Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Karin Laub reports for the Associated Press on efforts to encourage investment in Palestine at the upcoming Bethlehem Conference (2). US President George W. Bush faces criticism for his latest trip to the Middle East (5). Thomas Friedman examines the question of Obama’s attitude toward Israel (6). As violence continues in Gaza (8) and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warns of escalation (9). In Y-Net News, Yehuda Litani argues for freeing Marwan Barghouti(10).

Bin Laden: Arab Leaders Sacrificing Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
May 19, 2008 - 5:46pm

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden lashed out at Arab leaders for "sacrificing" the Palestinians in a new message released Sunday and he called on Muslim terrorists in Egypt to help break the blockade of Gaza. Bin Laden called Arab leaders "agents of the crusaders" and "wolves" in the audio message posted on an Islamic militant Web site where al-Qaida leaders issue their statements. He portrayed the citizens of Arab nations as herds of sheep who have been handed over to the wolves to look after them.

Bush Wraps Up Mideast Trip With A Thud, Analysts Say
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Usa Today
by Charles Levinson - May 19, 2008 - 5:47pm

President Bush wrapped up his five-day Mideast tour Sunday with little visible progress on either of the main issues he highlighted: rising oil prices and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Instead, Bush was subjected to a wave of criticism as he delivered a lecture to the Arab world on the benefits of democracy. "This trip was an exclamation point on the fact that the mystique about American power is no longer there," said Steve Clemons, an analyst at the New America Foundation, a think tank in Washington.

Obama And Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Herald Tribune
by Thomas L. Friedman - (Opinion) May 19, 2008 - 5:49pm

Pssst. Have you heard? I have. I heard that Barack Obama once said there has to be "an end" to the Israeli "occupation" of the West Bank "that began in 1967." Yikes! Pssst. Have you heard? I have. I heard that Barack Obama said that not only must Israel be secure, but that any peace agreement "must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people." Yikes!

The Road Map Revisited
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
by Naomi Chazan - (Opinion) May 19, 2008 - 5:50pm

The "Performance-Based Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" highlights both the good intentions and the misplaced conceptions of its promulgators. Five years after its adoption, it lingers not as a tool for the achievement of a sustainable agreement but as a burdensome impediment to its realization.

Unknown Assailants Detonate Bomb Outside Gaza Cafe
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
May 19, 2008 - 5:50pm

Assailants detonated a bomb outside a popular cafe in Gaza City early Sunday morning, apparently part of a campaign by shadowy extremists to eliminate perceived symbols of Western influence. The pre-dawn blast smashed the cafe's windows and damaged its door. No one was hurt. Cafe owner Khalid Harbid said another bomb went off outside his cafe last month. He charged that Gaza's Islamic Hamas rulers are not protecting his business.

Barak To Mubarak: Gaza Terror Leading To Military Face-off
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - May 19, 2008 - 5:51pm

During his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in a Sharm el-Sheikh hotel on Monday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak reiterated Israel's commitment to the peace process, stressing that the continued terror emanating from Gaza can only lead to a full-blown escalation and even a military confrontation.

Pelosi's Pro-israeli Dictionary
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shmuel Rosner - (Blog) May 19, 2008 - 5:55pm

The speaker of the House of Representatives, the most powerful woman in the United States, perhaps in the world, has no doubts. She waves her hand dismissively, and says she relies on everyone. That includes the members of her Democratic Party who are running for president, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and also the Republican Party candidate, John McCain. They will all support Israel and all the rest is a matter of election-year politics and not real U.S. policy.

The No-return Point Of A Return To Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amir Oren - (Opinion) May 19, 2008 - 5:56pm

Colonel Nir Peres has one of the most frustrating jobs in the Middle East. He heads the Israel Defense Forces' Coordination and Liaison Administration at the Erez border crossing. Peres' efforts are aimed at preventing a large humanitarian disaster in Gaza, and he is trying to get the local population to blame Hamas for its distress. He must convince the IDF's top brass to show restraint and use force for immediate operational needs only, in order to maintain a chance of a calmer future within a generation or two.

Al-nakba: The Sponsor Of Arab Identities
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-ayyam
by Hassan Al-batal - (Opinion) May 20, 2008 - 3:54pm

Some Arabs and Israelis have started to take pleasure in asking Palestinians about their claim of being nation builders, and pointing specifically to their failure in building a nation of their own.

Israel's Leading Team: An Unfulfilled Promise
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Nimrod Novik - (Opinion) May 20, 2008 - 3:59pm

For decades, we Israelis have found ourselves frustrated by the shortcomings of our leaders and yearning for the miracle of a mid-life genetic mutation: an act of nature or nurture that would mesh the best in each and thus produce the ideal leader.

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