Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Rashid Khalidi reviews the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 60 years on (1). The AP provides an account of President Bush’s address to the Knesset (2). David Ignatius critiques Bush Administration policies in the Middle East (3). AFP reports that the Israeli army is prepared for military action in Gaza (4). David Makovsky evaluates the impact of allegations against the Israeli Prime Minister on peace talks (5). Ben White examines the effect of checkpoints in the occupied territories (6). HaimBaram examines Israeli fears (7), while AviShlaim recounts diplomatic relations between Israel and Jordan (8). Reuters demands information on the death of one of its cameramen (9).

The Squeeze On The Middle East's Moderates
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by David Ignatius - (Opinion) May 15, 2008 - 4:38pm

Watching the news from Lebanon, it's poignant to read the title of a new memoir by Jordan's former foreign minister, Marwan Muasher, "The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation." The daily headlines tell us that centrist Arabs such as Muasher are becoming an endangered species.

Army Ready For Gaza Assault After Rocket Attack: Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
May 15, 2008 - 4:39pm

Israel warned on Thursday that its forces were prepared to launch a major military operation in the Gaza Strip after a rocket attack that wounded at least 14 people while US President George W. Bush was in Israel. ‘The Israeli army has never been this ready to launch a large-scale operation in Gaza,’ said Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, a member of Israel's security cabinet.

Interview With David Makovsky: Probe Into Olmert's Finances Imperils Israeli-palestinian Peace Outline
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Council On Foreign Relations
by Bernard Gwertzman - (Interview) May 15, 2008 - 4:41pm

David Makovsky, an expert on Israeli politics, says there is concern that if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is forced to resign as a result of the investigation into his finances, this could turn "to an unraveling of whatever has been done on the Palestinian issue." In an interview from Israel, Makovsky says Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were close to some statement of principles that might serve as a document for both sides to ratify on the outlines of a peace treaty.

Israel's Secret Fears
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from New Statesman
by Haim Baram - May 15, 2008 - 4:43pm

Israel marks its 60th birthday in a climate of increasing racism, intolerance, corruption and militarism. A nation that has long seen itself as one of the most misunderstood is now almost unable to understand the world beyond its borders. Fear and anxiety provide the mood music of the celebrations.

Talking To The Enemy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from New Statesman
by Avi Shlaim - May 15, 2008 - 4:44pm

The conflict with the Arabs has cast a long shadow over Israel's history. In the Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv, on 14 May 1948, the founding fathers extended their hand in peace to all the neighbouring states and their peoples. Today, Israel is still at war with Syria and Lebanon and locked into a bitter conflict with the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank. The explanation that Israelis usually give for the failure to achieve peace in the Middle East can be summed up in two words: Arab intransigence.

Reuters Demands Explanation From Israel For Death Of Cameramen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
May 15, 2008 - 4:45pm

A month after journalist Fadel Shana was killed by an Israel Defense Forces tank crew in the Gaza Strip, Reuters renewed its demand on Thursday for a prompt explanation from the Israeli army of why it fired on its cameraman. Shana, a 24-year-old Palestinian, was killed on April 16 along with eight mostly teenage bystanders by darts known as flechettes that burst out of a tank shell in mid-air. Shana had been filming about 1.5 km (a mile) from two Israeli tanks.

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