November 28th

Palestinian kids create human sculpture for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - (Analysis) November 27, 2011 - 1:00am

“One more person at the bottom left of the A,” American aerial artist John Quigley yelled out. He looking down at the desert valley next to the Mount of Temptation, 11 km. northwest of Jericho, on Friday. Below, 1,000 Palestinian children were busy forming a human mosaic in the shape of the dove peace symbol popularized by Pablo Picasso in 1949. First, Quigley had a team of adults sketch out in the sand a large outline of the dove, including an olive branch and the words “Love All.”

O little church in Bethlehem – basilica decays as sects squabble over who pays
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Catrina Stewart - (Analysis) November 28, 2011 - 1:00am

When it comes to fixing the church roof, rarely has it been so difficult to reach agreement as at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. But, after a centuries-old stand-off between rival religious sects, it looks as if the reputed birthplace of Jesus may finally get the renovation it so badly needs.

Binyamin Netanyahu attacks Arab spring uprisings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - (Analysis) November 24, 2011 - 1:00am

Binyamin Netanyahu has launched a scathing attack on the uprisings in the Middle East, saying that Arab countries are "moving not forward, but backward" and support from the US and European countries was naive. The Israeli prime minister said the Arab spring was becoming an "Islamic, anti-western, anti-liberal, anti-Israeli, undemocratic wave". Speaking to the Israeli parliament amid renewed protests and violence in Egypt, Netanyahu said concessions to the Palestinians were unwise in a period of instability and uncertainty in the region.

Palestinian poll: 56% oppose armed struggle against Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Elior Levy - (Analysis) November 28, 2011 - 1:00am

A new poll carried out by the Palestinian Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) reveals that support for Fatah among residents of the Palestinian Authority has not been hurt by the Shalit deal , which was completed between Hamas and Israel last month. And yet, the Hamas-led Shalit deal still receives wall to wall support – 86% of those questioned expressed their satisfaction with the results of the deal – the satisfaction rate is close to that of the Israeli satisfaction rate with the deal.

Israel's backers step up efforts to win African-American support
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from CNN
by Heather Higgins - (Blog) November 26, 2011 - 1:00am

The aroma of allspice wafted through the air as calypso melodies and gospel voices brought more than four dozen people to their feet, a typical community gathering in the heavily West Indian neighborhood of East Flatbush, Brooklyn. But no one could remember a meeting like this happening before. Inside a former Seventh-day Adventist church, there were the beginnings of what some hope is a budding relationship between American blacks and Jews, with a major assist from some Christian Zionists.

PA collapse 'not the end of the world' for Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) November 28, 2011 - 1:00am

An Israeli official said Saturday evening on live television that if the Palestinian Authority collapses it would not be the "end of the world for Israel." Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, Yedioth Ahronoth columnist Shimon Sheffer, former Palestinian minister Sufian Zayda, and Dove Viziglas, who was former adviser to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, were analyzing the possibility of the PA disbanding on the television show "Face the press." "The Palestinians have to know that they can’t scare us by threatening to disband the PA," Ayalon said.

Palestinian PM: Israeli sanctions starting to bite
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - (Analysis) November 27, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli economic sanctions against the Palestinians, in retaliation for their bid to win world recognition of a state of Palestine, have started to bite: officials said Sunday that they won't be able to pay the next round of public sector salaries that support nearly one-third of Palestinians, and that the damage to a fragile economy is devastating.

Israel to reconsider PA tax freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) November 28, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Israel was considering the release of Palestinian tax revenues, which it has frozen for over a month. Netanyahu is expected to announce the proposal during a Monday discussion in the Knesset's foreign affairs and defense committee, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. Netanyahu's aide said that the change in policy would be in the interest of preventing the collapse of the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas: Palestinians to skip interim government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - (Analysis) November 27, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinians' rival leaders have quietly decided to keep their respective governments in the West Bank and Gaza in place until elections, a senior Hamas figure told The Associated Press. This proposal would remove a major obstacle to efforts to reconcile the factions: the need to form an interim unity government. A representative of Hamas' rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, denied that such a deal was struck. Abbas envoy Azzam al-Ahmed insisted there was no agreement and "no possibility of holding elections without a unity government."

November 23rd

NEWS: Hamas is gaining in confidence following the prisoner swap with Israel. Pres. Abbas will meet Hamas leader Mishaal in Egypt in spite of the unrest, and some analysts think they will finalize a deal soon. Israel is concerned about the future of its peace agreement with Egypt, and a former defense official is urging contingency plans to re-enter Sinai, but Egypt reaffirms its commitments. Israel charges a Palestinian man with "revenge" killings. Israel's Internal Security Minister says he fears more political assassinations by Jewish extremists. UNSG Ban calls on Israel to release Palestinian tax revenues. One of PM Netanyahu's media advisors resigns over threats to press freedom. UNESCO defunding is crippling its programs. COMMENTARY: Sarah Schulman says Israel engages in "pinkwashing" by using gay rights rhetoric to distract from the occupation. Bradley Burston says Netanyahu's government is hypocritical. Ha'aretz says Netanyahu must choose between FM Lieberman and the rule of law. Attila Somfalvi says Netanyahu is deliberately stifling the media. Gershon Baskin says Netanyahu could be a leader for peace if he wanted to. The Jordan Times says King Abdullah's Ramallah trip was timely support. Rebecca Vilkomerson says Israel is failing to protect its own citizens. Marwan Muasher says the Arab Peace Initiative may be dead. Dan Simpson says the peace process must be revived. Zvi Bar'el says Jordan may become the new home for Hamas' leadership.

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