October 29th

Does J Street arrival signal a split in America's Israel lobby?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Jerusalem - Since the 1950s the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has been the mainstream voice of the Jewish-American community and its efforts to strengthen support for Israel in Washington. Along comes J Street, a young upstart founded last year, in part as an answer to AIPAC – perceived by many progressive American Jews to have a clear right-wing tilt, and hardly representative of those want to see a much more aggressive push towards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

J Street fills gap in Washington map
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

On the street map of Washington DC there is a strange omission. Most streets are designated by either a number or a letter. But look as hard as you want there is no J Street. Seemingly, a hand-written capital I or J were seen as being too similar; a recipe for confusion. This exception is seen by the head of the new liberal and decidedly dovish Israeli lobby group in Washington as a useful metaphor. "Just as there is no J Street on the grid in Washington DC," says Jeremy Ben Ami, J Street's Executive Director, his organisation "is looking to fill a similar gap in the political map".

J Street student head: We're pro-Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - (Opinion) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Following controversy in some quarters of the Jewish community over the decision of the J Street U student board not to include "pro-Israel" in its messaging, J Street sent out statements this week affirming the organization's commitment to Israel. They also referred to "incorrect reports" on the decision, with student board president Sophia Manuel putting out a statement Wednesday that, "The national board of J Street U neither discussed nor voted on any action to remove the term 'pro-Israel' from our platform, policy or the way we describe ourselves at J Street U's national conference."

Rattling the Cage: Some victims we are
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Opinion) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

The kill ratio was 100-to-1 in our favor. The destruction ratio was much, much greater than that. To this day, thousands of Gazans are living in tents because we won't let them import cement to rebuild the homes we destroyed. We turned the Gaza Strip into a disaster area, a humanitarian case, and we're keeping it that way with our blockade. Meanwhile, here on the Israeli side of the border, it's hard to remember when life was so safe and secure. So let's decide: Who was the victim of Operation Cast Lead, them or us?

Jerusalem must be capital of both Israel and Palestine, UN chief says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Jerusalem must be the capital of two States -- Israel and Palestine -- living side-by-side in peace and security, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all, if peace in the Middle East is to be achieved, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Wednesday.

Washington Watch: What's so scary about J Street?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - (Opinion) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Bernie Madoff's punim may be the best selling mask this Halloween season, but what scares the stuffing out of many Jewish leaders is the new pro-Israel peace lobby called J Street. What has them quaking in their Guccis is the fear that its message appears to be igniting interest in the community and on Capitol Hill despite a frantic campaign to douse it.

Israel must end provocative digs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
(Editorial) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

AS A DISPUTE over land and statehood, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is combustible enough. But recent clashes over the site in Jerusalem that Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call Haram al-Sharif are injecting religious passions into one of the world’s most dangerous confrontations. Extremists on both sides are playing with fire. But since Israel is the dominant power, the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bears primary responsibility for smothering that fire before it erupts into a much larger conflagration.

On One Field, Two Goals: Equality and Statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ram Journal
by Isabel Kershner - October 28, 2009 - 12:00am

AL RAM, West Bank — Given the sheer exhilaration of the cheering, flag-waving, anthem-singing crowd packed into the soccer stadium in this otherwise drab West Bank town one afternoon this week, one could have been forgiven for thinking that an independent Palestinian state had just been born. The Palestinians were playing the Jordanians. But more significant was that the women’s teams were playing, and for the Palestinian side it was the first international match played outdoors at home.

October 28th

Jones Signals White House Support for J-Street Cause
Media Mention of ATFP In The Washington Independent - October 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Granting recognition to a new American Jewish lobby group pressing for peace between Israel and the Arab world, ret. Gen. James Jones, President Obama’s national security adviser, said that resolving the 60-year conflict was the crisis that the Obama administration would prioritize if it could “solve any one problem.”

Hamas announces it will ban elections in Gaza, as NPR highlights the group's declining popularity and the New York Times profiles the threat to its rule from more extreme Islamic groups. A number of articles and commentaries consider the implications of the first J Street conference. The 2009 State Department International Religious Freedom Report says Israel continues to discriminate against religious minorities. Ha'aretz reports that the US is considering "indirect" Israeli-Palestinian talks as the next phase of the peace process, but other reports suggest that Arab states are urging the Palestinians to reenter negotiations without preconditions. In The Guardian, Ahmad Khalidi argues that the PA plan for institution building focuses too much on the West Bank and might weaken the Palestinian hand in negotiations with Israel.

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