Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Washington Post repots on US Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s support of Israel (1). A Baltimore Sun opinion by Hagit Ofran discusses ongoing settlement building despite assurances of a settlement freeze (3). Reuters reports comments made by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice concerning the suffering of Gaza civilians (5). A report compiled by the Global Investment House suggests growth in the Palestinian economy (7). An opinion by George Hishmeh in the Gulf News urges Israel to look to the mistakes of others (8). Yoav Stern reports for Haaretz that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has not ruled out armed conflict in the future (12).

The Fading Jihadists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by David Ignatius - (Opinion) February 28, 2008 - 4:38pm

Politicians who talk about the terrorism threat -- and it's already clear that this will be a polarizing issue in the 2008 campaign -- should be required to read a new book by a former CIA officer named Marc Sageman. It stands what you think you know about terrorism on its head and helps you see the topic in a different light.

Still Building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Baltimore Sun
by Hagit Ofran - (Opinion) February 28, 2008 - 4:39pm

Every few days, Israel's prime minister repeats his commitment to freeze West Bank settlements and remove illegal outposts. Such commitments and statements from successive Israeli governments have been a part of our lives since the 1993 Oslo agreement.

Hamas Rocket Attacks Must Stop: Rice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
February 28, 2008 - 4:40pm

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that Hamas rocket attacks against Israel “need to stop,” demanding an end to the escalating violence that has rocked the Gaza Strip and set back US efforts to promote a Mideast peace deal. Her comments came after she met for an hour with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during a visit to Japan.

Rice Concerned About Gaza Civilians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 28, 2008 - 4:40pm

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice voiced concern on Thursday about Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, but stopped short of an explicit call for Israel to exercise restraint. A surge in Israeli-Palestinian violence along the border of Gaza has raised fears of a full-scale conflict amid public pressure on Israeli President Ehud Olmert for tougher military action to deal with rocket attacks by Islamic group Hamas.

Whose Jerusalem Is It, Anyway?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Slate
by Shmuel Rosner - (Opinion) February 28, 2008 - 4:41pm

"Arafat balked at not having sovereignty over all of East Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount." That's former President Bill Clinton's version of the defining moment of the failed Camp David summit of 2000. "He turned the offer down." Clinton "called Arab leaders for support," but "most wouldn't say much." Not one of them was brave enough—or stupid enough—to take the credit and the blame for helping Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat give up, even if only symbolically, on Muslim control of the Temple Mount.

Share Trading On Palestine Securities Exchange Up 34%
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ame Info
by Global Investment House - February 28, 2008 - 4:44pm

The PSE saw Al Quds Index shedding 12.8% in 2007, compared to losses of 46.4% in 2006. Losses continued to accumulate during the first eight months of the year, with the index reaching a low of 408.10 points in late August, as many investors divested their portfolios amid uncertainties of future market trend. However, the index recuperated toward the end of the year to close at 527.26 points. Market breadth was negative, as decliners outnumbered advancers with a ratio of 5.8:1, indicating a widely-spread downward trend.

Israel Must Learn From Mistakes Of Others
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) February 28, 2008 - 4:45pm

Why doesn't Israel learn from the mistakes of other nations, including its arch-supporter, the United States, in conducting its policies, which have been directly responsible for the state of malaise in the Middle East. For a start, all Israel has to do is to closely examine US foreign policy especially the blunders committed during the administration of George W. Bush.

Hope Still Alive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) February 28, 2008 - 4:46pm

Today His Majesty King Abdullah starts a working visit to the US, with a schedule of talks and meetings intended to enhance bilateral relations and tackle a host of other issues. It is not strange that the Palestinian question will be one of the top issues to be discussed during His Majesty’s talks with US President George W. Bush and other key US administration officials, as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The Israeli Intransigence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al Hayat
by Randa Takieddine - (Opinion) February 28, 2008 - 4:48pm

Every time the Israeli army or its leadership loses a certain battle, it treats its investigation into the causes behind this fiasco as some form of repentance. Many reports and investigations followed the war on Lebanon in 2006 as well as the horrible massacres in Qana and before that Sabra and Shatilla. But nothing really changed in the perspective of an Israeli leadership that fails to see that its policies will backfire and haunt its fate in the future.

On The Edge In The South
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) February 28, 2008 - 4:49pm

Yesterday, when he eulogized Dan Shomron, the 13th chief of staff who was his immediate predecessor and his friend, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that Shomron was "one of the Israel Defense Forces more daring architects, and at the same time one of its more level-headed ones." Israel is now in need of such a combination of daring action and good judgment, in light of the escalation in the attacks on its communities from Sderot to Ashkelon.

Abbas: I Oppose Armed Struggle, But Won't Rule Out Option For Future
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yoav Stern - February 28, 2008 - 4:50pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that while he opposes taking up armed struggle against Israel at the present time, he would not rule out the option for the future. "I do not support a return to armed struggle at this point in time. But, at a later date, this could be an option for the Palestinian people," Abbas said on Thursday during an interview with the Jordanian newspaper Al-Duster.

Thinking The Unthinkable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Editorial) February 29, 2008 - 6:03pm

Israel is in a diplomatic and military jam that keeps getting worse, but has no obvious solution. It is rapidly approaching the demographic tipping point, when Palestinian Arabs outnumber Israeli Jews in the land now under Israeli control. When that happens, Israel will find that it has become a minority-rule state, and it will have to make the choice it has avoided up to now: whether to be a Jewish or a democratic state.

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