Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The demographic balance in Israel and the Palestinian territories is examined in the Washington Times (1.) Madeleine Albright urges the next American president to accept certain realities and to approach the Middle East in Partnership on the path to a new world. (4.) A survey suggests that the vast majority of Muslims worldwide want Western democracy and freedoms, but do not want them to be imposed (5.) An IPS piece examines the Gaza border and the current political realities in Gaza (7.) The Sydney Morning Herald writes about the reaction of human rights group, B’Tselem, to the dismissal of the disciplinary investigation into the killing of 21 Palestinian civilians (9.)

Why Lebanon Hasn't Slipped Into Civil War
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Helena Cobban - (Opinion) February 27, 2008 - 6:42pm

Lebanon's former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, was killed by a huge explosion near downtown Beirut in February 2005. Since then, the country has seen – in addition to the Israeli bombardments of summer 2006 – more than a dozen other mysterious assassinations. Nearly all those killed were, like Mr. Hariri, outspoken critics of the strong role that Syria plays inside Lebanon. Ever since 2005, analysts have speculated that Lebanon might be headed back into the civil war from which it extricated itself, with much difficulty in 1989.

Integrate Settlements And Security
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) February 27, 2008 - 6:43pm

Under the circumstances, and by comparison to its predecessors, the current Palestinian Authority government in Ramallah led by President Mahmoud Abbas and PM Salam Fayyad is making reasonable progress toward fulfilling its roadmap phase I security obligations. Of course there is still a lot to be desired--but the PA deserves better than the degree of reciprocation it has received thus far from Israel.

Most Muslims 'desire Democracy'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
February 27, 2008 - 6:45pm

The largest survey to date of Muslims worldwide suggests the vast majority want Western democracy and freedoms, but do not want them to be imposed. The poll by Gallup of more than 50,000 Muslims in 35 nations found most wanted the West to instead focus on changing its negative view of Muslims and Islam. The huge survey began following the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US. The overwhelming majority of those asked condemned them and subsequent attacks, citing religious reasons.

Un Report Calls Palestinian Terrorism Result Of Occupation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Bradley S. Klapper - February 27, 2008 - 6:46pm

A report commissioned by the United Nations says Palestinian terrorism is the inevitable result of Israeli occupation, an assertion that Israel rejected yesterday as inflammatory. more stories like this The report, posted on the UN Human Rights Council's website, says that while Palestinian terrorist acts are deplorable, "they must be understood as being a painful but inevitable consequence of colonialism, apartheid, or occupation." The report accuses the Jewish state of acts and policies consistent with all three.

Officials: Egypt Boosts Border Troops To Double Agreed Number
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 27, 2008 - 6:48pm

Egypt has discreetly boosted the number of troops deployed along the border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, beyond those set in a 30-year-old peace accord with Israel, Israeli officials said Tuesday. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said reinforcements started arriving after Hamas Islamists in Gaza blasted open the Egyptian border at Rafah on Jan. 23 in defiance of an Israeli-led blockade of the coastal territory.

Mideast: Gaza Border In Political Limbo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Khaled Moussa Al-omrani, Adam Morrow - February 27, 2008 - 6:49pm

One month after throngs of Palestinians flooded into Egypt's Sinai Peninsula from the Gaza Strip, the flashpoint Rafah border crossing remains tightly shut. But according to some opposition figures, the breach -- viewed by many as a victory for Palestinian resistance faction Hamas -- signalled the need for new border protocols consistent with shifting political realities.

Drifting Further From The Path Of Common Sense, Realism And Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Hasan Abu Nimah - (Opinion) February 27, 2008 - 6:50pm

Israel seems to be concerned by the slow pace of the peace negotiations jump-started by the US-sponsored meeting in Annapolis last November. Months have passed since that “historic” gathering was concluded, and yet there is no sign of any movement. Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert continue to meet regularly, but only “like two old men at the doctor’s office who meet up to chat before returning home to their afternoon nap”, as a Haaretz columnist recently put it.

Israeli Army Accused Of Turning A Blind Eye
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Sydney Morning Herald
by Ed Oloughlin - February 27, 2008 - 6:51pm

AN ISRAELI rights group yesterday claimed there was a "culture of impunity" in the Israeli security forces after the army decided not to order a disciplinary investigation into the killing of 21 Palestinian civilians in November 2006. The dead men, women and children included at least 13 members of the Athamneh family, among them a one-year-old girl. Another 35 people were injured as a dozen 155-mm heavy artillery shells struck the north Gaza town of Beit Hanoun.

A Poll That Disproves Western Myths About Muslims
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - February 27, 2008 - 6:52pm

Every few years a book is published that has the potential to change perceptions of millions of people, and, by doing so, perhaps to change policies of governments for the better. I believe that just such a book is the one that will be published in a few weeks titled: "Who Speaks for Islam," by John L. Esposito of Georgetown University and Dalia Mogahed of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies.

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