Middle East News: World Press Roundup

A Middle East Times editorial argues that the Bush initiative for Mideast peace is the only game in town despite the many challenges (3.) The Forward identifies the weakness of both the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships as being the main obstacle to the peace accord promised by President Bush by the end of 2008 (5.) The Economist (UK) analyzes Arab reaction to the recent Bush Mideast visit (7.) A Gulf News (UAE) opinion by ATFP president Dr. Ziad Asali urges silent majorities on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to seize their future destiny from extremists (9.) A Haaretz (Israel) opinion by Yoel Marcus is critical of the Yisrael Beiteinu party for leaving the Israeli government coalition (11.) A Jerusalem Post (Israel) opinion by Gershon Baskin lays out in detail what an Israeli-Palestinian permanent status agreement would look like on all the core issues (13.)

Hamas Police Force Recruits Women In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Taghreed El-Khodary - January 18, 2008 - 6:28pm

The policemen of Hamas now have company: since the Islamic group took over here last June it has been recruiting policewomen as well. Since mid-August, 60 women have been accepted into the force. Unlike policemen, the women have not played any role in resisting the latest Israeli incursions, instead working mostly on cases that involve dealing with women, like drugs and prostitution, and helping out at police headquarters and the central jail.

Olmert Government Teeters As Lieberman Quits, Others May Follow
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Roy Eitan - January 18, 2008 - 6:29pm

A right-wing party delivered Ehud Olmert the most overt domestic rebuke yet to his attempts to seek a peace deal with the Palestinians by quitting the prime minister's coalition government. The pullout of the Yisrael Beiteinu party announced Wednesday comes just two weeks before what might be an even tougher challenge to Olmert: the publication of the final report on his handling of the 2006 Lebanon war.

The Recent Outbreak Of Violence In Gaza Only Serves Hamas' Enemies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) January 18, 2008 - 6:34pm

The past week has seen a rapid degeneration from bad to worse in the Gaza Strip, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's vow to continue waging "war" on the besieged territory does not bode well for more than one million civilians who live there. Having already been half-starved into submission by the economic strangulation imposed on them by Israel and the international community, Gazans now find themselves caught between an escalating battle between militants and Israeli forces.

Is It A Budding Partnership?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Ziad Asali - (Opinion) January 18, 2008 - 6:35pm

Even the most sceptical of us would have to concede that things are better now than they were a few months ago, as they hasten to add that we have been here before and that this too shall pass. Yes, things are better: Palestinian and Israeli officials are talking, and final status issues are being discussed, though they are not being resolved.

President Bush — Neither A Peacemaker Nor A Warmonger
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Osama Al-sharif - January 18, 2008 - 6:37pm

There were two sides to President Bush as he toured the Middle East last week. One was Bush the peacemaker, who called for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and vowed to see negotiations culminating in a peace treaty between the two sides before the end of his term in about a year. The other side was Bush the Iran basher — not exactly the warmonger since no one believes the president of the United States has the clout or the stomach to launch another war in this troubled region.

A Shameless Deserter
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yoel Marcus - January 18, 2008 - 6:39pm

There is nothing more dishonorable than a soldier who deserts his unit during a war. There is nothing more cowardly and despicable than a soldier who runs off and abandons his comrades on the battlefield to save his own skin. How selfish, spineless and ugly of the Yisrael Beiteinu party to quit the coalition while a bloody battle is underway in Gaza. How egotistical of its chairman, Avigdor Lieberman, to choose the worst possible moment to shirk his government responsibility.

The March Of Cynics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Meron Benvenisti - January 18, 2008 - 6:43pm

The prize for the most sharply cynical remark goes to President George W. Bush, who said in Ramallah of the Israel Defense Forces crossing points: "You'll be happy to hear that my motorcade of a mere 45 cars was able to make it through without being stopped." No doubt, he was speaking ironically, but even if he added that he wasn't "so exactly sure that's what happens to the average person," he should be reminded of the saying that one doesn't mention rope in a hanged man's home.

What Does It Mean To Be The Pro-israel Candidate?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The American Prospect
by Gershom Gorenberg - (Commentary) January 22, 2008 - 7:05pm

For the record, Rudy Giuliani gives me the very deep creeps, relieved only by his current poor electoral prospects. I mention this because some people think he is the most pro-Israel of candidates. If so, may God protect Israel from its friends.

Reckless In Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Editorial) January 23, 2008 - 8:40pm

Ehud Olmert, Israel’s perpetually embattled prime minister, probably thought he was performing a daring display of political balancing this week. First he saw off the visiting President Bush with grand words of peace. Then he announced that he opposed any major ground incursion into lawless Gaza. The next day, his troops opened up the bloodiest day of Israeli-Palestinian fighting in more than a year.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017