July 21st

Omar H. Rahman: Economic crisis looms as Palestine nears UN push in September
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Arabiya
by Omar Rahman - July 20, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian territories may soon be experiencing an economic crisis that is, at least in part, directly tied to their diplomatic initiative scheduled for the United Nations in September. The cash-strapped Palestinian Authority is facing a massive budget shortfall and has reached a ceiling in its borrowing from local banks and the private sector, with the situation becoming increasingly acute.

FEATURE-Wife battering, sexual abuse get attention in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal al-Mughrabi - July 20, 2011 - 12:00am

GAZA, July 20 (Reuters) - Most safe-houses in the Gaza Strip are meant to provide protection for armed militants on Israel's target list. Now Gaza is offering protected shelter to battered Palestinian women. Its lone women's safe-house, opened two months ago, has had eight clients, all guarded by police from the Islamist Hamas movement that runs the enclave and enforces a conservative though not radical Muslim religious code.

Worldview: Can once-friendly Israel and Turkey mend frayed ties?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Inquirer Digital
by Trudy Rubin - (Opinion) July 21, 2011 - 12:00am

As blood flows in Libya, Yemen, and Syria, and the region continues its meltdown, the only two Mideast democracies out there are Israel and Turkey. Ideally, these two would be working together, especially as Syria, which is sandwiched between them, shows signs of regime failure. Of course, the times are far from ideal. Israeli-Turkish relations, once close, are in the deep freeze; they nearly snapped last year after nine Turkish civilians were killed in an Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara, an aid ship that tried to run Israel's blockade of Gaza.

Abbas: UN bid will not affect peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 21, 2011 - 12:00am

BARCELONA (AFP) -- Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said his efforts to seek UN membership for the Palestinians would not affect negotiations "that we want to continue to have" with Israel. Abbas is in Spain as part of a foreign tour aimed at drumming up support for United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state amid a long stalemate in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Former CIA Man: Don't Bet on Israel Bombing Iran on My Speculation!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Robert Baer - (Opinion) July 21, 2011 - 12:00am

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, I wonder what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had first discussed them on talk radio. Having found myself at the center of a bizarre series of stories claiming that Israel is planning to attack Iran in September as a result of some speculative answers to a talk-show host's questions, I think I now know.

For Refugees, a Frustrating Feeling of Permanence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Rana F. Sweis - July 20, 2011 - 12:00am

AMMAN — When Iraqi militias threatened Ghasswan Al Taee, 36, in 2006, he fled to Jordan. Five years later and with three children born here, his state of limbo has become a constant. Since 2003 an estimated four million Iraqis have fled their homes, the largest exodus since Israel’s creation in 1948. Deepening violence and sectarian strife have led to the internal displacement of many Iraqis and have driven others out of the country, largely to Syria and Jordan, but also to Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and the Gulf.

Breaking the Israel-Palestine Impasse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy In Focus
by Didier Jacobs - (Opinion) July 11, 2011 - 12:00am

On a recent trip to Israel, I visited a school in Sderot featuring bunkers in the playground. I asked the principal what she thought about her government: “Things are quiet now, so the policy is working”, she replied. And when rockets rain down, it’s time to retaliate. Hawks take political advantage of violence, and doves can’t convey the urgency of peace in good times.

September: Why Israelis Are Anxious
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Talking Points Memo
by Bernard Avishai - (Opinion) July 21, 2011 - 12:00am

This week, the Fatah leadership of the Palestinian Authority announced a full-bore diplomatic effort to gain UN membership for a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders with its capital in Jerusalem. President Mahmud Abbas is touring Europe and Turkey. Emissaries will be traveling to China, India and other rising powers. Saeb Erekat, Abbas's indefatigable chief negotiator, called the campaign for statehood "massive."

Standing up to the pro-Israel establishment
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Salon.com
by Teresa Cotsirilos - (Interview) July 20, 2011 - 12:00am

In the two years since Jeremy Ben-Ami founded J Street, which bills itself as a "pro-peace, pro-Israel" voice for a two-state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian dispute, his organization has been attacked as "morally deficient" and "appallingly naive" by critics in the American Jewish community and on the right end of the political spectrum. And in Israel, members of the Knesset have even formed a committee to determine whether J Street is "anti-Israel" and should be publicly condemned.

As U.S. Steps Back, Europe Takes Bigger Role in Mideast Peace Push
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Mark Landler - July 20, 2011 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON — It is a truism of Middle East peacemaking that the United States is the pivotal player — the most credible broker between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But with talks at a standstill, the Obama administration now finds itself on the sidelines, and Europe is emerging as the key diplomatic actor.

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