June 22nd

Protest organizer jailed by Israeli court for year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 19, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- The Ofer Israeli military court sentenced popular protest coordinator Naji At-Tamimi to one year of imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 shekels ($2,914), his colleagues said. Naji and Basem At-Tamimi were taken by Israeli forces from their homes in April and held without charge. Naji was charged with inciting and participating in rallies and organizing demonstrations against Israeli land confiscation and settlement building. Israel has declared such demonstrations illegal.

Europe, Palestine expects more from you
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) June 22, 2011 - 12:00am

After spending a few days this week in European cities with American and European diplomats and experts on Middle Eastern issues, I sense that the confusion and convolution levels among Western powers vis-à-vis Arab-Israeli issues is at an all-time high. To reverse the “threat level” analysis that Western powers use to describe the dangers they face from Middle Eastern or Asian-based terrorists, the Arab world right now faces an “extremely high” threat level of being at the receiving end of some really irrelevant and even dangerous American and European diplomacy.

Netanyahu must ditch his madly right-leaning coalition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) June 22, 2011 - 12:00am

You may love or hate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but there is no arguing with his success. Since he returned to power, Israel has enjoyed security calm, economic growth and political stability of a sort not seen for the last generation. The people prefer Netanyahu's diplomatic standstill and security restraint to the policy of his predecessor, Ehud Olmert, which combined diplomatic daring with military adventurism. Israelis are in love with the status quo and do not want to be disturbed by peace initiatives or wars. Netanyahu's passivity suits them just fine.

A Palestinian deal cannot be won if Abbas keeps crying wolf
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Tony Karon - (Opinion) June 22, 2011 - 12:00am

Perhaps, as a youth, President Mahmoud Abbas was never told the parable of the boy who cried wolf. I suggest this because the Palestinian Authority leader has with such monotonous regularity brandished the threat to quit his job that he appears to believe it is a vital weapon in the Palestinian diplomatic arsenal.

The danger of Netanyahu's new settlement policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) June 22, 2011 - 12:00am

A few days after he revealed his opinion that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does not stem from a territorial dispute, and is therefore insoluble, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to implement a horrific idea necessitated by his worldview. He decided to accelerate the race to occupy additional territories in the disputed areas by thinning out the means of supervision of the settlement project authorities.

Fayyad: I will not obstruct unity deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 22, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Prime Minister in Ramallah Salam Fayyad assured Tuesday evening that he "can't and won't be an obstacle to Palestinian reconciliation." Following speculation he would publicly refuse the post of prime minister in the new transitional unity government being negotiated by Hamas and Fatah, his words fell short of the declaration, saying "I shall support to the best of my abilities any candidate Palestinian parties agree upon."

Israel to Allow Building Cargo to Enter Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - June 21, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — The Israeli military said Tuesday that it had agreed to allow a United Nations agency to bring building materials for 1,200 new housing units and 18 new schools into Gaza, one of the largest construction projects in the Palestinian coastal strip in years. An Israeli military spokesman said the project came in addition to 130 others, including 14 schools, approved for construction by various agencies in Gaza.

June 21st

NEWS: Pres. Obama says the United States may have “tactical disagreements” with Israel. Pres. Abbas reiterates that Palestinians want to resume negotiations, will go to the UN in September and will have a government headed by PM Fayyad. Fayyad says he refuses to continue as prime minister, even though a new poll shows him to be the popular choice. Obama assures Jewish donors he strongly supports Israel. Settlers use tourism to tighten their grip on the occupied territories. Gazans are not feeling much relief from the border opening. Turkey and Israel hold secret talks to repair relations. PM Netanyahu says Israel must separate from the Palestinians. Outgoing Israeli military chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi says a Palestinian state is “inevitable” and urges resuming negotiations. Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan has been stripped of his diplomatic passport after remarks critical of the Israeli government. COMMENTARY: Sefi Rachlevsky says that because of religious fanaticism, the Israeli military is leading Israel to destruction. Daoud Kuttab says Palestinians need a holistic strategy for independence. Gerald Auerbach says Israel was founded amidst a legitimacy crisis and had to fight its own extremists. Gershon Baskin says Palestinians need energy as well as political independence. Khalaf Al Habtoor says more Arab commitment to the Palestinian cause is required. Jeff Halper says even a symbolic show of support for Palestine at the UN will be a significant victory. Yossi Alpher says that rather than trying to resuscitate talks, the international community should turn UN efforts into a win-win situation. Ghassan Khatib says Europe is the key to what happens in September. Roger Hercz says Israel is torn over the Arab Spring.

The European position is key
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Blog) June 20, 2011 - 12:00am

The period from now until September is going to be crowded with ideas and proposals aimed at achieving two objectives. First, these will seek to head off the Palestinian plan to take the conflict to the United Nations for discussion and ask for recognition of the Palestinian state and membership at the world body. Second, these proposals will try to ensure a resumption of the bilateral negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.

Special from Israel: A country torn over projected impact of Arab Spring
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Masry Al-Youm
by Roger Hercz - (Opinion) June 21, 2011 - 12:00am

Facing US lawmakers on Capitol Hill in late May, Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu did not even attempt to wrap an elegant coating around his undiplomatic mocking of the uprisings sweeping the Arab World. Comparing the current situation in many Arab states to Israel, he left nothing to the imagination. “My friends, you don‘t need to do nation building in Israel. We have already built,” Netanyahu said, as the lawmakers joined him in laughter. “You don’t need to export democracy to Israel. We’ve already got it.”

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