July 28th

Gaza film-makers decry Hamas censorship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal al-Mughrabi - July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

It's not just the dearth of funds, equipment and studio facilities that prompts such laments from film-makers in the Gaza Strip. Four years into Islamist Hamas rule, cultural censors are fraying the already threadbare local movie industry. Locked in conflict with Israel and vying against secular Palestinian rivals in the occupied West Bank, Hamas has long invested in television- and Internet-based news, educational shows and even animated clips that advance its political views.

Palestinian October elections 'only in the West Bank'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (AFP) -- Palestinian local elections in October will only be held in the West Bank as Hamas is hampering preparations in Gaza, a senior electoral official said on Wednesday. Speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, the official said the government had informed the Central Elections Commission (CEC) of a decision taken earlier on Wednesday. "The elections committee was informed today by the government that it had decided to hold municipal elections only in the West Bank on October 22," he said.

The evolution of Syrian policy towards Palestine and the Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Blog) July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

The policies of the Hafez and Bashar Al-Assad regimes in Syria have systematically undermined independent Palestinian national leadership and asserted control over the Palestinian cause and movement. These policies did not arise in a vacuum, but rather are a continuation and intensification of traditional Syrian approaches to the question of Palestine. These Syrian efforts to “own a piece of Palestine" -- if not the whole thing, at least as an issue -- are not unique among the Arab states.

In the Occupied Territories, Order Trumps Law
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Forward
by Olga Gershenson - (Opinion) July 27, 2011 - 12:00am

The audience was remarkably quiet during a screening of “The Law in These Parts” at the Jerusalem Film Festival. My fellow Israelis, who usually have no qualms about exchanging opinions during a movie, or even about answering an occasional cell phone call, sat absolutely still. Even after the movie ended, there was a moment of shocked silence before the audience burst into applause and called onstage the director, Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, and the producer, Liran Atzmor. It was very clear which film would win the prize for best documentary.

Palestinian security forces seize weapons in Dahlan house raid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian security forces raided the Ramallah house of ousted Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan early Thursday morning, after his appeal against expulsion from the party was rejected on Wednesday. At around 7 a.m. police, preventive security and national security forces encircled the home of the former Gaza security chief. Forces raided the house on motorbikes and gunshots were heard as Dahlan's security guards tried to escape, a Ma'an correspondent said.

Middle East drama on Capitol Hill
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - (Analysis) July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

This summer is much busier than usual in Washington, DC, even without taking the debt ceiling drama into account. Here are some updates on what is going on in the U.S. capital: 1. Congressmen press the Obama administration to take a more decisive position on Syria The U.S. administration has pretty much exhausted all the possible ways to put pressure on Assad's regime - sanctions, rebukes, hints that the regime "is not indispensible" – other than explicitly calling for Assad to step down. And that's exactly what members of Congress would like the Administration to do.

Common Ground
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Tablet Magazine
by Allison Hoffman - (Opinion) July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

You’ve seen this movie before: Bitter rivals, bound by the interests of shared history and common geography, find themselves unable to resolve a decades-old policy dispute with potentially world-historical implications. A deadline looms, offering an opportunity for both sides to draw lines in the sand. A pro forma bit of bureaucratic maneuvering escalates into a crisis.

Palestinian leader wants rallies to back UN bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - July 27, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Invoking the Arab Spring, the Palestinian president on Wednesday urged his people to take to the streets for massive rallies in support of his government's bid to get the U.N. to recognize an independent Palestinian state. The call by President Mahmoud Abbas for peaceful, "popular resistance" throughout the West Bank was likely to fuel Israeli concerns that the U.N. vote in September and any large demonstrations could spark a new round of violence.

A Strike Against Free Speech
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ahmad Tibi - (Opinion) July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

Free speech in Israel was dealt a severe blow this month when the country’s Parliament passed antiboycott legislation that targets individuals or organizations publicly calling for a boycott against Israel or any area under its control. Because I believe in ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, equal rights for Palestinians and Jews, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees forced from their homes and lands in 1948, I support boycotting — and calling on others to boycott — all Israeli companies that help perpetuate these injustices.

Memories of the American Colony
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Michael Jansen - (Book Review) July 28, 2011 - 12:00am

The American Colony, now East Jerusalem’s most luxurious and expensive hotel, has a long, conflicted history that illuminates what has happened in Palestine over the past 130 years. Whenever I go to Jerusalem, I pay a call on the Colony, pause to scan the courtyard where customers sip coffee or dine under sheltering umbrellas, and drop by for a chat with Munther Fahmi, proprietor of the bookshop tucked between the souvenir store and the cafe.

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