Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Christian Science Monitor examines the results of a poll of the Palestinian public showing a dramatic decline in support for Hamas among the Palestinians with a vast majority, including Gazans, favoring President Abbas' path to peace negotiations with Israel (2.) The Los Angeles Times looks at how the new U.S. intelligence report on Iran's nuclear program plays into Arab concern over Iranian intentions in the region (5.) A Gulf News (UAE) opinion by George Hishmeh weighs the positive results of the Annapolis meeting with some of the negative moments (7.)

More Gazans Turn Away From Hamas As Fatah Heads Toward Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - December 6, 2007 - 4:29pm

Support for Hamas, the Islamist militant group that has controlled Gaza since June, has frayed as Israel keeps intense pressure on the thin, coastal strip and its chief Palestinian rival is embracing a language of peace.

Report On Iran Fuels Arab Fears
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Jeffrey Fleishman - December 6, 2007 - 4:31pm

The dwindling possibility of a U.S. attack on Iran is changing the dynamics of Middle East politics and raising Arab concern that Tehran may now feel emboldened to strengthen its military, increase its support for Islamic radicals and exert more influence in the region's troubled countries.

Politics: Is Iran Nie A Blessing In Disguise For Israel?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Trita Parsi - (Analysis) December 6, 2007 - 4:32pm

The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate's assertion that Iran currently does not have a nuclear weapons programme has caused much frustration in Israel. Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh referred to the report as a lie at a recent breakfast in New York, and Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer reportedly "doesn't buy" its findings.

Rebuffs That ‘diminish’ Bush’s Stature
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
December 6, 2007 - 4:44pm

The Bush administration has suffered three serious rebuffs since the Annapolis meeting at the end of November. The most dramatic was the rejection, on Monday, by all 16 of the United States’ intelligence agencies of administration claims that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

There Are No Happy Evacuations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - December 6, 2007 - 4:46pm

The initiative to pay compensation to settlers who live east of the separation fence and want to move to the western "Israeli" side seems both wise and just. Wise, because the "voluntary evacuation-compensation" law would signal to the world that Israel is folding up the West Bank settlement enterprise. Domestically, it would give a message of a soft evacuation, without the orange ribbons, bulldozers and tears of the Gaza disengagement.

Olmert Attempts To Bring Presidential Candidates Into Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - December 7, 2007 - 5:31pm

Looking to the post-Bush era in American politics, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is attempting to enlist leading presidential candidates to support his renewed push for a settlement with the Palestinians. When Olmert was in the United States for the Annapolis, Md., peace summit, he took the opportunity to call each of the leading presidential candidates to brief them on the plans for engaging in final-status talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Made In Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yotam Feldman - December 7, 2007 - 5:59pm

RAMALLAH - The streets here were tumultuous on the last Tuesday of November, the day the Annapolis conference opened. The Palestinians who didn't watch the proceedings on television streamed onto the streets, and a small demonstration in Manara Square by opponents of the summit escalated into a violent clash with the Palestinian police, who used truncheons and teargas to disperse the crowd.

An Insult To Intelligence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New Republic
by Yossi Klein Halevi - (Opinion) December 10, 2007 - 7:04pm

Since the early 1990s, when Israel first began preparing for a possible military strike against Iran's nuclear program, its security establishment has been divided not about the threat Iran posed--which was almost universally agreed upon to be grave--but about whether America and the international community would have the will to stop Tehran. Optimists noted the near-total Western acceptance of the Israeli intelligence assessment that the goal of the Iranian nuclear program was a bomb.

Let Them Leave
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yariv Oppenheimer - (Opinion) December 10, 2007 - 7:16pm

The recent announcement by Labor Party Chairman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak regarding his support for “evacuation-compensation” legislation revived the public debate on the question of isolated settlements located beyond the separation fence.

Meet The Neo-cons' Neo-con
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Australian
by Greg Sheridan - December 12, 2007 - 5:23pm

Occasionally  you recognise that you are in the presence of human greatness. I had that experience this week in Jerusalem when I went to interview Natan Sharansky. Sharansky was one of the most famous dissidents and refuseniks of the Soviet Union. Refuseniks were Russian Jews who wanted to live as Jews and migrate to Israel. They were prevented from doing either of these things by the harsh, totalitarian Soviet system.

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