Middle East News: World Press Roundup

An opinion by Ori Nir in the Middle East Times suggests taking the Arab Peace Initiative directly to the Israeli public (1). In BitterLemons, Yariv Oppenheimer argues that continued settlement expansion is the biggest threat to the peace process (4). An editorial in the Daily Star presents a critique of Arab leaders (5). A Walid Awad opinion in Arab News puts forth the notion that an agreement between Palestinians and Israelis should be comprehensive and final and not a phased agreement (7). Shmuel Rosner blogs in Haaretz concerning the statement by evangelist John Hagee in response to recent accusations levelled at him by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, head of the Union for Reform Judaism (10).

Gadhafi Is Right To Say Arab Rulers Are Worthless - But So Is He
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) April 9, 2008 - 8:48am

In the aftermath of the Arab League's 20th summit in Damascus late last month, a number of Arab commentators and editorialists have criticized the regional body's chronic failure to break away from its two-decade-long pattern of impotence and inaction. Much like the 19 aimless meetings that preceded this year's gathering, the Damascus summit was marked by poor attendance, even poorer progress on substantive issues, and an abundance of made-for-government-owned-media rhetoric.

Olmert And Abbas Resume Meetings After Hiatus
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
April 9, 2008 - 8:49am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met for the first time in nearly two months on Monday with Palestinians cautioning that settlement expansion undercut the chances of a peace deal. Abbas’ aide Saeb Erekat described differences over building in Jewish settlements, especially around Jerusalem, as "very deep", but Israeli officials said the leaders agreed not to allow such issues to interrupt the US-brokered negotiations.

We Need Real Peace, Not A Shelved Piece Of Paper
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Walid Awad - (Opinion) April 9, 2008 - 8:50am

Unconfirmed reports circulating in the media say that Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is now busy with Palestinians drafting a preamble to a comprehensive peace agreement, a sort of another “declaration of principles”. A shelved document that will spell out all the core issues, and be adopted by the Quartet, the Security Council, and “moderate” Arab countries, to be signed by President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, witnessed and co-signed by President George W. Bush in West Jerusalem during his visit to Israel next month.

Gaza: Hamas Welcomes Deployment Of Arab Troops
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Saleh Al Naeimi - April 9, 2008 - 8:52am

The Hamas movement has announced that it welcomes the advent of Arab forces to Gaza only if the objective is to assist the Palestinian people resist the occupation and liberate their land. Commenting on what the Israeli news agencies had reported last Saturday (5 April) that Egypt had suggested deploying Arab forces in Gaza to help break the deadlock, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum denied that the movement had received such a proposal from the Egyptian government.

Evangelist To Yoffie: 'i'm Not Trying To Undermine Peace'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shmuel Rosner - (Blog) April 9, 2008 - 8:55am

Televangelist John Hagee sounded a bit irate when he read his response to the accusations leveled at him and the organization he founded, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, head of the Union for Reform Judaism.

Who Will Take The First Step?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
(Editorial) April 10, 2008 - 1:22pm

Throughout the 60 years of percolating Arab-Israeli conflict both sides have found it easier to declare war – or as the case may be, to wage war without bothering to declare it – rather than to declare peace. Yet recently, amid renewed fears of the possibility that Israel and Syria could resort to open warfare, fears heightened by the unprecedented military exercises carried out by Israel along its northern frontier, both countries have continued to make statements that they seek peace and not war.

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