January 2nd

Settlements Contradict The Essence Of Peacemaking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) January 2, 2008 - 2:36pm

The policy of establishing and expanding settlements may well be the only constant in Israeli practices on occupied Palestinian territory since 1967. Yet it is possible to discern several distinct phases in this policy depending on the party in power in Israel.

Cautious Hope For Peaceful Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Asia Times
by Kaveh Afrasiabi - January 2, 2008 - 2:34pm

Unlike 2007, a rather bloody year in the history of modern Middle East, 2008 should have a better prospect for peace than at any time since 2001, year zero in the American-declared "global war on terror", assuming that the lame-duck George W Bush administration does not somehow stifle that prospect.

Gaza Sewage, Water Disaster Looms
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
by Mel Frykberg - January 2, 2008 - 2:31pm

More than 1.4 million Gaza Palestinians are facing an impending health disaster from decaying sewage and water systems that lack vital spare parts, fuel, and maintenance work, due to an Israeli economic siege on the Gaza Strip. "We are a one-generator-failure away from disaster," Michael Bailey, an Oxfam spokesman, told the Middle East Times.

Israeli Arabs Split Over National Service Plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Ken Ellingwood - January 2, 2008 - 2:29pm

Seated in the corner of a bustling classroom, school volunteer Hanan Masarwa is barely visible amid a scrum of first-graders. The 18-year-old Masarwa is teaching the children to add as part of an Israeli national service program created in August. The volunteer program is an attempt to provide avenues, other than mandatory military service from which they are exempt, for integrating Arabs and religious Jews more fully into the mainstream Jewish state.

Israeli-palestinian Fatalities Drop, But Other Issues Persist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - January 2, 2008 - 2:28pm

In its year-end report issued on New Year's Eve, the leading Israeli human rights group B'tselem said that the numbers of Palestinians and Israelis killed in clashes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has dropped dramatically, but that other human rights abuses persist. Overall, the number of both Palestinians and Israelis who fell victim to the conflict decreased, a benchmark year that is being quietly noted by analysts as a sign of progress in a troubled region.

Clinton Leads In Jewish Backers, But Key Ones Back Obama, Mccain
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ben Harris - January 2, 2008 - 2:27pm

As the nation trains its spotlight on Iowa and New Hampshire, two Jewish politicians have become central players in the Granite State's political drama that may well determine who secures the Democratic and Republican nominations.

Declaring Forever War
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The American Conservative
by Michael Desch - January 2, 2008 - 2:24pm

Like most Americans, I knew little about Rudolph Giuliani, save that he had been the very successful mayor of New York City catapulted to iconic status for his cool-headed demeanor after the Sept. 11 attacks. I was curious about where he stood as a presidential candidate, so in April 2007, I joined nearly 3,000 other Texas A&M faculty and students to hear him speak.

Israel: West Bank Roadblocks Will Remain
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mark Lavie - January 2, 2008 - 2:15pm

Israel's network of roadblocks will remain in place across the West Bank, the defense minister said Tuesday, sparking an outcry from Palestinians who say they cannot rebuild their economy until people and goods move freely.

Olmert Hints Jerusalem Division Is Inevitable
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Jeffrey Heller - January 2, 2008 - 2:14pm

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert signaled on Tuesday Israel might have no choice but to share Jerusalem with the Palestinians in a peace deal, citing international pressure for compromise over the holy city. "The world that is friendly to Israel ... that really supports Israel, when it speaks of the future, it speaks of Israel in terms of the '67 borders. It speaks of the division of Jerusalem," Olmert said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.

January 1st

Reuters reports on the latest comments by Israeli PM Olmert regarding the necessity for Israel of sharing Jerusalem with the Palestinians as part of a final peace settlement (1), featured in an interview Olmert gave to the Jerusalem Post (13.) In The American Conservative, Michael C. Desch, Professor and Robert M. Gates Chair in Intelligence and National Security Decision-making at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, profiles the hardline neoconservative foreign policy advisory team surrounding Presidential candidate Giuliani and warns of the consequences of his winning the election (3.) A New York Times editorial urges President Bush to take concrete steps that will give the Israeli and Palestinian leaders the maximum support necessary to reach a peace agreement (4.) The Christian Science Monitor looks at the year-end report on the occupied territories by the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem (6.) The Middle East Times reports from Gaza on how a lack of spare parts, fuel and maintenance work for the sewage and water systems is creating conditions for an impending health disaster (8.) The Independent (UK) uses the example of Highway 443 in the occupied West Bank to illustrate how the Israeli policy of barring Palestinians from using it is designed to de-facto annex the land that the road travels through (9.) In BitterLemons (Israel/Palestine) former Palestinian minister of planning Ghassan Khatib takes a historical look at the Israeli settlement enterprise and identifies it as the main obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace (11.) An Asharq Alwsat opinion by British Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander urges the Arab world and international community to give the current opportunity for peace its full financial and political backing (12.) In Haaretz (Israel) Bradley Burston examines how the 1967 borders have become the internationally recognized parameters of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (14.)

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017