NEWS: PLO officials say they are launching a campaign to restart negotiations with Israel. Hamas celebrates its anniversary with a fiery speech by Politburo leader Mishaal, who vows never to recognize Israel. Many in Gaza, however, are in no mood to celebrate. The PA says it will allow a Hamas rally in the West Bank. PM Netanyahu says the event proves Israel's security is threatened, and Israeli security officials say Hamas is trying to reactivate "sleeper cells" in the West Bank. Concerns are growing in Israel about the prospects for another Palestinian uprising. Pres. Abbas appeals for urgent Arab financial aid. Arab states promise $100 million a month as a "safety net" for the PA. Many Palestinian political figures call for national unity. Some Israelis are comforted by the Iron Dome missile-defense system, while others see it as insulation from deep-seated problems. PA anti-corruption officials say they are following new leads in the Rashid case. Israeli occupation forces arrest 13 Palestinians in the West Bank. Qatar proposes the Arab League withdraw the Arab Peace Initiative. Israeli authorities say undercover antiterrorism units can only take action against Arabs, not Jewish settlers. The EU is reportedly mulling ways for pressing Israel not to go ahead with its planned E1 settlement expansion. COMMENTARY: ATFP Board member Saliba Sarsar says after the UN vote, Israelis and Palestinians need to look for new paths to reconciliation. Thomas Friedman says Israeli hawks risk self-fulfilling prophecies of danger for Israel. The LA Times says Israel's settlement expansion plans only hurt itself. Ha'aretz says Israel has to stop destroying Palestinian cisterns in the West Bank. Leon Wieseltier says he no longer believes Israel and the Palestinians will achieve peace in his lifetime. Eitan Haber says Mishaal's speech shows prospects for peace are receding. David Myers says there are many important parallels between where Palestinians are today and Zionists were in 1947. Jeffrey Goldberg says Australia's UN abstention shows Israel's international allies are greatly diminishing. James Carroll says everyone concerned about peace and Israel's future needs to oppose the E1 settlement plan. Paul Pillar says Mishaal's recent Gaza speech plays perfectly into the hands of Netanyahu. Peter Beinart worries that a second term Obama administration will choose a policy of "benign neglect" regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The National says Hamas is failing the Palestinian people.

Hamas is failing its responsibility to Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) December 9, 2012 - 1:00am

By the time Khaled Meshaal dropped to his knees and kissed the ground in Gaza on Friday morning, the damage had already been done. Declaring himself a martyr-in-waiting, Mr Meshaal, the exiled leader of Hamas, confirmed what many already knew: violence is the group's only vision for the future.

Why Obama Will Ignore Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Peter Beinart - (Opinion) December 10, 2012 - 1:00am

The last week of November 2012 was a big one on the Israeli-Palestinian front. On the 65th anniversary of the partition resolution that created a Jewish state, the United Nations recognized a Palestinian one. Israel retaliated with the West Bank equivalent of sequestration: announcing it would move toward building settlements in an area east of Jerusalem called E1, which many observers believe would kill the two-state solution.

Meshal Goes Out of Bounds
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National Interest
by Paul Pillar - (Opinion) December 9, 2012 - 1:00am

What Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal said at a mass rally in Gaza City on Saturday was contemptible. Taken at face value, his words eradicated any distinction between Israeli and Palestinian territory, and any possibility of Israelis and Palestinians living in peace. “Palestine, from the river to the sea, from north to south, is our land,” he said.

Israel must not dismiss outrage over settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
by James Carroll - (Opinion) December 10, 2012 - 1:00am

AFTER A STORM of criticism hit Israel for the plan it announced to expand settlements in the occupied territories, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed back. “Israel will continue to stand for its essential interests,” he declared, “even in the face of international pressure, and there will be no change in the decision it has taken.”

Israel’s List of Friends Keeps Getting Shorter
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Jeffrey Goldberg - (Opinion) December 3, 2012 - 1:00am

When I made an appointment to see Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week, I hoped we would spend most of our time discussing her new effort to better integrate her country into Asia.

1947's Zionists, Today's Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by David N. Myers - (Opinion) December 7, 2012 - 1:00am

Sixty-five years ago, the Zionist movement scored the greatest success in its history—recognition on November 29, 1947, by the United Nations General Assembly, of the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine. U.N. General Assembly resolution 181 called for the creation of a Jewish state alongside an Arab State, with Jerusalem as an international protectorate. It was this diplomatic act that brought the State of Israel into existence.

Peace moving further away
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Eitan Haber - (Opinion) December 9, 2012 - 1:00am

There were times when the entire world would "hold its breath" before Egyptian rulers delivered their speeches, thinking they would make some earth-shattering remarks. In Israel, way before the Egyptian leaders spoke, IDF intelligence officers would hand their commanders reports containing the statements they expected the Egyptian leaders would make. The result, in most cases, was quite amusing.

Losing Hope on Israeli-Palestinian Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New Republic
by Leon Wieseltier - (Opinion) December 6, 2012 - 1:00am

LOST CAUSES are not wrong causes, unless winning is the measure of right. The historical victory of an idea reveals nothing about its merit: power has uses for fictions, and the popularity of lies is an ancient feature of human affairs.

Drying out the Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) December 10, 2012 - 1:00am

Since the beginning of the year, Israel has destroyed 35 rainwater cisterns used by Palestinian communities, 20 of them in the area of Hebron and the southern Hebron Hills. In 2011, Israel destroyed 15 cisterns, and in the preceding 18 months, 29. In many of these cases ancient cisterns were destroyed that had served the forefathers of the inhabitants of these communities. Recently, they have been restored with European assistance.

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