ATFP Urges Support for President Obama
Press Release - Contact Information: Ghaith al-Omari - May 23, 2011 - 12:00am

ATFP expresses its support for President Obama’s call for the establishment of two states, Palestine and Israel with borders based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed upon swaps. ATFP has always advocated a negotiated two-state solution as an American national interest. ATFP urges Members of Congress and all Americans to work intensively with the President to achieve this goal. ATFP also calls upon the Palestinians and Israelis to engage with the President in reaching peace for the benefit of their peoples and the region.

Pres. Obama says Israel must make “hard choices.” Palestinians see prospects of a peace agreement dwindling. Roger Cohen says Obama got it right that peace requires Palestinian independence and Israeli security. Aides to PM Netanyahu play down the dispute with the United States, although he was highly critical of Obama’s speech. Israeli analysts say the mutual mistrust is evident. The CSM praises Obama’s emphasis on the 1967 borders. The Quartet and the EU back Obama’s stance. Hamas says it will not heed Obama’s call to recognize Israel. UK officials say they are “deeply disappointed” by Israeli settlement plans. Ramallah is flourishing because of the state-building program. Palestinians are uncomfortable with Obama’s reference to Israel as a “Jewish state.” Obama’s AIPAC speech seems to mollify some Israelis. Palestinian officials say Obama’s speeches lay the basis for a new peace process. Ha’aretz doubts there will be a third intifada. Merav Michaeli says it’s no wonder that Obama can’t understand why Israel will not act in its own interests. Ahmad Tibi says when addressing Congress Netanyahu will have to defend his policy of "doing nothing." David Halperin and Peter Joseph defend Obama’s positions against criticism from other Jewish Americans. Israel announces more settlement plans in extremely sensitive areas around occupied East Jerusalem. The BBC interviews Obama. Palestinians plan more border protests for June 5. Jewish students in California seek legal action against pro-Palestinian campus activists. The National says Palestinians have a chance to seize the initiative. Tariq Alhomayed says Hamas needs to stop being an obstacle to negotiations.

A Message to Khaled Mishal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq al-Homayed - May 23, 2011 - 12:00am

Khaled Mishal, the leader of the Hamas movement, demonstrated strong political pragmatism after the uprising witnessed by Syria, as the inter-Palestinian reconciliation agreement was completed quickly in Cairo after years of procrastination. The question today is: does Mishal demonstrate as much political intelligence as pragmatism?

Palestinians can take the initiative after Israel balks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) May 22, 2011 - 12:00am

If the White House was trying to fire a warning shot at the United States' "unshakeable" ally in the Middle East, it hit its target. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, at the weekend responded defensively to President Barack Obama's suggestion that peace with the Palestinians depended on a return to pre-1967 borders. "Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace," Mr Netanyahu said in Washington, but "it cannot go back to the 1967 lines. These lines are indefensible".

UC Debates Free Speech Vs. Federal Protection
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Rex Weiner - May 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Shlomo Dubnov, an associate professor at University of California, San Diego, had an unusually busy schedule the first week of May.

Palestinians plan fresh protests to mark war anniversary
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - May 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian refugees are planning a fresh round of marches on Israel next month, amid signs that grassroots protests could gain momentum from deep disillusion over the prospects for peace talks and the impact of the Arab Spring. A committee behind demonstrations last weekend, in which 14 people were killed on the Lebanese and Syrian borders, have called for further protests on 5 June to mark the anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War, during which Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

US 'would repeat Bin Laden raid'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
(Interview) May 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Here is the full transcript of the BBC's interview with President Barack Obama. Andrew Marr: could I start by going back to that extraordinary moment a fortnight ago when you know that you had got Bin Laden. This was not simply presumably another difficult decision. As an American, never mind as president, there was something personal about it.

Israel approves 294 new W. Bank homes in Betar Illit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
May 22, 2011 - 12:00am

The Defense Ministry has approved the construction of 294 new homes in Betar Illit, the second largest West Bank Jewish city, located near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. Although the approval was granted at the end of April, it was first publicized in the last few days – including by Peace Now on Sunday – as part of an overall report on settlement activity. News of the Betar Illit units came as Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon traveled to another settlement bloc, Ma’aleh Adumim, and called for more building there, particularly in an area known as E-1.

When peace met partisanship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by David Halperin, Peter Joseph - (Opinion) May 22, 2011 - 12:00am

The criticism of President Obama’s speech this week, in particular the reaction to the statement that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,” underscores the lamentable, polarized discourse in our nation – and in the Jewish community – when it comes to Israel and the pursuit of a lasting two-state solution.

Let’s sit and do nothing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ahmad Tibi - (Opinion) May 23, 2011 - 12:00am

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished Congress members. Again we meet, while the world remains the same. Israel faces threats of extermination; we are being persecuted and are getting no rest. As your ally, I came here to draw encouragement for the “sit and do nothing” policy I’ve been leading with great skill.

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