Author David Grossman, upon receiving the Emet Prize for Arts, Science and Culture, did not shake the hand of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert or Supreme Court President Justice Dorit Beinisch at the awards ceremony Wednesday night in the Jerusalem Theater, as Olmert defends his title as most corrupt member of government. Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday called on Defense Minister Ehud Barak to outlaw the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee. In a letter to the defense minister, Lieberman said that the body presented "a threat to Israel's existence as a Jewish, Zionist state.", as Barak sees a military operation as a viable option for dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat and that the Israel Defense Forces are approaching a major incursion into the Gaza Strip. [Langsam wirds für Barak zeitsparender eine Liste mit Staaten die er NICHT angreifen will runter zu leiern. Und Lieberman? Barakeh: "His power grew in murky swamps of racism and hate"]
The High Court of Justice in Israel has instructed the State Prosecution to explain within a week how planned cuts to the Gaza Strip's power supply will not a cause a humanitarian crisis to the residents of the coastal territory. The court decided to issue the instruction after justices reviewed petitions presented by several human rights organizations seeking to stop the government's plans to scale back the supply of fuel and electricity to the Strip, and the The United States has complained to Israel that it is undercutting the ability of Palestinian forces to expand their security control of the West Bank before a U.S.-sponsored peace conference. [Interessanter Bericht zu Nadia Hilou. Hingegen eher schwach, das die Amerikaner in Washington taktieren, während ihr Gen. Dayton am Mittag durch Nablus spaziert und "seiner" neuen Fatah-Truppe nur schweigende Aufmerksamkeit schenkt.]
Attack on Syria, Part XXXIV: Turkey considers Israel's violation of its airspace during a mysterious bombing in neighbouring Syria to be a "closed matter" after receiving a formal apology, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said. Israel has not given details on the Sept. 6 raid, which some analysts believe targeted a Syrian nuclear facility. But Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert apologised last month after Ankara complained at the discovery of warplane fuel tanks on its turf. "It is no easy thing to discover that combat jets from a friendly state have penetrated your skies overnight. It is good that you apologised, even though the apology was late," Gul said an interview published on Tuesday in Israel's Maariv newspaper. "As we see it, the matter is closed and we hope that it will not be repeated in the future," he said. [reuters]
Yohara Baker, "Will Annapolis be a bust?": It looks as if the long-anticipated November summit is actually going to be held in November like scheduled. After much speculation and rumors of delay, the United States has announced November 26 as the tentative date for the Middle East peace summit to be held in Annapolis, Maryland. While the Palestinians, Israelis and even the Americans are all no strangers to summits, agreements and peace conferences all gone bust, this summit could just be the make or break meeting for all those involved. Everyone, - politicians and political pundits alike – agree that the autumn summit under American auspices, is a risk, a political wager, that could result either in a breakthrough of sorts or disastrous repercussions for the Palestinians in particular. +++++ New York Times, "That promised Peace Conference"
Helene Cooper, "Olmert backs MidEast conference": Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel issued his strongest and most vocal support yet on Sunday for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s efforts to forge a Middle East peace plan, raising the possibility of making peace with the Palestinians before the conclusion of the Bush administration. “If we and the Palestinians act with determination, there is a chance that we can achieve real accomplishments — perhaps even before the end of President Bush’s term in office,” Mr. Olmert told a gathering of dignitaries at a dinner here sponsored by the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy. +++++ Robert Novak, "Carters clarity, Bushs befuddlement": The timing of the release of the new documentary "Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains" was not intentional. The movie is arriving in theaters just before the Bush administration's proposed Middle East conference in Annapolis, scheduled for the end of this month. But the former president's clarity on the Palestinian question contrasts sharply with George W. Bush's refusal to face reality, casting a pall over hopes to conclude his presidency with a diplomatic triumph. +++++ Karen Deyoung, "In MidEast Rice pushes Annapolis talks": Israel is ready to put "all basic questions, all the substantive problems, all the historical questions" about Palestinian statehood on the table in a U.S.-hosted peace conference later this month in Annapolis, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday. "It is time," Olmert said in an impassioned speech. "All questions are on the agenda. We won't run away from any of them." +++++ Sue Pleming, "Rice seeks MidEast peace while Bush is in office": Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joined Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Monday in voicing hope they could reach a peace agreement before President George W. Bush leaves office in January 2009. +++++ Ashraf Khalil, "Rice expects little from MidEast trip": Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice returned to Israel on Sunday for the third time in six weeks, seeking to nudge the Israeli and Palestinian sides before an upcoming U.S.-sponsored peace conference. But after a day of meetings with Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Rice acknowledged that her two-day visit was unlikely to get the two sides to agree on the joint pre-conference statement of goals that the U.S. has sought. +++++ Barak Ravid, "Olmert: Core issues are on the Annapolis agenda": Prime Minister Ehud Olmert took the stage at the Saban Forum on Sunday evening in Jerusalem, and delivered an impassioned speech promising to seriously pursue current Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, saying that "all the fundamental questions and substantial problems will be on the table at Annapolis." +++++ Ilene Prisher, "Israel puts Jerusalem on the negotiating table": As she visits the Middle East this week, USSecretary of State Condoleezza Rice is pressing Israeli and Palestinian leaders to commit to confidence-building measures and a timetable ahead of an upcoming US-sponsored peace conference in Annapolis, Md. Israel has resisted a timetable, but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a major speech Sunday night that he is ready to begin accelerated peace talks – even on final-status issues such as Jerusalem. Mr. Olmert's statement reiterated recent remarks by Israel's deputy prime minister indicating that Israel must be prepared to discuss giving up parts of Jerusalem – potentially dividing the city – in upcoming negotiations with the Palestinians. +++++ Karen DeYoung, "Abbas sees palestinian state soon achievebal": Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that he believes the path to peace with Israel is now clear and that a Palestinian state can be achieved before the end of the Bush administration in January 2009. +++++ Ashraf Khalil, "Rice sounds optimistic tone as she leaves MidEast": As U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wrapped up her latest Middle East mission, Palestinian officials acknowledged Monday that a timetable to finish negotiations leading to establishment of a Palestinian state will not be finalized before an upcoming U.S.-sponsored peace conference.
Yoshua Mitnick, "Restive Nablus challenges Fatahs Abbas": Over the course of the second Palestinian intifada, this city became the West Bank's capital for car thefts, kidnappings, and suicide bombers. Now, with 300 security officers from the Palestinian Authority (PA) freshly deployed around Nablus, the city has become a testing ground for an embattled Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. Analysts say that Mr. Abbas must prove to his American and Israeli supporters that he has the power to control this defiant city, which could go the way of the Gaza Strip if central government control is not exerted. Abbas's Fatah Party was routed from Gaza in a violent coup led by its rival, the Islamic militant group Hamas. +++++ Rory McCarthy, "Fatah targets Mosques in latest anti-Hamas-campaign": The Palestinian Fatah-led government has mounted a crackdown on preachers from the rival Hamas movement, arresting or sacking clerics accused of spreading political dissent. The Fatah campaign, which is being enforced across the West Bank, is a reaction to the violent Hamas takeover of Gaza in June and marks a widening divide between the two factions and territories. +++++ Donald McIntyre, "New palestinian police makes tense debut in West Bank"
Hassan Afif el-Hassan, "Balfour declariation": The Palestinians today are dispossessed and oppressed. The vast majority is either living under occupation or in refugee camps across the Middle East or living as second class citizens inside Israel deprived of their human rights. The British owe the Palestinians an apology for planting the seed of the disasters that have befallen them beginning ninety years ago. Britain never apologized for giving itself the right to grant a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine against the will of its Arab population who constituted 93 percent of its inhabitants. Just in case somebody forgot, let us review the story of the British colonialists in Palestine.
Lee H. Hamilton, "The art of the possible": AMERICAN FOREIGN policy confronts a basic paradox. The United States stands alone as the world’s most powerful nation, with the strongest military, the largest economy, the highest level of technological capacity and the most extensive cultural influence around the world. Even after the setbacks of recent years, no other single power or grouping of states comes close to matching the United States. And yet America’s ability to accomplish things abroad has rarely—in recent memory—seemed so limited. Why?