ATFP Senior Fellow Remarks at Middle East Peace Civic Forum
Press Release - Contact Information: Hussein Ibish - September 1, 2009 - 12:00am

ATFP Senior Fellow Hussein Ibish speaking at an August 5, 2009 press conference at the National Press Club organized by the Middle East Peace Civic Forum, a group that promotes Israeli - Palestinian conflict resolution through an interfaith alliance of peace leaders in the U.S. and the Middle East.

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell is due to meet with Israeli diplomats today to discuss a possible settlement freeze, but an Israeli cabinet minister says Prime Minister Netanyahu has pledged not to make any such commitment. Palestinian and Israeli ministers hold economic talks in Jerusalem. Amira Hass argues that the outcry over violent crimes in Israel obscures the deeper violence of the occupation. Hamas and Israel continue to bicker over a possible prisoner exchange involving captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. A senior Israeli rabbi declares that Jews who sell land to Arabs are “enemies.” Israeli and West Bank mayors pitch a joint economic development plan. Moment magazine tracks the evolution of Palestinian identity among some Arab citizens of Israel.

From Arab to Palestinian Israeli: One family's changing identity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Moment Magazine
by Dina Kraft - September 2, 2009 - 12:00am

It’s been almost three years since Shams Kalboni renamed herself. She grew up with the modern Hebrew name Revital, which means “quenched thirst.” It was given to her by her Arab parents in the hope it would pave her way to an easier life in Israeli society. And as Shams walks past blossoming purple bougainvillea plants, up the stairs and onto the veranda of her grandmother’s house in Jaffa, calls of “Revital” and “Revi” still greet her as she is embraced by aunts and cousins.

Moment of truth for Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Osama Al-Sharif - September 2, 2009 - 12:00am

The moment of truth is approaching for President Barack Obama’s much hyped initiative to re-launch the Middle East peace talks with the objective of creating an independent Palestinian entity based on the two-state solution. He is expected to present the outline of his plan at the UN’s General Assembly meetings in New York this September.

A promise to keep with Gaza’s people
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
September 2, 2009 - 12:00am

Six months after the world’s top diplomats met at Sharm el Sheikh to pledge massive amounts of assistance to war-torn Gaza, there is little on the ground to show that their commitment has had any effect. The magnitude of the devastation that descended upon the Gazan people earlier this year is difficult to overstate. The UN estimates that as many as 14,000 homes and 240 schools have been destroyed and too little has been done to alleviate the suffering of the nearly 1.5 million Palestinians who overcrowd the tiny strip of territory.

Israeli, Palestinian mayors pitch rare joint industrial project
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Gil Shefler - September 2, 2009 - 12:00am

Even as Israeli and Palestinian leaders argue about the conditions that must be in place for a return to the negotiating table, they are striking similar tones on the need for economic development. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad unveiled an economic plan last week intended to bring about a stable, independent Palestinian state within two years, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been talking for months about the need for an "economic peace."

Israeli unilateralism undermines the peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) August 31, 2009 - 12:00am

It's been four years since Israel evacuated its settlers and army from the Gaza Strip. Since then, Israel has kept Gaza under a tight siege that has undermined the economy of the already impoverished Strip. Now there seems to be consensus among most Palestinians and Israelis, though for different reasons, that the withdrawal was not constructive as far as peacemaking and ending the conflict are concerned.

The lonely struggle of Uri Davis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Seth Freedman - September 2, 2009 - 12:00am

Waiting for Uri Davis in a hotel forecourt in Ramallah, I reflect that his reputation precedes him by a comfortable distance. His rejection of political Zionism, coupled with his conversion to Islam and his recent election to Fatah's Revolutionary Council means he is treated with a mixture of scorn and hostility by vast swaths of Israelis and supporters of Israel in the Jewish diaspora.

'Jews who sell to Arabs are enemies'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Matthew Wagner - September 2, 2009 - 12:00am

A Jew who sells land to an Arab in Israel should not be allowed to lead prayers in synagogue, should not be given the right to make a blessing during the Torah reading, should not be counted among the quorum needed for public prayers and is considered an abettor to the enemies of Israel, according to a halachic decision issued on Monday night by a group of rabbis calling themselves "The New Sanhedrin."

Minister Peled: No agreement on settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Atilla Somfalvi - September 2, 2009 - 12:00am

Minister Yossi Peled said Tuesday that the government had no plans to freeze construction in settlements or in Jerusalem. "I have heard with my own ears that there is no agreement on freezing construction in settlements," he said. Speaking at a conference labeled 'Preserving Jerusalem and the Golan Heights', Peled said he heard while visiting Germany with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that "Jews will continue to live and build in Jerusalem". Regarding the peace process he said, "We must talk with whoever is willing to talk with us, but we mustn't lose our assets."

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