January 27th

Lots of peace plans, a little progress
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Winnipeg Free Press
by Samuel Segev - January 26, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel and the Arab world on Wednesday will be watching with great interest United States President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to Congress. In a recent interview with Time magazine, Obama admitted that he "overestimated" his ability to persuade both Israel and the Palestinians to resume their peace negotiations. Nevertheless, Obama made it clear that the U.S. will continue to work with the parties to achieve that goal.

U.S. Pressures Abbas on Peace Talks, Official Says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Saud Abu Ramadan, Gwen Ackerman - January 26, 2010 - 1:00am

The U.S. is putting pressure on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resume peace talks with Israel while avoiding confrontation with the Jewish state, a senior Palestinian official said. “Washington, along with the international community, is pressuring the Palestinians without obliging Israel to stop settlement construction,” Nabil Shaath, a member of the decision-making Central Committee of Abbas’s Fatah party, said today in an e-mailed statement.

Palestinian parliament expires four years after Hamas electoral upset
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Erin Cunningham - January 26, 2010 - 1:00am

Four years after Hamas won an upset victory in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, prompting swift international sanctions and a Western-led diplomatic boycott, the mandate for the parliament it dominated officially expired on Monday. According to the Palestinian Constitution, new parliamentary elections should have been held Sunday, Jan. 24, in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But continued political division between the West Bank, governed by the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA), and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, has delayed the elections indefinitely.

These Palestinians aren't happy about Israel settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - January 26, 2010 - 1:00am

Theoretically, the 10-month freeze on building Israeli settlements in the West Bank was supposed to benefit the Palestinian cause. But at the run-down cafes that make up a town square of sorts here in the Jalazon Refugee Camp, there’s a different story. It’s just before noon, and the area is full of young men with nowhere to go.

PA issues 2010 state-building budget
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Laura Rozen - January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Authority has issued a 2010 budget document laying out a state-building plan. Palestine: Moving Forward: Priority Interventions for 2010, issued this week by the Palestinian Authority finance and planning ministries, is a Palestinian state and institution building program that complements the diplomatic process the Obama administration is trying to revive, the American Task Force for Palestine's Hussein Ibish told POLITICO.

Analysis: Another goal pared back: Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Steven R. Hurst - January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON -- The bleak domestic realities washing over President Barack Obama's White House cloak equally dismal prospects for quickly shepherding Israel and the Palestinians back to peace talks. As the politically beleaguered president prepared to deliver his first State of the Union address Wednesday night - the symbolic start of his second year in office - Obama was forced to acknowledge he got ahead of himself when he raised hopes of early success by making Mideast peacemaking a top priority of his new administration.

January 26th

Remarks to Americans for Peace Now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Committee on Foreign Affairs
by Howard Berman - January 24, 2010 - 1:00am

Thank you, Luis (Lainer), for that introduction, and thanks as well to Americans for Peace Now for this invitation to speak with you. I am very gratified that you have awarded the Yitzhak Rabin Peace Prize to my friend of nearly 50 years, Irwin Levin. Everyone here knows how much he deserves it. We’ve had a warm and productive relationship for many years now. I admire and share your firm commitment to peace, even on those occasions when we disagree about how best to achieve it.

The PA will have to yield to pressure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Sami Abdel-shafi - (Analysis) January 18, 2010 - 1:00am

It seems ever more evident that while the US-led international community is urging a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Palestinians increasingly feel the exercise is fruitless. More and more Palestinians are questioning the use of what has become a perpetual on-again off-again process.

Mitchell’s futile diplomacy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Hassan Barari - (Opinion) January 26, 2010 - 1:00am

The long-awaited tour of American envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell consisted of much fanfare but yielded no tangible results to speak of. Both parties to the conflict refused to budge: the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, refuses to join the peace process until Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agrees to freeze settlement activity, and the Israeli government refuses to meet this Palestinian demand, considering it an unacceptable precondition.

Middle East needs bridges, not walls
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Linda S. Heard - (Opinion) January 26, 2010 - 1:00am

Middle East peace has rarely seemed as remote as it does now. Instead of coming up with solutions, those involved are hurling accusations, erecting fences or throwing up their hands in despair. The longer this dangerous impasse continues the more the cauldron of violence threatens to boil over. None of the parties are immune from criticism, although some are more to blame than others.

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