Palestinian UN bid puts Obama on defensive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Matt Spetalnick - (Analysis) September 15, 2011 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) - When President Barack Obama brokered the relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks last September and set a one-year goal for reaching a deal, few thought he would succeed where so many others had failed. But hardly anyone could have predicted that Obama would now be facing one of the sharpest blows to U.S. prestige in decades of Middle East diplomacy -- a Palestinian threat to defy him and push for statehood at the United Nations next week.

Why Palestinian statehood is a question for the U.N.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joshua Goldstein, Shibley Telhami - (Opinion) September 15, 2011 - 12:00am

As the Palestinians seek U.N. support for a state of their own, Washington has advanced two arguments to dissuade them: first, that taking the issue of statehood to the United Nations is a unilateral move away from negotiations with Israel; and second, that the effort will be counterproductive because the United States will veto any such U.N. Security Council resolution.

Q&A on Palestinian statehood at the UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Yossi Klein Halevi, Hussein Ibish - (Interview) September 15, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinians are set to appeal to the United Nations in September for recognition of statehood. Despite opposition from Israel and the United States, a UN vote now looks inevitable. The Guardian and the Forward have brought together two experts to take part in an online Q&A to answer your questions about what may prove a game-changing development in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Military whistleblower tells of 'indiscriminate' Israeli attacks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Donald MacIntyre - (Analysis) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli troops fired tear gas indiscriminately and sometimes dangerously to enforce a daytime curfew inside a West Bank village to stop Palestinians holding a peaceful demonstration on their own land, a military whistleblower has told The Independent. The soldier's insight into the methods of troops comes as the Israeli military prepares for demonstrations predicted when the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas submits an application for the recognition of statehood to the UN next week.

In Jordan, low turnout for anti-Israel march
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Joel Greenberg - (Analysis) September 15, 2011 - 12:00am

AMMAN, Jordan — About 200 protesters ringed by scores of police officers demanded the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador here Thursday, but what was billed by organizers as a “million-man” march on the embassy drew a far smaller crowd, which was kept well away from the building by a tight security cordon. Concerned about a repeat of last week’s storming by protesters of Israel’s embassy in Cairo, the Israeli government brought its ambassador and his staff members home from Amman on Wednesday night for their weekend leave, a day earlier than usual.

Palestinian officials foresee secular, pluralistic state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from USA Today
by Oren Dorell - (Analysis) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian leaders say a future Palestinian state would be secular and open to all religions — even Jews — if they are willing to follow their laws as Palestinian citizens. The Palestinians say they'll seek a vote on Palestinian statehood in the United Nations this month.

'Abbas working on deal with EU, US to avoid statehood bid'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - (Analysis) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

London based Arabic daily Al Hayat on Friday reported that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was meeting with European Union and American officials to try and come to an agreement that would avoid bringing Palestinian unilateral statehood before the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council next week. According to the report, of the 20 paragraphs in the proposal, four of them had been agreed upon at the time of publication.

Abbas to meet U.S. envoy Thursday
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
(Analysis) September 15, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet U.S. Middle East envoy David Hale Thursday to discuss renewing peace talks with Israel, an official from Abbas' office said. Hale is in the region to try to reach a compromise allowing the negotiations to resume and avoid a Palestinian bid for United Nations membership later this month. "Abbas is still open to study any serious ideas from U.S. officials regarding the launching of a meaningful peace process," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Netanyahu: Israel will agree to upgrade of Palestinian status, not statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - (Analysis) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel would agree to upgrade the Palestinian Authority's status at the United Nations as long as it is not declared a state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in talks with Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, over the past few days. On Thursday Netanyahu decided to address the UN General Assembly next Friday, the day the Palestinians will submit their statehood bid. Meanwhile, the Foreign ministry summoned the ambassadors of five key EU members Thursday to rebuke them over their countries' policy on the Palestinians' bid for UN recognition as a state.

EU seeks limited upgrade of Palestinians' UN status
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Justyna Pawlak - (Analysis) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

BRUSSELS, Sept 15 (Reuters) - - The European Union hopes to persuade Palestinian leaders to drop plans for full United Nations membership this month in return for a nuanced upgrading of their U.N. observer status, EU diplomats said on Thursday. The EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, went to the Middle East this week to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians with the aim of reviving peace talks and averting a Palestinian statehood bid at the U.N. General Assembly, which begins its annual gathering on Sept. 21.

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