Middle East News: World Press Roundup

An opinion in Haaretz by Kadura Fares analyzes comments by Israel Housing Minister Ze'ev Boim concerning settlements (1). In UPI, Arnaud de Borchgrave seeks to understand the difference between mainstream media and the blogosphere (6). A discussion of economic conditions in the region and their impact on the peace process is the focus of a David Brodet opinion in BitterLemons (7). In Middle East Progress, an interview with retired Israeli Brigadier General Ilan Paz (8). Daoud Kuttab examines Israel’s deterrence strategy in a Daily Star opinion (9). The Jerusalem Post reports on Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu’s comments concerning the Yeshiva attack three weeks ago (11).

Fatah Says Hamas Must Cede Gaza Before Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ali Sawafta - March 27, 2008 - 12:07pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction on Wednesday ruled out talks with Hamas unless the Islamist group first cedes control of Gaza, casting doubt on a Yemen-sponsored reconciliation push. Fatah and Hamas, which seized control of the coastal enclave last June, agreed in Yemen this week to revive direct talks after months of hostilities to "return the Palestinian situation to what it was before the Gaza incidents."

Blair Urges Middle East Progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
March 27, 2008 - 12:10pm

Palestinians and Israelis must try to improve living conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to keep the peace process alive ahead of a visit by US President George W. Bush in May, Envoy for the Quartet of Middle East Peace Brokers, Tony Blair, said on Tuesday.   Blair also told the European Parliament that progress in the peace talks was crucial to build both sides' confidence in the negotiations and to show that Palestinians could take charge of security, and called for a new strategy on dealing with the Hamas -run Gaza Strip.

Egypt To Snub Syria's Arab Summit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bbc News
March 27, 2008 - 12:11pm

A junior cabinet minister will lead the Egyptian delegation instead. Saudi Arabia had said it would only send its Arab League representative rather than King Abdullah, and Lebanon is boycotting the summit completely. The political situation in Lebanon, which has prompted disputes between Arab countries, is being blamed for the upheaval, correspondents say. Lebanon has been without a president since November because of disputes between the pro-Western government, supported by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and the opposition, which is supported by Syria and Iran.

Of Yarmulkes And Epithets
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from United Press International (UPI)
by Arnaud De Borchgrave - (Opinion) March 27, 2008 - 12:12pm

To understand the chasm between mainstream media and the blogosphere, Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass" is a helpful guide. Tweedledum and Tweedledee, they are not. But they are frequently fact and factoid (an invented fact that is taken to be true because of its appearance in print). And many blogs have achieved the status of print by virtue of the fact that countless millions get their news online. The average age of a newspaper reader is 55. Onliners? Try 30.

Turning Words Into Concrete Actions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Progress
by Brigadier General (ret.) Ilan Paz - (Interview) March 27, 2008 - 12:17pm

Q: What is your current assessment of the Israel-Palestinian track since the Annapolis conference?

Gaza And The Failure Of Israel's Deterrence Strategy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) March 27, 2008 - 12:20pm

Every day in the Gaza Strip, strategic deterrence - the inhibition of attack by a fear of punishment backed up by superior military power - is being put to the test. The escalating spiral of violence by Israel and Gaza militants indicates not only that deterrence is failing, but also that its effectiveness depends on adherence to fundamental standards of morality.

Olmert Threatens 'painful' Steps Against Hamas, Rules Out Truce
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - March 27, 2008 - 1:23pm

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed Wednesday that Israel would take 'painful' measures against Hamas, and ruled out any possibility of talks toward a cease-fire. "We are not talking to Hamas and we are not going to compromise with someone that is consistently shooting rockets on the heads of Israelis," Olmert told foreign journalists at a news conference, speaking in English. "We will deal with Hamas in other ways and these ways will be very painful."

' State Should Have Hanged 10 Sons Of Terrorist'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Matthew Wagner - March 27, 2008 - 1:25pm

Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu called on the state to use brute force as a deterrent to future terror attacks, following the shooting at the capital's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva three weeks ago that killed eight students. "A state that really respects the lives of its citizens would have hanged the 10 sons of the terrorist on a tree 50 amot [25 meters] tall, so that others would see it and be afraid," wrote Eliahu, referring figuratively to the Book of Esther's depiction of how the Jews of ancient Persia took revenge against Haman and his 10 sons.

The Folly At Givat Ze'ev
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Amnon Rubinstein - March 27, 2008 - 1:27pm

The admonition delivered to Israel by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice regarding its resumption of the construction of 750 housing units in Givat Ze'ev raises afresh the question of establishing or expanding Jewish settlements in territories generally considered to be Palestinian. These admonitions were accompanied by strongly worded statements made by the secretary-general of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, and by the EU, referring to Israel's road map undertaking to cease such settlement activities.

Let A 'peace Contract' Precede An Actual Treaty
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Avshalom Vilan - (Opinion) March 27, 2008 - 1:29pm

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced two weeks ago in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel would continue to negotiate with PA President Mahmoud Abbas for peace in the West Bank on the one hand; while on the other hand, it would fight Hamas in Gaza as if there were no peace negotiations.

Statement On Re-launching The Ministry Of Finance’s Website
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ministry Of Finance
by Salam Fayyad - March 27, 2008 - 6:48pm

It is my honor today to announce the re-launching of the Ministry of Finance website. I would also like to announce our commitment to post on this site monthly reports on our financial operations on the 15th of each month.

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