July 28th

Mitchell tells Palestinians no deal yet with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Mohammed Assadi, Ali Sawafta - July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday he was still working on a deal with Israel to halt West Bank settlement activity so peace talks can resume. "We are discussing the issue but we didn't conclude an agreement yet with the Israelis," a senior Palestinian official quoted Mitchell as saying over a working dinner with Abbas.

Daughter of Gaza doctor vows to return home
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Daniel Edelson - (Interview) July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The seventeen-year-old daughter of Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish, Shadar, who was badly injured after an IDF shell hit her family home and killed her three sisters during Operation Cast Lead, recently moved to Canada with family. In an interview to Ynet she recounted the difficult moments and spoke of her family's loss. "I miss my sisters and there are moments I can't stop the tears and I suddenly start crying," she said. Al-Aish is certain she will return to Gaza, but in the meantime she enjoys the quiet life overseas.

Obama Gives Unsettling Tough Love to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Celestine Bohlen - (Opinion) July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama, who vowed to revive the Arab-Israeli peace process at the start of his term, has begun with a direct and public challenge to Israel’s latest plan to build new settlements in East Jerusalem. It’s a risky move, which has already provoked a sharp rebuke from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But it is crucial, and had to be done.

'IDF has not received orders to evacuate outposts'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said Tuesday that the IDF has not received orders to prepare for the evacuation of outposts in the West Bank. "At this point we have not received concrete directives to evacuate any particular outpost, excluding illegal ones," Ashkenazi said. Ashkenazi added that "wherever possible" police officers will be responsible for evacuating civilians from outposts.

'Obama is a racist,' settler rabbi tells protestors in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The Yesha Council of settlements organized a demonstration in which some 1,500 rightists gathered near the home of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday to protest the Obama administration's demand for a total freeze on Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. Among the speakers at the demonstration was Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, the head of the Nir yeshiva in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. "Obama is a racist," Waldman told the assembled crowd. "If he continues with his actions, he will bring about the disintegration of the American superpower."

Israel, U.S. claim 'progress' in settlement dispute
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the top U.S. Mideast envoy said they made progress Tuesday on their dispute over West Bank settlements, but offered no sign of a breakthrough at a meeting in Jerusalem. President Barack Obama's envoy, George Mitchell, has been pressing Israel to halt all construction in settlements built on captured land claimed by the Palestinians, stressing that such a gesture would improve prospects for a peace deal. But Netanyahu says limited construction must be permitted to allow "natural growth" in the existing settler population.

Gates' Israel visit aims to ease tensions over Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Boudreaux - July 28, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates promised Israeli leaders Monday that American overtures to Iran are "not open-ended" and said the Obama administration is ready to press for tougher economic sanctions if diplomacy fails to halt what the two allies say is Iran's progress toward building a nuclear weapon.

Why Won’t Obama Talk to Israel?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) July 27, 2009 - 12:00am

IN his global tours and TV appearances, President Obama has spoken to Arabs, Muslims, Iranians, Western Europeans, Eastern Europeans, Russians and Africans. His words have stirred emotions and been well received everywhere. But he hasn’t bothered to speak directly to Israelis.

July 27th

“Abusing Jerusalem to Assail Peace: the Case of the Shepherd's Hotel”
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Americans For Peace Now
by Lara Friedman - July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

“Abusing Jerusalem to Assail Peace: the Case of the Shepherd's Hotel” (Vol. 5, Issue 4 -- July 22, 2009) A publication of Americans for Peace Now ________________________________ Q: What does this current controversy in Jerusalem mean for peace?

Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef denounces President Obama's efforts to secure a settlement freeze, saying "We are being ruled by slaves," and that, "Our messiah will come and throw them out." (8).The New York Times profiles two ultra-Orthodox Israeli settlements that show signs for potential compromise with Palestine (1). Special Mideast envoy George Mitchell meets with Syrian leadership before heading to Israel (2) (4) (16). Gaza’s top Hamas-appointed judge orders all female lawyers to wear the Muslim head scarf and "cover all except face and hands" when they appear in court (3). The Israeli military reports that there are now over 300,000 settlers in the West Bank (5). Israel prepares a ‘defense brief’ ahead of the expected publication by the UN of two critical reports on the Gaza war (7).Two U.S. Senators circulate a letter urging President Obama to press Arab nations to make peace overtures to Israel (13).

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