Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israel allows the PA to open 20 civilian police stations (1). President Jimmy Carter’s trip to the region continues to grab national headlines (3,4). M.J. Rosenberg discusses the launch of the J-Street Project (5)while Jeremy Ben-Ami makes a case for a different meaning of “Pro-Israel (6).” Haaretz is critical of recent fighting in Gaza(10).

Palestinian Official Says Talks With Israelis Yield Little
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - April 18, 2008 - 6:17pm

The Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister on Thursday offered an unusually bleak assessment of the negotiations with Israel and said President Mahmoud Abbas would seek more active American intervention when he meets with President Bush in Washington this month. Riad Malki, the foreign minister and minister of information in the West Bank-based government, told the Foreign Press Association here that the talks on the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had so far yielded “no results.”

Carter Calls Israel Treatment Of Palestinians A Crime
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Jeffrey Fleishman - April 18, 2008 - 6:17pm

Former President Carter told a university audience here Thursday that the treatment of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military was "a crime" but that there were "officials in Israel quite willing to meet with Hamas" and that may happen "in the near future."

Carter Meets Hamas Chief In Syria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Bassem Mroue - April 18, 2008 - 6:19pm

Former President Carter defied U.S. and Israeli warnings and met Friday with the exiled leader of Hamas and his deputy, two men the U.S. government has labeled terrorists and Israel accuses of masterminding attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians. Carter is the most prominent American to hold talks with Khaled Mashaal, whose Palestinian militant group claimed new legitimacy from the meeting along with two other sessions the Nobel laureate held with Hamas leaders in the Middle East this week.

Israel Sets Plans For More Homes In West Bank Settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Sarah El Deeb - April 18, 2008 - 6:20pm

Israel announced plans Friday to build 100 more homes in two West Bank settlements, one deep inside the territory sought by the Palestinians for their future state. Israel's housing minister said Israel never promised to freeze all such construction, although a U.S.-backed peace plan calls for a moratorium on settlement building. In a television interview, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the expansion of settlements has emerged as a key obstacle to progress in peace negotiations with Israel.

Walking On J Street
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by M.J. Rosenberg - (Opinion) April 18, 2008 - 6:22pm

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen young Jews optimistic about anything related to Israel. I’m not talking about the college activists who, shocked at the anti-Israel sentiment on campus, find themselves joining up with conservative mainstream Jewish organizations to defend Israel to their skeptical peers. Those kids have always been around. I know. I was once one of the best-known campus activists for Israel, battling late 60’s and 70’s anti-Israel radicals almost non-stop.

Palestinians Demand Release Of Prisoners Held By Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
April 18, 2008 - 6:24pm

Palestinians held demonstrations across the Occupied West Bank Thursday in honor of Prisoner's Day and over 11,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails. In the north around 2,000 people gathered in the heart of Nablus, waving Palestinian flags and holding large, framed portraits of loved ones, an AFP correspondent said.

Mayor To Raise Funds For E. J'lem Arabs To Block Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Lis - April 18, 2008 - 6:27pm

Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski is planning to enlist world Jewry in a fund-raising drive for East Jerusalem's Arabs, in a bid to counter Hamas influence in local schools. The money will be used mainly for educational projects in the east of the capital, where an acute classroom shortage means many pupils end up in schools identified with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. "It should be a national imperative that every East Jerusalem child has access to a state school," Lupolianski said Thursday .

All Of Gaza Can't Be Razed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) April 18, 2008 - 6:27pm

Hamas can be blamed for the latest conflagration in the Gaza Strip. First came the attack on the Nahal Oz fuel depot; then came Wednesday's ambush, in which three Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed; and then yesterday, an attempt to infiltrate Kibbutz Keren Shalom was foiled. Meanwhile, the Qassam and mortar attacks have resumed fully. Hamas clearly wants to drag Israel into an increasingly violent retaliation in Gaza, and Israel must not fall into this trap.

Egypt: The Red Line
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - (Opinion) April 21, 2008 - 6:10pm

It is important that the Egyptians themselves, before anybody else, realize that Egypt is a red line and that endangering its security and borders, which are exposed to the regional game currently taking place, should not be tolerated. Egypt is an influential country, both in times of peace and war. Moreover, its cultural influence on the Arab world cannot be ignored. Egypt is a red line of which the Hamas leadership should be aware and should understand both in words and in practice.

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