Barack Obama caught between Israel and his Palestinian 'promise'
Media Mention of Ghaith al-Omari In The Guardian - September 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Barack Obama has good reason to ask what the present Israeli government has ever done for him. When the White House asked it to halt construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories to give peace talks a chance, the building went on. After Washington pressed Binyamin Netanyahu to embrace the promise of Palestinian independence within months, the Israeli prime minister did his best to scupper any prospect of new talks.

A Palestine State: A Discussion with Ghaith al-Omari
Media Mention of Ghaith al-Omari In - September 19, 2011 - 12:00am

The Oberlin College Dialoge Center will facilitate a discussion led by Ghaith al-Omari, former senior research fellow with New America's American Strategy Program in 2008 and early 2009. Before joining the New America Foundation, al-Omari served in various senior positions within the Palestinian Authority, including foreign policy advisor to the Palestinian president, director of the International Relations Department in the Office of the Palestinian President, and senior advisor to former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas.

Palestinian leader's path to statehood is a dangerous road to nowhere
Media Mention of Ziad Asali In The Augusta Chronicle - September 19, 2011 - 12:00am

This week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas intends to propose a resolution requesting admission for a Palestinian state to the United Nations. Refusing to return to direct negotiations with Israel, Abbas has chosen instead to pursue a unilateral declaration of independence, ceasing all efforts to reach an agreement through negotiations. Unfortunately, if Abbas goes ahead with his plan at the United Nations, no one will suffer more than the Palestinian people themselves.

Palestinian Options at U.N. Lead to Legal Threat to Israel's Military
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Joe Lauria - (Analysis) September 17, 2011 - 12:00am

UNITED NATIONS—If the Palestinian Authority succeeds in winning even an incremental upgrade of its status at the U.N, it could subject Israel's military to international courts for actions in Palestinian territory—as well as allow Palestinian control of its Israeli-patrolled air space and national waters off Gaza. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday he would seek full U.N. membership through the Security Council. If the U.S. vetoes that effort, as it has vowed to do, the Palestinians have a second option for membership: go to the General Assembly.

Building Boomlet in Jewish West Bank Brings Joy to None
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson, Arieh O'Sullivan - (Analysis) September 18, 2011 - 12:00am

Meir Rubinstein pulls out a directive from Israel’s Defense Ministry that brought to a halt of construction of 210 apartments last year. The mayor of Beitar Illit, the most populous Jewish community in land acquired by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War, Rubinstein says he needs to build at least 1,000 units a year just to keep up with demand. “There was a freeze for the past five or six years. Twice there was an approval for 300 units so instead of 6,000 apartments – every year we need 1,000 flats – we got just 600, just 10%,” Rubinstein told The Media Line.

NEWS: Donor states reaffirm the Palestinians are ready for independence.In bringing the resolution of the conflict back to the UN, Palestinians are returning it to its roots. Palestinian officials say a US government document presented last week persuaded them they had no other option. Intensive diplomacy to avoid a confrontation continues. A new poll suggests most Palestinians support the UN gambit but fear its consequences. AP notes that Palestinians have done much to create the infrastructure of their state in spite of the occupation. The US and European states are reportedly urging Israel not to take any drastic measures in response. Israel's UN ambassador says it's unclear there's a majority in the Security Council requiring a US veto, and Portugal remains undecided. Israel fears even a nonmember UN observer Palestinian state could use international legal enforcement mechanisms against it. Settlement expansions anger Palestinians, but are not enough for settlers. COMMENTARY: Tom Friedman says Israel is become totally isolated and gives its friends no means to defend it. Aaron David Miller says the UN controversy is a distraction from the real problem, which is the inability to reach a peace agreement. Israel's UN ambassador says Palestinians should return to negotiations with Israel. John Hughes says Israel needs a peace deal more than ever. Yossi Sarid says Jewish Americans shouldn't be more “patriotic” than Israelis. Jeff Barak says PM Netanyahu is gambling with his country's future. Afshin Molavi says the UN gambit will bring the Palestinians no closer to independence. Raghida Dergham says Palestinians would be wise to avoid the Security Council and instead seek support in the General Assembly. The Daily Star says anyone who claims to support peace but opposes Palestinian statehood at the UN is "either a coward or a liar." Wendy Chamberlain says the US should understand the real threat of a Security Council vote is not to Israel but to its own standing and interests in the broader Middle East.

Prosor: Security Council vote on PA state bid unclear
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - (Analysis) September 19, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli envoy to UN says Portugal undecided on resolution vote, key to US efforts to vote down bid without using veto. Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor on Monday said that it was still unclear if the UN Security Council would vote to recognize a Palestinian state because Portugal remained undecided on the issue.

U.S. to Netanyahu: Don't sanction Palestinians following statehood bid at UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - (Analysis) September 19, 2011 - 12:00am

The United States and several European countries have been urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to take drastic punitive measures against the Palestinians after they ask the United Nations to recognize their state. Netanyahu, who is under heavy pressure from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon to respond strongly to the Palestinian Authority, has decided at this point to wait until the significance of the Palestinian move becomes clearer to commit to any course of action.

Palestinians build state, but restricted by Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
(Analysis) September 18, 2011 - 12:00am

HEBRON, WEST BANK — The Palestinians will be able to make a strong case that they have built the foundations of a nation when they ask the U.N. this week to recognize an independent Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, the lands Israel occupied in 1967.

High-stakes diplomacy to avoid UN showdown
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) September 19, 2011 - 12:00am

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) -- Top Palestinian and Israeli leaders held talks in New York amid frantic diplomatic efforts to avoid a showdown over a Palestinian bid to seek full UN membership as a state. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak held an unannounced meeting a day ahead of the UN General Assembly, which is being dominated by a Palestinian bid for UN recognition that the United States has threatened to veto.

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