October 28th

Gaza's national income shrinks as citruses are gone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Saud Abu Ramadan - October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Groves full of green citrus. Gaza farmers proud of their old trees. Businessmen busy with exporting fruits to Jordan. But that was 10 years ago. Around one kilometer before reaching the Erez crossing point between northern Gaza Strip and Israel, the vast land has been barren, although Ahmed Za'aneen, 75, still recalled the town "all in green."

Israel convicts Israeli-Arab of spying for Hezbollah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 27, 2010 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Oct 27 (Reuters) - An Israeli-Arab human rights activist was convicted of spying for the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah by an Israeli court on Wednesday. Amir Makhoul confessed to the charge as part of a plea bargain under which the Haifa District Court dropped a separate charge of aiding the enemy in time of war, for which he could have been sentenced to a much longer term, court papers showed. The spying charge carries a maximum 10-year jail term.

Arab leaders call for strike in Umm Al Fahm
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV (Ma'an) -- Arab leaders have called for a strike in the city of Umm Al-Fahm on Thursday in response to police brutality at a far-right march a day earlier, Israeli media reported. On Wednesday, extreme-right protesters marched into the city, which contains the largest Palestinian community inside Israel. The rally was called to demand the outlawing of the Islamic Movement in Israel, an Islamist movement among Palestinian citizens of Israel. Violent clashes ensued as Palestinians threw stones and set fire to tires, and Israeli forces fired stun grenades and tear gas.

Egyptian officials to meet Abbas in Ramallah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Al-Gheit and Egyptian Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman will meet President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Thursday in efforts to revive stalled peace negotiations. The Egyptian officials will try to convince Abbas to accept a partial freeze on construction in settlements, excluding settlements that Israel intends to annex in a peace agreement, the official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA said.

Free Jonathan Pollard
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Lawrence Korb - (Opinion) October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

About 25 years ago, Jonathan Jay Pollard, a U.S. naval intelligence analyst, betrayed his country by providing highly classified information to Israel. Even though Israel was and still is a U.S. ally and is routinely supplied with U.S. intelligence, Pollard deserved to be severely punished for his actions. However, the punishment should fit the crime. In his case, it does not.

October 27th

Israel is expanding a settlement near Nablus. Israeli police and Palestinian citizens clash over a right-wing rally. Palestinian MKs are among the injured. A Palestinian man is killed in a Gaza explosion. Senior Egyptian officials will visit the West Bank. Jordan's PM says resolving the Palestine issue is key to fighting terrorism. Amira Hass says Israel's policies only strengthen Hamas. Ha'aretz asks what a ³Jewish state² really means. Israeli officials row over cutting off water to Bedouins. The UN demands Israel curb settler attacks. An influential Israeli think tank backs the Arab Peace Initiative. Settler leaders complain of a ³silent building freeze.² As settlement construction resumes, some Palestinian laborers go back to work. Jonathan Freedland says the administration needs a new Middle East approach. The JTA says Israel does not know how to respond to Palestinian talk of international recognition for statehood. Ghassan Khatib explains why Palestinians object to PM Netanyahu's demands for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, but Yossi Alpher finds the positions of both parties problematic.

A popular but problematic position
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's "Jewish state" or "nation state of the Jewish people" demand is popular with the Israeli public. The right wing likes it because it is patriotic and seemingly "anti-Arab". The left and center cannot easily oppose it because it dovetails with their emphasis on ending the occupation in order to maintain Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in view of the demographic threat. Netanyahu can even take credit for getting US President Barack Obama to endorse the Jewish state demand.

A consensus of opposition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Although Palestinians explain in various ways their rejection of the recent demand by Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, there appears to be a consensus of opposition. When Netanyahu recently repeated this request as a condition for implementing an internationally-required settlement freeze, there were two Palestinian approaches.

Palestinian gambit for statehood puts Israel against wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Leslie Susser - (Analysis) October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

With talks at a stalemate and no agreement from the Israelis to reinstate a settlement freeze, the Palestinians are playing a new card: an end game to statehood through an appeal to the international community. The card hasn’t actually been played, but the mere threat that the Palestinians would push for international recognition of a state from the United Nations has been enough to push the Israeli government to reconsider options to return to the negotiating table.

Credit to Obama for sticking with the Middle East. But it's gone very wrong
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Jonathan Freedland - (Opinion) October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

The august ranks of those who form the conventional wisdom in American politics are as one: Barack Obama's Democrats are going to take a hammering in next Tuesday's midterm elections. One of the few elements of the Obama record not blamed is also, paradoxically, one of those areas that need to change on 3 November. It is the administration's handling of the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.

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