Middle East News: World Press Roundup

In the Middle East Times, editor Claude Salhani examines the challenges facing President Bush as he attempts to bring about a resolution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict in the final year of his presidency (1.) In American Prospect, Israeli author and former editor Gershom Gorenberg uses the example of Israel's separation barrier in the occupied West Bank to illustrate that the solution to Israel's security issues is political rather than military (3.) In christian Century, senior contributing editor James Wall draws parallels with the Annapolis meeting and the Middle East in 1918 (5.) In Israel Policy Forum, Sadie Goldman details how an effective use of the funds pledged to the Palestinians at the Paris donor conference coupled with U.S. and Quartet engagement can lay the foundations of a future Palestinian state and address Israeli security needs (7.) Inter Press Service analyzes the implications of the fundraising partnership between the Jewish Agency and the Christian Zionist group the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (8.) A Daily Star (Lebanon) opinion by Rami Khouri takes issue with how Arab and Asian elites as well as U.S. presidential candidates are manipulating the issue of terrorism for political ends (10.) A Gulf News (UAE) opinion by editor-at -large Frances Matthew urges Arab leadership to address the three major Mideast trouble spots of Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon (11.) Haaretz (Israel) reports on the return of Palestinian Authority control over the West Bank city of Nablus (13.) Also in Haaretz, an editorial calls on President Bush to make a concerted push to bridge Israeli and Palestinian positions in the last year of his presidency (14.)

Former "dateline" Reporter Blasts Nbc
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Paul J. Gough - January 3, 2008 - 5:16pm

A former "Dateline NBC" correspondent claims that in the aftermath of September 11, the network diverted him from reporting on al Qaeda and instead wanted him to ride along with the country's "forgotten heroes," firefighters.

Down Payment On A State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by Sadie Goldman With Jason Proetorius And Ipf Staff - January 3, 2008 - 5:23pm

Every Israeli-Palestinian negotiating process comes with a price tag. The current process, which was re-launched in Annapolis, Maryland, and continued at the Paris Donor’s conference, is no exception.  It was in Paris that donors examined Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s three-year reform plan and then pledged 7.4 billion dollars to help implement it.

Christian Zionists Gain Israel's Inner Sanctum
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Bill Berkowitz - January 3, 2008 - 5:30pm

After raising more than two hundred million dollars for various projects in Israel, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), the organisation he founded and is president of, has hit pay-dirt.

The Beilin Syndrome
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - January 3, 2008 - 5:32pm

Mephisto, the demon who bought the soul of Faust in Goethe’s monumental drama, describes himself as “a part of that force which always wants the bad and always creates the good.” Yossi Beilin, who resigned this week as chairman of the Meretz Party, is Mephisto’s opposite: he always wants the good and all too often creates the bad.

The Rodeo Ride Of Manipulating Middle East Politics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) January 3, 2008 - 5:34pm

Four separate events in different parts of the world - Pakistan, Israel, the United States and wherever Osama Bin Laden makes his home these days - provided a gloomy but instructive start to the new year in the matter of Al-Qaeda-linked terrorism. The events were the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, a new audio tape by Osama bin Laden, Israel telling the world that Al-Qaeda is making inroads in Palestine, and US presidential candidates riding the terrorism horse like clowns at a rodeo.

Stand-offs Threaten Arab Region
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Francis Matthew - (Opinion) January 3, 2008 - 5:36pm

The Middle East has never needed effective political leadership more than at present. Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq are three very troubled states which are in danger of seeing very little political progress in the coming year, and the effects of the continuing violence ripple out to all other nations in the region. All three share similar problems of poor state structures, lack of leadership and endemic violence, but each has very different local conditions which have created their bad situations.

Our Violent Presence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - January 3, 2008 - 5:40pm

There is no Israeli whose presence in the West Bank is neutral. Civilian or armed, soldier or woman settler, resident of a quality-of-life settlement or a nearby outpost, MahsomWatch activist or guest at a settlement, Bezek worker or client at a Palestinian garage. All of them, all of us, are in this Palestinian territory, in the West Bank, because our state occupied it in 1967.

Bush's Final Effort
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) January 3, 2008 - 5:46pm

President George Bush will complete his second term in the White House in one year and two weeks, at his successor?s inauguration. Bush?s final year in office is already under the shadow in the battle over succession. Because of this, the U.S. media is expected to focus during his visit to the region next week on the first formal stages of the nominating process of the two main parties in Iowa and in New Hampshire, rather than on Bush?s meetings with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel Settlement Growth An "impediment": Bush
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Matt Spetalnick - January 4, 2008 - 2:25pm

U.S. President George W. Bush on Thursday called Israeli settlement expansion an "impediment" to revived peace efforts in rare criticism of the Jewish state less than a week before his first presidential visit there. In an interview with Reuters, Bush voiced optimism for securing an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal by the end of 2008, a goal set at November's Annapolis conference that has been viewed with widespread skepticism. He also acknowledged that obstacles remained after decades of Middle East conflict.

Inside Track: Spoiling To Spoil
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National Interest
by Barbara Slavin - (Opinion) January 4, 2008 - 2:28pm

On his first—and probably last—major trip to the Middle East, President Bush has a final chance to reorient and reinvigorate U.S. diplomacy in the region. If the past is any guide, however, Bush will miss another opportunity to reach out to U.S. adversaries and diminish their motivation to play the spoiler.

Yo, Anyone Who Fears Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
January 4, 2008 - 2:35pm

THE smart people are getting out of Jerusalem next week. Traffic mayhem is assured as George Bush and his entourage, about 800 souls, guarded by thousands of Israeli police, are whisked about in a fleet of armoured vehicles, complete with a bespoke helicopter brought in to fly the president to Capernaum, in northern Israel, where Jesus chose his apostles.

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