NEWS: Israel warns international journalists against being onboard another Gaza flotilla. US officials are trying to resuscitate talks to forestall a Palestinian UN initiative in September. Israeli leaders are urged to directly address the Arab publics. PLO leaders say they are going forward with their UN initiative and seek international support. After years of protests, court rulings and delays, Israel moves the separation barrier from part of a West Bank village. Villagers say their protests are far from over. Another prisoner dies in Hamas custody. Hamas says it doesn’t want to work with the German mediator in prisoner negotiations anymore. Gaza construction belies ongoing economic misery. Fatah says the nomination of PM Fayyad to continue in office is “final” and must be accepted by Hamas. COMMENTARY: Yossi Alpher, Colette Avital, Shlomo Gazit and Mark Heller say a Palestinian UN statehood initiative can be turned into a win-win scenario. Hagit Borer explains why she’s joining the Gaza flotilla. Ma’an interviews UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness. Ha’aretz says Israel should just let the flotilla land in Gaza. Akiva Eldar says Europe should keep pushing for peace. Uri Avnery says Israel was created both unilaterally and at the UN. Raymond Helmick and Nazir Khaja say Palestinians are recasting their struggle in nonviolent terms. Foreign Policy interviews novelist Alice Walker about joining the Gaza flotilla. Liam Hoare says FM Lieberman’s party is shaped by its Soviet foundations. JJ Goldberg says increasingly few people think PM Netanyahu believes in peace.

Interview: Alice Walker
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Robert Zeliger - (Interview) June 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker will join the flotilla of ships next week that will try to break Israel's maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip. She says the goal is to bring supplies and raise awareness of the situation there. Last May, during a similar attempt by activists, Israel raided six ships. On one, clashes broke out and Israeli commandos killed nine people. Foreign Policy reached the author of The Color Purple in Greece, where she is preparing for her departure. Foreign Policy: Why are you taking part in the flotilla mission?

Palestinians seek to redefine national struggle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Raymond G. Helmick, Nazir Khaja - (Opinion) June 26, 2011 - 12:00am

Young Palestinians, fascinated by the Arab Spring, have demonstrated recently in ways that ignore the contest of parties within their own community and seek simply freedom, justice, dignity and equality. Their movement is still small, only a couple of hundred demonstrators, determinedly nonviolent in their demand, gathered, but of course they were immediately flooded with tear gas and worse by the Israelis, who understand how vital it is for them to provoke nonviolent protesters into throwing that first stone.

Mantras parading as incontestable truths
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) June 26, 2011 - 12:00am

Those opposing the Palestinians’ UN bid forget that State of Israel was proclaimed unilaterally The Palestinians are planning something thoroughly obnoxious: They intend to apply to the UN for statehood. Why obnoxious? Any Israeli spokesman (not to mention spokeswoman) will tell you readily: Because it is a "unilateral" move. How dare they proclaim a state unilaterally? How dare they do so without the consent of the other party to the conflict — us?

Israel’s Soviet Political Party
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Liam Hoare - (Opinion) June 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Yisrael Beiteinu is widely understood to be the party of Russian Jewry, that population of nearly one million Jews who arrived in Israel after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Twelve years since its founding, it has become the third largest party in the Knesset, on a radical anti-clerical and staunchly nationalist platform.

Peres's Conference, Netanyahu's Challenge
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by J.J. Goldberg - (Opinion) June 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Tel Aviv — When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rose to address the 4,000 delegates at the close of Shimon Peres’s Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem on June 23, he beamed like a film student accepting an Oscar.

Europe's responsibility
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) June 27, 2011 - 12:00am

BRUSSELS - Last week I met with more than a dozen European officials who closely follow Israel and its dispute with its neighbors. Some wondered how it could be that Israel's defense minister warns about a "tsunami," while the country's public os focused on cottage cheese. Some asked whether I had a clue as to what my prime minister wants. Are all statements made by Benjamin Netanyahu about negotiations, they asked, aimed at giving the settlers another year or two, and also at scuttling any prospect of dividing the country?

Let the flotilla go
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) June 27, 2011 - 12:00am

The term "flotilla" is understood in Israel as a declaration of war. This is the case with respect to the latest Gaza-bound flotilla, just as it was with the one that set off from Turkey in May 2010. Furthermore, due to unstable relations with Turkey, Israel is still feeling the repercussions of its deadly raid on that maritime convoy.

Fayyad nomination is final, Fatah says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Nasouh Nazzal - June 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Ramallah: The Fatah party Sunday said the nomination of Dr Salam Fayyad to lead the Palestinian unity government is final. It said if Hamas did not agree with the nomination in the next couple of days, the current caretaker government under Fayyad will remain in place. "If agreement on the nomination of Dr Fayyad is not reached within the coming couple of days, it is highly possible that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas assigns Dr Fayyad to reshuffle his cabinet and preserve the status quo," Ameen Maqboul, who heads the Revolutionary Council at Fatah, told Gulf News in an interview.

Exploding the myths: UNRWA, UNHCR and the Palestine refugees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Opinion) June 27, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- As Palestinian leaders prepare to seek UN recognition of statehood in September, there is increasing talk in the US, Israel and elsewhere of disbanding the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, the UN Relief and Works Agency, and handing responsibility for Palestinian refugees to the UN High Commission for Refugees. Some argue UNHCR would resettle the refugees, robbing them of their right to return to their homes.

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