Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The New York Times interviews a variety of Mideast experts to get a sense of the level of personal involvement by President Bush in upcoming Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty negotiations (2.) A Washington Post opinion by Jackson Diehl cautions against allowing the Gaza situation to simmer and calls for a Hamas-Israel ceasefire (4.) Christianity Today features the text of a letter sent to President Bush by U.S. evangelical leaders reiterating their previous public support for a two-state solution (5.) A Forward opinion by Leonard Fein stresses that the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains the only option despite the many challenges he lists that it faces (7.) Reuters reports on the impact in Gaza of Israeli fuel supply cuts to the strip (9.) The Economist (UK) analyzes the participation in and results of the Annapolis meeting (10.) A Daily Star (Lebanon) opinion by former Israeli education minister Shulamit Aloni, published in collaboration with Common Ground News Service, argues against the definition of Israel as a 'Jewish state' (13.) A Ynet/Yedioth opinion by Michal Radoshitzky urges that the post-Annapolis period leverage declarations and intentions into progress on the ground and in negotiations (16.)

Evangelical Leaders Reiterate Call For Two-state Solution For Israel And Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Christianity Today
by David Neff - December 3, 2007 - 4:10pm

This week the Bush State Department is devoting its full diplomatic efforts toward bringing a two-state resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Over the past few months, they have put on a full-court press to gather a broad representation of Arab world leaders to join Israeli and Palestinian negotiators for a historic meeting in Annapolis, Maryland. Now, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have agreed to a program of sustained and focused negotiations throughout 2008.

For Mideast Peace, Think Bigger
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Helena Cobban - December 3, 2007 - 4:11pm

Four-and-a-half years after the invasion of Iraq, President Bush has launched another, equally high-stakes, gamble in the Middle East. This time, it is a gamble for peace, the one he started at the Nov. 27 conference in Annapolis, Md. If it succeeds, it could do much to restore calm and hope to a region long cloaked in turmoil and dread. (It could also help salvage Mr. Bush's longer-term legacy.) But what if it fails?

No Alternative Destiny Less Complicated
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Leonard Fein - December 3, 2007 - 4:12pm

In the aftermath of last week’s surprisingly upbeat Annapolis meeting, all the talk’s about a two-state solution. The unwary may suppose that as soon as the domestic problems within Israel and among the Palestinians are resolved, the movement toward such a solution will be quite rapid.

Gaza Traffic Grinds To Halt As Fuel Cuts Bite
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal Al-mughrabi - December 3, 2007 - 4:15pm

Traffic in the Gaza Strip slowed to a trickle on Monday and some medical centres scaled back treatment as Israeli import cuts hit fuel supplies in the Hamas-run territory. Many petrol stations in Gaza closed and most private cars and taxis and buses stayed off the streets. Gazans said they were avoiding unnecessary journeys and some were struggling with their daily commutes.

Vol. 9, Issue 13
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Americans For Peace Now
by Middle East Peace Report - (Special Report) December 3, 2007 - 4:17pm


Israel Errs In Trying To Impose Its Jewish Identity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Shulamit Aloni - (Opinion) December 3, 2007 - 4:21pm

Jews are a people but not a nation; they are a religious ethnic group or as respected a tribe as may be. The Jewish citizens of Britain, including the orthodox, are British, and that is what is written in their passports and in the British population registry.

Lieberman's Cigar Test
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - December 3, 2007 - 4:24pm

While MKs from all the parties crowded into the Knesset cafeteria to watch the television broadcasts from Annapolis, Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman pushed aside the sign that bans smoking in the sitting room at the end of the main auditorium. It was clear he did not care a bit about the controversy over the joint declaration's content. Nor did the decision to begin accelerated talks about a final-status agreement arouse much excitement in right-wing circles, inside and outside the coalition.

The Lobby Strikes Back
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The American Conservative
by Scott Mcconnell - December 4, 2007 - 2:02pm

One prism through which to gauge the impact of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s The Israel Lobby and American Foreign Policy is a September incident involving Barack Obama. His campaign had placed small ads in various spots around the Internet, designed to drive readers to its website. One turned up on Amazon’s page for the Walt and Mearsheimer book. A vigilant watchdog at the New York Sun spotted it and contacted the campaign: Did Obama support Walt and Mearsheimer?

Pray For Success, Because Israel Will Pay The Price Of Annapolis Failure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) December 4, 2007 - 2:22pm

The Annapolis process is on its way. This week the permanent status negotiations will formally commence. On December 17 the international community will be convening in Paris to launch the second pillar of the process by committing hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuilding the Palestinian economy and supporting Palestinian institution development. Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayed together with Israeli and Palestinian security officials are already deeply engaged in beginning to implement the Palestinian obligations of the Road Map.

Adding Insult To Gaza's Injuries
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) December 4, 2007 - 2:25pm

At a time when the international community is meeting to try to resolve one of the longest standing conflicts in the world, around 20 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by Israel - in less than one week. These Israeli atrocities only fuel feelings of distrust between the two sides and further contribute to the isolation of the Gaza Strip. To make matters worse, hospitals in Gaza are beginning to run out of vital fuel supplies. This of course is a direct result of Israeli sanctions that have been imposed on the Gaza Strip.

The Failure Of Annapolis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy In Focus
by Stephen Zunes - (Commentary) December 5, 2007 - 4:51pm

Despite the best efforts by the Bush administration of putting a positive spin on the recently-completed summit in Annapolis to restart the “Performance-Based Road Map to Peace,” there is little reason to expect that it will actually move the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward as long as the United States insists on simultaneously playing the role of chief mediator and chief supporter of the more powerful of the two parties.

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