AFTP Advocacy Director Joins Panel on "After the Visits: What Next for Middle East Peace?"
Press Release - Contact Information: Ghaith al-Omari - June 2, 2009 - 12:00am

On Monday, June 1, at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, AFTP Advocacy Director Ghaith Al-Omari took part in the panel "After the Visits: What Next for Middle East Peace?" along with M.J. Rosenberg, the Director of Policy Analysis at the Israel Policy Forum, and Geoffrey Aronson, Director of Research and Publications at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. The panel was co-sponsored by the Foundation for Middle East Peace, the Middle East Institute, the Israel Policy Forum, & the American Task Force on Palestine.

The U.S. and Israel remain divided on the issue of a settlement freeze (1) (2) (13), as Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak begins meetings with U.S. officials in Washington (4). A clash between Hamas and Palestinian security forces over the weekend leaves six dead in the West Bank (3). Ex-Pink Floyd rocker Roger Waters visits a Palestinian refugee camp and urges Israel to remove the West Bank separation barrier (8). Quartet envoy Tony Blair voices his optimism on the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough in the coming weeks (9). American officials oppose Israeli plans to build a new hotel near the Old City in Arab East Jerusalem (12). Israeli settler council accuses U.S. of using “political terror” (14).

Obama is right
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Danny Rothschild - (Opinion) June 2, 2009 - 12:00am

The American president’s viewpoint on the Israeli-Arab conflict is refreshing and interesting. As one who is not committed to any one of the parties to the conflict, Barack Obama utters axioms that we must understand, even if we don’t like them.

Israel and U.S. Can’t Close Split on Settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - June 1, 2009 - 12:00am

Thirty Israeli couples are on a waiting list to move into the Kfar Tapuah settlement, which teems with children on the hilltops south of Nablus. Some on the list grew up here. But there is not an apartment available for sale or rent, or even a stifling trailer to be had. If Israel built all the housing units already approved in the nation’s overall master plan for settlements, it would almost double the number of settler homes in the West Bank, according to unpublished official data provided to The New York Times.

Obama's Full Interview With NPR
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from National Public Radio (NPR)
by Steve Inskeep, Michele Norris - (Interview) June 1, 2009 - 12:00am

Steve Inskeep: And I'll just say to you formally, Mr. President, welcome to the program. President Barack Obama: Thank you so much. Michele Norris: We're so glad you could join us, or we could join you, in this case. If you want to improve relations with the Muslim world, do you have to change or alter in some way the strong U.S. support for Israel?

Man killed, another injured in Jerusalem shooting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Erfat Weiss - June 2, 2009 - 12:00am

An armed man opened fire in central Jerusalem early Tuesday morning, shooting to death an Arab man and wounding a Jewish man. The shooter was arrested following a police pursuit. Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said the motive for the pre-dawn attack is not clear. The Arab who was killed was later identified as 33-year-old Amjad Abu Hader of the Shuafat neighborhood, located in northeastern Jerusalem. The wounded man was evacuated to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in serious condition.

Yesha Council: US using political terror against Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Erfat Weiss - June 2, 2009 - 12:00am

Settler leaders launched a harsh tirade against the Obama administration on Monday following the increased US pressure on Israel over the dismantling of illegal outposts and freezing of construction in the settlements. "The Americans are employing political terrorism against the State of Israel," Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan said. "Not only is the Obama administration renouncing the commitments made by President George W. Bush in April 2004 – it's looking as if they regret President Truman's decision on May 14th 1948 to recognize Israel's independence."

Ex-Pink Floyd Rocker Wants Israeli Wall Down
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
June 2, 2009 - 12:00am

The legendary rocker and co-founder of Pink Floyd says he would give a concert in a flash if Israel's West Bank wall is torn down. Roger Waters made the promise Tuesday during a visit to a Palestinian refugee camp that is hemmed in by the separation barrier's tall slabs of cement. The 65-year-old co-wrote Pink Floyd's iconic "The Wall" album and performed music from it in 1990 at the site where the Berlin Wall once stood. Waters had harsh words for the West Bank barrier, which Israel says was built as a defense against Palestinian militants.

U.S. Demands Israel Halt Construction in East Jerusalem Market
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - June 2, 2009 - 12:00am

Washington is furious over the Interior Ministry's anticipated approval of a plan to build a new hotel in East Jerusalem, just 100 meters from the Old City's walls. The plan, which would see the demolition of a wholesale market and kindergarten, is slated to be approved today. In conversations with Israeli officials, senior American officials have made it clear that they want Israel to freeze all plans for expanding the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem, and especially in the Holy Basin - the area adjacent to the Old City.

Israeli Minister's Visit Aims To Calm Settlements Dispute
Media Mention of Ghaith al-Omari In The Washington Post - June 2, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak began a round of meetings with top U.S. officials yesterday in a bid to head off an increasingly sharp dispute between the United States and Israel over the expansion of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory.

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