Ministers to Homesh evacuees: You'll return to settlement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Erfat Weiss - May 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Four years after the IDF's unilateral disengagement from Gaza, some 1,500 people returned Tuesday night to the West Bank settlement of Homesh. During the rally, which was authorized by the IDF, former settlers read letters drafted by cabinet members especially for the event. "I want to bless the participants and support them in the realization of the Zionist way," wrote strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon of the ruling Likud party.

Islamic Jihad: Don't recognize Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - May 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Abdullah Ramadan Shallah said Palestinian recognition of Israel would be "more dangerous than the Nakba of 1948", the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi reported on Wednesday. In a speech delivered by telephone for an event in Gaza on Tuesday, Shallah said: "What is more dangerous than the Palestinian people's Nakba is that the ones with the rights recognize their enemies and deny their own rights. Everything that is happening in Jerusalem is the result of the deals, agreements and negotiations with the Zionist enemy."

Pope: West Bank fence is a symbol of 'stalemate'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday branded the West Bank separation fence as a symbol of "stalemate" between Israel and the Palestinians, urging both sides to break a "spiral of violence". "Towering over us, as we gather here this afternoon, is a stark reminder of the stalemate that relations between Israelis and Palestinians seem to have reached - the wall," he said standing by the fence at a refugee camp in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. "How we earnestly pray for an end to the hostilities that have caused this wall to be built."

Haaretz reporter Amira Hass arrested upon leaving Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel Police on Tuesday detained Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass upon her exit from the Gaza Strip, where she had been living and reporting over the last few months. Hass was arrested and taken in for questioning immediately after crossing the border, for violating a law which forbids residence in an enemy state. She was released on bail after promising not to enter the Gaza Strip over the next 30 days.

Time to consider building Palestine from the bottom up
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Shlomo Avineri - (Opinion) May 13, 2009 - 12:00am

As President Barack Obama's special Middle East envoy, former United States Senator George Mitchell, learned during his visit to the region, America's efforts at Israeli-Palestinian peace-making are running up against three major obstacles. They will, no doubt, also arise in Obama's upcoming meetings with the region's leaders.

Fears of sectarian violence in Nazareth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Nation
by Jonathan Cook - May 10, 2009 - 12:00am

Anti-Christian banners and billboards have sprung up along the main route to Nazareth’s Roman Catholic church days before Pope Benedict XVI is due to arrive in Israel’s largest Arab city to conduct an open-air mass. The signs, including one denouncing those who “harm God or his messenger”, have been posted by a radical Islamic group in the city as part of a campaign to stop the Pope’s visit.

Benedict backs Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
May 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Standing in the cradle of Christianity, Pope Benedict XVI told Palestinians on Wednesday he understands their suffering and offered the Vatican’s strongest and most symbolic public backing yet for an independent Palestinian state. To get to Jesus’ traditional birthplace of Bethlehem, Benedict had to cross through towering concrete slabs, part of a separation barrier Israel has erected to wall off the West Bank’s Palestinian areas.

Land for peace is the only viable option
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) May 12, 2009 - 12:00am

It was entirely expected but nonetheless totally outrageous when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to endorse the idea of a two-state solution during his first bilateral meeting as Israel's head of government with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak this week. Netanyahu refused to discuss the previous Israeli government's position that Palestinian statehood should eventually come about, which was linked to Israel's security requirements.

Arab Initiative Needs International Support
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Hussein Shobokshi - (Opinion) May 13, 2009 - 12:00am

The Arab Initiative is on the table anew; it is a source of controversy and the subject of intense debate, amid talk about requests that some of its provisions should be "amended." These requests are made by the Israelis and Americans, but they have been met with a clear Arab rejection.

Mubarak to Israel: Progress before Recognition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
May 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Progress in peace negotiations must come before Arab recognition of Israel, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said in an interview with Israel TV broadcast late Tuesday. Mubarak also addressed American suggestions that the 2002 Arab initiative, offering Israel normal relations with the Arab world if Israel withdraws from all of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, east Jerusalem and Golan Heights, could be amended. He categorically rejected that idea and said the only road to peace is the creation of a Palestinian state.

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