Another historic opportunity for Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Ahmad Majdoubeh - (Opinion) July 31, 2009 - 12:00am

As days and events unfold, the Obama administration - though recent on the global and Middle-Eastern scenes - has proven itself to be a most knowledgeable and reliable peace patron or broker: the Arabs’ and Israelis’ best bet, I would say.

Obama's Middle East map
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Patrick Seale - (Analysis) July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

The utter determination of US President Barack Obama to bring peace to the Middle East is no longer in doubt. The US president's manner is gentle. He seeks to persuade rather than coerce. He gives precedence to the carrot rather than the stick. But the iron will is there. It would be rash indeed for Arabs or Israelis to attempt to thwart him. Right across the region the message is sinking in. We are beginning to witness what might be called the 'Obama effect'.

With a Semi- or Quarter-Normalization
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Zuheir Kseibati - (Opinion) July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

US peace envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell neither utters a word nor reveals the features of the final solution that President Obama’s administration wants, when he insists that comprehensive peace means the normalization of Arab ties with Israel. The Arab peace initiative does not rule out normalization as a result of final settlements, which would restore the Golan Heights and the remaining occupied lands in southern Lebanon. This settlement would also end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict once and for all by establishing a Palestinian state.

Arab Ministers on Conditions for Accepting Mitchell's Bid for Ties with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Michel Abu Najm - July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

George Mitchell, US special envoy to the Middle East, has made a statement in Cairo calling on the Arab countries to take measures toward the partial normalization of ties with Israel in order to facilitate launching peace negotiations on all Arab-Israeli tracks.

Israel defends IDF action in Gaza war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
July 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel issued a 160-page document justifying its military offensive in Gaza. The report, published on Thursday and entitled "The Operation in Gaza - Legal and Factual Aspects," asserts that Israel had a right to undertake Operation Cast Lead last December and January following "incessant rocket and mortar attacks upon thousands of Israeli civilians and (Hamas') other acts of terrorism." Hamas violated international law, says the report, which also documents Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians and the ways in which Hamas put Palestinian civilians in danger.

Breaking Israel's spell
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Seth Freedman - (Opinion) July 31, 2009 - 12:00am

For the most part, London's Jewish community is a shining example of social cohesion and pastoral care. Large charitable donations are raised on a constant basis and distributed to those in need of assistance; sick or lonely individuals are clutched to the communal bosom and provided for by welfare associations and concerned neighbours; and the ethics inculcated into each new generation are built on a bedrock of values dating back to biblical times.

Gaza children go for world record for kite flying
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Ibrahim Barzak - July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

Thousands of children in the Gaza Strip attempted to set a new world record Thursday by flying colorful homemade kites amid the ruins of Israel's bruising offensive earlier this year — a rare display of joy in the isolated seaside territory ruled by Hamas militants. The festive event, sponsored by the United Nations, brought some 6,000 campers in orange uniforms and blue caps to a beach in Gaza's war-torn north, where they released their kites into clear skies. Some included designs such as the red, green, black and white Palestinian flag.

Israeli NGO battles settlements in US
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Dan Izenberg - July 30, 2009 - 12:00am

The left-wing organization Gush Shalom is launching a campaign against organizations soliciting donations in the United States, particularly those receiving US federal tax exemptions for settlements and illegal outposts, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The timing of the campaign has been stepped up from September to August because the Foreign Ministry recently launched its own campaign to block governments of foreign countries from donating money to human rights organizations in Israel.

Israel targets foreign gov't NGO funds
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - July 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Recent revelations about foreign government funding for local NGOs involved in political activity have triggered discussions by senior Israeli officials about the possibility of making such aid illegal, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The senior officials are looking into whether it might be possible to ban donations from foreign governments to political NGOs, just as it is forbidden for foreign residents, let alone governments, to contribute to Israeli political parties.

A new Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - July 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Remember the name: Rawabi. The city of hills to be built nine kilometers northwest of Ramallah. The first planned city in Palestinian history. The first planned city in the West Bank to be inhabited by Palestinians rather than settlers. A city designed to be a Palestinian city of abundance - secular, open and vibrant. A city of pedestrian malls, cafes, kindergartens and schools. A city of thriving Palestinian start-ups and Palestinian yuppies. A city that will pave the Palestinians' way to the 21st century.

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