Defining a Palestinian refugee a US complication
Media Mention of Hussein Ibish In Associated Press - May 31, 2012 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON—A simple congressional request for the United States to distinguish between Palestinians displaced by the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict and millions of their descendants poses a high-stakes diplomatic and political challenge for President Barack Obama.

NEWS: A new poll suggests that if Palestinian elections were held today, 42% would vote for Fatah while slightly under 20% would vote for Hamas. Palestinian citizens of Israel still face increasing levels of violence and poverty. A recent Senate Appropriations Committee vote on Palestinian refugees could complicate US policy and funding towards UNRWA. J Street appears to be growing as an alternative to traditional pro-Israel organizations. Israeli officials say they fear Syria Is headed towards becoming a failed state. Israel's internal security force says there was a spike in anti-Israeli or anti-Jewish terrorist attacks or plots last year. Israeli leaders express skepticism about Western diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program. Two Americans are kidnapped in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. A PA committee determines that the largest Palestinian public sector employee union "has no legal standing." Israeli Interior Minister Yishai says Israeli women are afraid to report rape by African migrants due to a stigma regarding AIDS. A majority of Israeli defense officials are reportedly against any attack against Iran under present circumstances. COMMENTARY: Salman Masalha says the Nakba is very much alive for both Arabs and Jews in Israel. Aaron David Miller says PM Netanyahu is well-positioned to be a great leader of Israel, but he is skeptical. The National says Israel's relationship with Turkey has never recovered from the deadly flotilla incident. Raphael Magarik looks at deep-seated Israeli fears about “infiltrators,” whoever they may be. Moriel Rothman tracks the harsh treatment by Israeli authorities of a Palestinian child in occupied East Jerusalem. Nida Tuma worries that Palestinian moderates are being undermined by the diplomatic impasse and untenable realities on the ground. Elliott Abrams dismisses the idea of a new UN Special Committee on Palestine proposed by Shlomo Ben-Ami, Thomas Schelling, Jerome Segal, and Javier Solana. Victor Kattan says UNRWA “reform efforts” will harm the peace process.

'UNRWA reform' effort will harm Middle East peace effort
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Hill
by Victor Kattan - (Blog) May 31, 2012 - 12:00am

Israel’s friends in Washington are at it again, working to discredit the United Nations and its specialized agencies in the Middle East. Last October, the chief target of their wrath was the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) because its member states admitted Palestine as a member after more than two-thirds rejected American intimidation and chose to vote in favor. In response, and after much pressure from pro-Israel groups and U.S.

Going Directly To the Wastebasket: Another Plan for the “Peace Process”
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Council On Foreign Relations
by Elliott Abrams - (Analysis) May 30, 2012 - 12:00am

Some “peace processors” never give up. In the New York Times today, four of them try an old and very bad idea: forget about negotiations, and substitute the views of some un-elected elderly “statesmen” and of the UN Security Council.

From Across the Line: Now what? The West Bank scene
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Nida' Tuma - (Opinion) May 31, 2012 - 12:00am

Last September, the Palestinian UN initiative caused an international stir. Some described it as taking the lead; others – particularly Israelis – considered it a non-helpful unilateral move. Last year, the Palestinian political scene, stagnant for years, sprang back to life. Journalists went from talking about the slow progress after the Arab revolutions, to attending conferences, producing stories and looking for analysis on politics and international laws.

A Silwan Story: Palestinian Child Arrested, Abused by Israeli Authorities and Barred From Finishing 9th Grade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Moriel Rothman - (Blog) May 31, 2012 - 12:00am

Someone is pounding on the door. It is 3:45 a.m. The pounding gets louder. The father goes to open the door, and immediately they enter: two men dressed in civilian clothes, flanked by police officers bearing heavy guns. They go straight towards the boy, who has pulled on a baggy sweatshirt and stepped out of his room, snake their hands under his arms, and take him. "He will only be gone for a few hours," they say. "Don't worry." Outside the house, the boy's hands are tied with plastic packaging bands and he is pushed into the police car.

Infiltrated by History
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Raphael Magarik - (Opinion) May 30, 2012 - 12:00am

Israeli right-wingers have it rough. After last week’s Tel Aviv riot against African immigrants, likudniks like MKs Danny Danon (who said, “The infiltrators are a national plague”) and Miri Regev (who called immigrants “a cancer” and then backed off… sort of) came under fire for their inflammatory rhetoric.

Gaza's ripple effect
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) May 31, 2012 - 12:00am

Two years ago today, Israeli commandoes boarded the Mavi Marmara, part of an aid flotilla headed to Gaza, killing nine of the 40 activists on board. The relationship between Israel and Turkey, previously close regional allies, has never recovered.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Aaron David Miller - (Opinion) May 30, 2012 - 12:00am

James Baker temporarily banned him from the State Department. Madeleine Albright described him as an Israeli Newt Gingrich (and it wasn't a compliment). Bill Clinton emerged from his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996 (then serving his first term as prime minister) more than a little annoyed by his brash self-confidence. "Who's the fucking superpower here?" Clinton exclaimed to aides. Netanyahu is the first Israeli premier to trigger truly bipartisan recoil.

The Nakba is alive for both Jews and Arabs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Salman Masalha - (Opinion) May 31, 2012 - 12:00am

Let's set aside for a moment the discourse about human rights and the debate about natural rights, because no salvation will come from them. Moreover, they will never lead to a solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On the contrary, they pour oil on the flames and encourage people to continue wallowing in the mud.

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