NEWS: Pres. Abbas may postpone further national unity talks with Hamas until after the UN meeting in September. Bilin villagers prepare to build on land regained from the separation barrier. Some flotilla ships are ready to sail, but organizers say two of them have been sabotaged. Palestinian leaders condemn a U.S. Senate resolution threatening an aid cutoff. The Israeli military reports it has no means to deal with mass nonviolent protests in the West Bank. Israeli officials say they’re working with the US and Europe to restart talks. Unnamed sources say Jordan may oppose Palestinian moves at the UN. Prominent friends of Israel urge PM Netanyahu to accept Pres. Obama’s proposal for new negotiations. COMMENTARY: Daoud Kuttab says nonviolence is the Palestinian third way. Gideon Levy says Israel has become obsessed with force and violence. Carlo Strenger says despite hysteria, Israel is not on the brink of destruction. Bradley Burston says Israel could easily deal with the flotilla by just letting it dock in Gaza. Nahum Barnea says the arrest of an extremist Rabbi is political theater. D. Bloomfield says it’s not clear what Abbas wants. Rep. Gary Ackerman says a Palestinian UN initiative could pose a serious threat to Israel. Larry Derfner says Israeli propaganda over the flotilla is out of control.

With September looming, unity can't wait
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gary Ackerman - (Opinion) June 30, 2011 - 12:00am

While many differences exist among Jewish parliamentarians, the concept of ahavat Yisrael – literally, “love of Israel” – is common to us all. It is for this reason that 55 Jewish parliamentarians from 22 countries have assembled in Jerusalem under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress. Ahavat Yisrael means not just love of the state, the country and the land, but a joint concern and affection that Jews have always shown for one another across the globe.

What does Abbas really want?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - (Opinion) June 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Mahmoud Abbas inspired great hope that peace was finally possible when he succeeded Yasser Arafat as president of the Palestinian Authority. Because the gap between those expectations and his performance keeps growing, along with his penchant for finding excuses instead of opportunities, he is arguably an even bigger disappointment than the unrepentant old terrorist. Few expected Arafat would ever make a real peace, but not so Abbas, who earned respect as the only PLO leader to stand up to Arafat and oppose violence as a negotiating tool.

Bread and entertainment
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Nahum Barnea - (Opinion) June 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Rabbi Dov Lior should have been interrogated in connection with affairs that are much graver than the praise he lavished on a book of incitement based on Jewish Law verses: Acts carried out by the Jewish terror underground; the Rabin murder; the Goldstein massacre – all these crimes, and others, came from a milieu where Rabbi Lior was, and still is, the spiritual authority.

Friends of Israel to PM: Accept Obama terms, restart talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Shefler - June 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Members of the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians gathered at the King David Hotel on Tuesday for a candid conversation closed to journalists dealing with the considerable challenges facing Israel in the international arena. During the event, speakers pledged support for Israel, vociferously defending it against its critics, but in between the words of praise some genuine concern could also heard.

Hysteria, ‘hasbara’ and the flotilla
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Opinion) June 29, 2011 - 12:00am

I just love Israel’s “hasbara” campaign against Freedom Flotilla 2. I mean, butter wouldn’t melt in these people’s mouths. “There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” says Ehud Barak. Gazans are “importing televisions and plasma screens, and exporting agricultural products to the entire Arab world,” says IDF chief Benny Gantz. Yes, Gaza is economically on the mend – but not because of Israel’s good intentions; rather, despite its bad intentions.

Report: Jordan to oppose PA statehood bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - June 29, 2011 - 12:00am

A senior Jordanian official says the Hashemite kingdom will vote against a Palestinian statehood bid scheduled to be put before the UN General Assembly in September. "Jordan's top national interests will be in danger if the Palestinian Authority declares statehood unilaterally – especially in everything related to the issue of refugees, water, Jerusalem, and the borders," the UAE-based al-Bayan quoted a Jordanian state official as saying.

Leading Palestinian and Jewish American Groups Announce Joint Internship Program
Press Release - Contact Information: Ghaith al-Omari - June 30, 2011 - 12:00am

The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) and Americans for Peace Now (APN) are today starting their joint summer internship program. ATFP is hosting an Israeli student, and APN is hosting a Palestinian student. This is the third time that ATFP and APN, a pro-Palestinian organization and a pro-Israeli organization, are cooperating on a joint internship program, making it a tradition intended to underscore that Americans who care about Middle East peace - be they Arab or Jewish - have more in common than what sets them apart.

This time, Israel can pass the test of the Gaza flotilla
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - (Opinion) June 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Friends of Israel, countries and individuals that sincerely wish Israelis well, should send a message this week: Mr. Netanyahu, Mr. Barak, for your sake, for Israel's sake, let the flotilla sail to Gaza. Do the right thing this time. Let it go. Many other challenges are vying for your attention. You have yet to forge a coherent policy regarding the September Palestinian UN initiative. Five years to the week that Hamas captured Gilad Shalit in Israel and brought him to Gaza, the terms of a possible exchange deal deserve close attention.

Israel tries to strike deal with Europe, US
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Attila Somfalvi - June 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Government sources on Wednesday confirmed that Israeli and American officials are continuing their efforts to jump-start negotiations with the Palestinians, while Jerusalem is hoping to secure France and Britain's objection at a United Nations vote on the declaration of a Palestinian state. Germany and Italy have already announced that they will object to a unilateral declaration of statehood, while France and Britain are eager to push Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiations table.

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