FROM Hazem Abu Shanab
War or Peace in the Middle East? Condoleezza Rice is back in the Middle East , where continuing rocket fire has Israel threatening more attacks on Gaza. In Ramallah today, the Secretary of State asked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to re-open peace talks he cancelled because of Israel's military incursion into Gaza. Although Israel has pulled out, Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, refused Rice's request, saying he first wants to mediate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. But Israel and the US are opposed. Can Secretary Rice get the Annapolis peace process back on track?
Bush Calls for New Summit after Olmert-Abbas Meeting in Jerusalem After a summit meeting today between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, President Bush called for a regional conference , chaired by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice , to resume the peace process. He offered US support to the new government in the West Bank with further efforts to isolate Hamas, which now controls Gaza. What about the divided authority between the West Bank and Gaza? Can there be peace with just part of the Palestinian Territories? Do Israelis still believe that peace is a realistic objective? We hear from Washington, Jerusalem and Gaza.
Two Palestines? After a week of fighting that killed at least 100 people, an "uneasy calm" is reported today in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed a new prime minister, but Ismail Haniyeh says he still holds that office. In any case, Haniyeh's Hamas faction now has total control in Gaza, with Abbas' authority now limited to the West Bank.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?