ATFP Alarmed by Israel’s Provocative Measures in Occupied East Jerusalem
Press Release - Contact Information: Hussein Ibish - March 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Washington, DC, March 23 – The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) today expressed deep concern about a series of recent Israeli actions regarding Jerusalem that pose a serious threat to a peaceful future between Israel and the Palestinians.

An editorial in the Middle East Times considers the concept of "political malpractice" proposed by ATFP President Ziad Asali (1). A car bomb placed outside a mall in the Israeli city of Haifa does not explode (2) and Palestinian Authority sources suspect that an Iran-backed group is responsible (10). A roadside bomb kills a senior Fatah official and four others outside a refugee camp in Lebanon (4). The Israeli military condemns appalling messages on t-shirts commissioned by groups of Israeli soldiers (6) (8), as reports of misconduct in the Gaza war are confirmed by eyewitness Israeli troops (7). Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu continues efforts to form a coalition government, opening formal talks with the Labor party (5) (14) (15).

Labor and Likud launch coalition talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
March 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Coalition talks between Labor and Likud negotiations teams kicked off Monday morning in Kfar Hamaccabiah in Ramat Gan. Entering the meeting, Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon (Labor) said that the meeting would focus on diplomatic and socioeconomic issues. "We will try to arrive at an agreement so that we can present it to the party's conference tomorrow, but we may be unsuccessful," Simhon said.

PA source: Iran-backed group may be behind Haifa bomb attempt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - March 23, 2009 - 12:00am

A senior source in the Palestinian Authority told Haaretz Sunday that he suspects Hezbollah or another organization with links to Iran was behind the attempted bombing of the Lev Hamifratz shopping mall in Haifa on Saturday night. According to the source, the PA holds definitive intelligence that Hezbollah has been trying for some time to recruit members of Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in an attempt to get operatives of those terror groups to carry out an attack in Israel.

End of the one-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Adel Safty - March 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Commentators in Israel and elsewhere have noted the two major trends to emerge from the recent Israeli elections, namely the collapse of the Labour party and the left bloc, and the rise of the extreme right. But there is a more significant development. The Israeli assault on Gaza and the vehement opposition from the Palestinian citizens of Israel to it brought to the fore the tension inherent in the Zionist tenet of a state that is both Jewish and democratic.

Enough with the cosmetics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) March 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Don't let them tell you that Benjamin Netanyahu needs Labor in order to handle the Iranian threat. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will probably continue building the bomb, regardless of whether Ehud Barak continues comfortably filling the defense minister's chair or, like Tzipi Livni, supports action against Iran from the opposition bench.

Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques - IDF fashion 2009
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Uri Blau - March 20, 2009 - 12:00am

The office at the Adiv fabric-printing shop in south Tel Aviv handles a constant stream of customers, many of them soldiers in uniform, who come to order custom clothing featuring their unit's insignia, usually accompanied by a slogan and drawing of their choosing. Elsewhere on the premises, the sketches are turned into plates used for imprinting the ordered items, mainly T-shirts and baseball caps, but also hoodies, fleece jackets and pants. A young Arab man from Jaffa supervises the workers who imprint the words and pictures, and afterward hands over the finished product.

Suing Politicians for Political Malpractice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
March 23, 2009 - 12:00am

Have you ever wondered what the real problem is with politics? Why is it that in politics everything takes years and decades to accomplish when in the private sector life moves at a faster pace? The answer is because, for the most part, politicians are only accountable to themselves. Oh, of course, in democracies those elected to office answer to the electorate at the end of the day. But in some cases that day can be a pretty long one.

Suing Politicians for Political Malpractice
Media Mention of Ziad Asali In The Middle East Times - March 23, 2009 - 12:00am

A QUESTION OF ACCOUNTABILITY: In the waning days of the George W. Bush administration, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized new guidelines making it easier to promote "off-label" drug uses that medical experts say could lead to deadly prescriptions for patients. Douglas Briggs, of Cornelius, NC, USA killed himself after taking Neurontin, a drug approved for epilepsy to help ease his back pain but is suspected of causing suicidal behavior. (Family/Charlotte Observer via Newscom)

Reality check: Tied in knots?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jeff Barak - (Opinion) March 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Ehud Barak's shameless determination to stay on at the Defense Ministry, even at the expense of destroying the Labor Party and making a mockery of the election results, is diverting attention from a more problematic ministerial appointment: the choice of Avigdor Lieberman as foreign minister.

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