ATFP Welcomes UN Meeting, Supports Pres. Obama’s Peace Efforts
Press Release - Contact Information: Hussein Ibish - September 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Washington, DC, Sept. 22 – The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) welcomed today’s trilateral meeting at the UN General Assembly between President Barack Obama, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ATFP reiterated its strong support for President Obama’s Middle East peace initiative, and urged the administration to continue to spare no effort in pressing for an Israeli settlement freeze in the occupied territories and the resumption of permanent status negotiations.

ATFP Joins Letter of Support for Obama Peace Initiative
Press Release - Contact Information: Hussein Ibish - September 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Washington, DC, Sept. 22 – Ziad J. Asali, President of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), joined over 30 ethnic and religious leaders in a statement supporting President Obama’s initiative to secure a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. The full text of the statement is reproduced below: Letter in Support of a Comprehensive Middle East Peace: An American National Interest Imperative

Expectations are generally low in the run-up to today's UN meeting between presidents Obama and Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu, although Ha'aretz reports that the United States is pushing for substantive achievement of some kind. Prime Minister Fayed attends Eid prayers in the West Bank village of Bil’in, and The Nation profiles its nonviolent protests against Israel's separation barrier. A Palestinian man is shot by Israeli troops near Bethlehem. Fallout continues from the UN commission of inquiry into the Gaza war, as Judge Goldstone defends his findings in the Jerusalem Post. Hussein Ibish considers objections from both Arabs and Jews to his observation that Israel and Hamas reacted to the Goldstone report with strikingly similar logic and language.

Obama seeking 'upgrade' for Netanyahu-Abbas summit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - September 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The White House is making a last-minute diplomatic effort to come up with some significant statement signaling the revival of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to conclude the tripartite summit in New York Tuesday. However, the White House Monday said the administration has no "grand expectations" for President Barack Obama's meeting with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Monday that Obama was looking to "continue to build on progress" in regional talks. "We have no grand expectations out of one meeting," said Gibbs.

Israeli troops kill Jerusalem man near settlement checkpoint
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli troops shot and killed a Jerusalem resident at the Betar Illit-area military checkpoint west of Bethlehem on Tuesday morning. The Palestinian, identified as 27-year-old Walid Rabi At-Tawil, allegedly refused to stop his car after being ordered to do so by Israeli forces manning the post. In a statement, the Israeli military said At-Tawil "ignored calls to undergo the required security checks, accelerated towards the soldiers and drove through the crossing." It said soldiers chased after the vehicle, which they said they found it at a nearby gas station.

Israel should learn from U.S. how to pace diplomacy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) September 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Most Israelis like the United States, but cannot connect to the American character. Here we improvise and don't wait in line - there friends arrange to meet far in advance and read the instruction manual before operating electrical appliances. So too in diplomacy. In Israel war is declared after a two-hour debate, and daring peace plans are concocted without deliberations or consultations. In America months are devoted to preparing every diplomatic or military move.

Fayyad holds Eid prayer at site of nonviolent protests
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad attended the Eid prayer on Sunday in a mosque in the West Bank village of Bil’in, which is known for its lively nonviolent demonstrations against the Israeli separation wall. Khaled Al-Qawasmi, the minister of Local Government, and Jamal Zakout, the Prime Minister’s media advisor, also attended the prayer session. The three also laid a wreath at the tomb of Yasser Arafat at the presidential compound in Ramallah.

How Israel silenced its Gaza war protesters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - September 22, 2009 - 12:00am

A new report from Adalah shows how the courts and police attempted to stamp out opposition to Operation Cast Lead. "This is a time of war, and every incident harms the people's morale." This was not a sentence in a right-wing journal, but rather a statement by an Israel Police representative during Operation Cast Lead seeking to persuade the Tel Aviv District Court to block anti-war protesters from the city.

The Israelis of Bil’in: Joining Palestinians against the wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 18, 2009 - 12:00am

For over four years the international media has reported on the weekly protests in the small West Bank village of Bil’in. They report that Israel has moved the separation wall so it annexes over 60% of the village, that the residents of Bil’in once worked the confiscated land as a source of livelihood and that after every Friday prayer there is a non-violent protest that gets dispersed by tear gas. What is left out from such accounts is that many who attend these West Bank protests are Israelis Jews.

Palestine's Peaceful Struggle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Nation
by Mohammed Khatib - (Opinion) September 11, 2009 - 12:00am

A few weeks ago, in the dead of night, dozens of Israeli soldiers with painted faces burst violently into my home. If only they had knocked, I would have opened the door. They arrested me. My wife, Lamia, was left alone with our four children. My youngest, 3-year-old Khaled, woke up to the image of Israeli soldiers with painted faces who were taking his father away. He has not stopped crying since. A few nights ago he woke up in terror, sobbing: "Daddy, why did you let the soldiers take me?" That's the way our children sleep--in a constant state of fear.

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