ATFP Reiterates call for Ceasefire, Settlement Freeze at Major USIP Conference
Press Release - Contact Information: Hussein Ibish - January 8, 2009 - 1:00am

Washington, DC, Jan. 8 -- ATFP reiterated its calls for a ceasefire in Gaza and a settlement freeze in the occupied territories at a major United States Institute of Peace conference at the Washington Convention Center. ATFP President Dr. Ziad Asali spoke on a panel about "Reinvigorating Prospects for Arab-Israeli Peacemaking" with fellow panelists Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer and David Makovsky, director of The Washington Institute's Project on the Middle East Peace Process. The Honorable Samuel W. Lewis moderated the panel.

Two rockets fired from Lebanon land in northern Israel, as the IDF responds with artillery shells (1) (2). Fear of an Israeli offensive in the southern Gaza town of Rafah looms despite continued talk of a cease fire (3). An analysis by Allistair Lyon examines what the Gaza crisis means for the upcoming expiration of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ term in office (6). A pair of articles in the Los Angeles Times discuss the differences between the Arab and Israeli media portrayal of the conflict (9) (10). An op-ed by Rashid Khalidi in the New York Times offers a crash course on the Gaza strip and its people (12). In an op-ed for The Washington Post President Jimmy Carter delivers his assessment of the situation (14).

The Gaza blame game
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Rosa Brooks - (Opinion) January 8, 2009 - 1:00am

How to be stupid . . . . . . Hamas style Refuse to recognize Israel. Remind the world that the establishment of Israel in 1948 was accompanied by the often violent displacement of 700,000 Palestinians, but ignore the fact that more than 60 years have gone by, making it a bit late for a do-over. Ignore the fact that most Israelis weren't even born in 1948, and that Israel is recognized as legitimate by an overwhelming majority of the world's states. Keep insisting on its destruction.

AP Gaza reporter finds hometown in rubble
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Ibrahim Barzak - January 7, 2009 - 1:00am

I live alone in my office. My wife and two young children moved in with her father after our apartment was shattered. The neighborhood mosque, where I have prayed since I was a child, had its roof blown off. All the government buildings on my beat have been obliterated. After days of Israeli shelling, the city and life I have known no longer exist.

An Unnecessary War
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jimmy Carter - (Opinion) January 8, 2009 - 1:00am

I know from personal involvement that the devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided.

The Gaza Boomerang
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Nicholas D. Kristof - (Opinion) January 7, 2009 - 1:00am

At a time when Israel is bombing Gaza to try to smash Hamas, it’s worth remembering that Israel itself helped nurture Hamas. When Hamas was founded in 1987, Israel was mostly concerned with Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement and figured that a religious Palestinian organization would help undermine Fatah. Israel calculated that all those Muslim fundamentalists would spend their time praying in the mosques, so it cracked down on Fatah and allowed Hamas to rise as a counterforce.

What You Don’t Know About Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Rashid Khalidi - January 7, 2009 - 1:00am

NEARLY everything you’ve been led to believe about Gaza is wrong. Below are a few essential points that seem to be missing from the conversation, much of which has taken place in the press, about Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip. THE GAZANS Most of the people living in Gaza are not there by choice. The majority of the 1.5 million people crammed into the roughly 140 square miles of the Gaza Strip belong to families that came from towns and villages outside Gaza like Ashkelon and Beersheba. They were driven to Gaza by the Israeli Army in 1948.

Israel's PR war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Lichfield - (Opinion) January 8, 2009 - 1:00am

It had to happen at some point. The army attacks a civilian building identified as a source of fire; dozens of civilians are killed, and what little sympathy Israel enjoyed in whatever war it's currently fighting evaporates. It happened in Qana during the Second Lebanon War, and yesterday a school in the Jabalya refugee camp became a global symbol of indiscriminate Israeli aggression.

Arab media portray Palestinians as courageous victims
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Jeffrey Fleishman, Raed Rafei - January 8, 2009 - 1:00am

Face splotched in blood, eyes closed, mouth aslant, the child seems to be slumbering, but she is dead. The only part of her you see is her head tilting in ash and rubble above the caption, "A day of massacres in Gaza."

Israeli media focus on Hamas rockets, keep gore to a minimum
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Ashraf Khalil, Batsheva Sobelman - January 8, 2009 - 1:00am

There's no visceral wartime imagery; details on injured Israeli soldiers are handled delicately. Bloody scenes such as the carnage after Tuesday's shelling of a U.N. school in the Gaza Strip appear only in snippets, and often in the context of analysis as to how the world will react. There is, however, round-the-clock coverage of the Israeli south, where rockets fired by Gazan militants have killed three Israeli civilians and injured dozens since the conflict began Dec. 27.

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