Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Reuters reports on the latest comments by Israeli PM Olmert regarding the necessity for Israel of sharing Jerusalem with the Palestinians as part of a final peace settlement (1), featured in an interview Olmert gave to the Jerusalem Post (13.) In The American Conservative, Michael C. Desch, Professor and Robert M. Gates Chair in Intelligence and National Security Decision-making at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, profiles the hardline neoconservative foreign policy advisory team surrounding Presidential candidate Giuliani and warns of the consequences of his winning the election (3.) A New York Times editorial urges President Bush to take concrete steps that will give the Israeli and Palestinian leaders the maximum support necessary to reach a peace agreement (4.) The Christian Science Monitor looks at the year-end report on the occupied territories by the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem (6.) The Middle East Times reports from Gaza on how a lack of spare parts, fuel and maintenance work for the sewage and water systems is creating conditions for an impending health disaster (8.) The Independent (UK) uses the example of Highway 443 in the occupied West Bank to illustrate how the Israeli policy of barring Palestinians from using it is designed to de-facto annex the land that the road travels through (9.) In BitterLemons (Israel/Palestine) former Palestinian minister of planning Ghassan Khatib takes a historical look at the Israeli settlement enterprise and identifies it as the main obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace (11.) An Asharq Alwsat opinion by British Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander urges the Arab world and international community to give the current opportunity for peace its full financial and political backing (12.) In Haaretz (Israel) Bradley Burston examines how the 1967 borders have become the internationally recognized parameters of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (14.)

Declaring Forever War
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The American Conservative
by Michael Desch - January 2, 2008 - 1:24pm

Like most Americans, I knew little about Rudolph Giuliani, save that he had been the very successful mayor of New York City catapulted to iconic status for his cool-headed demeanor after the Sept. 11 attacks. I was curious about where he stood as a presidential candidate, so in April 2007, I joined nearly 3,000 other Texas A&M faculty and students to hear him speak.

Israeli-palestinian Fatalities Drop, But Other Issues Persist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - January 2, 2008 - 1:28pm

In its year-end report issued on New Year's Eve, the leading Israeli human rights group B'tselem said that the numbers of Palestinians and Israelis killed in clashes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has dropped dramatically, but that other human rights abuses persist. Overall, the number of both Palestinians and Israelis who fell victim to the conflict decreased, a benchmark year that is being quietly noted by analysts as a sign of progress in a troubled region.

Israeli Arabs Split Over National Service Plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Ken Ellingwood - January 2, 2008 - 1:29pm

Seated in the corner of a bustling classroom, school volunteer Hanan Masarwa is barely visible amid a scrum of first-graders. The 18-year-old Masarwa is teaching the children to add as part of an Israeli national service program created in August. The volunteer program is an attempt to provide avenues, other than mandatory military service from which they are exempt, for integrating Arabs and religious Jews more fully into the mainstream Jewish state.

Gaza Sewage, Water Disaster Looms
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
by Mel Frykberg - January 2, 2008 - 1:31pm

More than 1.4 million Gaza Palestinians are facing an impending health disaster from decaying sewage and water systems that lack vital spare parts, fuel, and maintenance work, due to an Israeli economic siege on the Gaza Strip. "We are a one-generator-failure away from disaster," Michael Bailey, an Oxfam spokesman, told the Middle East Times.

Cautious Hope For Peaceful Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Asia Times
by Kaveh Afrasiabi - January 2, 2008 - 1:34pm

Unlike 2007, a rather bloody year in the history of modern Middle East, 2008 should have a better prospect for peace than at any time since 2001, year zero in the American-declared "global war on terror", assuming that the lame-duck George W Bush administration does not somehow stifle that prospect.

Bush's Gordian Knot
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
by Claude Salhani - (Analysis) January 3, 2008 - 4:02pm

U.S. President George W. Bush is about to embark on a tour of several Middle Eastern countries starting next week as his presidency rounds the corner heading for the final stretch of its second and final term at the White House. The president will travel to Israel, the West Bank, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt over a period of eight days starting Jan. 8.

Pa Takes Back The Keys To A Key City
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - January 3, 2008 - 4:45pm

Four young women from the Nablus neighborhood of Rafidiyeh went into a shop yesterday near the clock square in the center of Nablus. Dressed in the trendiest jeans and blouses, they were looking for fashionable leather bags. Two minutes later they came out empty-handed, disappointed at not finding what they wanted.

The Tribal Dynamics Of Old Play Out Again In The Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) January 4, 2008 - 1:29pm

The system of Middle East states as we know it today was largely imposed upon the wreckage of the Ottoman Empire by England and France, the victorious European powers of World War I. Judging by the current state of affairs, they did not do a very good job.

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