Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Associated Press looks at increasing signs of serious Arab ministerial-level participation at the Annapolis meeting (2.) A Washington Post opinion by former Israeli justice minister and Israeli Knesset member Yossi Beilin lays out the case why Israel should urgently seek a ceasefire with Hamas (3.) A Forward opinion by Leonard Fein argues that a failure at Annapolis would have serious ramifications for Israel (5.) The Independent (UK) reports on statements by a senior UN official that the continuing siege of Gaza is counterproductive and breeding extremism (7.) A Financial Times (UK) opinion by senior New America Foundation fellow Anatol Lieven connects the dots between for American interests between addressing Islamist radicalism and resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (8.) The Guardian (UK) looks at Saudi deliberations leading to their announcement today that their foreign minister will attend the Annapolis meeting (10.) A Haaretz (Israel) opinion by Americans For Peace Now communcations director Noam Shelef exposes the agenda of certain Jewish-American organizations attempting to prevent Israeli government negotiations over Jerusalem (11.) An Arab News (Saudi Arabia) opinion by Walid Awad of the Fatah Central Media Commission identifies the parties attempting to undermine the Annapolis meeting in the face of growing international realization of the importance of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (14.)

Saudi Arabia To Attend Middle East Peace Meet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mohamed Abdellah, Will Rasmussen - (Opinion) November 23, 2007 - 6:25pm

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Friday he would attend a conference to relaunch talks on ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, a move that the United States and Israel hope will bolster the chances of its success. Saudi participation in the November 27 U.S.-hosted conference in Annapolis, Maryland could improve Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's ability to reach an agreement and help Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sell it to Israelis by holding out the prospect of wider peace with the Arab world.

Needed: A Cease-fire With Hamas, Now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Yossi Beilin - (Opinion) November 23, 2007 - 6:27pm

Hamas's victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006 and its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in June were very bad news for those who believe in Israeli-Palestinian peace. But as Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization prepare to launch formal negotiations on final status -- for the first time in seven years -- Israel should seek to reach a cease-fire with Hamas as soon as possible.

Airtime For Israel's Arabs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Ken Ellingwood - November 23, 2007 - 6:32pm

Maram frets that she's fat. Tony says men don't care how they look. Shahd thinks nose jobs are fine. It may sound like usual talk-show blather until you consider that the three commentators are preteen children. And something far more unusual for Israeli television: They are Arabs. Every week, Maram abu Ahmad, 12; Tony Khleif, 11; and Shahd Shahbari, also 11, get together on camera with an adult host to discuss, in Arabic, their lives and views during freewheeling chats that regularly veer into the minefields of politics and identity.

Un Official Says Israel's Siege Of Gaza Breeds Extremism And Human Suffering
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald Macintyre - (Opinion) November 23, 2007 - 6:36pm

A senior United Nations official has issued an unprecedented appeal to British MPs to use their influence to try to alleviate the impact of "indiscriminate" and "illegal" Israeli sanctions in Gaza which display "profound inhumanity" and are "serving the agenda of extremists".

Saudis To Attend Middle East Peace Conference
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Peter Walker - November 23, 2007 - 6:40pm

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister is to attend next week's Middle East peace conference, he announced today, in a significant boost to the US-sponsored talks. "I'm not hiding any secret about the Saudi position. We were reluctant until today," Saud al-Faisal told a press conference at the ongoing Arab League meeting in Cairo.

The Jerusalem Fig Leaf
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Noam Shelef - (Opinion) November 23, 2007 - 6:41pm

The latest assault on Israeli sovereignty comes from an unexpected direction. The Orthodox Union, together with a coalition of less-reputable Jewish American organizations, has launched a campaign arguing that the Israeli government lacks the authority to negotiate over Jerusalem.

Don't Knock Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) November 23, 2007 - 6:42pm

Lucky for Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill that the disparaging phrase "photo-op" had not been coined during their time. Otherwise, the wise guys of their generation would have torn into the Tehran Conference (1943) even before it could convene, causing the war to last even longer.

Annapolis: Why Failure Is Not An Option
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Walid Awad - (Opinion) November 23, 2007 - 6:44pm

The Israeli right-wing and its allies in the media are working relentlessly to undermine the Annapolis peace conference. To make the conference convened by President Bush, his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has made no less than eight visits to the Middle East in less than a year. But the Israeli government’s position on the conference has always been that of a reluctant participant, sending contradictory messages, lowering expectations and discouraging optimism about the outcome.

Backers, Opponents Of Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - November 27, 2007 - 1:38pm

It's the one major Muslim nation not on the invitation list for the upcoming U.S.-convened peace parley, yet it will haunt every discussion. Iran's importance to the Israeli-Palestinian peace conference in Annapolis, Md., was underscored by how the subject of Iran seeped into two recent Washington think-tank sessions on the talks -- one casting the renewed peace push as a means toward limiting Iran's influence, the other framing it as a gift to the Islamic Republic's plan for regional domination.

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