October 24th

New York mayor visits Jerusalem, dedicates first aid station, meets Israeli premier
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Associated Press - (Analysis) October 23, 2011 - 12:00am

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in Jerusalem to dedicate a first aid station and meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Bloomberg dedicated the station, built with the help of donations from him and other Americans and named for his father, in a ceremony Sunday. Meeting with Netanyahu, Bloomberg gave the Israeli leader a U.S. flag and asked him to pass it on to the family of Gilad Schalit, the Israeli soldier freed last week in a prisoner swap with Hamas.

Palestinian Bid for Full Unesco Membership Imperils American Financing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Steven Erlanger - October 23, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian bid for full membership in Unesco — the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization — has put both Washington and the organization into an urgent bind. United States legislation dating back more than 15 years mandates a complete cutoff of American financing to any United Nations agency that accepts the Palestinians as a full member. Unesco depends on the United States for 22 percent of its budget, about $70 million a year.

October 21st

Palestinian Leader Says Time ‘Not Ripe’ for Mideast Peace Talks
Media Mention of ATFP In Bloomberg - October 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said there is little chance for a prompt renewal of peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis that the Obama administration seeks. “My own assessment” is that “conditions are not ripe at this juncture for a meaningful resumption of talks,” Fayyad told a Washington audience yesterday. He made his remarks as the U.S. and its allies in the so- called Quartet -- the United Nations, the European Union and Russia -- are trying to restart talks between the two sides to head off a Palestinian push for statehood recognition at the UN.

Conditions not ripe for dialogue with Israel: Fayyad
Media Mention of ATFP In FOCUS News Agency - October 21, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinians are not ready to resume dialogue with Israel as sought by the Mideast diplomatic Quartet, Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad said Wednesday, AFP reported. "Our own assessment is that the conditions are not ripe at this juncture for a meaningful resumption of talks," he said at the annual gala for the American Task Force on Palestine, a pro-Palestinian lobby.

Palestinian PM Fayyad: Time is not right for serious peace talks
Media Mention of ATFP In Haaretz - October 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Thursday that Palestinian-American relations are currently strained, and that many Palestinians are very disappointed with the yields of diplomacy, but he stressed that the Palestinians are committed to the peace process. "We want to see an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967. We want the Palestinian people to live with dignity. Fayyad said the Palestinians are committed to resolving the conflict, but that "the conditions are not right to resume talks."

Inside the tiny Washington group that is 'mainstreaming Palestine'
Media Mention of ATFP In Foreign Policy - October 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Tonight, when Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad comes to Washington to speak at the annual gala of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), he will be endorsing an organization that is punching well above its weight in the U.S. policy debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

NEWS: There is extensive coverage of the ATFP Sixth Annual Gala. Hard feelings persist after the Israel-Hamas prisoner swap. Many Palestinian prisoners are released but are not free. Pres. Abbas will visit Egypt. Abbas is interviewed by Ma'an TV. Palestinians are considering "other options" if their UN bid fails. Israel may be considering a partial settlement freeze to restart talks. Hamas gains from the prisoner swap are likely to fade. Changes in Security Council membership are unlikely to bolster Palestinian options. COMMENTARY: Avi Issacharoff says the prisoner swap throws Hamas a political lifeline. Ray Hanania says it makes no sense to get mad at the wrong people. Deborah Orr asks why Israeli lives are valued more than Palestinian ones. Nathan Guttman looks at pro-Israel outreach to African-Americans. JJ Goldberg says the prisoner swap deal was wise. Tariq Alhomayed says there is a stench of hypocrisy about Hamas' stance on the prisoner swap. Bilal Hassan says the Palestinians need to coordinate more with Arab leaders. Ahmed Othman asks if Abbas is planning to return to negotiations. George Hishmeh says US military aid to Israel may be impeding the peace process. The Daily Star says the Quartet must make Israel comply with international law.

Palestinian Chances at UN Will Worsen After Council Elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Flavia Krause-Jackson - October 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinians seeking membership in the United Nations won’t be able to count on the newly elected Security Council members to better their chances. When the 193-country General Assembly today picks five countries to replace a third of the 15-member body on Jan. 1, support for the Palestinians will drop by one as Guatamala, running unopposed, succeeds Brazil in the Latin American seat.

Hamas Gains From Prisoner Swap Likely to Fade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Rosenberg - October 18, 2011 - 12:00am

On the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, Prime Minister Ismail Haniya and other Hamas officials greeted some 280 freed prisoners on Tuesday, giving each a long embrace amid a cacophony of horns honking and masked gunmen struggling to keep order as friends and families crowded into the ceremony.

Netanyahu agrees to partially freeze West Bank construction in bid to resume talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - October 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he's willing to freeze government construction in West Bank settlements as well as all construction on government land there. In return, he needs an agreement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to resume direct peace talks. According to a senior Israeli official, Abbas has not yet responded, but he has been threatening to resign if there is no diplomatic progress in the next three months.

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