct. 22-26, David Horowitz and an alliance of conservative organizations sponsored a series of lectures and protests at universities around the United States to draw attention to “Islamofascism.” Just in time for this “Islamofascism Awareness Week,” Christopher Hitchens penned a defense of the term.

If Annapolis Fails, What Then?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Leslie Susser - (Opinion) November 22, 2007 - 10:27pm

Days away from the Annapolis peace parley, the glaring weaknesses of both the Israeli and Palestinian leaders are raising significant questions about the long-term viability of the renewed peace process and the consequences of failure. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who may have wanted to use the conference as a dramatic breakthrough in peacemaking with the Palestinians, finds his hands tied by hawks in his coalition government.

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