September 8th

Israel faces growing isolation with key UN vote on Palestinian statehood looming
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
September 7, 2011 - 12:00am

Rising tensions with some of its closest and most important allies have left Israel increasingly isolated ahead of a momentous vote on Palestinian independence at the United Nations. Troubles with Turkey, Egypt and even the U.S. are adding to Israel’s headaches ahead of the vote, which is shaping up to be a global expression of discontent against the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Away from UN debate, Palestinian camp is on edge
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
September 7, 2011 - 12:00am

Once again, it can be easier to find a rifle than a job in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin. Residents say occasional bursts of gunfire in its narrow streets are an economic indicator as telling as any. Many see the renewed disorder as a consequence of despair. The scene of heavy fighting in 2002 during the last Intifada, or uprising, Jenin camp today challenges the picture of a West Bank prospering under the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Western-backed and internationally-funded government.

Ex-White House Scientist Pleads Guilty in Spy Case Tied to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Scott Shane - September 7, 2011 - 12:00am

A former senior government scientist who held the highest security clearances pleaded guilty to espionage on Wednesday and agreed to a 13-year prison term for selling top-secret information on military satellites and other technology to an F.B.I. agent posing as an Israeli spy. The scientist, Stewart D. Nozette, 54, who worked at the White House in 1989-90 and helped lead the search for water on the moon, was not charged with spying for Israel.

US and Israel step up efforts to block Palestinian statehood bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - September 8, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel and the US are drawing on every weapon in their diplomatic armoury to prevent Palestinians taking their statehood bid to the United Nations this month. Their efforts to stop the Palestinians from pursuing UN recognition include dispatching a US diplomatic team to hold talks with Palestinian leaders, peppering the media with Israeli pledges of a renewal of talks and issuing warnings that UN recognition would be a blow to peace. Nevertheless, there is a gathering sense that the Palestinian bid may go forward despite the odds it has faced from the start.

Palestinians: Differences with US on UN bid 'still wide'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 8, 2011 - 12:00am

The differences with Washington over the UN bid are "still wide," a senior Palestinian official said on Wednesday after talks with US envoys in the West Bank city of Ramallah. "The gap between the Palestinian and US positions is still wide after the meeting," presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP. "There are efforts being made and an agreement to continue communication with the US administration and the (Middle East) Quartet envoy," he said.

Palestinians Seeking Statehood at UN May Get Same Rights as Pope
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Flavia Krause-Jackson - September 8, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas won’t walk away from the United Nations General Assembly this month with the sought-after statehood. More likely, he’ll get parity with the world’s smallest state led by Pope Benedict XVI. Support for the upgrade in Palestinian status at the UN from “entity” to “non-member state” is likely if the matter is brought to a vote in the 193-member assembly, where a two- thirds majority, or 129 votes, is required.

Wendy Sherman promises U.S. veto of Palestinian statehood at U.N.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Josh Rogin - September 7, 2011 - 12:00am

Wendy Sherman, President Barack Obama's nominee for a top State Department post, told senators on Wednesday that the U.S. will surely veto a Palestinian request for recognition of statehood if it reaches the U.N. Security Council, seemingly getting out ahead of the Obama administration on the issue. Sherman's remarks came toward the end of her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in an exchange with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who pressed her to comment on the Palestinian Authority's plan to seek full member state status at the United Nations later this month.

September 7th

NEWS: A new poll suggests that most Palestinians prefer continuing negotiations with Israel rather than a UN initiative. The “green line” between Israel and the occupied territories remains an opaque but important boundary. A Palestinian militant is killed by an Israeli helicopter attack in Gaza. US officials urge Palestinians to abandon a UN initiative. Peace Now says settlement activity has doubled since the end of the partial, temporary moratorium. Palestinians are quoting Pres. Obama in language for their draft UN declarations, and in radio advertisements. The PA again cuts wages in half for September. Settlers attack Israeli military vehicles in a “price tag” vigilante action. Jewish-American groups think a UN initiative is inevitable, but the language is not yet determined. COMMENTARY: Amira Hass says Hamas needs the blockade of Gaza to stay in power. Zvi Bar'el says the Gaza siege is choking Israel diplomatically. Galia Golan questions whether the Israeli government really wants peace with the Palestinians. Daniel Nisman says Egypt is trying to restore order in Sinai. Herb Keinon says former Defense Secretary Gates' negative comments about PM Netanyahu are only extraordinary in that they have been made public. Osama Al Sharif says Israel's international position is suffering because it will not adapt to changing circumstances. Issandr El Amrani says Egypt should be tough but fair in Sinai. The LA Times interviews Saeb Erekat about Palestinian plans at the UN. Der Spiegel interviews Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby about Syria and Palestine.

'What's Wrong with the Palestinians Appealing to the UN?'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Speigel International
by Christoph Sydow, Volkhard Windfuhr - (Interview) September 7, 2011 - 12:00am

Pro-democracy uprisings are continuing in the Middle East and the Palestinians could soon declare statehood. SPIEGEL spoke with Arab League General Secretary Nabil Elaraby about the Syrian regime's use of violence against protesters and how the US has failed to force Israel to negotiate in good faith. SPIEGEL: Libya has been liberated from Moammar Gadhafi's autocratic rule. Tensions in Syria, meanwhile, have already claimed more civilian lives than the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia combined, and yet the Arab League is holding back. Why are you going easy on the Syrian regime?

A new poll suggests that most Palestinians prefer continuing negotiations with Israel rather than a UN initiative
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Palestinian Center for Public Opinion
by Nabil Kukali - September 6, 2011 - 12:00am

Poll No. 179 Sept. 06, 2011 The most recent poll prepared by Dr. Nabil Kukali reveals that: (83.6%) of the Palestinians evaluate the US efforts on recognizing the Palestinian state as negative. (59.3%) prefer to resume the negotiations with Israel. (45.2%) expect Palestine to become a new UN member (48.8%) oppose holding peaceful demonstrations after proclaiming the recognition of the State of Palestine at the UN. (49.2%) believe that the PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, should exert more effort to obtain international support for the recognition of the Palestinian state.

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