Israeli Prime Minister denies claims that he demanded recognition of Israel as a Jewish state as a precondition for peace talks (1). A wiretap on U.S. Representative Jane Harman allegedly reveals her interceding in an investigation of two pro-Israel lobbyists facing trial on espionage charges (2), though the Congresswoman denies involvement (3). New York Times columnist Richard Cohen comments on the recently released Human Rights Watch report on Hamas’ treatment of political opponents during the Gaza War (4) Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s remarks yesterday at the Durban conference spark controversy (5) (6) (13). Israel and Egypt are set to discuss a new Gaza cease-fire this week (9).

Ahmadinejad, Durban and another fine mess
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Center For Strategic & International Studies
by Antony Lerman - (Opinion) April 20, 2009 - 12:00am

This is hardly the time for levity, but watching delegates at the Durban anti-racism review conference walk out while President Ahmadinejad served up his version of Zionist history, I couldn't help thinking of that immortal phrase from Laurel and Hardy: "Well, that's another fine mess you've gotten me into." The Geneva UN gathering is an event of high seriousness. It coincides with Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day and Hitler's birthday. It has been heading for disaster for months while western states and Jewish groups have been at loggerheads over strategy.

Hamas's Bloody Hands
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Richard Cohen - (Opinion) April 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Some residents of Gaza were taken from their homes and shot in the legs or feet. Some were brutally beaten, and some were simply murdered, sometimes after hideous torture. If you are expecting -- based on everything that has happened -- that the awful Israelis did this, guess again. It was Hamas, the authentic and genuine government of Gaza. Well, no one's perfect.

More Hatred From Mr. Ahmadinejad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
April 20, 2009 - 12:00am

The fear all along has been that the United Nations conference on racism would be manipulated into yet another forum for demonizing Israel. All too predictably, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — who has called the Holocaust a myth and has advocated Israel’s destruction — did just that.

Israel, Egypt to discuss new Gaza cease-fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - April 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Instituting another cease-fire with Hamas will be at the focus of talks on Wednesday between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and visiting Egyptian Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman. Suleiman, who holds the Israel file in the Egyptian cabinet, will travel to Israel on Wednesday and will meet with Barak, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, officials said on Monday.

Feiglin: If I were PM, I'd rebuild the Temple
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Matthew Wagner - April 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Moshe Feiglin, head of Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership Movement) said last week that if he was elected prime minister, he would try to rebuild the destroyed Temple in Jerusalem. "I don't know if I will have the merit of doing something that is the aspiration of every Jew," said Feiglin. "But if I become prime minister I will take away control over the Temple Mount from the Wakf [the Islamic trust] and reinstate Jewish sovereignty over the entire mount and, hopefully, rebuild the Temple."

Encountering Peace: The first in a two-part series on what Israelis and Palestinians teach their young
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
April 20, 2009 - 12:00am

One of the most amazing things about the Oslo peace process is that since the creation of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, the ministers of education of Israel and the PA have never met. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will meet with President Mahmoud Abbas. Defense Minister Ehud Barak will continue to meet with PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad. Other Israeli and PA ministers will continue to meet, but the ministers of education - no meetings will take place between them.

Netanyahu backtracks on Jewish state recognition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
April 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu said Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is not a pre-condition for holding peace negotiations. A statement issued Monday from the Prime Minister's Office said that without that recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, Netanyahu believes "it will not be possible to advance the diplomatic process and reach a peace settlement. However, the prime minister has never set this as a pre-condition for the opening of negotiations and dialogue with the Palestinians."

Al-sharq al-Awsat editor: Ahmadinejad only helps Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - April 21, 2009 - 12:00am

"How will the Iranian president's speech contribute to the Palestinian issue or the good of the occupied Arab lands?" wondered Tariq Alhomayed, Editor-in-Chief of Al-sharq al-Awsat Arabic newspaper in an opinion article published on Tuesday. "We have also promised in the past to dump Israel into the sea, but what does Ahmadinejad have to add? After all, all he did yesterday was push the international community to rally around Israel, to boycott the conference for it, and anyone who didn't boycott it walked out of the hall in protest."

ATFP Taking a Stand Against Anti-Semitism
In Print by Hussein Ibish - Khaleej Times (Opinion) - April 20, 2009 - 12:00am

In recent days, ATFP Senior Fellow Hussein Ibish has reiterated ATFP’s long-standing commitment against anti-Semitic rhetoric among Arabs and Muslims in a letter to the Gulf newspaper the Khaleej Times and in a news article about extremist speakers at student events in California. The letter and the article follow below. Chop Shop Economics 17 April 2009

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