ATFP Senior Fellow Addresses Conference on Iran and the Arab World at Rutgers
Press Release - Contact Information: Hussein Ibish - February 24, 2010 - 1:00am

ATFP Senior Fellow Hussein Ibish participated in a day-long conference on Saturday, February 13 at Rutgers University on Iran and the Arab World: New Horizons. Ibish appeared on a panel entitled "Iran, the US and the Arab World," along with professors Roozbeh Shirazi of CUNY and Stephen R. Shalom of William Paterson University.

ATFP Senior Fellow Gives Graduate Seminar at Georgetown
Press Release - Contact Information: Hussein Ibish - February 22, 2010 - 1:00am

ATFP Senior Fellow Hussein Ibish lectured at a graduate seminar at Georgetown University on Islam, perceptions of Islam and Islamophobia in the United States on February 16, 2010. Ibish gave the Georgetown graduate students a brief rundown on the essential elements of the Islamic faith, but concentrated most of his talk on the evolution of Western perceptions of Islam and Muslims.

Fallout from the al-Mabhouh assassination continues to dominate coverage: reports increasingly focus on the botched nature of the operation; Hamas retracts accusations against the PA; criticism in the Israeli press extends to cartoonists; Israeli officials say they expect a manageable backlash; the AP reviews the history of Mossad assassinations and Ha'aretz profiles its Kidon unit; the BBC asks why al-Mabhouh went to Dubai and The Independent interviews his brother; Israel's UK embassy issues a provocative tweet apparently boasting about the murder. Palestinian officials say their state and institution building plans extend into Area C and US officials suggest the Quartet will support this. Ha'aretz says Palestinians have agreed to begin proximity talks next week. A YNet commentary asks why Israel is so opposed to Palestinian nonviolence. PM Fayyad tells US Jewish leaders Israeli incursions undermine the PA. A new survey in the occupied territories shows Hamas would lose new elections and Fatah enjoys a 33% advantage in popularity.

Hamas Would Lose Elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Benjamin Joffe-Walt - February 18, 2010 - 1:00am

Survey finds Fatah to be 33% more popular than Hamas. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' party Fatah would crush their rivals Hamas were elections to be held today, a Palestinian survey has found. A survey conducted earlier this week in both the West Bank and Gaza and released Thursday found that 48 percent of voters would support Fatah were presidential elections held next week, while only 11 percent would vote for Hamas. 10 percent of respondents said they would vote for other Palestinian political parties and 31 percent said they were undecided or would not vote.

Taking credit without responsibility, Israel expects little diplomatic fallout
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - February 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Was it a diplomatic mess or a political success? Israeli opinion about the assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel last month swings between both, even as few rule out the possibility of Mossad involvement. The Israeli government is maintaining its standard policy of ambiguity in such cases, neither confirming nor denying involvement, a policy that enables the country to claim “credit” without taking responsibility.

Profile: Victim's brother tells of 'shadowy and secretive life'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Said Ghazali, Donald MacIntyre - February 19, 2010 - 1:00am

Unsurprisingly, the family of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh are convinced that his death was the work of Israel. His older brother, Hussein, said the assassinated Hamas commander had owned a sewing factory in Damascus, but lived a "shadowy and secretive life" in Syria. "Each time he called us he talked from a different phone." Hussein – a Hamas activist and head of a Gaza charity – said this was the fourth attempt on his brother's life. "Regardless of the evidence, it is in the interests of the Mossad to assassinate him," he told The Independent.

The truth about the Mossad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Ian Black - (Analysis) February 19, 2010 - 1:00am

Last November, a sharp-eyed Israeli woman named Niva Ben-Harush was alarmed to notice a young man attaching something that looked suspiciously like a bomb to the underside of a car in a quiet street near Tel Aviv port. When police arrested him, he claimed to be an agent of the Mossad secret service taking part in a training exercise: his story turned out to be true – though the bomb was a fake.

Israeli embassy raises eyebrows with tennis tweet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by David Batty - February 18, 2010 - 1:00am

Amid the mounting diplomatic row over Mossad's alleged assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai, the Israeli embassy has turned to Twitter to comment. A tweet issued by the embassy today read: "@israeluk You heard it here first: Israeli tennis player carries out hit on #Dubai target". It links to a story about the Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer, who beat the top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki yesterday to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Championship.

Why did Hamas chief Mahmoud al-Mabhouh go to Dubai?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Andy Walker - February 18, 2010 - 1:00am

Amid all the speculation about who killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a question remains: What was he doing in Dubai? Hamas have refused to comment on the reasons for Mr Mabhouh's trip and they have limited their public pronouncements to promises of revenge against Israel. But why would a known militant leader - reportedly "at the top" of an Israeli hit list - leave the protection of Syria and his bodyguards to go to Dubai in the "Westernised" United Arab Emirates?

Fayyad tells US Jewish leaders: IDF incursions undermine us
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Haviv Rettig - February 19, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told visiting American Jewish leaders on Thursday that IDF incursions into Palestinian population centers “need to stop.” While “there is interest on both sides” in promoting Palestinian development and progressing toward statehood, Israel’s military operations in PA-controlled areas “not only run operational risks, but they undermine our credibility and standing. We need actions taken by the Israelis to be consistent with the notion of a state in evolution,” Fayyad said.

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