The American Jewish community and its leadership are at odds on Israel. The Washington Post warns against "blunt pressure" on Israel. Israeli authorities say a fire at a West Bank mosque was deliberately set, bolstering Palestinian claims of settler arson. Settlers plan to disrupt negotiations, set to begin in days. PLO officials accuse Israel sabotaging talks, and say US credibility is at stake. Ha'aretz says time is not on the side of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state. President Abbas accuses Hamas of smuggling arms to the West Bank. Gideon Levy says with friends like Elie Wiesel, who only want to perpetuate the occupation, Israel does not need enemies. Settlers wish destruction on DM Barak's home. Judge Goldstone says his loyalty was to truth, justice, but Deputy FM Ayalon compares him to a Nazi. The National profiles the PA boycott of settlement products, which is also being taken up by Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the Jordan Times praises the boycott and says Arab states should work to extend it to Europe.

On Israel, Jews and Leaders Often Disagree
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Paul Vitello - May 4, 2010 - 11:00pm


Criticizing Israel has long been the equivalent of touching a third rail in many Jewish families and friendships, relegating disagreements to a conversational demilitarized zone where only the innocent and foolhardy go. “You cannot really engage in that conversation,” said Phillip Moore, a teacher in this Detroit suburb who has embraced strong opinions on many topics in his life — on politics, education, even religion — but avoids the subject of Israel at gatherings of his Jewish relatives.


Israelis and Palestinians are ready to begin talking -- sort of
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
(Editorial) May 4, 2010 - 11:00pm


INDIRECT TALKS between Israelis and Palestinians appear finally set to begin, after a two-month delay that showed the Obama administration's diplomacy at its worst. The trouble started with an errant announcement by Israel of new housing construction in East Jerusalem; President Obama chose to escalate what could have been a blip into a public quarrel, in the apparent hope of extracting a series of concessions from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.


Palestinian president warns of Hamas arms smuggling in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
May 5, 2010 - 11:00pm


The Palestinian president has accused Hamas militants of smuggling large amounts of weapons into the West Bank, just as peace talks with Israel are getting under way. President Mahmoud Abbas said in a newspaper interview published Thursday that his forces have largely thwarted the smuggling efforts. He says they confiscate weapons, explosives and other equipment from Hamas operatives every day. The comments, made to the London-based Arabic daily Sharq al-Awsat, appeared to be aimed at easing Israeli concerns as indirect U.S.-mediated peace talks begin this week.


US envoy sees indirect Mideast peace talks in days
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Allyn Fisher-Ilan - May 5, 2010 - 11:00pm


The United States expects to reconvene Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in an indirect format in the coming days, a U.S. spokesman said on Wednesday after the U.S. envoy met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "We hope and expect formally to move forward with proximity talks before Senator (George) Mitchell leaves the region on Sunday," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in Washington after Mitchell's three hours of talks with Netanyahu.


Voice of Israel: Settlers plan action against talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 5, 2010 - 11:00pm


Voice of Israel radio hosted a program Thursday morning about a settler plan to "distract" indirect Israeli-Palestinian negotiations "as soon as they start." The program's military guests and settler researchers said West Bank settler-leaders had formed a committee and distributed thousands of leaflets with details on planned protest action as meetings between officials continue.


Both hindrance and blight
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
May 5, 2010 - 11:00pm


The Palestinian boycott of Israeli goods that originate in settlements is picking up speed. This is a very laudable initiative and a form of resistance that might, combined with other tactics, gain some result. For a start, it hits Israel where it hurts, namely in the pocket. While the exact market share of settlement goods in the Palestinian economy is not known, since Israel does not label goods properly, estimates suggest that it is as high as 15 per cent.


Boycott puts the squeeze on Jewish settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - May 4, 2010 - 11:00pm


The man selling watermelons on the main road from Ramallah to the Qalandiya military checkpoint had clearly worked on his sales pitch. “These are Arab watermelons,” he said with some feeling. He pointed to the sticker on the melons, which, although it boasted an Israeli mobile phone number, was written in Arabic. “These are not Jewish,” he said. “And they are sweet.”


Analysis: Boycott puts social cohesion at risk
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ron Friedman - (Opinion) May 5, 2010 - 11:00pm


While it is too early to tell if Israel’s Arab population will answer the call to boycott goods made in the settlements, the mere suggestion is enough to anger large portions of Israeli society, which see the Arabs siding with the Palestinians as proof that they cannot be trusted. Arab-Israeli disapproval of the settlements is not new. Nor is Arab-Israeli identification with the Palestinian people. Many in the Arab population consider the Palestinians their brethren; and even if they don’t wish to join them, they do seek to support their quest for national sovereignty.


Ayalon slams Goldstone on apartheid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
May 5, 2010 - 11:00pm


Reports that international jurist Richard Goldstone sent 28 black South Africans to death during the apartheid regime prove he wasn't impartial when compiling the UN report on Operation Cast Lead, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Thursday. Speaking to Israel Radio, Ayalon said that, "after [Goldstone's] dubious background was revealed, there is no reason not to think" that the judge had ulterior motives in composing the UN report accusing the IDF of perpetrating war crimes in Gaza.



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