Hussein Ibish explains why Palestine must be a secular state. Hamas clears itself of Goldstone report war crimes charges. PM Netanyahu says Israel's relief efforts in Haiti have boosted its image. Israel appoints a more moderate chief military rabbi. Pres. Abbas says the Palestinian capital must be in Jerusalem. An outspoken Palestinian MK denounces Holocaust denial. Gideon Levy says Holocaust remembrance cannot excuse the occupation, and Ha'aretz says settlers who attacked Palestinians are terrorists. At Davos the head of the Arab League presses for a Palestinian state. The long-neglected cinema in Jenin is being renovated. A financial dispute threatens a key Gaza power plant. The new Fatah charter does not call for the elimination of Israel. Israel plans to relocate the separation barrier at the site of nonviolent protests. Palestinians are divided in supporting the Egyptian and Algerian soccer teams. Gaza fishermen defy dangers. The Jordan Times backs PM Fayyad's warning on peace, and Daoud Kuttab says Jerusalem is the key. Hani Almadhoun says Hamas benefits from the siege of Gaza.

The Upsides of the Siege for Hamas: An Honest Assessment
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Hani Almadhoun - (Blog) January 26, 2010 - 1:00am

Spending more than four months in Gaza with not much to do but observe the situation on the ground, I interacted with the Palestinian people in Gaza, listened to Israeli jets fly over, noticed minimal Israeli military campaigns against Hamas, and did not see nor hear news of any significant homemade rockets. One cannot help but conclude that there is a sort of unspoken ceasefire between Hamas, the local ruling party, and the Israelis.

At the centre of peace efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) January 28, 2010 - 1:00am

As negotiators and politicians wonder who needs to do what before moving, it is clear that all good minds and good people should focus on one issue: how to resolve the conflict over Jerusalem. If the 1980s and 1990s witnessed a relatively nonviolent first Palestinian uprising and a breakthrough mutual recognition between the PLO and Israel, the first 10 years of the third millennium were violent and destructive. The decades-long hard work and sacrifice of Palestinians, Israelis and international supporters of peace evaporated almost overnight.

Where the problem lies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) January 28, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is right to warn Europeans that the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, such as it is, is headed for failure. He is also absolutely right in his prescription. Israel is not serious about finding an equitable solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; until such time, talks are pointless. Moreover, while building the institutions of state is an important task and one that Europeans have been particularly keen on supporting, it is not an alternative to ending the occupation. This is a message that Europeans would do well to heed.

Gaza fishermen risk lives for survival
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Erin Cunningham - January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

While the rest of the Gaza Strip is deep in slumber, Fathi Sayadi, 30, and his brother, Hatem, 26, steal away under the cover of darkness and into neighbouring Egyptian waters. Using small, dinghy-style boats purchased especially for their covert missions, the Sayadis slip across the border with Egypt, returning to the Gaza Strip with their contraband just before dawn.

Algeria v Egypt clash is dividing Palestinian supporters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

It may only be a football game and it does not even involve their own team. Even so, Palestinians will be eagerly awaiting the Algeria versus Egypt clash tonight in the semi-final of the African Cup of Nations, and support will be divided and highly partisan. The game is a repeat of the two countries’ highly charged World Cup qualification games two months ago, when violence flared causing Egypt to withdraw its ambassador from Algeria. The two countries have since mended relations, but a footballing rivalry that dates back decades will not be quelled so easily.

Israelis To Move Security Barrier At Site of Palestinian Protests
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Jeffay - January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

Two-and-a-half years after a Supreme Court order, Israel’s army is preparing to adjust the route of the long security barrier it has constructed on the West Bank at a key flashpoint where a fence cuts off Palestinian villagers from their own land.

New Fatah charter omits language on Israel’s demise
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

The new Fatah charter maintains a militant tone but emphasizes democratization and omits language in earlier documents that called for Israel's destruction. The office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence translated the document that emerged from Fatah's council in Bethlehem last summer, and Secrecy News, a project of the Federation of American Scientists watchdog group, obtained a copy and published it Wednesday.

Rattling the Cage: Segregation blues
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Opinion) January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

I spent the day in Nazareth recently, doing a story about Israeli Arabs in hi-tech, and when I got in the car with the (Jewish) photographer to leave, I said to him, "Isn't it a relief to talk to Arabs as regular people?" He smiled in agreement.

Gaza key power plant could shut over money row
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

A money dispute between the rival Palestinian governments is threatening to shut down Gaza's only power plant. The dispute pits the internationally backed government of the West Bank against Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers. The plant provides power to much of northern Gaza. The European Union used to pay for the plant's fuel as part of an aid package to the Palestinian Authority. However, the EU decided to start scaling back and said it wants the Palestinian Authority to find other ways to pay for the fuel. The Palestinian Authority demands that Hamas pay its share.

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