December 19th

Israel Frees Palestinians in 2nd Stage of Exchange
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - December 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel released about 550 Palestinian prisoners on Sunday night in the second half of a swap that freed one of its soldiers, Gilad Shalit, who had been held by Hamas in Gaza for more than five years. The prisoners left Ofer Prison in Israel by bus shortly after 10 p.m., with a dozen buses going to the West Bank and one to Gaza. Some prisoners were also going to East Jerusalem and Jordan.

What ‘pro-Israel’ should mean
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jeremy Benami - (Opinion) December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

Jeremy Ben-Ami is president of J Street, a Washington-based nonprofit that advocates a diplomatic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the author of “A New Voice for Israel.” Advocates of strong U.S.-Israel relations have aimed for decades to keep Israel from being a divisive issue in American politics. Yet Israel is one of very few foreign policy issues already rating attention in the 2012 presidential election.

December 16th

Gingrich’s lie reveals his bigotry
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
by John. E. Sununu - (Opinion) December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

When bigots speak, their words have purpose. They intentionally choose phrases that inflame, denigrate, and marginalize other races, religions, or nationalities. They employ distortions and stereotypes to bolster false arguments. Which brings us to Newt Gingrich, who in an interview last week derided “an invented Palestinian people.’’ His comments were a calculated — but demonstrably false — slander, designed to curry favor with a constituency for which he cares by insulting one for which he does not.

Will Hamas Now Abandon Syria and Assad?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Business Times
by Palash R. Ghosh - (Interview) December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

The ongoing rebellion (and brutal government crackdown) in Syria has presented an embarrassment for Hamas, the Palestinian militant organization which was embraced by President Bashar al-Assad and given a home in Damascus for several years. Reportedly, some lower-tier Hamas members have already fled Syria, although the leadership has insisted it will stay. Moreover, Hamas groups on Gaza and West Bank have not (to any significant degree) staged protests against Assad, the way they did for former Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.

The Belated Awakening to Settler Extremism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Lara Friedman - (Blog) December 15, 2011 - 1:00am

Recent attacks on the IDF have led to an abrupt awakening in Israel and abroad. Suddenly people are realizing the danger posed to Israel by a generation of settlers who respect neither Israeli law, nor Israel's army, nor the Israeli state, and who are prepared to use violence against not only Palestinians (which has long been the case) but also against fellow Jews.

‘Inventing’ reasons to please Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

It would be a fine thing to believe what he says, except that Netanyahu himself leads a government that is one of the most extreme since Israel’s 1948 creation. The reality is that the views and attitude of the gang of settlers who have just been arrested and charged with these appalling and deliberately inflammatory crimes are merely a logical extension of the Eretz Israel (Greater Israel) policies that underpin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and his no-less radical coalition allies.

In regard to Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Ahmad Majdoubeh - (Opinion) December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

The Arab League has been in hibernation for years, content only with routine and symbolic meetings or statements that did not make any difference. At present, however, it has emerged as an active, effective player in the region. In light of such an emerging role, shouldn’t it help the Palestinians who desperately need help? The Arab Spring has brought with it not only a new role for the peoples of the region but also, it would seem, a new role for the Arab League.

Devilish Pact With Europe’s Right Wing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Liam Hoare - (Blog) December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

Economic upheaval and strife in Europe have historically begat fierce nationalism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism. Faced with a serious debt crisis, severe budget cuts, grim austerity, rising unemployment and creeping inflation, the current depression is no exception.

Barak Shows Friendly Face to URJ
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - (Analysis) December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

National Harbor, Md. — The Israeli government chose to show its friendly face to the Reform movement by sending defense minister Ehud Barak as the top Israeli representative to the biennial conference of the Union for Reform Judaism. After all, there are not many officials in the current Israeli coalition government that can offer a warm embrace to America’s largest Jewish denomination.

PM adviser's letter to 'New York Times'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

Dear Sasha, I received your email requesting that Prime Minister Netanyahu submit an op-ed to the New York Times. Unfortunately, we must respectfully decline. On matters relating to Israel, the op-ed page of the “paper of record” has failed to heed the late Senator Moynihan's admonition that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but that no one is entitled to their own facts. A case in point was your decision last May to publish the following bit of historical revision by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:

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