The Los Angeles Times profiles the South African judge picked to head the U.N.'s fact finding mission on the Gaza war (1). Middle East Progress features an interview with Robert Drumheller, vice-president of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, about the work being done to help build the Palestinian economy (2). Elliot Abrams argues against an Israeli settlement freeze (3), while Abbas Al Lawati thinks that new Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman's extreme views will be good for the Arabs (8). 16 Palestinians are injured in a clash with settlers in the West Bank village of Khirbat Safa (10). Following Lieberman's recent controversial remarks, the U.S. State Department reaffirms its commitment to a two-state solution (11).

The Economic Piece of the Puzzle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Progress
April 7, 2009 - 12:00am

Can you tell us about the work that OPIC and its partners, both on the ground and in the United States, are doing to help develop the Palestinian economy?

RPT-ANALYSIS-Obama reassures Arabs, nudges Israel on peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Arshad Mohammed - (Analysis) April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama reassured Arabs with his unambiguous support for a Palestinian state this week and he nudged Israel's conservative government, which has carefully avoided committing itself to that goal. Visiting Turkey, Obama twice in two days said he backed a two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict despite the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has shied away from the phrase. [ID:nL7380792]

Netanyahu's Second Chance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Times
by Alon Ben-meir - (Opinion) April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

The new Israeli government led by Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu has raised many conflicting feelings among those concerned about the fate of the Arab-Israeli peace process. Will Netanyahu scuttle the little progress that was made under his predecessor Ehud Olmert, or will he engage the Palestinians anew?

'Our man in Tel Aviv'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Abbas Al Lawati - (Opinion) April 7, 2009 - 12:00am

Ten years ago, the eloquent Arab Israeli politician Azmi Bishara sent a chill down Israel's spine and a cautious thrill in the Arab world by announcing his candidacy for prime minister of the Jewish state. Bishara's making of history as the first Arab to run for prime minister of Israel was cut short when he decided to withdraw early. Running against the more likely candidates for the position, Labour's Ehud Barak and Likud's then incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu, Bishara was under no illusion of winning.

The Settlement Freeze Fallacy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Elliott Abrams - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Will Israel's new government face American demands for a settlement freeze? If so, we are headed for a needless confrontation with the Netanyahu cabinet.

Judge named to lead Gaza inquiry is known for fairness
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Boudreaux, Robyn Dixon - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa, and Jerusalem -- Richard Goldstone, a quiet, self-effacing jurist from South Africa, agonized for days over the job offer: Unravel the accusations and counter-accusations of war crimes related to Israel's winter assault on the Gaza Strip.

Obama's seder
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amir Oren - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Barack Hussein Obama is the one who highlighted his middle name. In a speech in Strasbourg, he did not wait for the Passover holiday to hold a "seder." Not just one seder (which means "order" in Hebrew) but a series of seders. There is the order of the day and a world order.

U.S. giving Palestinian security forces top-level training
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

The United States has been training senior Palestinian security officials in an advanced officers course in Ramallah for top-brass, Haaretz has learned. The new course, entitled "senior leaders' course," is a two-month long program conducted in Ramallah with the assistance and supervision of the U.S., and is part of the project overseen by the U.S. security coordinator in the territories, Gen. Keith Dayton.

Obama team readying for confrontation with Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

In an unprecedented move, the Obama administration is readying for a possible confrontation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by briefing Democratic congressmen on the peace process and the positions of the new government in Israel regarding a two-state solution. The Obama administration is expecting a clash with Netanyahu over his refusal to support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

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