NEWS: Israel passes a law banning calls for boycotts, including against settlements. Israelis and Palestinians connect on Facebook. Rachel Corrie’s parents say Israel is hiding evidence about her death. The Quartet meeting produces no breakthroughs. Hamas says Palestinian national unity is being thwarted by Pres. Abbas insisting on PM Fayyad continuing in office. Palestinians are beginning to feel negative consequences of their new diplomatic strategy. Both Palestinians and Israelis reportedly think US peace efforts have failed. Hebron merchants elect a Chamber of Commerce. Israel and Turkey are working on repairing relations. Palestinians in Lebanon find new educational opportunities. COMMENTARY: Ali Halimeh says the Palestinians must appeal to the UN for independence. Amir Oren says Israel is being held hostage by an extremist minority. Gershon Baskin says Israel must move towards peace. Doron Ben-Atar says Palestinians should urgently return to negotiations. Carlo Strenger says Israel’s new anti-boycott law reflects a siege mentality. Hussein Shobokshi says resistance in Palestine is now a political commodity in the Arab world. Linda Heard says Palestinians need to be patient, and that global powers need to impose Middle East peace. Yossi Alpher says Israel desperately needs a peace plan. Ghassan Khatib says peace depends on whether Israel is mature enough to end the occupation. Sean Cleary says Israeli-Palestinian peace is crucial to the future of the Middle East.

Palestinian Open University project back on track
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Annie Slemrod - July 12, 2011 - 12:00am

By 1980, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees were living in Lebanon. And despite the difficult conditions in the country’s camps, some 15,000 Palestinians were studying at Lebanese universities. At the time, Palestinian university students were considered to be foreigners and had to pay correspondingly higher tuition than Lebanese nationals. There was no Palestinian university that offered courses to students outside of Israel or Palestine.

No quick reconciliation for Turkey-Israel ties, but Turkey rethinking rift
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Leslie Susser - July 11, 2011 - 12:00am

The Turkey-Israel relationship is not out of the woods just yet. After some positive signs in recent weeks that the once close allies were moving to repair the rift that ripped wide open last year after nine Turks were killed by Israeli forces in a confrontation on a Gaza-bound flotilla of ships, Turkey’s prime minister renewed his hard line on Israel.

Sean Cleary: ‘Seize the Moment!’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Arabiya
by Sean Cleary - (Opinion) July 12, 2011 - 12:00am

All of us need to change gears, and direction, in our approach to the challenges of the world between the eastern Mediterranean and Central Asia. The turmoil in the Arab world must focus our minds, causing us to look beyond past habits and present uncertainty, to define and create a future that offers hope for generations to come. Efforts by the United States over the past ten years to counter what two different administrations have seen as threats to US interests in the Gulf and Afghanistan, have not brought benefits to many who dwell there.

In Hebron's casbah, rocking the vote
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - July 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Starting Tuesday morning, Hebron's main street, Ein Sara, was intermittently closed. The traffic jams piled up to an unbearable level. Hundreds of people congregated at the entrance of the Al-Hussein School, waiting for the turn to go in. It was an election day. Across from the school, booths were set up in support of candidates and party lists. Trucks plastered with ads for the leading lists traveled back and forth and above the street, dozens of banners with photos of the top candidates were hung.

A question of will, not semantics
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Blog) July 11, 2011 - 12:00am

The content of the article "Buying into Palestinian statehood" by a group of prominent Israelis represents a new, mature and responsible level of debate between Israelis and Palestinians--even when compared to official exchanges between the two sides.

Israel and Palestinian sources to Haaretz: U.S. peace efforts have failed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - July 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The intensive U.S. efforts to create an agreed outline for renewed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have failed, Israeli and Palestinian sources have told Haaretz. The sources said the Palestinian leadership is more determined than ever to pursue the recognition of an independent Palestinian state at the United Nations in September.

Frequently asked questions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Blog) July 11, 2011 - 12:00am

Some three weeks ago I published, together with Colette Avital, Shlomo Gazit and Mark Heller, the following components of a proposed "win-win" United Nations resolution regarding Palestinian statehood:

Palestinians start to feel pain from new strategy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Tom Perry and Ali Sawafta - July 11, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinians' drive to forge a new Middle East strategy, opposed by Israel and the United States, is starting to exact a financial price that will test their resolve. Palestinian Authority employees, who received only half wages in July, are getting a taste of what could be in store if their leaders defy Washington and follow through on plans to take their statehood quest to the United Nations in September.

World powers should impose Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Linda Heard - (Opinion) July 11, 2011 - 12:00am

The world’s appetite for the inhumane status quo to continue indefinitely is receding. And as long as Israel continues its land grab the window of opportunity for two states diminishes. The only remaining option — apart from the genocide of historic Palestine’s rightful owners — would be the one-state solution which most Palestinians reject and Israelis fear would signal the Jewish state’s demographic demise.

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