Middle East News: World Press Roundup

An opinion by Ilene Prusher in the Christian Science Monitor discusses the role of Shas in pushing settlement growth (1). The Agence France Presse reports on US Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s recent comments supporting Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (2). In the Daily Star, Yossi Beilin suggests waiting for the new US administration before panicing (7) A Yehuda Lankri opinion in Haaretz discusses the upcoming visit of US ambassador James Cunningham (8).

Us Presidential Hopeful Backs Israel's Claim To Occupied Jerusalem As Capital
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
March 18, 2008 - 6:50pm

US Republican presidential candidate John McCain said on Tuesday that he supported Israel's claim to Occupied Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, flying in the face of the international community's stance. "I support Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," McCain said in Jordan on the latest leg of a visit to the region.

Barghouti, Abbas Popular For Palestinian Voters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Angus Reid Global Monitor
March 18, 2008 - 6:51pm

Two members of Fatah are the most popular presidential contenders for residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to a poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO). 24.3 per cent of respondents say Marwan Barghouti is their favourite candidate in the next presidential election, while 23.1 per cent prefer incumbent Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas member Ismail Haniyeh is third with 12.4 per cent, followed by Mustafa Barghouthi of the Palestinian National Initiative with 9.5 per cent, and former national security advisor Mohammed Dahlan with 5.2 per cent.

Olmert Defiant On Settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al Jazeera English
March 18, 2008 - 6:53pm

Ehud Olmert has said that Israel will not stop building on occupied land in and around Jerusalem, defying US criticism and sparking protests from Palestinians during renewed negotiations.   The Israeli prime minister said his government would continue to build hundreds of new apartments in Har Homa in east Jerusalem

' Anything Is Possible'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al- Ahram
by Saleh Al-naami - March 18, 2008 - 6:54pm

Just two weeks after Israel began its bloody incursions into the Gaza Strip Israeli-Palestinian negotiations resumed today under American auspices. Despite repeated decisions by the Israeli government to step up settlement and Judaisation activities in the West Bank, and a week following the attack on a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem, and the two sides are meeting against the backdrop of an un- announced truce that, with the exception of minor violations, appears to be holding.

Fanatics Taking Over
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yehuda Litani - (Opinion) March 18, 2008 - 6:58pm

Three days after the murder of the eight Mercaz Harav yeshiva students, I traveled to the only place in Jerusalem where Jews and Arabs meet every evening – the Abu-Leil family’s falafel stand in the French Hill neighborhood. On Saturday nights, the commotion here is usually at its peak: Groups of Jews and Arabs, each intermingling with its own, using its own language. 

Wait For A New Us Administration Before Panicking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Yossi Beilin - (Opinion) March 18, 2008 - 7:00pm

Before everyone starts considering closing down the Palestinian Authority (PA), ending peace talks, unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state or deciding to opt for a one-state solution, we should all calm down and wait another 10 months until January 2009, when a new administration takes office in the United States.

An Unwelcome Welcome
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yehuda Lankri - (Opinion) March 18, 2008 - 7:02pm

Maariv recently wrote about "disappointment in the Foreign Ministry" concerning the new U.S. ambassador to Israel, James Cunningham, whose appointment is described by Israeli "diplomatic sources" as a weak and strange choice of "a diplomatic bureaucrat" who lacks understanding of, and diplomatic background in, the Middle East.

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