NEWS: Hamas confirms that its Politburo leader Khaled Mishaal will not seek reelection for the position. The move may reflect new challenges and opportunities facing the group. Pres. Abbas says he's willing to continue talks but calls negotiating documents submitted by Israel “worthless.” Israel condemns a sermon by a leading Palestinian cleric. Settlers reject a request from PM Netanyahu to voluntarily evacuate an "unauthorized" outpost. Jewish groups in the UK cancel a meeting with Abbas, apparently at Netanyahu's request. The Guardian profiles the plight of Palestinian children in Israel's jails. The construction industry is booming as Gaza rebuilds. The owner of an Atlanta Jewish newspaper apologizes for suggesting Israel might assassinate Pres. Obama. COMMENTARY: Oudeh Basharat says Palestinian citizens of Israel face undemocratic discrimination. Susan Hattis Rolef says the basic facts in the controversial French report on Israel's water policies seem accurate and fair. The National says shifts in Hamas policies and leadership place Palestinian reconciliation in doubt. Musa Keilani says Jordan is right to urge renewed emphasis on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Uri Avnery says Israel needs more large-scale protests. Mya Guarnieri says Israeli settlers are continuing to abuse vulnerable Palestinians. Jaimie Levin says Masada should be a grim reminder to Israelis about the importance of compromise. Yossi Alpher says everyone understands that Oslo has reached the end of the road, yet no one is doing anything about it. Ghassan Khatib says political changes are raising questions about the prospects for a two-state solution. Shlomo Avineri says a single state is not a solution but a recipe for institutionalized civil war. Sam Bahour says that years of warning signs show that the two-state solution has collapsed.

The writing has always been on the wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Sam Bahour - (Opinion) January 23, 2012 - 1:00am

The human body is an amazing creation. It's not only the most complex system known to mankind, but it embodies within it signals that tell its owner that something has gone wrong. A similar signaling system exists in political bodies. Those tasked with reading the signals--be they individuals, physicians or politicians--can choose to consciously ignore the warning signs.

The two-state solution will not disappear
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Shlomo Avineri - (Opinion) January 23, 2012 - 1:00am

As the English political theorist Lord Acton is frequently quoted as saying, "It is difficult to prophesy, especially about the future." Yet with meaningful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations currently stymied, it is legitimate to ask if the two-state solution may not become, at some point in the future, irrelevant. My answer, though, is that even as time passes without visible progress towards it, the two-state solution nevertheless may not disappear. It is the only game in town.

Nothing to stop it from disappearing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) January 23, 2012 - 1:00am

With the passing of time, discussion over the permanence of the two-state solution is increasing among Palestinians and, to a lesser extent, Israelis and others involved. Although the official line of both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority is that the two-state solution is the path of peace, a lot of changes are introducing serious question marks about its prospects.

A comprehensive solution is not feasible
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) January 23, 2012 - 1:00am

As an agreed outcome to the conflict, the two-state solution has not been a genuine option for very long. The Palestine Liberation Organization could conceivably be said to have accepted it back in the late 1980s, but only about a decade has passed since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President George W. Bush became the first Israeli and American leaders, respectively, to officially embrace it. Older solutions, such as one state and a variety of schemes involving Jordan, actually have much more "seniority".

The Masada complex
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jamie Levin - (Opinion) January 22, 2012 - 1:00am

In 1927, poet Yitzhak Lamdan wrote Masada, a poem glorifying the heroism and self-reliance of the early Zionist movement. The poem helped transform the remote hilltop fortress, largely forgotten since the writings of the Roman-Jewish historian Josephus, into an enduring symbol of the young State of Israel. Lamdan’s most famous line, “never again shall Masada fall,” became a rallying cry for a generation of Israeli soldiers who repeated these words in countless inauguration ceremonies.

Into an Unsettled New Year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Mya Guarnieri - (Opinion) January 22, 2012 - 1:00am

HEBRON, Jan 22, 2012 (IPS) - An elderly Palestinian woman spent last week on hunger strike to protest violent attacks by Israeli settlers. Hana Abu Heikel went on the hunger strike on behalf of her family after settlers burned the family car during the previous weekend. Since Israeli settlers moved into the houses surrounding the Abu Heikel family home in Hebron in 1984, the Abu Heikels have seen eight cars burned. Six vehicles were also smashed by settlers.

Why Israel needs blockbusters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) January 23, 2012 - 1:00am

Israel has no foreign policy, only a domestic policy,” Henry Kissinger once remarked. This has probably been more or less true of every country since the advent of democracy. Yet in Israel, this seems even truer. In order to understand our foreign policy, we have to look in the mirror. Who are we? What is our society like? In every immigrant country, from the United States to Australia, every new wave of immigrants is greeted by the scorn, contempt and even open hostility of those who came before them.

Why negotiations are encouraged
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Musa Keilani - (Opinion) January 22, 2012 - 1:00am

His Majesty King Abdullah’s meeting at the White House with US President Barack Obama was one of the warmest summits between the two leaders and reaffirmed their close relationship. The focus of the meeting was largely the quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace, which has been revived with Jordan’s initiative that brought together negotiators from the two sides for three meetings in Amman. While there was no breakthrough following the meetings, the two sides now appear to better understand each other’s position.

Meshaal's move raises doubt on Palestinian unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) January 23, 2012 - 1:00am

Three months after securing a historic prisoner-exchange deal with Israel, Hamas's political leader Khaled Meshaal has said that he will not stand for re-election this summer. The decision comes at a critical time for Hamas as it re-evaluates its relations with sponsors Syria and Iran. And the single greatest issue is the reconciliation process with Fatah.

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