September 28th

PA: Nigeria to support Palestine statehood bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) September 28, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Nigeria will vote in favor of the application for full UN membership in the Security Council, foreign minister Riyad Malki said Tuesday after meeting with his Nigerian counterpart. Olugbenga Ashiru stressed Nigeria’s support for the application for a state on the 1967 borders as well as his hopes for a negotiated settlement to end the conflict, the official Palestinian Authority news agency said.

Savir's Corner: Alone together
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Uri Savir - September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

An Indian poet once wrote: “I am alone, you are alone, let’s be alone together.” This phrase admirably sums up the current positions of Israel and Palestine. Israel’s solitude is glaringly obvious to everyone in the world, except possibly Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Approximately 130 of 193 UN members support a Palestinian bid for statehood. There is a universal consensus for the 1967 lines and against settlements. The United States is a friend and ally, but disagrees with our policies and is irritated to have been forced into isolation by us.

U.S. hopes to not use veto to aid Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Ben Birnbaum - (Analysis) September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinians have yet to lock down a nine-vote majority in the U.N. Security Council for their statehood bid, raising U.S. hopes that it could be spared the embarrassment of using its veto power in defense of an increasingly isolated Israel. Amid indications that Colombia and the Security Council’s four EU member states will abstain from any vote, attention has focused on Nigeria, Gabon and Bosnia, which have offered few signals about how they will vote.

Netanyahu's messianism could launch attack on Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Sefi Rachlevsky - September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Benjamin Netanyahu promised to tell the truth at the United Nations, and the truth was indeed revealed. The prime minister chose in this speech to quote reverently from his meetings with one person only: the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who viewed himself as the messiah.

PA slams Israeli settlement plans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) September 26, 2011 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday slammed Israel's approval of construction plans to build 1,100 new housing units in a settlement in East Jerusalem. Israel's regional planning and construction committee on Tuesday approved the plans, described by one committee member as "a nice gift for Rosh Hashanah," the Israeli news site Ynet reported. Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 and illegally annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community. All settlements built on occupied territory are illegal under international law.

US, EU condemn Israeli plan to expand settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Allyn Fisher-Ilan - (Analysis) September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Israel approved on Tuesday the construction of 1,100 settlement homes on annexed land in the West Bank, complicating global efforts to renew peace talks and defuse a crisis over a Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations. The plan was met with a chorus of Western criticism. Britain and the European Union called on Israel to reverse the decision, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said new settlement building would be "counter-productive" to the efforts to revive peace talks.

2 for 2, or 2 for 1?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Thomas L. Friedman - September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of Israel, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and President Obama all spoke at the U.N. last week and, honestly, it is hard to decide whose speech was worse. Netanyahu’s read like a pep rally to the Likud Central Committee. Abbas’s read like an address to an Arab League meeting. Obama’s read like an appeal to Jewish voters in Florida. The president meant well, but domestic politics required that he whisper where he once spoke bold truths to both sides.

Israel approves new housing despite pleas for delay
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - (Analysis) September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Reporting from Jerusalem— Israel gave preliminary approval Tuesday to the construction of about 1,100 new housing units in East Jerusalem, brushing aside pleas from U.S. and European diplomats to delay the controversial project as they attempt to restart peace talks. The Interior Ministry's green light will clear the way for a significant expansion of the Jewish development of Gilo, on land seized by Israel during the 1967 Middle East War.

September 27th

NEWS: As expected, Palestine's UN membership application will be referred by the Security Council to the Membership Committee. Hamas prohibits any celebration in Gaza of the UN process. Events at the UN last week create a critical moment for the peace process. A Palestinian official says nonviolence is the key to their strategy. Both Pres. Abbas and PM Netanyahu are enjoying a surge of popularity. Israeli extremists demand the annexation of the West Bank. Israel announces more than 1,000 new settlement housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. Members of Congress repeat threats to cut funding to the PA. The US says it opposes “preconditions” for resumed negotiations. COMMENTARY: Akiva Eldar says peace is the answer to Israel's long-term security needs. David Newman says if Israel took real steps towards peace, its call for negotiations would be taken more seriously. Gershon Baskin says both Abbas and Netanyahu should take unilateral steps to make renewed negotiations possible. Robert Fisk says even many Israelis open to a Palestinian state draw the line at compromising on Jerusalem. Nathan Guttman says Pres. Obama may be deliberately stepping back from a prominent Mideast peace role for election purposes. Joschka Fischer says the only rational Israeli response to the Arab uprisings is to quickly move towards peace with the Palestinians. Yossi Alpher says the three main UN speeches on the Middle East offered no progress. Ghassan Khatib says Palestinians now face a difficult quandary over whether to accept insufficient Quartet terms or enter a confrontation with world powers. Elliott Abrams says Abbas gained politically but achieved nothing to advance Palestinian independence. Hussein Ibish says Abbas gave a moving, historic speech, one Yasser Arafat was never able to produce.

The speech Yasser Arafat never gave
In Print by Hussein Ibish - NOW Lebanon (Opinion) - September 27, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ moving speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Friday was certainly the high point of his career. His address will be forever remembered because Abbas was able to do what no Palestinian leader has ever done in the past: make the moral case for Palestinian independence in a clear, coherent, reasonable manner at the highest international forum.

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