Middle East News: World Press Roundup

In a statement issued by the Palestinian National Authorit, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad discusses the re-launching of the Ministry of Finance’s website (3). An editorial in the Daily Star discusses Lebanon’s missed opportunity with respect to the Syrian Arab summit (4). In the American Prospect, an opinion by Gershom Gorenburg examines attacks made at US Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama concerning his association with Robert Malley (8). Stewart Ain reports on the status of peace talks before the arrival of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in The Jewish Week (9). In Haaretz, Shmuel Rosner cautions Secretary Rice and US President George W. Bush (11).

The Peace Process Will Be Weakened
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by David Brodet - (Opinion) March 27, 2008 - 12:15pm

The economic crisis we are currently experiencing appears to be extreme, largely because it really comprises three major simultaneous and interlocking crises. The first is a complex financial crisis in the American capital market. The second is a prolonged macro-economic crisis in the United States that began several years ago and affects global currency exchange rates. And the third is the extreme rise in oil prices.

Olmert Upbeat On Mideast Peace Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Ashraf Khalil - March 27, 2008 - 6:45pm

Amid ongoing rocket fire from Gaza Strip militants and efforts by the Israeli government to shore up the Palestinian Authority, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday said he was optimistic that current negotiations would produce a lasting peace with the Palestinians. "We want it. They want it. We have to agree. It's not easy. It takes time," Olmert said during a briefing with foreign journalists. "Those who want peace, those who want good neighborly relations, will prevail. . . . These are not empty talks. We are very serious."

Olmert Pours Cold Water On Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
March 27, 2008 - 6:47pm

  Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Wednesday that he expected that only a framework of a peace deal could be reached with Palestinians by the end of the year, not an actual agreement. The Israeli premier also announced that Israel would continue construction in large settlement blocs in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Arab Summit: Lebanon's Missed Opportunity Was Syria's, Too
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) March 27, 2008 - 6:49pm

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem got two things right on Wednesday, opining that Lebanon was wasting an opportunity by staying away from the upcoming Arab League summit in Damascus and that America was  conspiring to undermine the gathering. The Lebanese government, after all, might have achieved considerable gains by taking part in the event. And it is clear that the US government continues to hold several peoples hostage to its own designs for a new order in the region.

Amnesty Urges Israel To Let Cancer Patient Leave Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
March 27, 2008 - 6:51pm

The Israeli military should allow cancer patient Karima Abu Dalal to leave the Gaza Strip to obtain desperately needed medical care in Israel, Amnesty International said on Wednesday. "Karima Abu Dalal's life now hangs in the balance because of the Israeli Army's failure to allow her a permit to leave Gaza to obtain specialist cancer treatment not available there," the rights group said in a statement. "The Israeli authorities should immediately allow her to access the treatment she needs."

Abbas Gets Ticket To White House
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
March 27, 2008 - 6:52pm

President Bush has invited Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to the White House in an effort to give a kick to Mideast peace talks, the White House said Thursday. The plan, which envisions talks around the beginning of May, was revealed to reporters on Air Force One by National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe, who was accompanying Bush on a flight to Dayton, Ohio.

The Strange Case Of Robert Malley
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The American Prospect
by Gershom Gorenberg - (Opinion) March 27, 2008 - 6:53pm

Of all the recent efforts to smear Barack Obama, none strikes me as stranger than the claims that one of his informal advisers on foreign affairs, Robert Malley, is anti-Israel. This, in turn, is supposed to prove that as president, Obama is liable to institute dangerous changes in U.S. policy toward Israel.

Rice Visit Prompts Israel Policy Shift
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Week
by Stewart Ain - March 27, 2008 - 6:55pm

Just days before Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s scheduled arrival in Israel Saturday night, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced a series of moves to bolster the Palestinian Authority, including the deployment of another 600 Palestinian policemen and approving permits for thousands of Palestinians to work in Israel. The issuance of work permits is a major change in Israeli policy, according to Yitzhak Reiter, a professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Barak Promises Israeli Gestures To Fayyad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - March 27, 2008 - 6:57pm

Barak promises Israeli gestures to Fayyad Defense minister meets with Palestinian prime minister in Tel Aviv ahead of US secretary of state's visit later in week, announces easing of restrictions in West Bank Roni Sofer Defense Minister Ehud Barak met Wednesday night with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and announced Israel would ease restrictions for Palestinians living in the West Bank. This ahead of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit to the region this coming Friday. 

Drive Slowly
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shmuel Rosner - (Opinion) March 27, 2008 - 6:58pm

U.S. President George Bush is finishing his tenure in office precisely as he began it: still determined not to repeat the mistakes of the previous administration, that of Bill Clinton. In 2000 this determination had one face: stopping over-investment in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. Bush saw his predecessor buried under the rubble of Camp David and found no reason to retrace that same path. On February 9, 2001, the Bush administration announced that the Clinton proposals during that failed summit "were no longer United States proposals."

The Same Air, The Same Water
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Meron Benvenisti - (Opinion) March 27, 2008 - 6:59pm

Ecological issues have become central in public discourse, with almost all activity in the fields of transportation, infrastructure, industry and agriculture spurring a lively debate on their environmental impact. The discussion long ago went beyond the limited themes of protecting nature reserves, wild animals and plants, and has begun to bite into sacred myths about the "conquest of the wilderness" and the dressing of the land "in a frock of cement and concrete."

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