NOTE: Due to the upcoming holidays, ATFP's World News Roundup will resume service on January 3. NEWS: Palestinian leaders are reportedly considering a series of actions in 2013 designed to isolate Israel internationally and challenge the status quo. More than 500 Jewish-American clerics have sent an open letter to PM Netanyahu expressing concern Israel's latest settlement plans would destroy hopes for a two-state solution. Israel formally complains to the UN about the rearming of Hezbollah. A new film about Palestinian angst over suicide bombings is gaining international attention. Palestinian refugees in northern Lebanon organize a sit-in at local UNRWA offices. Some members of Israel's Labour Party complain it is shifting too far to the right. The Arab League chief will visit the occupied West Bank to discuss aid to the cash-strapped PA. Likud party members say international criticism over new settlement plans helps them politically. Israel's occupation and the recent Gaza conflict are hampering tourism this Christmas season in Bethlehem. Two Palestinians break into an Israeli military base and steal a weapon. COMMENTARY: The New York Times strongly criticizes Israel's settlement expansion plans and withholding of Palestinian tax revenues. The Boston Globe agrees Israel's policies are a blow to hopes for peace. Mustafa Barghouthi argues that if Israel goes ahead with settlement plans, it will kill the two-state solution and force Palestinians to seek other options. Abraham Foxman complains Pres. Abbas is sending mixed messages on peace. Ha'aretz calls the recent decision to try to bar a Palestinian MK from reelection, for participating in the Gaza flotilla, "unacceptable." Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu and Mohammad Darawshe say it's essential that the Knesset maintain Arab representation. The Jerusalem Post insists Israel's settlement building is no obstacle to peace and entirely blames Palestinian "intransigence." The National says it makes sense for Palestinians to explore an international strategy, but cautiously. Marwan Kabalan says Pres. Obama must stand up to Israel on settlements.

Obama must not bend to Israeli pressure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Marwan Kabalan - (Opinion) December 21, 2012 - 1:00am


Palestinians need to rally support of allies at the UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) December 21, 2012 - 1:00am


Building blocs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) December 20, 2012 - 1:00am

The present Likud-Yisrael Beytenu-led government – which according to all recent polls will remain in office after the 22 election – has been bombarded with condemnations from home and from abroad for in Jerusalem and in consensus settlement blocs. Not only European nations traditionally critical of Israel but also allies such as the US and Germany have issued strongly worded denunciations of the housing projects. Even Tzipi Livni, head of a new party bearing her name, and Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid have weighed in against the building.

If parliament has no Arabs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Mohammad Darawshe - (Opinion) December 21, 2012 - 1:00am


An unacceptable disqualification
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) December 20, 2012 - 1:00am

  The Central Elections Committee's decision to bar MK Hanin Zuabi (Balad) from running in the upcoming election is arbitrary and unacceptable. Zuabi was an active and successful MK, and even her participation in a Turkish-sponsored protest flotilla to Gaza in 2010 is not an excuse for disqualifying her.

Abbas, sending mixed messages is not peacemaking
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Abraham H. Foxman - (Opinion) December 20, 2012 - 1:00am

  Read the op-ed page of most newspapers around the world, and you would be convinced that Israel’s leadership, policies and ideology are to blame for the moribund state of Israeli-Palestinian relations. If only Israel took dramatic action (usually involving a change in its approach to settlements) to demonstrate it is truly committed to reaching peace - according to those opinion-makers - all the rest would neatly fall into place.

Israel's settlement push kills two-state solution, leaving Palestinians few options
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Mustafa Barghouthi - (Opinion) December 20, 2012 - 1:00am


Israeli settlement plan is a blow to Mideast peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
(Editorial) December 21, 2012 - 1:00am


The Fading Mideast Peace Dream
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) December 20, 2012 - 1:00am

  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s aggressive new push to expand settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem further isolates Israel while diminishing fading hopes for a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

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