October 27th

Opportunities Fade Amid Sense of Isolation in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - (Analysis) October 26, 2009 - 12:00am

The bank executive sits in a suit and tie behind his broad empty desk with plenty of time to talk. Almost no loans are being issued or corporate plans made. The Texas-trained engineer closed his firm because nothing is being built. The business student who dreamed of attending an American university — filling a computer file with meticulous hopes and plans — has stopped dreaming. He goes from school to a part-time job to home, where he joins his merchant father who sits unemployed.

Abbas is a partner for peace. Is Netanyahu?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) October 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has issued a presidential decree that elections will be held in January. This followed his decision to sign the Egyptian plan for intra-Palestinian reconciliation, knowing that Hamas would refuse to sign.

'Conditions for talks have worsened'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

The US will continue pressing for a deal to get Israel and the Palestinian Authority back to the negotiating table, despite concerns in Jerusalem that Friday's announcement of PA elections in January makes the likelihood of starting negotiations now even more remote. US Middle East envoy George Mitchell is expected back in the region by the end of the week, to continue, as one diplomatic official said, "pushing the rock." The US, he said, has made clear that it will do so until - perhaps because of a change of conditions - the rock actually moves.

Palestinians work to defend Al Aqsa
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Musa Qous was still asleep Sunday morning when the muezzin at Al Aqsa mosque, right next to Mr Qous’s home in the old city of Jerusalem, called out. But this was no ordinary call to prayer and, at eight in the morning, came at the wrong time. “I knew there was something wrong,” said Mr Qous, 46, who works with a Jerusalem-based social rights non-governmental organisation. Instead, the muezzin called on Muslims to come and defend the mosque and announced that Al Aqsa was in danger.

Turkey can and must mediate in the region
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Sami Moubayed - (Opinion) October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

US President Theodore Roosevelt famously said in 1901 that strong nations should "speak softly and carry a big stick". His big stick was the military might of the United States, wielded repeatedly throughout the 20th century. One hundred and eight years later, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is walking the same path, adding a new twist to what has since been called ‘Big Stick Policy'. Erdogan is speaking loudly and carrying a big stick. His big stick is the political and military might of Turkey.

The illusion of peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Hassan Barari - (Opinion) October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Fifteen years have elapsed since Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty, yet rarely can one find a Jordanian who would say that peace is a reality. Very few Jordanians are convinced that Israel is serious about what reaching a historical reconciliation with Arabs. That said, the peace treaty, which was subject of regular attack by Jordanian opposition, has survived the ups and downs of the volatile regional challenges. The Jordanian-Israeli relations have become strained over the last decade and a half, due mainly to the way Jordanians view Israeli policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians.

Palestinians won’t be patient forever
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Linda Heard - (Opinion) October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

There’s little good news in the West Bank and Gaza nowadays. But the long-suffering Palestinians are used to that. The problem is there’s an increasing absence of hope, which is dangerous because without hope people begin to believe they’ve nothing to lose. This is why some commentators are predicting the inevitability of a third intifada. And despite denials from senior Palestinian officials, such as former Security Chief Mohammed Dahlan, a spontaneous uprising remains a very real possibility.

Abbas Says Might Not Run In Poll
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told U.S. President Barack Obama he would not run for re-election unless Israel dropped its refusal to freeze settlements, Palestinian officials said on Tuesday. "Abu Mazen (Abbas) told him that he would not be a candidate in the presidential election (in January) unless Israel abided by the peace requirement," said one of the officials, who are briefed regularly by Abbas and spoke on condition of anonymity.

October 26th

Tensions again mount in occupied East Jerusalem as Israeli police clash with Palestinian demonstrators, and Jewish extremists call for building a "Third Temple." Lally Weymouth of the Washington Post separately interviews Prime Ministers Fayyad and Netanyahu, as well as President Peres. President Abbas says his decision to schedule Palestinian elections for January is "irrevocable," leading to considerable speculation in the Arab press about the consequences. J Street's first annual conference opens amid controversy. The Israeli cabinet sets up a team to consider responses to the Goldstone report. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan claims that Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman "threatened to use nuclear weapons against Gaza." Jordan and Israel mark 15 years of cold but stable peace.

Israel conference to open amid controversy
Media Mention of ATFP In The Washington Post - October 25, 2009 - 12:00am

Liberal J Street's gathering sets off debate on U.S. relations By Dan Eggen Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, October 25, 2009

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