October 21st

Yalla Peace: Getting mad at the wrong people
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ray Hanania - (Opinion) October 18, 2011 - 12:00am

PLO representative Maen Areikat reportedly announced last week that he was “distancing” the PLO office from the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) because the latter group does not support the Palestinian push for statehood at the United Nations.That’s the buzz in the Palestinian world this week. Palestinians rarely make news, but when they do, it is usually about some internal squabble that most of the people who can influence the future of Palestine disregard. It’s typical of the problems Palestinians face and raises questions about issues that often are not openly discussed.

Shalit deal throws Hamas a lifeline
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - (Analysis) October 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Tuesday showed that after nearly four years, Hamas has reared its head in the West Bank. It's doing so with Israel's help: The Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal has in many ways thrown Hamas a life preserver. The organization, whose civilian and military infrastructure has almost completely disappeared from the West Bank in recent years - and support for it has tumbled - has been clever enough to register its first significant achievement since the Hamas government in Gaza was established in January 2006.

October 20th

ATFP Gala Featuring PM Fayyad Highlights Quest for Peace, Palestinian-American Achievements
Press Release - Contact Information: Ghaith al-Omari - October 20, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad delivered the keynote address at the Sixth Annual Gala of the American Task Force on Palestine in Washington, DC on Oct. 19 (To view video of his speech click here).

October 18th

NEWS: The Hamas-Israel prisoner swap begins. The deal shows Hamas under heavy pressure to seek political gains. Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails end a hunger strike. Quartet envoys will meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian officials. The Israeli military tells its soldiers to prevent capture at all costs. Mossad is now a part of an unfolding British political scandal. The first deadline for resumed talks has already passed. The Palestinian envoy in Ottawa is embroiled in a controversy over a Twitter message. APN interviews Yossi Alpher on the prisoner swap. COMMENTARY: Tom Perry says the prisoner exchange may press Pres. Abbas to go further with UN efforts. Ha'aretz says the swap bolsters Hamas at Fatah's expense. Akiva Eldar says Hamas has shown it knows what makes Israel tick. Bassam Nasser says more than a prisoner exchange, Palestinians need an end to the blockade of Gaza. David Newman says the swap shows informal talks work well. Ian Black says it shows Egypt's central role in Mideast affairs. Linda Heard says it's a win-win for Israel and Hamas. Uri Avnery says Israelis need to be shocked, either positively or negatively, out of their national complacency.

Israel needs a shock: Positive or negative
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) October 16, 2011 - 12:00am

On Yom Kippur eve last week, when real Jews were praying for their lives, I sat on the seashore of Tel Aviv, thinking about the State of Israel. Will it endure? Will it be here in another 100 years? Or is it a passing episode, a historic fluke?

Shalit deal win-win situation for all
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Linda S. Heard - (Opinion) October 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier abducted by Palestinian fighters on the Israeli side of Israel's border with Gaza over five years ago, is scheduled to be released today as part of a prisoner-swap deal between Hamas and the Israeli government brokered by Egypt. His parents Noam and Aviva, who have been camping out in occupied Jerusalem for a year have left their protest tent to spruce up their home in the tiny northern Israeli village of Mitzpe Hila for their son's homecoming.

Gilad Shalit exchange: Egypt emerges again as lynchpin in the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ian Black - (Analysis) October 18, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has completed the first stage on his journey home to Mizpe Hila, northern Israel, beginning a prisoner swap deal in which hundreds of Palestinian inmates are to be freed in return for the armoured sergeant who was captured in 2006. According to an Israeli military spokesman, Shalit is undergoing assessment at Kerem Shalom, close to the Egyptian-Israeli border, before making his way to the Tel Nof airbase in central Israel, where he will be reunited with his parents and meet the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.

Gilad Schalit and the peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by David Newman - (Opinion) October 17, 2011 - 12:00am

In an era when there is little real optimism about the possibility of meaningful conflict resolution between Israel and the Palestinians, the negotiations between Israel and Hamas that led to the Gilad Schalit deal can be instructive for the future of the peace process.

Gaza awaits the ships’ whistle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Bassam Nasser - (Opinion) October 17, 2011 - 12:00am

With the new deal between Israel and Hamas to release captive soldier Gilad Schalit in return for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners – the majority of whom are serving multiple life sentences for their participation in acts described as terrorist attacks against Israeli targets – there is a need for greater Israeli understanding of what these prisoners mean to Palestinian society.

With Shalit deal, Hamas schooled Fatah on what makes Israel tick
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - October 17, 2011 - 12:00am

It is easy to guess what will go through the minds of the members of the family of a Fatah prisoner when they watch Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (and Sara? ) having the honor of the first embrace with Gilad Shalit (why not the parents? ), and hear the cries of joy of the neighbors whose son, a Hamas prisoner, has returned home: "Why, instead of traveling the world and spending time in hotels, don't the nerds from the Muqata [the Palestinian Authority headquarters] kidnap an Israeli soldier and exchange him for our son?

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