NEWS: Israel's plans to relocate Bedouins draws heavy criticism. Pres. Peres says he is "ashamed" of undemocratic legislation. Proposed Israeli legislation seeks to ban mosque loudspeakers. Settlers attack an Israeli military base in the occupied West Bank and sieze control of structures near the Jordan border, while blaming DM Barak for the incidents. Kadima leader Livni blames PM Netanyahu. Pres. Abbas will meet with EU FP Chief Ashton. Israeli officials are mum on Newt Gingrich's recent verbal attacks against Palestinians and Mitt Romney and many Jewish American leaders condemn them. COMMENTARY: Anshel Pfeffer says Israeli law is powerless against the settlers. Jonathan Pollak says Mustafa Tamimi died a heroic death, Jessica Montell says it was an avoidable tragedy and Karl Vick says it shows how not to deal with protesters. David Remnick says Pres. Obama is "salivating" at the idea of running against Gingrich after the latter's recent comments. Hassan Barari calls Gingrich's statements "a cheap stunt." Sallai Meridor says it's up to Netanyahu to stop the rise of extremist nationalism in Israel. Gershon Baskin says Netanyahu is not walking the walk, but at least is talking the talk on peace. The Jerusalem Post claims that, unlike almost all other nations, Israel was "not invented." Linda Heard says an Obama re-election is crucial for peace.

A death that could have been avoided
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jessica Montell - (Opinion) December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Every death is a tragedy for the family and friends of the deceased. Yet a death you can see coming from miles away, a needless death that could have been prevented, is a tragedy about which hard lessons must be learned. Such is the case of Mustafa Tamimi, the 28-year-old Palestinian man killed in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh last Friday. Tamimi was shot at close range with a tear gas canister. The canister hit him in the face, causing massive bleeding, and he died the following day.

A courageous Palestinian has died, shrouded in stones
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Pollack - (Opinion) December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Mustafa Tamimi threw stones. Unapologetically and sometimes fearlessly. Not on that day alone, but nearly every Friday. He also concealed his face. Not for fear of the prison cell, which he had already come to know intimately, but in order to preserve his freedom, so he could continue to throw stones and resist the theft of his land. He continued to do this until the moment of his death.

Israeli law is powerless in the settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - (Opinion) December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

As the situation currently stands between the Israel Defense Forces and the widening margins of the extreme settler right, the only "red line" that has yet to be crossed is a scenario in which an Israeli citizen would open fire on IDF soldiers. There are those in Israel's security forces who fear that that day is not so distant. Before we hurry to call Tuesday's attack on an IDF brigade commander and his deputy an "escalation" in IDF-settler ties, it is important to emphasize that this is not a new situation.

How Not to Deal With Protesters: A Death in the West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Karl Vick - (Blog) December 12, 2011 - 1:00am

The weekend offered a hard lesson in the nature of what passes for calm between Israel and the Palestinians living in the territory its army watches over. It was a lesson in two parts, one exploding in the sandy soil of the Gaza Strip, where the Israeli military exchanged fire with militants in the kind of clash that militaries are made for.

David Remnick to Haaretz: Gingrich statement on 'invented' Palestinians is 'alarming'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chemi Shalev - (Interview) December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Republican candidate Newt Gingrich’s characterization of the Palestinians as an “invented” people is an “alarming attempt to diminish the Palestinian people and to diminish Palestinian history,” according to David Remnick, the Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of the prestigious New Yorker magazine.

Gingrich, Romney Clash Over Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Forward
by Nathan Guttman - December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Republican frontrunner Newt Gingrich’s claim that the Palestinians are an “invented” people brought the issue of Israel and the Middle East to center stage in Saturday’s Republican candidates’ debate in Iowa. For Gingrich’s rivals, especially Mitt Romney, who has seen his once-safe lead slip away, the issue of Israel and Palestine posed somewhat of a challenge.

‘The invented people’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Hassan Barari - (Opinion) December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

The statement by Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich that Palestinians are an “invented” people is nothing but a cheap stunt to get votes. Gingrich also assailed the righteousness of the Palestinians struggle for statehood when he referred to them as “terrorists”. If Newt Gingrich becomes the next president of the United States, we have every reason not to be optimistic. It is obvious that he is influenced not only by his quest for Jewish vote but also by ignorance.

Netanyahu's biggest test
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Sallai Meridor - (Opinion) December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

During my service as the Israeli ambassador to the United States I often leaned on Israeli democracy, our freedom of speech and equality among the sexes to promote Israel's status. The congressmen who opened their doors and their hearts to me did so because they believed they were meeting with someone representing the only democracy in the Middle East. Their constituents, Americans who are currently facing rising unemployment and both a national and a private recession, continue to support the US' alignment with Israel – even when they are the only ones in the world to do so.

Encountering Peace: Half-way there
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

‘I am very pessimistic on the future of Israel. The trends in general mood in Israel, US, worldwide are towards polarization, conflict and pessimism, and all is made worse by the worsening worldwide financial problems which I expect to end in a depression pretty much everywhere. I don’t expect Israel to avoid war with considerable casualties and damage.”

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