July 29th

Palestinian Authority Approves West Bank's First Planned City: Is Palestine Inching Toward Statehood?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Catesby Holmes - July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has officially approved the Master Plan for a large-scale mixed-used development on the West Bank, scheduled to break ground in September. Rawabi, which means "the hills" in Arabic, will be the first Palestinian city to be built in thousands of years and will provide affordable housing, office buildings, restaurants, retail shops, schools, banks, a movie theater, and more.

Washington reassures the Israeli bride
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

In traditional Arab culture, when a man wants to ask for a woman’s hand in marriage, his family undertakes a jaha – a delegation of men who visit the family of the would-be bride to request her in marriage. The jaha often includes prominent men in society from outside the groom’s family, the aim being to impress the woman’s family that she is marrying into a family with social standing and clout.

US steps up peace process efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

The Obama administration appeared to step up its diplomatic efforts in the Middle East this week, as a series of high-profile US officials descended on the region in what commentators described as a concerted bid by the US president to find a far-reaching solution for Arab-Israeli peace. “The new thing in the Obama approach is that it is comprehensive,” said Ghassan Khatib, a former Palestinian cabinet minister who currently co-edits bitterlemons.org, an Israeli-Palestinian online opinion journal. He added: “Obama is trying to talk to everybody.

A View from the Ground
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Middle East Progress
by Taghreed El-Khodary - (Interview) July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Tell us what the situation on the ground is like.

US must put more pressure on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

The United States is getting it wrong in its approach to the Middle East peace process. Asking the Arabs to make concessions while the Netanyahu government shuns all peace efforts is like putting the cart before the horse - it will never work. How can US President Barack Obama justify his pressure on Arab states to introduce 'confidence-building measures' when Israel is rejecting his calls to stop confiscating Palestinian land and building more colonies?

Worldview: Shoring up faith in peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Philadelphia Inquirer
by Trudy Rubin - (Opinion) July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Any president who tries to foster peace between Israelis and Arabs must be part diplomat and part shrink. President Obama seems to understand this. He came to office determined to restore trust between America and the world's Muslims. In his famous Cairo speech, he called for both sides to make a "sustained effort to listen to each other." He also pledged to pursue peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Fatah-Hamas tensions rise over West Bank congress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah group threatened on Wednesday to arrest Hamas members if the Islamist movement banned Gaza Fatah delegates from attending a congress in the West Bank. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has conditioned the departure of some 400 Fatah members for the long-delayed Fatah meeting in Bethlehem on Aug. 4 on the release of hundreds of Hamas activists detained by Palestinian forces in the West Bank. Hamas also wants more passports issued from the West Bank, where Abbas holds a sway, for its officials and supporters in the Gaza Strip.

Right of Reply: Let's talk about Operation Cast Lead
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Mikhael Manekin - (Opinion) July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

When Breaking the Silence released a collection of soldiers' testimonies about their experiences in Gaza last week, we expected to receive criticism. Operation Cast Lead was considered a success by most Israelis, so there were some who probably found the testimonies distasteful.

Israel-Palestinian calm could ease talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Steven Gutkin - (Analysis) July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

In the four months since hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to power, West Bank Palestinians have enjoyed an economic recovery and Israel has experienced a period of relative calm. That progress is the backdrop for a fresh round of U.S. diplomacy aimed at getting Palestinian-Israeli peace talks started again. But there is a major sticking point. Palestinians are refusing to resume negotiations unless Netanyahu heeds the U.S. demand to stop all construction in Israeli settlements on lands they claim for their future state.

'I believe in one law, the law of God'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - July 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Even before her new wooden house was built at a fledgling illegal outpost outside the Kiryat Arba settlement, Zavia Davis on Tuesday brought a small purple plastic bathtub to the site, called Mitzpe Avihai. As her daughter Nahala, three, sat in its shallow water, dressed in a white top and a bathing suit bottom, teens carried plywood slabs to a nearby area where a cement foundation for the home had been laid.

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