Avoiding an Israeli-Palestinian 'Train Wreck'
Media Mention of Ziad Asali In Council On Foreign Relations - September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Though Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to seek Palestinian statehood status at the UN General Assembly meeting next week, efforts are underway by the United States, Israel, and the Palestinians to avoid a major collision on the issue, says Ziad J. Asali, president of the American Task Force on Palestine.

Q&A on Palestinian statehood at the UN
Media Mention of Hussein Ibish In The Guardian - September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinians are set to appeal to the United Nations in September for recognition of statehood. Despite opposition from Israel and the United States, a UN vote now looks inevitable. The Guardian and the Forward have brought together two experts to take part in an online Q&A to answer your questions about what may prove a game-changing development in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestinian officials foresee secular, pluralistic state
Media Mention of Hussein Ibish In USA Today - September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian leaders say a future Palestinian state would be secular and open to all religions — even Jews — if they are willing to follow their laws as Palestinian citizens. The Palestinians say they'll seek a vote on Palestinian statehood in the United Nations this month.

NEWS: The Council on Foreign Relations interviews ATFP President Dr. Ziad J. Asali on a potential Palestinian UN initiative. The Israeli government calls for more international aid to the PA and the Palestinians. Palestinians rebuff appeals to forgo any UN initiative, and a confrontation appears increasingly possible. European diplomats say they have made “meaningful progress” in negotiating compromise language. PM Netanyahu says Israel would agree to an upgrade in Palestinian status of the UN as long as it is not declared a “state.” Pres. Abbas meets with senior US officials, and is reportedly working on a compromise. Palestinian officials say Jews would be welcome in a Palestinian state. Jordanians hold a rally against Israeli policies, but it is sparsely attended. An Israeli soldier describes to the Independent how occupation forces suppress nonviolent Palestinian protests. COMMENTARY: Hussein Ibish and Yossi Klein Halevi answer reader questions in an online Q&A web chat hosted by the Guardian and the Forward. Shibley Telhami and Joshua Goldstein say Palestinian statehood should be decided at the UN. Matt Spetalnick says the Palestinian UN initiative has put Pres. Obama on the defensive. Aluf Benn says PM Netanyahu's strategy, at home and abroad, is digging in. Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel say Israel is facing unprecedented diplomatic challenges. Uri Savir says, in its own interests, Israel should vote yes on Palestinian statehood. So does Isaac Herzog. The Media Line interviews FM Al-Malki. Patrick Seale profiles Egyptian presidential candidate Amr Mousa, who is putting the issue of Palestine at the forefront of his campaign. Martti Ahtisaari and Javier Solana list 10 reasons why Europe should vote yes on Palestinian statehood at the UN. Robert Danin says any UN initiative is an unnecessary gamble for the Palestinians. Bloomberg says continued cooperation and aid to the Palestinians is the key to managing the fallout from a confrontation at the UN. Ian Bomberg says by working on day-to-day issues the parties can turn a confrontation into a win-win scenario.

Moving Middle East Peace Forward After the U.N. General Assembly
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Center for American Progress
by Ian Bomberg - (Analysis) September 15, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinians’ bid for statehood at the United Nations will not improve daily life in the West Bank or Gaza. Instead, tensions between Israelis and Palestinians will increase, potentially leading to violence. As a result, the Palestinian state-building program, which is developing sustainable Palestinian institutions, will remain an essential tool for addressing these challenges. All parties involved, including the international community, will need to overcome a desire for punitive actions by working together on the state-building program in order to resolve shared day-to-day problems.

Cooperation Could Limit Damage After UN Palestinian Vote: View
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
(Editorial) September 15, 2011 - 12:00am

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is like a boat sailing at full speed toward a waterfall, with the whole world watching from the shore and afraid to intervene. Western governments must act now to minimize the damage. Palestinians seem determined to push for a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly that recognizes an independent Palestinian state. In our view, this is a tragic mistake that could end up hurting Palestinian and Israeli interests, set back efforts to restart negotiations and endanger an already unstable region.

The UN Vote and Palestinian Statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Affairs
by Robert Danin - (Opinion) September 14, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinians' effort to attain international statehood recognition at the United Nations in September is aimed at enhancing their leverage in future negotiations with Israel. In a candid May 16 op-ed in the New York Times, Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and chair of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), acknowledged as much. "Palestine would be negotiating from the position of one United Nations member whose territory is militarily occupied by another," he said, "and not as a vanquished people."

Ten Reasons for a European 'Yes'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Martti Ahtisaari, Javier Solana - (Opinion) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

It is not often that Europe has the chance to play a pivotal role on the world stage. But as the Palestinians push for recognition as a state at the United Nations later this month, the European Union is finding itself courted by each side, and therefore more influential on the Middle East process than at any time since the Oslo Accords. As ever, the biggest challenge facing the E.U.’s 27 member states is presenting a unified front. There are 10 compelling reasons for them to coalesce around a “yes” vote and keep the two-state approach to Middle East peace alive.

Mousa envisions vigorous and peaceful Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Patrick Seale - (Opinion) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Amr Mousa, 74, the front-runner in the contest for the presidency of post-revolution Egypt, has called for a renegotiation of the military annexes to the Egyptian-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979. “The Treaty will continue to exist,” he told me in an exclusive interview on September 10, “but Egypt needs forces in Sinai. The security situation requires it. Israel must understand that the restrictions imposed by the Treaty have to be reviewed.”

Al-Malki, PA Officials Paint US Loser in Palestinian UN Gambit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson - (Opinion) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Questions of procedure and outcome of the Palestinian UN gambit remain rife with only a week before Mahmoud ‘Abbas stands before the U.N. General Assembly on September 23 and, according to Minister Dr. Riad Al-Malki, “presents the official request for the state of Palestine to be granted full membership” to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Al-Malki said it had been decided to bring the issue of statehood to the Security Council, seemingly daring the US to cast its promised veto and face international isolation. Not certain is whether the U.S.

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