Daily News Issue Date: 
September 19, 2008

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas discusses the future of the peace process in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal (1). A second battalion of Palestinian National Security Forces begin U.S. funding training in Jordan (2). A pair of articles discuss the challenges that face newly elected head of the ruling Kadima party Tzipi Livni (3) (5). A Palestinian candidate enters the race for mayor of Jerusalem (7). Haaretz examines the revitalization of the West Bank town of Jenin (8).

Israel and Palestine Can Still Achieve Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Wall Street Journal
by Mahmoud Abbas - (Editorial) September 18, 2008 - 8:00pm

This month marks 15 painful years since the Arafat-Rabin handshake on the White House lawn. Palestinian children who started school when the Oslo Agreement was signed in 1993 are now young adults. They have not known a day of true freedom or genuine security in their lives.

Second Palestinian battalion begins US-funded training
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
September 17, 2008 - 8:00pm

About 500 members of a security force loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas crossed into Jordan on Thursday for U.S. funded training, the second such battalion to do so. Washington wants to train the backbone of a Palestinian gendarmerie that would underpin any future state. The battalion from Abbas's National Security Force will undergo training for four months in police tactics, riot control and human rights, officials said. An official at the Israeli-controlled Allenby Bridge, between the occupied West Bank and Jordan, said the battalion crossed without incident.

Israel?s Livni seen pushing Palestinian talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Adam Entous - September 17, 2008 - 8:00pm

Many see Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's win in a party vote to succeed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as a victory for Israelis who favor peace talks, but insiders played down the immediate prospect of bold moves. Livni, who clinched the leadership of the Kadima party in a ballot on Wednesday, has made clear to confidants and advisers that she wants to concentrate on talks with the Palestinians, pursuing a goal she shares with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of reaching an agreement on statehood borders.

Tutu says West complicit in Palestinian suffering
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Stephanie Nebehay - September 17, 2008 - 8:00pm

South African Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu on Thursday accused the West of complicity in Palestinian suffering by its silence, suggesting it did not want to criticise Israel because of the Holocaust. Archbishop Tutu spoke after delivering a report to the United Nations about Israel's deadly shelling of the town of Beit Hanoun in Gaza in November 2006, which he said may constitute a war crime. He criticised the international community for failing to speak out against the suffering in Gaza, home to 1.5 million Palestinians, under an Israeli blockade.

Tough challenges ahead for Israel's Livni
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
by Patrick Anidjar - September 18, 2008 - 8:00pm

New Kadima leader Tzipi Livni faces numerous challenges in her bid to become Israel's prime minister - battling for parliamentary support and seeking to move the peace process forward. A first priority for the 50-year-old foreign minister is to ensure the unity of the governing party whose leadership she won on Wednesday over her closest rival by a mere 431 votes. "Considering the results and the narrow lead over [Transport Minister] Shaul Mofaz, it will be tough to guarantee stability within Kadima," said political analyst Avraham Diskin of Jerusalem's Hebrew University.

'Establishment of Palestinian state is in Jordan?s strategic interest'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
September 18, 2008 - 8:00pm

Establishing an independent, contiguous and viable Palestinian state on Palestinian national soil serves Jordan?s ?higher strategic interests?, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Nasser Judeh said on Thursday. Arriving at a just solution for the issue of refugees in accordance with international resolutions, especially UN General Assembly Resolution No. 194 that stipulates the Palestinian refugees? right to return and repatriation, is also in the Kingdom?s strategic interest, he noted.

The surprise candidate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ronen Medzini - September 18, 2008 - 8:00pm

Even though the election is a few months away, the race for the position of mayor of Jerusalem is becoming more and more interesting. In addition to the two main candidates, Nir Barkat and Meir Porush, a new, some would say surprising, face has entered ? a Palestinian candidate by the name of Zohir Hamdan.

Jenin? Jenin!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amoss Harel, Avi Issacharoff - September 18, 2008 - 8:00pm

All military camps are similar, and in the Middle East they also occasionally change hands, without their external appearance undergoing any significant changes. As such, Israel handed Jenin's Muqata compound over to the Palestinian security forces in 1996. Although part of it was bombed in 2001, today the compound once again serves as an active Palestinian Authority headquarters. Even the mirror next to the exit gate, a familiar sight from every Israel Defense Forces base, has remained in place. Only the slogan, "Soldier, Improve Your Appearance," has been removed by the Palestinians.

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