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Press Release
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
January 25, 2006 - 1:00am

Washington, D.C., January 26 -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) released its vision of what a future Palestinian state should look like, in a briefing at the Carnegie Endowment For International Peace in Washington, D.C. today. The briefing is part of a multi-pronged media campaign that includes publishing the "Vision for Palestine" document in Arabic and English in Mideast newspapers, a full-page New York Times advertisement and related op-eds. Attending today's briefing was on overflow crowd of diplomats, U.S. government officials, NGO and think tank representatives, faith-based leaders and members of the media from the Financial Times, Voice of America, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Al Ahram, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiyya and others.

Much of the focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has revolved around the resolving of major final status issues such as Jerusalem, borders and refugees. Much less attention is given to an issue of equal importance to the Palestinians, the Middle East and the international community at large: what a Palestinian state would and should look like. This includes issues such as the political composition of the state, religious, minority and women's rights and economic opportunity. The release of the ATFP "Vision for Palestine" document is meant to initiate a process of debate and dialogue both within Palestine and amongst Palestinians worldwide on this critical issue.

ATFP president Ziad Asali stressed to briefing attendees that ATFP's vision has been in preparation for 6 months and is not a response to the Palestinian elections nor does it represent any position other than that of ATFP. "We feel it is part of our responsibility as Americans of Palestinian descent and as members of the Palestinian Diaspora, to offer an independent vision for a future Palestinian state," he said. He added: "We present this vision simply as a contribution to a process of debate and dialogue that we think should begin and we welcome and urge the participation of Palestinians worldwide."


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