After meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak yesterday, President Obama voices his optimism about the peace process, but says it is stuck in "a rut." Polls show that Israelis support Prime Minister Netanyahu's resistance to a full settlement freeze, though he has reportedly suspended West Bank settlement construction. Washington Jewish lobby J Street unveils plan for a grassroots effort to engage U.S. citizens. Amira Hass reports on increased Israeli restrictions on Palestinian-Canadian businessmen and other travelers to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. In an op-ed for the Financial Times Shai Feldman and Gilead Sher argue for a revival of the Arab Peace Initiative.

Why is Israel limiting movement of Palestinian-Canadian businessman?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - August 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Mohammed Sabawi, 65, could have played a leading role in all the stories about the economic revival in the West Bank's cities. His goal of "strengthening the economy of Palestine by utilizing its own capabilities" sounds like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's vision of "economic peace." In recent months, however, the Palestinian-Canadian businessman has been considering reducing his business activity here, after Israel started limiting his freedom of movement and that of his son and business partner, Khaled. The Sabawis are considering Cyprus as an alternate location.

The grand bargain that is the Mideast’s best hope
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Shai Feldman, Gilead Sher - (Opinion) August 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Saudi Arabia recently rejected America’s request that it reciprocate an Israeli freeze on settlement construction by beginning to normalise relations with the Jewish state. “Incrementalism and a step-by-step approach, has not and, we believe, will not lead to peace. Temporary security and confidence-building measures will also not bring peace,” Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, said in Washington on July 31.

More E. Jerusalem evictions likely
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Mohammed Mar’i - August 19, 2009 - 12:00am

The Jewish-dominated Jerusalem municipality is planning to seize more Palestinian homes and real estate in East Jerusalem even as Israel has quietly stopped approving new West Bank projects in an attempt to heal a rift with the United States , Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

J Street unveils grassroots field effort
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - August 18, 2009 - 12:00am

J Street announced Tuesday that it would be launching field operations around America to encourage grassroots activists to become involved in shaping local debates on Israel and US Middle East policy.

Swedish daily: IDF killed Palestinians for organs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - August 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Leading Swedish daily Aftonbladet claimed in one of its articles that IDF soldiers killed Palestinians in order to trade in their organs. On Tuesday the Israeli Foreign Ministry responded by saying that the article "is a shocking example of Israel's demonization." According to the ministry, the Stockholm-based paper accused the Israeli army of organ theft.

Fatah's gauntlet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Analysis) August 19, 2009 - 12:00am

The decision by Fatah's Sixth Congress that the movement is sticking to negotiations as a means of achieving independence, statehood and peace is an admission that the use of arms during the second intifada was disastrous. That is a difficult admission for a movement founded on the sanctification of the armed struggle. And despite being tacit, it is a brave admission for Fatah at a time when most Palestinians are convinced that Israel does not want peace. Nevertheless, the decision has sparked a few questions from the side of the occupied.

Mubarak: U.S. will unveil first draft of Mideast plan next month
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - August 19, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama has promised Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that he will present a rough draft of his Middle East peace plan in September, a Mubarak spokesman said following their White House meeting Tuesday. Suleiman Awad said the two presidents had agreed that time was of the essence in forging an Israeli-Palestinian deal, and a detailed plan with a clear vision of how a final agreement would look was necessary.

The Holocaust's shadow over Israel's choices
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Bill Glucroft - (Opinion) August 17, 2009 - 12:00am

No people mourn better than the Jewish people. For seven days after death, the family sits shiva, a vigil at home for loved ones to comfort one another and reflect on the life lost. During the following year and then beyond, the stages of mourning develop to allow next of kin to continue their lives while still remembering who is gone from them.

Despite rhetoric, Netanyahu has suspended Jewish settlement building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Boudreaux - August 19, 2009 - 12:00am

Cameras were rolling, capturing the defiant Israeli mood over President Obama's stand on Jewish settlements. With three other Cabinet officials at his side, Interior Minister Eli Yishai toured a Jewish outpost in the West Bank on Monday and declared: "Israel must do what it believes is right, and the Americans will understand that there was no choice but to continue building" on Palestinian-claimed land.

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