April 26th

Our Kind of Realism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) April 26, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, asserts rightly that in view of the current political upheaval, America has no better or more trustworthy friend in the Middle East than Israel. Looking at the region's strategic map, one sees mostly instability and uncertainty. Who is going to rule Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia five years ahead? What will happen in Iraq if and when U.S. forces leave? And will Iran prevail as the new regional superpower under its current leadership, or will it go through regime change and return to the pro-Western camp?

Whiff of Desperation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Stephen Walt - (Opinion) April 26, 2011 - 12:00am

It is an ambassador's job to burnish his government's image; fidelity to the usual canons of logic and evidence are neither required nor expected. It is therefore unsurprising that Michael Oren's portrait of Israel as America's "ultimate ally" is a one-sided distortion of reality.

The Ultimate Ally
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Michael B. Oren - (Opinion) April 26, 2011 - 12:00am

What is the definition of an American ally? On an ideological level, an ally is a country that shares America's values, reflects its founding spirit, and resonates with its people's beliefs. Tactically, an ally stands with the United States through multiple conflicts and promotes its global vision. From its location at one strategic crossroads, an ally enhances American intelligence and defense capabilities, and provides ports and training for U.S. forces. Its army is formidable and unequivocally loyal to its democratic government.

Pro-Palestinian activists prepare 15-boat Gaza aid flotilla one year after deadly Israeli raid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
April 26, 2011 - 12:00am

Pro-Palestinian activists say a planned convoy of aid ships to the Gaza Strip will be twice as big as a similar flotilla that was raided a year ago by Israeli forces, leaving nine people dead on a Turkish boat. Organizers say they hope to depart around the May 31 anniversary of the fatal raid, but say it could happen later than that. Huseyin Oruc, a spokesman for an Islamic aid group in Turkey, said Tuesday that an international coalition of 22 non-governmental organizations plans to send 15 ships with a total of 1,500 people.

April 25th

An Israeli settler is killed by Palestinian police near a holy site, sparking new tensions. His aunt, an Israeli cabinet minister, says he was killed by a terrorist disguised as a police officer, but an investigation shows the group tried to break through a Palestinian roadblock. Settlers say they go there every night without Palestinian permission. PM Netanyahu calls the incident, which is in the context of an uptick in violence, “heinous.” The New York Times says Pres. Obama must present a peace plan. Israel’s West Bank separation barrier creates psychological divisions as well as physical ones. An Israeli IT company hires Palestinian programmers. Egypt closes the crossing with Gaza for the holidays. PM Fayyad says national unity is crucial for statehood and that Palestinians will soon celebrate Easter in East Jerusalem. Efforts to resume negotiations are underway, and a PLO official says they may not approach the UN if serious talks resume. Israeli officials say Hamas may want to capture more Israeli soldiers. Alon Ben-Meir says Israel must make the next diplomatic move. David Rosenberg says Palestinian leaders are creating their state and this is good for Israel. Gary Younge says the status quo is neither sustainable nor desirable for Israelis or Palestinians. Elliot Jager looks at the history of the Likud party. Tony Karon says the UN is the right place for Middle East diplomacy. Fawaz Turki says there is an intolerant streak in Palestinian society that must be challenged. Musa Keilani says unless something significant happens before September, the UNGA will recognize Palestine. Dan Ephron profiles Pres. Abbas in Newsweek.

The Wrath of Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Newsweek
by Dan Ephron - (Blog) April 25, 2011 - 12:00am

We're somewhere over the Mediterranean, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, is trying to get inside the head of Barack Obama. "We knew him before he became president," he's saying, struggling to understand what happened to the man who had seemed more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause than any of his predecessors. "We knew him and he was very receptive." Around us, Abbas's closest aides are shuffling papers or typing on laptops, while his bodyguards lounge on long corduroy couches.

'Heinous act against Jewish worshipers'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Attila Somfalvi - April 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Shooting attack or unintentional mishap? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned on Sunday evening the shooting incident at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus that killed 24-year-old Ben-Yosef Livnat and injured two other Hasidim, calling it a "terrorist attack." In his statement, Netanyahu urged the Palestinian Authority "to take harsh steps against the perpetrators who committed this heinous act against Jewish worshipers who were on their way to prayer."

'Worshippers visit Joseph's Tomb every night'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Raanan Ben-Zur - April 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Almost every night, Jewish worshippers sneak into Palestinian territory, where Joseph's Tomb is located, without obtaining a permit. On Sunday morning such a "routine" visit ended with a fatal shooting that killed Ben-Yosef Livnat, a 24-year-old father-of-four and the nephew of Sports and Culture Minister Limor Livnat. The entrance into the Tomb vicinity is usually coordinated by Chairman of the Yesod Olam association Haim Reicher, who also arranges entries to other holy sites in the West Bank.

'PA will defer UN statehood bid if 'serious' talks begin'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) April 25, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian leadership will defer its plan to seek a declaration of statehood in the United Nations this September if "real and serious" negotiations begin before that point, PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo told London-based Al-Hayyat on Monday. Abed Rabbo added that the Palestinians only have two options in their playbook and that if it is not satisfied by renewed talks, it will go ahead with the United Nations plan.

Above the Fray: The great Mideast chess game
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Alon Ben-meir - (Opinion) April 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Amid the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate, a storm of diplomatic activity is brewing. The Palestinians, Israel and the United States are carefully calculating what moves to make next. Only the Palestinians appear to have a clear-cut strategy: internationalizing the conflict through a United Nations General Assembly Resolution recognizing a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, within the 1967 borders.

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