Tamar Herman, "No high Hopes for Annapolis": Some two-thirds of the Jewish public think that from Israel's standpoint it is impossible to go on indefinitely with the current state of relations between Israel and the Palestinians. A similar amount of Jewish citizens think that among the most urgent issues on Israel's agenda is the government's attempt to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Yet a large majority of this public does not believe that the Annapolis conference will significantly advance the chances of reaching a permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace, or even achieve a basic clarification of the differences between the two sides. Given these low expectations, it is no surprise that only a small minority reports steadily following the preparations for the conference.
Aluf Benn, "Rice Visit, in the shadow of Mlk": One can guess that the settlements, the checkpoints and the separation fences created by Israel on the West Bank bring back unpleasant memories of Jim Crow racial separation in the South.
WaPost: "Rice draws on "Spiritual Passion" in push for peace": U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice broke away from her diplomatic meetings here to sit down with the top religious leaders -- Christian, Jewish and Muslim -- of this holy city Monday night. According to people present, she heard about the failure of Israeli authorities to recognize the Greek Orthodox patriarch, a top Muslim cleric's lack of access to Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque and other complaints.
Akiva Eldar, "A prelude of Niceties": Ahead of Annapolis, Olmert and Abbas have agreed to disagree, while Bush is promising 'real results' Israelis and Palestinians who have met with United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in recent days and have spoken with her staff have gained the impression that she does not really know what on earth her boss wants from her. It isn't that Dr. Rice has a hearing problem. Her problem is that United States President George W. Bush has apparently not yet decided what exactly he wants to achieve at the Annapolis peace conference.
Ilene Prusher, "Hamas softening throws twist in talks": Hamas, the Palestinian movement that months ago battled rival Fatah for control of Gaza, is now beginning to wield a more conciliatory weapon: messages of moderation.
Stephen Lee Myers: Egypt expressed unusually strong support on Tuesday for the Bush administration’s efforts to hold an international conference this fall to begin negotiating peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Donald McIntyre: "Jerusalem is ours, warns Likud"
Rhami Koury: "US peace rabbit that is likely to fail" [kein Plagiat. :-)]