March 29th

Obama Trip Renews Debate over Israeli-Palestinian Solution
Media Mention of Ghaith al-Omari In Voice of America - March 26, 2013 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have re-ignited the prospect of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, after meeting with officials on both sides in the region. 

Real Complexities Face Palestine At The ICC
Media Mention of Hussein Ibish In The Daily Beast - March 28, 2013 - 12:00am

There's a great deal of talk going these days attributed to unnamed senior Palestinian official sources, and many others, about Palestine seeking redress at the International Criminal Court at The Hague if peace talks with Israel remain stalled.

Palestinians Fight Prison Sentences for Mocking Their President on Facebook
Media Mention of Hussein Ibish In The New York Times - March 28, 2013 - 12:00am

A Palestinian court on Thursday upheld a one-year jail sentence for a journalist convicted of insulting President Mahmoud Abbas with a pastiche image posted on Facebook. Another Palestinian was given the same sentence last month for posting a humorous caption beneath an image of Mr. Abbas kicking a soccer ball on the social network.

The PA cabinet approves PM Fayyad's new budget, passing the matter for approval to Pres. Abbas. (Ha'aretz)

Abbas pardons a Palestinian journalist for allegedly "insulting" him on Facebook, after one-year prison term was yesterday upheld by a Palestinian court. (Ma'an/New York Times/AP)

Israel is using archaic Ottoman laws to give "state lands" in the occupied West Bank to settlers and Israeli companies. (The National)

Christians in Jerusalem mark Good Friday. (AP)

Israel's military beefs up its presence in the occupied territories in preparation for Land Day. (Ma'an)

Occupation forces have detained over 50 Palestinians suspected of being members of a "terror cell" in the past two months. (Ha'aretz)

Israel deploys more military medical officers on the border between Syria and the occupied Golan Heights. (AP)

Israel reopens the border crossings with Gaza. (Xinhua)

Palestinians are having to confront the fact that dependence on foreign aid makes them vulnerable to unreliable sources. (CSM)

Two pro-Palestinian activists are allegedly gang raped in Libya. (Ma'an)

An Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas recounts the details of his capture and captivity. (Jerusalem Post)

Israel's Foreign Ministry is investigating who leaked cables about how to deal with the film "The Gatekeepers." (Ha'aretz)

A new poll shows a drop in the number of Jewish Israelis who view Pres. Obama as hostile. (Jerusalem Post)

Egypt is resuming efforts to promote Palestinian national unity. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Hussein Ibish looks at the complexities facing any potential Palestinian effort to get the ICC to investigate Israel's actions in the occupied territories. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)

Dalia Hatuqa looks at the continued significance for Palestinians of Land Day. (Al Monitor)

Anna Lekas Miller looks at the impact of the release of long-withheld US aid to the PA. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)

The Washington Post says Israeli-Turkish rapprochement is a ray of hope in an otherwise dismal Middle East. (Washington Post)

Eddie Boxx looks at the need for the United States to work with its Gulf partners to create a missile defense system, especially with Iran in mind. (WINEP)

Yoel Marcus says Obama didn't just go to Israel to reiterate friendship, but also the need for a peace agreement with the Palestinians and reconciliation with Turkey. (Ha'aretz)

Trudy Rubin says Obama gave a great speech in Jerusalem, but probably didn't mean a lot of what he said. (Jerusalem Post)

Charles Krauthammer says Obama's visit exposed Palestinian recalcitrance. (Washington Post)

Zeev Sternhell says Israel can get into wars by its own choice but has to be coerced into peace agreements, usually by the United States. (Ha'aretz)

Avraham Burg asks what comes next now that the Oslo process is "dead." (Ha'aretz)

The Jerusalem Post joins the chorus of Israelis demanding the government "get tough" with rock-throwing Palestinians. (Jerusalem Post)

Leonard Fein says the late New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis cared about Israel more than his critics. (The Forward)

The Forward says Jewish Israelis and other Jews are torn between fear and empathy. (The Forward)

George Hishmeh says Israel is becoming more isolated. (Jordan Times)

Pres. Obama's Middle East trip renews the debate over Israeli-Palestinian peace. (VOA)

Israel admits that less than 1% of what it deems "state lands" in the occupied West Bank have been allocated to Palestinian use. (Ha'aretz)

Turkey is reportedly now pushing for accelerated Palestinian unity talks. (Ha'aretz)

The PA reportedly opposes a visit to Gaza by PM Erdogan. (Jerusalem Post)

The World Bank is planning a "microwork" project in the occupied West Bank to try to create 55,000 new part-time Palestinian jobs. (Jerusalem Post)

Hamas leader Misha'al accuses Obama of retreating on the issue of settlements. (Ma'an)

Hamas leader Zahar pledges the organization will not interfere in Egyptian affairs, and claims other Palestinians are spreading false rumors about this. (Ma'an/Ahram Online)

Israel reopens Gaza border crossings. (AP/AFP)

One man is killed, and three are injured, as a Gaza smuggling tunnel collapses. (Xinhua/Ma'an)

A Palestinian court rejects an appeal from Mohammed Dahlan against lifting his immunity from prosecution on serious charges. (Xinhua)

Ex-prisoners from the West Bank now expelled to Gaza our finding a local taste for a dessert from back home. (New York Times)

A new cookbook showcases Gaza cuisine. (AP)

Hebrew study is growing among Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. (The Media Line)

Palestinian NGOs face political pressure and scrutiny in both the West Bank and Gaza. (Al Monitor)

Palestinian refugees fleeing the war in Syria are facing major obstacles entering Egypt, along with other Arab states. (PNN)

An Israeli-Palestinian business arbitration center is established. (YNet)


The New York Times hosts a wide-ranging debate on what Obama can accomplish on Israeli-Palestinian peace. (New York Times)

Raja Shehadeh remembers the late New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis' fairness on the Middle East. (New York Times)

Farid Zakaria says Obama's strategy of appealing to Israel's conscience on the occupation is the best strategy for creating a Palestinian state. (Washington Post)

Ziv Lenchner
says the Israeli public is oblivious and will not "budge until things go up in flames." (YNet)

David Ignatius says his trip shows Obama is again ready to lead in the Middle East. (Washington Post)

Douglas Bloomfield says Sec. Kerry is now positioned to pick up where Obama left off. (Jerusalem Post)

David Andrew Weinberg agrees that the ball is now in Kerry's court. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Harry Hagopian says Obama's trip fail to lay the basis for real hopes for peace. (Now)

Aluf Benn says Israel is moving away from tacit support for the Assad regime in Damascus. (Ha'aretz)

Nader Bakkar doubts Hamas was involved in attacks on Egyptian soldiers. (Ahram Online)

Akiva Eldar and Daniel Bar-Tal
say the campaign against the film "The Gatekeepers" by Israeli officials is part of a trend to silence all effective dissent. (Ha'aretz)

Noam Sheizaf interviews former Israeli negotiator Shaul Arieli, who insists a two-state solution is still possible. (+972)

The new PA budget, presented by PM Fayyad, calls for $1.4 billion in external financing this year. (Ma'an)

Palestinian factions welcome Qatar's proposal to host a reconciliation summit in Cairo. (Xinhua)

Israeli occupation forces arrest five Hamas activists in Hebron. (Ma'an)

Israeli occupation authorities seize privately held Palestinian land to expand a checkpoint. (Ma'an)

An Israeli occupation commander says Palestinian violence in the West Bank is increasing. (Jerusalem Post)

Palestinians reassert that they have a right to go to the Hague if peace talks with Israel totally fail. (Ha'aretz)

Turkey is reportedly asking Israel for $1 million per fatality from the flotilla incident. (Jerusalem Post)

Settler leaders urge the Israeli military to take former FM Lieberman's advice and authorize soldiers to open fire on rock-throwing Palestinians. (YNet)

Local Gaza journalists boycott a meeting on Hamas' restrictive new press laws. (Al Monitor)

Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria face multiple obstacles trying to enter Jordan. (The Atlantic)

Ha'aretz says Israel needs to be very cautious dealing with developments on the frontier between Syria and the occupied Golan Heights. (Ha'aretz)

Eva Illouz looks at the tension between Israel's "Jewish" and "democratic" characters. (Ha'aretz)

Sami Michael says there is an epidemic of racism in Israeli society. (YNet)

Former FM Lieberman
condemns PM Netanyahu's apology to Turkey. (YNet)

Nathan Guttman asks, with former DM Barak gone, who will be the point person in the new Israeli government to deal with the United States. (The Forward)

William Kolbrener says Pres. Obama may have given Netanyahu space to maneuver on peace, assuming he wants it. (The Forward)

Mohammad Fadhel joins those saying Obama's visit to the region shows he's given up on the two-state solution. (Gulf News)

Osama Al Sharif agrees Obama has abandoned the Palestinians. (Jordan Times)

Former Israeli minister Ephraim Sneh says a Palestinian state is "unavoidable." (Al Monitor)

Victor Kotsev sees many encouraging signs for renewed peace efforts. (Sada)

Matt Hill says Israel is "addicted to settlements," and Obama should "stop enabling its self-destruction." (The Independent)

March 26th

Egyptian kidnappers release two tourists, one of whom is a Palestinian citizen of Israel. (Ha'aretz/Reuters)

Israeli occupation forces impose a general closure of the West Bank through the end of Passover. (JTA/Jerusalem Post)

A new tour is giving Israelis a closer look at Ramallah, in some ways. (New York Times)

Israeli human rights group call on their government to ease new restrictions on Gaza fishermen. (AFP)

An Israeli general suggests the possibility of creating a "buffer zone" across the Syrian border If the Damascus regime is overthrown. (Reuters)

Pres. Abbas arrives in Doha for the latest Arab League summit. (Ma'an)

A hunger striking Palestinian prisoner is again said to be in mortal peril. (Xinhua)

The PA says it wants membership in Interpol to better fight corruption. (Xinuha)

Australia's Foreign Minister his country wants Israel to explain the 2010 death of alleged Mossad agent Ben Zygier. (Ha'aretz)

Qatar proposes the creation of a $1 billion fund for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, and contributes the first $250 million. (Reuters/Jerusalem Post)

Ha'aretz says Sec. Kerry's vigorous engagement with Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy shows Pres. Obama's visit was not a one-time event. (Ha'aretz)

Akiva Eldar
says Pres. Abbas can force PM Netanyahu's hand by returning to negotiations even without a settlement freeze. (Al Monitor)

Hussein Ibish looks at exaggerated optimism and pessimism about Obama's trip. (Now)

Ron Kampeas says Obama built-up political capital during the trip, but it's unclear how he's going to use it. (JTA)

Nathan Jeffay asks if young Israelis are really going to follow Obama towards peace. (The Forward)

The Economist says the trip looks a lot different from the Palestinian point of view. (The Economist)

Aaron David Miller says Obama's trip was nothing new or impressive. (Foreign Policy)

Ben Lynfield thinks the trip shows Obama has given up on peace. (The National Interest)

Maud Newton looks at the passionate pro-Israel stance of some American Evangelical Christians. (New York Times)

Khaled Elgindy
says the US needs to take Palestinian, as well as Israeli, politics into consideration. (LA Times)

Linah Alsaafin describes the struggles of a Palestinian family trying to hold onto its landing the occupied West Bank. (Al Monitor)

Ben Gittleson profiles Obama’s new National Security Council coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)

Why Obama Picked Philip Gordon For NSC Post
Media Mention of Ghaith al-Omari In The Daily Beast - March 25, 2013 - 12:00am


March 25th

The aftermath of Pres. Obama's Middle East trip raises hopes of a US push on Israeli-Palestinian peace, particularly as Turkey and Israel repair their relations. (New York Times)

Palestinian officials say they've agreed to enter into exploratory talks about new negotiations, but reject another partial, temporary settlement freeze. (Xinhua/AP)

The Israeli government appears more committed to settlements than ever. (CSM)

A new poll suggests most Israeli right-wingers would accept a two state agreement, including a division of Jerusalem. (Ha'aretz)

Palestinian officials say the US is trying to bring Arab states into its renewed peace efforts, and expect a new US initiative in the next few weeks. (AP/Times of Israel)

Palestinian officials say the PA economy still faces a crisis despite the release of $500 million in US aid. (Ma'an)

Israel says it's going to resume transferring Palestinian tax revenues to the PA immediately. (AFP)

PM Erdogan says it will take time to fully restore ties with Israel. (AP)

Israel denies the new understanding with Turkey involves ending the blockade of Gaza. (Reuters/Xinhua)

On Sunday, Israel extended the closure of the only commercial crossing into Gaza. (Xinhua)

The Israeli-Turkish rapprochement appears based on shared concerns about Syria. (CSM)

Josh Rogin describes the circumstances of the phone call that began mending Israeli-Turkish relations. (Foreign Policy)

A Hamas court in Gaza issues a death sentence on a Palestinian accused of collaborating with Israel. (Ma'an)

The Israeli military says it fired into Syria after being attacked across the frontier with the occupied Golan Heights. (Reuters)

A Palestinian citizen of Israel student who heckled Obama explains his outburst. (New York Times)

Palestinian officials complain Christians in the occupied West Bank received less than half of their requested permits from Israel to visit Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. (Ma'an)

Occupation forces dismantle a Palestinian tent protest against the planned E1 settlement expansion. (Ma'an)

Warren Bass says Obama showed PM Netanyahu and Pres. Abbas how to marshal public opinion on peace. (Foreign Policy)

Thomas Friedman says Israelis and Palestinians need to work with Obama to restart peace talks urgently. (New York Times)

Dana Milbank
says Obama looked more like a tourist than a peacemaker. (Washington Post)

Ari Shavit says the challenge of ending occupation is closely linked to finding solutions regarding Iran. (Ha'aretz)

The Jerusalem Post says "regional realities" compelled Netanyahu to apologize to Turkey. (Jerusalem Post)

Hassan Barari agrees the Israeli-Turkish rapprochement is pragmatic. (Arab News)

Chemi Shalev says that Israel got "tough love" from Obama. (Ha'aretz)

Adel Safty says Obama clearly won over a lot of skeptical Israelis, but wonders if it will be enough to make much of a difference. (Gulf News)

Bradley Burston
says Obama's trip has prompted him to drop his long-standing cynicism. (Ha'aretz)

Raghida Dergham
says the second Obama administration is crushing the hopes of the first. (Al Hayat)

Nasouh Al Majali says Obama's visit only proved American priorities are not focused on peace. (Jordan Times)

Arnaud de Borchgrave
says the fate of Jordan is critical to US, Turkish, Arab and Israeli policies. (UPI)

How American Diplomats Became Israel’s Lawyers
Media Mention of Hussein Ibish In - March 22, 2013 - 12:00am

  Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East

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