Five more Palestinians are detained in an Israeli raid on a West Bank village. The UN says Palestinian progress is sufficient for statehood. The complete blockade of Gaza reaches its seventh day, and farmers are suffering greatly from the closure. Israeli soldiers will now be equipped with cameras. Hamas denies Syria is sponsoring Palestinian reconciliation negotiations. PM Netanyahu is reportedly considering a partial pullback in the West Bank, prompting settler panic, but Palestinian leaders question the idea. Netanyahu meets with a Canadian teenage pop star. The Quartet postpones a meeting on negotiations. Amir Peretz seeks the leadership of the Labor Party. A new poll shows 51% of Americans oppose a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood. FM Lieberman gives an unusual radio interview. Gershon Baskin says another war in Gaza is a trap for Israel. E. Kontorovich says Israel will not face a “diplomatic tsunami” in September. Palestinians rename Jerusalem streets. Rachel Shabi eulogizes Juliano Mer-Khamis. Proposed US legislation would call on the UN to rescind the Goldstone Report. Mel Frykberg says a new war in Gaza is still possible. Rami Khouri says the “Israeli Peace Initiative” is worth careful consideration, and Hussein Ibish says it reminds us negotiations are both possible and indispensable.

What the “Israeli Peace Initiative” has to offer
In Print by Hussein Ibish - NOW Lebanon - April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

On April 6, a group of prominent Israelis released the “Israeli Peace Initiative,” an answer to the Peace Initiative adopted by the Arab League in 2002. The biggest difference between the two documents is that one is official, formally adopted by a large group of states, and the other is a civil society initiative. This puts the two documents on significantly unequal footing. However, the new Israeli private initiative bears serious consideration, given the paucity of any other Israeli response to the API and the lack of diplomatic activity generally.

Juliano Mer-Khamis obituary
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rachel Shabi - April 11, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian-Israeli actor Juliano Mer-Khamis, who has been shot dead at the age of 52, was a successful stage and screen performer, film-maker and activist, widely known for his work as the artistic director of the Freedom theatre in the refugee camp in the West Bank town of Jenin. Dedicated to equipping young Palestinians with the potent powers of art and self-expression, Juliano carved out a stage on which children could find their feet – and voice. The theatre's achievements have resonated around the world as a focal point of creativity against the odds.

Amir Peretz makes bid for Labor chairmanship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Attila Somfalvi - April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Former Labor Party Chairman Amir Peretz announced that he intends to seek a second term as party chairman. Peretz, who lead Labor in 2006, called a press conference Tuesday and announced his plans. "It saddens me to see society today. Many of the important things have been eroded. I plan on submitting an extensive plan, a social Iron Dome, to protect three major things: society, democracy and peace.

U.S. postpones Quartet meet on Israel-Palestinian peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The United States blocked an initiative by Britain, France and Germany to restart stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks by proposing the outlines of a final settlement to their long conflict, United Nations diplomats and a U.S. official said Monday. The three European countries wanted UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the European Union to propose a settlement text at a meeting of the Quartet of Mideast mediators - the U.S., UN, EU and Russia - tentatively scheduled to take place Friday in Berlin on the sidelines of a NATO ministerial meeting, the diplomats said.

Poll: 51% in US oppose unilateral creation of Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

A new survey released Monday by the Israel Project, revealed support for Israel among the American public is strong. The national survey, which included 800 registered voters from both major parties, and stated a margin of error of 3.46%. According to the data, 51% of US voters oppose the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state without a signed peace treaty with Israel; and 54% believe that without a peace agreement, the United States should not recognize a Palestinian state.

Even Bibi is getting caught up in Biebermania
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yael Gaton, Barak Ravid - April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The throngs of tween girls who mobbed Justin Beiber upon his arrival in Israel on Monday aren't alone. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apparently has a hankering for the Canadian pop idol as well. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will host Bieber at his office on Wednesday evening. Netanyahu's office said the young singer and his manager were the ones who had asked for the meeting and the prime minister consented.

Live from the bathroom – Lieberman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Avidgor Lieberman is known as an outspoken politician who generally shuns the prevalent politically correct culture, but on Monday Israel’s foreign minister reached new heights, or is it lows, in his conduct vis-à-vis the media – by flushing the toilet during a radio interview.

Settler council: Netanyahu's West Bank pullout plan radiates panic
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - April 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The Yesha Council of Settlers reacted angrily Tuesday to a Haaretz report detailing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan for a West Bank withdrawal as part of a diplomatic initiative to counter an impending unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood. Netanyahu is weighing a withdrawal of Israel Defense Forces troops from the West Bank and a series of other measures to block the "diplomatic tsunami" that may follow international recognition of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

Encountering Peace: The bombs bursting in air
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) April 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Yes, it’s difficult to think about peace when missiles are flying from Gaza into Israel, and when innocent civilians on both sides are regularly forced to take cover. Yes, it’s true that Hamas and its proxies in Gaza intentionally shoot at Israeli civilians, but it’s also true that many innocent civilians inside Gaza end up paying with their lives – killed by Israeli bombs. Go and explain to their families that their deaths were not intentional.

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