NEWS:
 
Sec. Kerry says the goal of the new Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is an agreement within the next nine months. (State Department/New York Times/AP)
 
second round of talks is scheduled in two weeks, with all core issues on the table. (Ha'aretz/Los Angeles Times)
 
The US reportedly gave Israel and the Palestinians letters of assurance in order to facilitate talks. (Ha'aretz)
 
Negotiators also met with Pres. Obama. (JTA/Washington Post)
 
The Middle East Quartet welcomes the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian talks. (Xinhua/AP)
 
American officials reportedly say they pushed for talks to avoid a "train wreck" at the UN in September. (Ha'aretz/Times of Israel)
 
Skepticism remains high, especially among Palestinians. (Reuters/YNet/Times of Israel)
 
Negotiations have begun, but so far there has apparently been little progress. (Daily Beast)
 
Israeli media report PM Netanyahu promised the Jewish Home party thousands of new settlement units to keep them in the coalition. (Times of Israel)
 
Israel's chief negotiator Livni says her cabinet colleagues have "a collective responsibility" to support the peace process. (Jerusalem Post)
 
The Palestinian flag is raised in the Knesset during a meeting of the pro-peace caucus. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Human Rights Watch asks the PA to investigate the reported beating of anti-negotiation protesters. (AP/Ma'an)
 
The PA is set to transfer $17 million in EU aid to Palestinian hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem. (Ma'an/YNet/The Media Line)
 
Hamas dismisses Egyptian allegations about the group's activities as "preposterous." (Al Monitor)
 
Palestinians are still reportedly buying settlement goods despite PA efforts to ban them. (Al Monitor)
 
Extremist settlers reportedly attack Palestinian workers and vehicles near Nablus. (Ma'an)
 
Arab Idol winner Mohammed Assaf is scheduled to perform in Bethlehem on Thursday. (Ma'an)
 
 
COMMENTARY:
 
Daniel Kurtzer and Gilead Sher say now Kerry has to lay out "an American view of the parameters of a final peace settlement." (Los Angeles Times)
 
Ami Ayalon, Gilead Sher and Orni Petruschka say Israel should renounce claims to key areas of the West Bank and facilitate voluntary resettlement of settlers. (Christian Science Monitor)
 
Brent Sasley asks what's different about these negotiations. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)
 
David Horovitz says there are seven things different about this American approach to seeking peace. (Times of Israel)
 
Robert Danin explains the reasons for widespread cautious pessimism . (CNN)
 
Rami Khouri suggests what to look for in the unfolding negotiations. (The Daily Star)
 
Dmitry Shumsky says Netanyahu wouldn't be betraying his ideological roots by agreeing to a Palestinian state. (Ha'aretz)
 
Nahum Barnea says Netanyahu should be more honest with the Israeli public about the reasons for his actions. (YNet)
 
Nathan Guttman and Joyce Karam separately look at the role of new Middle East Special Envoy Martin Indyk. (The Forward/Al Arabiya)
 
The Times of Israel interviews Deputy FM Elkin, who says Netanyahu is wrong to consider a Palestinian state. (Times of Israel)
 
Mustafa Barghouti says the world must act to end Israel's occupation. (Arab News)
 
The Jerusalem Post says it supports an agreement but doesn't trust Palestinian sincerity. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Mazal Mualem says Israel's prisoner release debate was filled with hypocrisy. (Al Monitor)
 
Rachel Shabi says the EU is being more proactive in promoting peace than the US. (The National)
 
Alan Baker says the EU is taking a hypocritical attitude towards Israel. (Ha'aretz)
 
Liam Hoare says Israel will always be a subject of disproportionate emotions, both positive and negative. (Ha'aretz)

July 30th

NEWS:
 
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations begin amid widespread doubts. (AP/New York Times)
 
The negotiations will enter their second day today, after a "constructive and productive"beginning. (AFP)
 
 
There is deep skepticism in public opinion on both sides. (Reuters)
 
Israel's deputy Foreign Minister rules out the possibility of a Palestinian state. (Times of Israel)
 
Some analysts think Israeli and Palestinian leaders are driven by not wanting to be seen in Washington as obstructionist. (Christian Science Monitor)
 
Many of the figures involved in the new talks are long-standing players in the process. (AP/Los Angeles Times)
 
Martin Indyk is formally appointed new US Special Envoy for Middle East peace, although he has previously expressed skepticism about prospects for a deal. (AP/Ha'aretz)
 
Israeli settlements remain a major challenge for Israeli-Palestinian peace. (Washington Post)
 
Pres. Abbas says no Israeli soldiers or settlers can remain inside a Palestinian state. (Reuters)
 
Israel's Economy Minister Bennett boasts “I have killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there is no problem with that.” (Jerusalem Post)
 
Palestinians say the Syrian government has arrested two Palestinian journalists. (Ma'an)
 
Israel is preparing to supply fuel to Gaza as Egypt's border closures continue to intensify shortages. (Ha'aretz)
 
Abbas meets with Egyptian leaders in Cairo. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Hamas accuses Abbas of "fabricating" a smear campaign against the group in Egypt. (Times of Israel)
 
Hamas launches a wave of counter-criticism against Egyptian media. (Al Monitor)
 
Arab clients face complex and unusual problems at some Israeli banks. (Ha'aretz)
 
 
COMMENTARY:
 
Hussein Ibish and David Makovsky discuss the new peace talks on PBS NewsHour. (PBS)
 
The Boston Globe says Middle East peace is a crucial American national interest. (Boston Globe)
 
Roger Cohen says there's hope Netanyahu can prove a peacemaker. (New York Times)
 
Aaron David Miller says while there is reason for significant skepticism, the US has no choice but to try again for Middle East peace. (New York Times)
 
Harriet Sherwood says Abbas and Netanyahu may seem far apart on key issues, but neither underestimates Sec. Kerry's resolve. (The Guardian)
 
Andrew Hammond says Pres. Obama is looking to the Middle East for his long-term legacy. (The Guardian)
 
Salman Masalha says Israeli and Palestinian leaders should start telling their people the truth: if two states don't exist, neither will. (Ha'aretz)
 
Ha'aretz says Netanyahu is beginning to show the first signs of being a statesman. (Ha'aretz)
 
Ilene Prusher interviews Yossi Beilin on his advice for negotiators. (Ha'aretz)
 
Karl Vick explains the significance of the prisoner release. (Time)
 
Shlomo Gazit says Israel shouldn't have agreed to the prisoner release. (Ha'aretz)
 
Akiva Eldar says releasing prisoners is an essential part of any peace process. (Al Monitor)
 
Jeffrey Goldberg says Israel chose to release murderers rather than freeze settlements. (Bloomberg)
 
Reuven Rivlin says a clear and unequivocal referendum may be necessary to avoid civil conflict in Israel in the case of a peace deal. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Grant Rumley looks at potential Palestinian alternatives to the peace process. (The National Interest)
 
Moshe Ronen says Israel's decision not to cooperate with the EU in the occupied territories is childish and counterproductive. (YNet)
 
UK Amb. Gould says Israel is enriching Hamas by forcing trade into smuggling tunnels, rather than through legitimate means. (YNet)
 
Eric Yoffie says synagogues shouldn't apologize for shunning hatemongering Islamophobic speakers. (The Forward)
 
Adnan Abu Amer interviews Jordanian MB leader Arshid, who claims former Pres. Morsi was ousted "for opposing Israel." (Al Monitor)
 
Gershom Gorenberg says the Israeli far right doesn't only underestimate the number of Palestinians, it overestimates the number of settlers. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)
 
Elliott Abrams and Uri Sadot say no one really knows how many settlers there are in the occupied Palestinian territories. (Foreign Policy)
 
Daniel Altman says it's actually China that stands to gain the most from new Middle East peace talks. (Foreign Policy)

July 29th

NEWS:
 
Israelis and Palestinians, meeting in Washington, resume direct negotiations for the first time since 2010. (New York Times/AP)
 
Israelis say all core issues will be addressed while Palestinians suggest borders will have a priority. (Reuters)
 
Both sides, and other observers, express doubts about the likelihood of success in the talks. (AP/Time)
 
PM Netanyahu has reportedly agreed to the release of 104 long-standing Palestinian prisoners. (New York Times/Xinhua/Ma'an/Washington Post)
 
The prisoner release is seen as a crucial step in reviving the negotiations. (Xinhua/Ha'aretz)
 
Israel's Shin Bet chief says peace talks will improve security on the ground, but hasreservations about the prisoner release. (Ha'aretz/YNet/Times of Israel)
 
Hamas calls the prisoner release "a pretext." (Xinhua)
 
The Israeli cabinet approves draft legislation that would subject any peace agreement with the Palestinians to a referendum. (Xinhua)
 
Palestinians say they have been assured the US would not support Israel seeking an "interim" agreement. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Martin Indyk is reportedly expected to be appointed new Middle East Special Envoy. (Reuters)
 
USA Today outlines problems facing any future negotiation on occupied East Jerusalem. (USA Today)
 
Hamas is still trying to cope with the consequences of the overthrow of former Pres. Morsi. (Christian Science Monitor)
 
Another Palestinian refugee is killed in Syria. (Ma'an)
 
GCC states are reportedly putting wide-ranging sanctions against Hezbollah in place. (Times of Israel)
 
Israeli occupation forces shoot and wound a Palestinian farmer in Gaza. (Xinhua)
 
Child workers maintain many cemeteries in Gaza. (Al Monitor)
 
The security situation in Sinai continues to deteriorate, beyond the control of either Egypt or Israel. (National Journal)
 
Ron Dermer is officially appointed as the new Israeli ambassador to the United States.
 
 
COMMENTARY:
 
Hussein Ibish says Hamas isn't doing anything to try to protect itself or the people of Gaza following Morsi's downfall. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)
 
Yossi Alpher says the new negotiations should focus on '67 and not '48 issues. (The Forward)
 
J.J. Goldberg looks at the role played in restarting negotiations by Sec. Kerry's top aide Frank Lowenstein. (The Forward)
 
Leonard Fein says Kerry has shown the tenacity and will required to succeed. (The Forward)
 
Oudeh Basharat says Pres. Abbas has played the politics well and the ball is now in Israel's court. (Ha'aretz)
 
Raphael Ahren says the talks may not succeed but Netanyahu has made sure Israel will be the winner if they fail. (Times of Israel)
 
Husam Itani says Hezbollah doesn't care about being blacklisted by the GCC. (Al Hayat)
 
Alexander Yakobson says Israelis and Palestinians face two choices: two states for two peoples or the law of the jungle. (Ha'aretz)
 
Amos Harel looks at a new Israeli movie, "Bethlehem," about the second intifada. (Ha'aretz)
 
Barak Ravid says the prisoner release controversy shows Netanyahu has become a hostage to his own rhetoric. (Ha'aretz)
 
Ravid also says Likud ministers finally realized the threat the diplomatic impasse poses to Israel. (Ha'aretz)
 
The Jerusalem Post says Israel never should've agreed to the prisoner release. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Yoaz Hendel also says the prisoner release "sends the wrong message." (YNet)
 
Bruce van Voorst says Kerry has much to learned from Henry Kissinger about Middle East diplomacy. (Foreign Policy)
 
Adel Safty says Israel is inexplicably exonerated for denying Palestinians their basic national rights. (Gulf News)
 
Akiva Eldar says it's no surprise US courts refuse to force the government to recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel. (Al Monitor)
 
Jonathan Tepperman says Netanyahu is raising the issue of Iran again but won't do anything about it himself. (New York Times)
 
Amira Hass says Palestinian East Jerusalem residents aren't placated by Israeli reassurances, and with good reason. (Ha'aretz)
 
Jonathan Cook looks at Hany Abu-Assad's new film "Omar." (The National) 
 
Rachel Neeman says Israel's West Bank rail project shows the state has lost touch with reality. (Ha'aretz)

ATFP Welcomes New Direct Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations
Press Release - Contact Information: Ghaith al-Omari - July 28, 2013 - 11:00pm

  July 29, Washington DC -- The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) welcomes today's scheduled resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for the first time since 2010.


July 26th

NEWS:
 
Former Pres. Morsi is arrested on espionage charges, mainly related to collaboration with Hamas. (AP/AFP)
 
Hamas denounces Morsi's arrest. (AFP)
 
Egypt bans Gaza fishermen from fishing in its territorial waters. (Al Monitor)
 
Hamas shuts down several media outlets in Gaza, Including Al Arabiya and Ma'an. (New York Times/Xinhua/Ma'an)
 
The media office closures in Gaza are widely condemned by Palestinians. (Ma'an)
 
Hamas is trying to bolster local support through mobilizing and controlling the Gaza mosque system. (Al Monitor)
 
Peace talks are set to resume, but obstacles remain. (NPR)
 
PM Netanyahu's personal aide Molcho will be attending the new talks in Washington. (The Forward)
 
A broad range of Jewish Americans write a letter of encouragement to Netanyahu as he reenters negotiations. (JTA)
 
In comments at the UN, Sec. Kerry refers to Palestine as a "country." (AFP)
 
Years of quiet diplomacy led Kerry to be able to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian talks. (Daily Beast)
 
Israel's strategic affairs minister says the country is willing to make "serious territorial concessions." (Daily Telegraph)
 
Israeli officials say they will limit new settlement housing tenders to 1,000 during peace talks. (Ha'aretz/Times of Israel)
 
Palestinians are pushing for the introduction of 3G smart phone service in the West Bank. (Christian Science Monitor)
 
Israel says it will respond to new EU guidelines by not cooperating with EU projects and representatives in the West Bank. (Ha'aretz/The Guardian)
 
EU officials attend an Israeli occupation civil administration planning meeting about "Area C." (Ha'aretz)
 
Israel's plan for the forced mass resettlement of Bedouins in southern Israel is widely seen as discriminatory. (New York Times)
 
Israeli human rights groups say the Atty. Gen. is "playing games" with a wildcat "unauthorized" settlement outpost. (YNet)
 
Rights groups also say only 8.5% of investigations into crimes against Palestinians in the occupied territories lead to indictments. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Fighting rages in the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. (AP)
 
Israeli occupation forces arrest a Palestinian man they say was planning to shoot at a bus in the West Bank. (Xinhua)
 
The scheduled opening of an Israeli clothing chain store branch in Ramallah causes controversy on both sides. (AP)
 
Palestinian, Israeli, Jordanian and Japanese officials meet to discuss opening a West Bank industrial park. (Xinhua)
 
Militants appear to continue to gain strength in the Sinai Peninsula. (Los Angeles Times)
 
Israeli officials complain Turkey is trying to humiliate, and not reconcile with, Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
 
 
COMMENTARY:
 
Hussein Ibish looks at growing tensions between Hamas and the Egyptian military and new government. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)
 
The New York Times says Kerry deserves credit for his perseverance on Middle East peace. (New York Times)
 
Aaron David Miller lists five reasons why Kerry might be optimistic about real progress. (Washington Post)
 
Gadi Baltiansky and Nidal Foqaha say a peace deal can be a win-win for Israelis and Palestinians. (YNet)
 
Bradley Burston says he's confident there will be peace. (Ha'aretz)
 
Christopher Dickey says, despite the risks, pursuing Israeli-Palestinian peace is the Obama administration's best chance to influence the direction of the Middle East. (Daily Beast)
 
Ahmad Majdoubeh says peace is possible and Pres. Obama and Kerry deserve applause for their initiative. (Jordan Times)
 
Uri Dromi says everyone should support the new peace initiative. (Miami Herald)
 
George Hishmeh says, with its new occupation guidelines, the EU has taken the lead in the quest for peace. (Gulf News)
 
Shlomi Eldar notes Netanyahu likes some EU decisions and hates others. (Al Monitor)
 
Jeffrey Goldberg says Israel should take warnings about the occupation from top US generals very seriously. (Bloomberg)
 
Patrick Smith says Israel should pay close attention to the implications of the new EU occupation guidelines. (Salon)
 
Abraham Foxman encourages the US Supreme Court to overturn the ruling that Americans born in Jerusalem cannot cite Israel as country of birth. (Ha'aretz)
 
Amira Hass says Israel's new railway plan in the occupied Palestinian territories will face hundreds of objections. (Ha'aretz)

July 25th

NEWS:
 
 
PM Netanyahu is pushing forward with legislation that would subject any peace agreement to areferendum. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Gaza's economy continues to suffer due to Egypt's crackdown on Hamas' smuggling tunnels and border restrictions. (New York Times/AP)
 
Pres. Abbas will visit Cairo on Sunday to discuss Egyptian-Palestinian relations, border issues and more. (PNN)
 
The PLO presents a plan for ending violence at Palestinian refugee camps in Syria. (Ma'an)
 
Three Palestinians are injured in confrontations with Israeli occupation forces near Jenin. (Ma'an)
 
Palestinians accuse Israel of seeking new policies to strip them of Jerusalem residency. (PNN)
 
Analysts doubt the US Supreme Court will reverse an appellate court ruling that Americans born in Jerusalem cannot cite Israel as their country of birth. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Israel is pushing forward with a massive railway project in the occupied Palestinian territories that ignores borders. (Ha'aretz/Times of Israel)
 
A retired senior US general says settlements are liable to turn Israel into "an apartheid state."(Ha'aretz)
 
Israel and Turkey disagree regarding a compensation package for the deadly flotilla incident. (AP)
 
Hezbollah's leader warns of "EU complicity in future Israeli aggression against Lebanon." (Xinhua/AFP)
 
Israel reportedly attempted to capture Hamas' military chief in 2008. (Times of Israel)
 
The EU has launched a €21 million construction project for seven courthouses and the headquarters' building of the Palestinian Bar Association. (PNN)
 
Israeli architects work to promote peace. (Ha'aretz)
 
Quiet high-tech deals are reshaping aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship. (Forbes)
 
Evangelical Christian American supporters of Israel slam the Obama administration's peace efforts. (The Forward)
 
A car bomb explodes prematurely, killing three militants, as violence continues to spread in Sinai. (Times of Israel)
 
 
COMMENTARY:
 
David Ignatius says Sec. Kerry has made surprising progress on reviving Middle East peace talks. (Washington Post)
 
The LA Times expresses strong support for Kerry's efforts. (Los Angeles Times)
 
Noah Klieger says the new talks will yield nothing, as usual. (YNet)
 
Daniel Levy says, despite reasonable skepticism, Kerry's initiative might actually work. (Foreign Policy)
 
Fareed Zakaria calls Kerry's efforts "a fool's errand worth pursuing." (Time)
 
Henry Siegman says the Obama administration has to be willing to pay the political price for pressuring Israel to make progress on peace. (Ha'aretz)
 
Natan Sachs says the new talks require a "safety net" and potential interim measures in case of failure. (Foreign Policy)
 
Karl Vick lists nine reasons why the talks might fail. (Time)
 
Shlomo Brom looks at the complexities about "talks about talks" from the Israeli perspective. (INSS)
 
Edward Beck says any agreement will depend on unity and consensus among all parties. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Gideon Levy says the idea of a referendum on peace is a "smokescreen" but both peoples do need to be consulted. (Ha'aretz)
 
Israel Harel says, despite the rhetoric, Netanyahu has already agreed to talks based on the 1967 borders. (Ha'aretz)
 
Gordon Robison says Israelis and Palestinians have agreed to negotiate mainly to maintain good relations with Washington. (Gulf News)
 
Akiva Eldar says many patriotic Israelis support the EU guidelines on noncooperation with the occupation. (Al Monitor)
 
Mazal Mualem interviews Peace Now chair Yariv Oppenheimer, who says the EU guidelines helped push Israel back into talks. (Al Monitor)
 
The Jerusalem Post complains Palestinians don't appreciate Israel's "goodwill gestures." (Jerusalem Post)
 
J.J. Goldberg says retired Gen. Mattis is right, the US must act with urgency towards a two-state solution in its own vital national interests. (The Forward)
 
J.J. Goldberg also says Netanyahu's biggest opponents on peace will be some of his own closest colleagues. (The Forward)
 
The LA Times agrees with an appellate court ruling that Americans born in Jerusalem cannot list Israel as their country of birth. (Los Angeles Times)
 
David Makovsky says Hamas needs to reevaluate its policies following the ouster of former Pres. Morsi. (Al Hayat)
 
Jeffrey Goldberg says ultimately peace requires removing Hamas from power in Gaza. (Bloomberg)
 
Hassan Tahsin says it is essential for everyone that all Gaza smuggling tunnels be permanently closed. (Al Arabiya)
 
Alan Elsner says all parties have a stake in reviving the health of the Palestinian economy. (The Jewish Chronicle)

July 24th

NEWS:
 
A US federal appeals court rules Americans born in Jerusalem cannot list "Israel" as their country of birth. (AP)
 
Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are still expected to visit Washington next week. (Xinhua)
 
Palestinian negotiators say they are still seeking assurances on 67 Lines and prisoner release before talks resume. (PNN)
 
The CSM finds even some skeptical experts see value in renewed negotiations. (Christian Science Monitor)
 
Palestinian nonviolent protesters are worried about the potential impact of failed negotiations. (Al Monitor)
 
Israeli and Palestinian representatives exchange accusations at the UN. (Times of Israel)
 
PM Netanyahu clarifies that the fate of the West Bank must be included in any referendum on a peace deal with the Palestinians. (AP)
 
Finance Minister Lapid also backs the idea of a referendum. (Jerusalem Post)
 
55% of Israelis say they are inclined to vote for a peace agreement. (Ha'aretz)
 
Settlers are reportedly worried that the ultra-Orthodox will go along with a peace agreement in exchange for government funding. (Ha'aretz)
 
Netanyahu insists there is no unspoken settlement freeze in place, but his Housing Minister disputes this. (YNet)
 
Experts say by calling for referenda on agreements, both Israeli and Palestinian leaders are keeping their options open. (Xinhua)
 
Hamas says Fatah has to choose between national reconciliation and negotiating with Israel. (Xinhua)
 
Hamas says Egypt is plotting to restore its rule in Gaza. (Jerusalem Post)
 
The UN says an Egyptian tunnel crackdown and Israeli restrictions have resulted in severe shortages in Gaza. (Ma'an)
 
Egypt's closure of an estimated 80% of smuggling tunnels cost Gaza's economy an estimated$230 million in June.(Reuters/Ma'an)
 
Israel says it is preparing for an even bigger Egyptian counter-offensive against extremists in Sinai. (Jerusalem Post/Times of Israel)
 
Three more Palestinian refugees are reportedly killed in fighting in Syria. (Ma'an)
 
Facing a court deadline on Thursday, Jewish settlers in "Amona" outpost conduct a token self-eviction. (Los Angeles Times)
 
Controversy erupts over Israeli security involvement in settler youth programs. (YNet)
 
The Chinese government is accused of meeting with Israeli counterterrorism officials toorganize a cover-up in a Bank of China terrorism lawsuit. (Ha'aretz)
 
Israeli experts worry that Hamas and Hezbollah missile capabilities are outstripping Israel's defenses. (Ha'aretz)
 
Israeli and Palestinian youths gain greater understanding through attending Seeds of Peace summer camps. (YNet)
 
Former Fatah official Mohammed Dahlan is suing Pres. Abbas on various charges. (Times of Israel)
 
 
COMMENTARY:
 
The CSM says American commitment and goodwill are crucial to pushing the Israelis and Palestinians towards peace. (Christian Science Monitor)
 
Ha'aretz says it is absurd to cancel a Palestinian children puppets festival on "security" grounds. (Ha'aretz)
 
Carlo Strenger says the idea of a referendum could strengthen the chances for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. (Ha'aretz)
 
Aviad Kleinberg says a referendum is just another obstacle to peace. (YNet)
 
Amira Hass says young Palestinians aren't in a hurry for a peace agreement because they know Israel isn't ready for one. (Ha'aretz)
 
Daniel Tauber argues that the new negotiations are not in Israel's national interests. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Ben Caspit says to be evenhanded about prisoner release, the US should free convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. (Jerusalem Post)
 
J.J. Goldberg says, surprisingly, it was Israel that convinced the EU to ban only Hezbollah's military wing. (The Forward)
 
Rami Khouri says the EU should be applauded for its new settlement and occupation guidelines. (The Daily Star)
 
Alsir Sidahmed wonders what in the United States is trying to accomplish with the new Israeli-Palestinian talks. (Arab News)
 
Ben Caspit says neither side can deliver what the other wants, so talks had better proceed very slowly and cautiously. (Al Monitor)
 
Yaron Sideman says it's time to give peace a chance with the Kerry initiative. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
 
Michael Singh says there is a real virtue even in "talks about talks." (Washington Post)
 
Kenneth Bandler says there is no alternative to a two-state solution. (Orlando Sun Sentinel)
 
Abeer Ayyoub says Hamas is worried that the Egyptian "Tamarod" grassroots rebellion movement will spread to Gaza. (Al Monitor)
 
Sigal Samuel asks if applying Israel's anti-discrimination against women laws in the occupied territories is feminist or annexationist. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)
 
B'Tselem says Israel must take action to regulate the status of tens of thousands of Gazans living without IDs. (B'Tselem)
 
Stephen Walt says the United States should not link policies towards Iran and Israel and the Palestinians. (Foreign Policy)

July 23rd

NEWS:
 
The White House says it still expects Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to resume shortly, but there appear to be unresolved questions. (Times of Israel/Xinhua/Reuters)
 
Palestinians repeat they received written guarantees from the United States about terms for the resumption of talks. (UPI)
 
Palestinians say they expect negotiators from both sides will meet in Washington soon, buthaven't received an official invitation yet. (Xinhua/Ma'an)
 
Israel is coming under pressure to ease restrictions that impede Palestinian economic growth in the occupied territories. (Ha'aretz)
 
Palestinians are still insisting talks be based on the 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, and are still waiting for clarification of terms. (Ha'aretz)
 
Israel reportedly asked the US to free convicted spy Pollard in exchange for its release of Palestinian prisoners. (Ha'aretz)
 
PM Netanyahu is fast tracking legislation that would require any peace agreement be put to a referendum. (AP)
 
The prospect of new negotiations is intensifying divisions between Hamas and Fatah. (AFP)
 
EU foreign policy chief Ashton says all Israeli settlement products will be clearly labeled in EU states by the end of 2013. (Ha'aretz)
 
Two of the largest Dutch retail chains announce they won't sell Israeli settlement productsanymore, a move that alarms settlers. (YNet)
 
Two more Palestinians are killed in fighting in Syria. (Ma'an)
 
An Israeli court orders the eviction of a Palestinian family from its home in occupied East Jerusalem. (Ma'an)
 
A new contingent of international peacekeepers is being dispatched to the Golan Heights. (Xinhua)
 
An Egyptian police officer is shot by gunmen in Sinai. (Ma'an)
 
The security crisis in Sinai has greatly intensified since the ouster of former Egyptian Pres. Morsi. (Al Monitor)
 
Israel welcomes the EU decision to designate Hezbollah's military wing as a terrorist organization following the bus bombing in Bulgaria. (Xinhua/Washington Post/Ha'aretz)
 
Egypt continues to intensify its crackdown on Gaza smuggling tunnels. (The National)
 
Construction in Gaza is at a standstill given Egypt's new security measures. (Al Monitor)
 
Israel opens a "virtual embassy" to GCC states on Twitter. (Ha'aretz)
 
The Israeli clothing chain Fox plans to open a shop in Ramallah. (Xinhua)
 
Israeli archaeologist Yoav Farhi makes a specialty of history through ancient coins. (Christian Science Monitor)
 
 
COMMENTARY:
 
Diana Moukalled says the "Arab Spring" has placed Palestine squarely in its broader regional context. (Asharq Al Awsat)
 
Aaron David Miller says there are five indicators to watch for to track the seriousness of new Israeli-Palestinian talks. (Foreign Policy)
 
Bernard Avishai says Sec. Kerry understands the new talks put both Israeli and Palestinian leaders on the spot. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)
 
Shibley Telhami says Kerry is right to understand that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is still at the heart of Middle East instability. (Foreign Policy)
 
The Jordan Times says the creation of a Palestinian state is inevitable. (Jordan Times)
 
Roger Cohen says both parties desperately need a two-state solution, but cling to other fantasies. (New York Times)
 
Mazal Mualem says few in his own Likud party support Netanyahu in the new negotiations or believe he is serious. (Al Monitor)
 
Ben Sales says proposed new Israeli-Palestinian talks are surrounded by unanswered questions. (JTA)
 
David Makovsky says, despite the difficulties in organizing resumed negotiations, the really difficult work lies ahead. (WINEP)
 
Hassan Barari says skepticism about the new talks is warranted. (Jordan Times) 
 
Akiva Eldar says history suggests an unhappy ending to the new round of talks. (Al Monitor)
 
Jeffrey Goldberg doubts Kerry's mission has much chance of success. (Bloomberg)
 
Yossi Beilin says both Kerry and the parties need a "Plan B," which would be an interim agreement. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)
 
Hillel Halkin says Kerry is wasting his time looking for the traditional two-state solution and what's needed is a more creative arrangement. (The Forward)
 
Bloomberg says US foreign policy should focus on Iran, not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Bloomberg)
 
Ha'aretz says Netanyahu is wrong in arguing there is a need for a referendum on any peace agreement. (Ha'aretz)
 
Aeyal Gross says Netanyahu's draft referendum legislation is just another way of extending Israeli law into occupied Palestinian territories. (Ha'aretz)
 
Shaul Rosenfeld says the EU's growing opposition to Israel's occupation and settlement products is an unfair "double standard." (YNet)
 
David Newman says Israeli outrage at the EU guidelines reflects unrealistic expectations about international attitudes towards the occupation. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Noga Tarnopolsky looks at the complicated background and context of the EU guidelines.
 
Tzipi Livni and Sami Ramadani present opposing viewpoints on the EU designation of Hezbollah's military wing as a terrorist group. (The Guardian)
 
Benajmin Weinthal asks how effective the new EU sanctions on Hezbollah will be. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Adnan Abu Amer says Morsi's downfall may prompt some in Hamas to seek to renew ties with Iran. (Al Monitor)
 
Jonathan Schanzer says Hamas' difficulties present an opportunity to try to bankrupt the group. (Foreign Policy)
 
Hussein Ibish says Hamas has never been more isolated, desperate or out of options. (Now Media)

July 22nd

 
NEWS:
 
An aide to Pres. Abbas says the formula for negotiations with Israel is not yet fully realized, and Israeli sources also express doubts. (AP/Ma'an/The Guardian/The National)
 
 
Palestinians are still insisting that the 1967 borders, with agreed land swaps, serve as the basis for new talks, and say the US assured them of this in writing. (Reuters/AP)
 
Israeli Economy Minister Bennett, using the budget issue, continues to threaten to bring down the coalition over the prospect of new negotiations. (Ha'aretz/YNet)
 
PM Netanyahu has been using secrecy and behind-the-scenes maneuvers to get around Bennett's opposition. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Netanyahu may seek permission from his cabinet to resume negotiations with the Palestinians. (Reuters)
 
Abbas and Netanyahu both vow that any agreement will be put to a referendum. (AFP/Ha'aretz)
 
A release of about 80 Palestinian prisoners is crucial in laying the groundwork for resumed negotiations with Israel. (AFP/New York Times/Washington Post/Los Angeles times)
 
Pres. Peres says the prospect of renewed talks is "a great opportunity." (Xinhua) 
 
MK Tibi warns of a potential third intifada if talks fail. (YNet)
 
Iran and Hamas bitterly denounce the idea of new Israeli-Palestinian talks. (AFP/Ma'an)
 
Former official Martin Indyk may head a new US Middle East negotiating team. (New York Times/Times of Israel)
 
Settler leaders hold an emergency meeting to try to oppose new Israeli-Palestinian talks. (Jerusalem Post)
 
APN and ATFP foster dialogue on Israeli-Palestinian relations featuring interns and college students. (APN)
 
The Israeli government is planning to impose its anti-discrimination against women labor laws in "Area C" of the occupied West Bank. (YNet)
 
Peace Now says the Israeli government is pressing forward with more than 5000 new settler housing units. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Israel is challenged by increasing numbers of conscientious objectors who refuse to serve in the occupied Palestinian territories. (New York Times)
 
Another Palestinian refugee is killed in Syria, as regime forces are accused of using gas in refugee camps. (Ma'an/Times of Israel/Jerusalem Post)
 
Israel's Supreme Court orders the military to review its use of white phosphorus. (Xinhua) 
 
Israeli officials say a Hamas rocket almost struck Ashkelon by mistake in June. (Times of Israel)
 
Increasing numbers of Jewish Israelis are boycotting the outlying but large settlement of Ariel. (Xinhua) 
 
A new Israeli film looks at the son of an Israeli-Palestinian couple and his own mixed marriage. (Ha'aretz)
 
The Israeli and American air forces hold a joint drill. (Xinhua) 
 
Three Egyptian security personnel are shot dead by extremists in Sinai. (Xinhua) 
 
A B'Tselem spokesperson says she was unjustly shot by Israeli occupation forces while covering a West Bank protest and has the video to prove it. (+972)
 
 
COMMENTARY:
 
Aluf Benn says the potential resumption of talks with the Palestinians gives Netanyahu the chance of a lifetime. (Ha'aretz)
 
Abdullah Iskandar says merely announcing the resumption of talks is an achievement for Kerry and the US. (Al Hayat)
 
Hassan Barari says the resumption of talks, on their own, isn't much of an achievement. (Arab News)
 
Rami Khouri says Kerry deserves support, but could use a new strategy. (The Daily Star)
 
Dalia Hatuqa says political conditions make the talks ripe for failure. (The National)
 
Nasouh Majali urges everyone to give new talks a chance to succeed. (Jordan Times)
 
Shlomi Eldar says fs Israeli and Palestinian leaders can answer a short set of very difficult questions, peace will be quickly achieved. (Al Monitor)
 
Avi Issacharoff says Israel's agreement on prisoner release could give Abbas real political protection. (Times of Israel)
 
Nahum Barnea warns that Washington is a great place to celebrate agreements, but not to conduct Israeli-Palestinian talks. (YNet)
 
Orly Azoulay says skepticism and cynicism cannot diminish Kerry's accomplishment. (YNet)
 
Haviv Rettig Gur says, in a troubled region, new talks are by definition a hopeful sign. (Times of Israel)
 
Hussein Ibish says both Israel and the Palestinians are eager to avoid being seen as the obstructionist party. (Sydney Morning Herald)
 
Linda Gradstein says Kerry forced Abbas and Netanyahu into talks despite massive domestic opposition on both sides. (The Media Line)
 
Herb Keinon says Israel may not be willing to agree to the minimal Palestinian demands for an agreement. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Amira Hass says the new EU guidelines on cooperating with the occupation helped Abbas agree to renewed talks. (Ha'aretz)
 
Moshe Arens says the EU guidelines are ridiculous and will be ignored by everybody. (Ha'aretz)
 
The LA Times welcomes the appointment of the first Muslim student as a member of the University of California Board of Regents. (Los Angeles Times)
 
Oudeh Basharat says discrimination against Arabs in the Negev is a way of life in Israel. (Ha'aretz)

July 19th

NEWS:
 
Sec. Kerry will reportedly hold an emergency meeting with Pres. Abbas to discuss his peace initiative later today. (The Independent)
 
Kerry meets again with the chief Palestinian negotiator to discuss modalities for resuming negotiations with Israel. (AP/Reuters)
 
American officials say the announcement of new Israeli-Palestinian talks is "not imminent."(Washington Post)
 
 
Some Palestinian figures say they find Kerry's proposals insufficient to restart talks with Israel. (New York Times/Los Angeles Times/Ha'aretz)
 
Palestinian objections center around the need for talks to be based on the 1967 borders with agreed land swaps. (AP/Ma'an)
 
Habayit Hayehudi leader Bennett threatens to leave the Netanyahu coalition over the issue of the 1967 borders. (Ha'aretz/Jerusalem Post)
 
Israel denies reports it's willing to accept the Arab Peace Initiative as a basis for talks. (Xinhua)
 
President Obama urges PM Netanyahu to resume negotiations with the Palestinians. (Reuters)
 
Jordan offers to support resumed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. (Xinhua)
 
Palestinian officials praise Jordan's role on Jerusalem. (Jordan Times)
 
Israel's attorney general says the state should prioritize demolishing settler structures built onprivate Palestinian property in the occupied territories. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Israeli occupation forces detain five Palestinians in the West Bank. (Ma'an)
 
The number of Palestinians traveling to Israel and occupied East Jerusalem this Ramadan isdrawing income away from Palestinian businesses. (Ma'an)
 
The EU formally publishes its new settlement policy guidelines despite Israeli objections. (Ha'aretz)
 
The EU guidelines may damage the holdings of some Israeli banks, among other impacts. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Israelis are concerned unrest in Sinai may spill into Israel. (YNet)
 
The ouster of former Pres. Morsi may have been partly caused by turning a blind eye to extremists in Sinai. (AP)
 
Israel indicts a Palestinian man it held secretly since he went missing in Egypt a month ago. (Reuters)
 
An Israeli general issues a rare admission that soldiers erred in arresting a five-year-old Palestinian child. (Times of Israel)
 
After some heated controversy, a Palestinian teenager is allowed to attend a Central Pennsylvania high school. (Patriot News)
 
 
COMMENTARY:
 
Hussein Ibish says Kerry's diplomatic push should be supported by bottom-up Palestinian civil society initiatives. (Foreign Policy)
 
Jeremy Ben-Ami condemns cynicism and defeatism on US Middle East peace efforts. (New York Times)
 
Herb Keinon says Palestinian hesitancy over Kerry's proposals reveals a lack of Arab League clout. (Jerusalem Post)
 
The Jordan Times looks at Jordan's role in efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian talks. (Jordan Times)
 
The Daily Star already dismisses Kerry's peace efforts as an "abject failure." (The Daily Star)
 
Lisa Goldman says Kerry stands little chance of altering the present status quo. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)
 
The New York Times talks to outgoing Israeli Ambassador Oren. (New York Times)
 
Ari Shavit says Israel's arrogance and complacency led to the EU settlement guidelines fiasco. (Ha'aretz)
 
Dan Illouz asks why Israel, a country noted for innovation, can't think outside the box when it comes to peace. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Alan Phillips says the new EU guidelines show Europe will no longer be played for a fooled by Israel. (The National)
 
AFP says the new EU guidelines turn up the heat on Israel regarding peace. (AFP)
 
Nehemia Shtrasler says such sanctions will only intensify until they hit all Israelis in the pocketbook. (Ha'aretz)
 
Barak Ravid says diplomatic failures were involved, but ultimately Netanyahu is responsible for the EU measure. (Ha'aretz)
 
Israel Harel says Israel should fight back against the EU directive and has the leverage to do so. (Ha'aretz)
 
The Jerusalem Post says the EU directive will only hamper efforts to revive peace talks. (Jerusalem Post)
 
David Weinberg says the guidelines are just another example of European anti-Semitism. (Jerusalem Post)
 
Noah Beck dismisses the EU measure as simply designed to placate oil-rich Arab states. (YNet)
 
Samuel Lebens says European sanctions against Israel can work, but these are not the right ones. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)
 
Ha'aretz says settlers are stealing money from the Israeli state to fund stealing lands from the Palestinians. (Ha'aretz)
 
Hazem Balousha says Hamas is trying to mitigate the fallout of the ouster of Morsi. (Al Monitor)
 
Abeer Ayyoub says Palestinians in Gaza feel punished by Egypt this Ramadan. (Al Monitor)
 
Miriam Pellicano says Israeli laws tear Palestinian families apart. (Al Jazeera)

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