Encountering Peace: Declare victory and stop building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Let’s face it, the leaders of the settlement movement did not oppose the building moratorium because some young couples couldn’t afford their mortgage. They did not oppose it because a new classroom or nursery school could not be added even if needed as a result of natural growth. They did not oppose it because of the compassion they felt for real-estate developers whose profits were falling.

Fighting radicalism with reform in Lebanon refugee camps
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
September 27, 2010 - 12:00am

In the sprawling streets of the Burj Brajneh refugee camp, in the heart of Beirut, almost 20,000 people struggle to make a living. Mothers try to feed their children with food vouchers from the United Nations, and families live in ramshackle buildings with few of the basic facilities enjoyed by people in wider Lebanese society. Mohammed Al Shuli's grandfather fled to Lebanon in 1948 from his home in what is now the Israeli city of Acco.

Obama demands more than Israel can give
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Richard Cohen - (Opinion) September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Every so often, the sayings of Casey Stengel come to mind. The longtime manager of the New York Yankees, accustomed to a Prussian professionalism in the hitting and fielding of baseballs, moved over to the astonishingly hapless New York Mets in 1962 and, surveying his new team, uttered an exasperated question: "Can't anybody here play this game?" What applied to those Mets applies now to the Obama administration. In the Middle East, it's no hits and plenty of errors.

Solving the West Bank settler problem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Gabrielle Rifkind - (Opinion) September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israeli construction freeze in the West Bank hangs like a dark cloud over the peace talks. The moratorium expired on 26 September and President Abbas has continuously said he will withdraw from negotiations if settlement activity resumes. Last-ditch attempts to save the talks from an early collapse are taking place behind the scenes. Meanwhile Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has called on the settler movement to show restraint and only allow only small-scale construction to resume. Tensions remain very high.

Abbas pressured to halt peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian political factions yesterday urged the president, Mahmoud Abbas, to abandon direct peace negotiations with Israel after it failed to extend a partial freeze on construction of West Bank settlements. But Mr Abbas held back yesterday on a threat to quit the talks after the expiration of the freeze at midnight Sunday. He told reporters in Paris he would not rush to respond to Israel’s resumption of settlement construction, but would first consult with Palestinian and Arab leaders.

Peace might upend wealth of Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - September 27, 2010 - 12:00am

With the resumption of settlement construction in the West Bank yesterday, Israel’s powerful settler movement hopes that it has scuttled peace talks with the Palestinians, too. It would be misleading, however, to assume that the major obstacle to the success of talks is the right-wing political ideology the settler movement represents. Equally important are deeply entrenched economic interests shared across Israeli society.

Construction in West Bank settlements resumes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - September 27, 2010 - 12:00am

KARMEI TZUR, WEST BANK - The rumble of a bulldozer preparing the ground for new homes started early Monday morning at this Jewish settlement in the southern West Bank, and residents said it was music to their ears after a 10-month building freeze. "We're very happy," said Erez Naim, who lives near the building site. "For 10 months we were asleep. Now suddenly things are coming back to life."

In blame game, arrow tilts to Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Ben Smith - September 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Israelis and Palestinians have yet to achieve any substantive progress in the nascent peace talks that resulted from President Barack Obama’s high-profile push for negotiations, but a subtle shift in the political balance between the two antagonists seems clear: Israel is now winning the blame game. The blame game always proceeds on a parallel, subterranean track to actual negotiations, the cynical mirror of the process’s insistent optimism. Some prominent figures on both sides barely disguise their assumption that peace talks will fail, as they almost always do.

Settlement Moratorium Expires: Will Mideast Peace Talks Last?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from PBS
by Ghaith Al-Omari, Gwen Ifill, David Makovsky - (Analysis) September 27, 2010 - 12:00am

GWEN IFILL: For more on what's holding these talks together so far, we turn to Ghaith Al-Omari, the advocacy director for the American Task Force on Palestine and a former adviser to President Abbas, and David Makovsky, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the co-author of "Myths, Illusions, and Peace." Let's talk about myths, illusions and peace, Ghaith Al-Omari. What happened today? Why didn't the Palestinians walk away from the table, as they had promised they would if these settlements were not frozen? ARTICLE TOOLS Print E-mail * Share

US 'disappointed' after settlement freeze ends
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) September 28, 2010 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- US envoy George Mitchell will hold meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders this week to discuss the consequences of Israel's decision not to extend a temporary moratorium on settlement building. The US administration is "disappointed" at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley was quoted as saying by The Associated Press. Crowley praised the "restraint" of the Palestinian response to resumed building.

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