June 17th

U.S. Pushes New Effort on Peace in Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Jay Solomon - June 17, 2011 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration and European governments are stepping up efforts to revive Arab-Israeli peace talks, saying they have little time to head off a Palestinian drive to seek United Nations recognition as a state. The White House this week dispatched its top Middle East negotiators, Dennis Ross and David Hale, to the region to try to gain Israeli and Palestinian agreement to resume negotiations based on parameters President Barack Obama laid out last month, according to U.S. and Israeli officials.

Cabinet expected to curtail Barak's power to veto West Bank settlement construction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - June 17, 2011 - 12:00am

The cabinet is expected to vote on Sunday to curtail Defense Minister Ehud Barak's authority to supervise construction in West Bank settlements. The proposal would revoke Barak's right to veto West Bank construction by the World Zionist Organization's Settlement Division. The division budgets NIS 25 million a year for this purpose. The Settlement Division was set up in 1967 after Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula. For years, it was tasked with building settlements in the West Bank and did not deal with the Negev or Galilee at all.

September declaration of the Palestinian State: Is it possible?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
June 16, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian determination to go to the UN Council for recognition of the Palestinian state increases everyday. Reports about secret channels of negotiations were denied by the Palestinian official Sa’ab Erekat who confirmed that without a complete freeze of the settlements building, no progress can be achieved in the peace process.

Egyptian FM: Palestine UN membership doesn’t negate Israel’s legitimacy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Masry Al-Youm
June 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Arab efforts to enable Palestinians to obtain membership in the United Nations do not aim to render Israel an illegitimate state, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Araby said in a Thursday statement. Araby said that diplomatic efforts to request Palestinian state membership in the UN General Assembly are expected in September, and that these efforts are justified in light of ongoing Israeli intransigence and refusal to bring an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Israel Warns of Using Force if New Flotilla Heads to Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - June 16, 2011 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV — Israel made clear on Thursday that if a new flotilla of pro-Palestinian activists sought to break its naval blockade of Gaza like the one a year ago when its commandos killed nine people, the Israeli military would use force again, including boarding the ships and confronting the activists.

Jewish leftists need to have the Talk
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - (Blog) June 16, 2011 - 12:00am

These days, it's a little too easy for Jewish Leftists to avoid having the Talk. The Talk, an open-minded consideration of the Palestinian right of return, might well be divisive, corrosive, just one further blow at a time of Israeli – and world Jewish - apathy and depression and paralysis. It's certainly more comfortable to let the issue run in the background, as many groups on the left have done, either coming down at one stroke on one side or the other, as if the issue were not breathtakingly complex, or, alternatively, deciding not to decide.

Dubai's Rasmala Investment Bank starts Palestinian fund
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Farah Halime - June 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Rasmala Investment Bankis the latest financial institution to launch a Palestinian-focused fund even as it is cutting costs elsewhere as part of a debt restructuring programme it announced in November. The bank, based in Dubai, is hoping to raise US$115 million (Dh422.3m) for the fund, which will target stocks listed on the Palestine Stock Exchange.

Netanyahu is dooming Israel to live eternally by the sword
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) June 17, 2011 - 12:00am

Author Etgar Keret, on assignment from Haaretz, accompanied the prime minister on his trip to Italy this week and reported on Benjamin Netanyahu's perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "This is an insoluble conflict because it is not about territory," Netanyahu said. "It is not that you can give up a kilometer more and solve it. The root of the conflict is in an entirely different place. Until Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, there will be no way to reach an agreement."

June 16th

NEWS: Jordan’s King Abdullah says the failure of the peace process is a grave threat to the international community. A settler is arrested by Israeli authorities for killing a Palestinian near Nablus. Spain’s FM says talks should resume this year. Seven Palestinians are injured, two critically, during a protest against the separation barrier. Israeli officials say PM Netanyahu fears a third intifada. Israeli opposition leaders say Netanyahu has isolated Israel. A US official says cutting funds to the UN would harm Israeli and American interests. The Ford foundation maybe pulling back from funding Israeli initiatives. Hamas is trying to soften its image. Leading Jewish Americans deny Pres. Obama is trying to bully Netanyahu. COMMENTARY: Daoud Kuttab says Palestinians lack a broad strategy for independence. Larry Derfner says the US and Israeli right have become intimate allies. Brian Schaefer says that there are efforts to combat the propaganda of Birthright Israel. Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid says anyone who bans artists to keep ambassadors happy doesn’t understand the Arab spring. George Hishmeh says the US will have to do better in answering Saudi concerns about Palestine. Michael Jansen says UNRWA is the only thing stopping Israeli “stealth ethnic cleansing.” The Arab News says Gaza continues to suffer under an indefensible blockade. Victor Kotsev says Meir Dagan could be the next Ariel Sharon. William Galston asks why peace seems so elusive. Jerome Segal says the UN should reestablish its Special Committee on Palestine. Ori Nir says Netanyahu’s policies that assume peace is not possible are leading Israel to a disaster. Khaled Abu Toameh says Pres. Abbas has no mandate.

Netanyahu's "insoluble" conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Americans For Peace Now
by Ori Nir - (Opinion) June 15, 2011 - 12:00am

If you want to understand why the Obama administration is so angry with Binyamin Netanyahu and his government, read what Netanyahu told Etgar Keret, one of Israel's leading young authors. Keret spoke with Netanyahu on a recent trip to Italy. He was reporting for Haaretz, the Israeli daily, which once a year hires Israel's leading authors and poets to serve as reporters.

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