August 28th

Running to stand still? The peace test for Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Philip Stephens - August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu has what kindly observers might describe as a credibility problem. Travelling in Europe this week, the Israeli prime minister said he was straining every sinew to restart peace talks with the Palestinians. His interlocutors were unconvinced. Mr Netanyahu looks too much like a politician running in the cause of standing still.

Hope rises for renewal of Mid East peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Irish Times
by Mark Weiss - August 28, 2009 - 12:00am

A RENEWAL of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians late next month now appears a distinct possibility, although Israeli and US officials will continue to meet in the coming weeks to hammer out details of a compromise formula acceptable to both sides. At Wednesday’s meeting in London between Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, the sides inched closer to a package which will enable the resumption of bilateral talks on the Israeli-Palestinian track, suspended since Mr Netanyahu became prime minister five months ago.

East Jerusalem Arabs feel squeeze as Jews push into communities
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Star
by Matthew Kalman - August 28, 2009 - 12:00am

Ahmed Abedat was wondering this week how much longer he will be able to enjoy the spectacular view from his grocery shop in Ras Al-Amud – from the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery across the valley to the majestic golden Dome of the Rock soaring above the walls of Jerusalem's Old City.

Palestinians say full settlement freeze is precondition to new peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ashraf Khalil - August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

A senior Palestinian peace negotiator says the terms of a proposed Israeli deal to restart the peace process, leaked to the press this week, are unacceptable. But he did not rule out a meeting at the United Nations next month between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. In Germany today, Mr. Netanyahu said that no new agreement to stop settlement building has been reached.

State Dept.: Policy against new Israeli settlements stands
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from CNN
by Charles Keyes - August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

The State Department is sticking with a strict no-new-settlements policy toward Israel, its spokesman said Thursday, but he held out the possibility that Israelis and Palestinians might eventually take a different path. "The position that the secretary has stated remains our position," spokesman P.J. Crowley said at his daily briefing. "And we continue to discuss with Israel and with the other parties what they have to do on the settlement issue."

In Village, Palestinians See Model for Their Cause
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Every Friday for the past four and a half years, several hundred demonstrators — Palestinian villagers, foreign volunteers and Israeli activists — have walked in unison to the Israeli barrier separating this tiny village from the burgeoning settlement of Modiin Illit, part of which is built on the village’s land. One hundred feet away, Israeli soldiers watch and wait. The protesters chant and shout and, inevitably, a few throw stones. Then just as inevitably, the soldiers open fire with tear gas and water jets, lately including a putrid oil-based liquid that makes the entire area stink.

August 27th

The Jewish Daily Forward analyzes movement towards an Israeli settlement freeze. Reuters reports that despite recent growth trends the West Bank's economy cannot thrive in an environment of strict mobility restrictions. Two Palestinian families in Jerusalem's Old City are forced to demolish their own homes. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is set to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris next week. The US has reportedly agreed to exclude East Jerusalem from formal negotiations on a settlement freeze. Israeli group Peace Now files a petition to halt the construction of 15 permanent structures in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Netafim. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met earlier today with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Washington Watch: Is Obama Bush league?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - (Opinion) August 26, 2009 - 12:00am

President Barack Obama is expected to reveal his Middle East strategy next month, very likely in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. In many ways it may resemble his predecessor's 2002 vision for Arab-Israeli peace, but the question everyone will be asking is whether this time the American president is really serious.

Merkel warns Iran on sanctions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Angela Merkel was speaking after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Berlin. She also called on Israel to freeze its settlement construction for the sake of progress in peace talks. In London on Wednesday, Mr Netanyahu suggested Israel was close to an agreement on settlements. During his visit to Germany, the Israeli prime minister has also been given original blueprints of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

Palestinians pay the price for Israel's illegal settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Katherine Butler - August 27, 2009 - 12:00am

On a still, hot, August afternoon you can only hear the bleating of the lambs and the occasional bark of a dog. There are few places more exposed and isolated in the West Bank than the cluster of tents and caves that is home to Khalil Nawaja, his wife Tamam, their two sons and their 50 sheep.

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