October 30th

At ATFP Gala, White House Reaffirms Commitment to Palestinian State, Opposition to Settlements and Settler Violence
Press Release - Contact Information: Ghaith al-Omari - October 29, 2013 - 11:00pm

October 30, 2013 -- The Obama administration and the President personally remain fully committed to the creation of an independent Palestinian state White House Middle East Coordinator Philip Gordon told a capacity-crowd of 650 at last night's 10th Anniversary Gala of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) in Washington, DC. Dr. Gordon read a letter of congratulations and support that had already been delivered to ATFP from Pres.


October 29th

News:

Pres. Abbas may be softening his opposition to an interim agreement with Israel. (Times of Israel/Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian officials say the terms of a potential land swap remain "undecided." (Xinhua)

Pres. Obama and PM Netanyahu discuss numerous issues during a phone call. (AP)

Sec. Kerry, in an apparent reference to Netanyahu, says he won't give into "fear tactics" regarding talks with Iran. (Times of Israel/Jerusalem Post)

Israeli occupation forces demolish a Palestinian home in the West Bank. (Ma’an)

Israeli occupation forces raid an African-Palestinian neighborhood in Jerusalem. (Ma’an)

Israel is assembling Palestinian prisoners about to be released. (Ma’an/Washington Post)

Some members of the Israeli coalition express anger at the next round of Palestinian prisoner release. (New York Times/AP)

Israeli victims' families protest the release of Palestinian prisoners. (Xinhua)

Israel's Economy Minister Bennett insists he never made a deal with Netanyahu about trading settlements for prisoner release. (Jerusalem Post)

Experts see the release as essential to advancing peace talks. (Xinhua)

Israel agrees to participate in a UN human rights review of its conduct. (New York Times)

The EU is considering an Israeli proposal to end the dispute over its occupation guidelines. (Jerusalem Post)

An Israeli government agency has been funding a call center trying to sell settlement homes, including unauthorized ones. (Ha'aretz)

A Palestinian citizen of Israel is suing a Tel Aviv café for firing him for "not being Jewish." (Ha'aretz)

Israel complains to the UN about rocket fire coming from Gaza. (PNN)

A new report details human rights violations against Palestinian refugees in Syria. (PNN)

Iran reportedly offers a "new approach" in nuclear negotiations. (AP)

Former UK FM Jack Straw insists he's not "anti-Semitic." (Times of Israel)

The new Bank of Israel Governor says discrimination against Arabs must end or Israel will suffer economically. (Jerusalem Post)

 

Commentary:

Akiva Eldar says a series of studies demonstrates that Israelis have nothing to fear from the creation of a Palestinian state. (Al Monitor)

Roger Cohen says angering Saudi Arabia does not serve American interests. (New York Times)

Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad says, "My films condemn oppression." (Ma’an)

Avi Issacharoff says Hamas is sinking into ever deeper political woes. (Times of Israel)

Adnan Abu Amer asks why Iran postponed a visit by Hamas leader Mishaal. (Al Monitor)

Elior Levy says Israel believes Hamas is preparing for its next conflict with Israel and wants to strike Tel Aviv. (YNet)

J.J. Goldberg asks how Israel should respond to the discovery of a Hamas tunnel from Gaza to Israel. (The Forward)

Abdallah Schleifer says conditions are ripe for a third Palestinian intifada. (Al Arabiya)

Yossi Klein Halevi says the Israeli centrist majority isn't optimistic about achieving either peace or security. (Los Angeles Times)

Noah Klieger says no one in Israel except negotiator Livni believes talks will result in peace. (YNet)

Bradley Burston says Uri Avnery spent 90 years being ahead of his time, and he still may be. (Ha'aretz)

Kenneth Bandler says Israel must invest more in its Arab population. (Jerusalem Post)

Eric Yoffie says billionaire Sheldon Adelson should apologize for offensive remarks or be shunned by respectable Jewish groups. (Ha'aretz)

Zvi Hauser says peace requires Palestinian recognition of Israel as a "Jewish state." (Al Monitor)

Samuel Lebens says despite Hebron's importance to Jews, Israel must give it up for peace. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)

The Washington Post calls US policy toward Syria "empty words." (Washington Post)

Hussein Ibish says Syrian Americans should engage the American political system to impact policy. (NOW)

Michael Weiss says Iran is supplying free fuel and other supplies to the Syrian dictatorship. (Foreign Policy)

The BBC looks at the potential for an independent Kurdish state in parts of Iraq. (BBC)

Asharq Al-Awsat interviews the head of Egypt's new constitution-drafting committee, Amr Moussa. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
 

October 28th

News:

Israel agrees to release 26 more long-serving Palestinian prisoners as part of the US-brokered talks-resumption deal. (AP/Xinhua)

Palestinians are reportedly taking a tough stance on land swaps in the talks with Israel. (Times of Israel)

Israeli experts say security cooperation with the PA has never been stronger. (The Media Line)

Jordan reiterates its support for Palestinians in negotiations with Israel. (Xinhua)

Israel says militants in Gaza fired two rockets into southern Israel. (AP)

Israel retaliates with airstrikes against northern Gaza. (Ma'an/Xinhua)

Israeli forces detain 15 Hamas affiliates in Nablus. (Ma'an)

Palestinians say a man suspected of killing an Israeli soldier has been severely tortured in Israeli detention. (Ma'an)

Israel's military chief says he thinks cyber attacks are the most dangerous threat to the country, as an Israeli tunnel is hacked and shut down. (AP)

Former UK FM Jack Straw says Jewish influence in the US is the most powerful obstacle to peace. (Times of Israel/Jerusalem Post)

Israel will resume cooperation with the United Nations Human Rights Council. (Xinhua)

Egypt's smuggling tunnel closures "costs Gaza $230 million monthly." (AFP)

Egypt closes the Gaza crossing indefinitely. (Jerusalem Post)

Lack of raw materials and other shortages are bringing the Gaza economy to a standstill. (Xinhua/Reuters)

The PA says it plans to plant 750,000 olive trees to compensate for settler attacks. (Ma'an)

This year's olive harvest in Gaza near the border is continuing despite Israeli threats. (Al Monitor)

Another wave of car bombings killed at least 41 in Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad, bringing theweekend total to 66 dead. (New York Times/AP/Washington Post)

Three Egyptian police officers are shot north of Cairo. (AP/Reuters)

Fears of violent anti-government extremism in Egypt are growing. (Reuters)

Egypt's new government expresses appreciation for UAE support. (Xinhua)

Israel appoints a new ambassador to Egypt. (Times of Israel)

Sexual assault victims in Egypt face a long road to justice. (BBC)

The number of estimated Syrian refugees in Lebanon reaches 800,000. (Xinhua)

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon demand better healthcare. (The Daily Star)

Palestinian iconography is being revived in Bethlehem. (PNN)

Commentary:

Sec. Kerry says Pres. Assad is using starvation as a weapon of war in Syria. (Foreign Policy)

Yossi Verter says by opposing Palestinian prisoner release, Naftali Bennett is making a clear bid for the leadership of the Israeli right. (Ha'aretz)

Eitan Haber says Bennett's party's rhetorical attacks against Israel's negotiator Livni could lead to her assassination. (YNet)

Emily Hauser asks why Israelis are so tone deaf about incitement against Palestinians. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)

Yossi Klein Halevi describes how an Israeli paratrooper became a violent Jewish extremist. (The Forward)

The CSM interviews Uri Avnery, who wonders if Israel will still exist in 90 years. (Christian Science Monitor)

Ha'aretz says it's important that Israel resumes participation in the UN Human Rights Council. (Ha'aretz)

Nigel Cameron says the US should stop boycotting and defunding UNESCO to spite the Palestinians. (The Guardian)

Aryeh Eldad says boycott movements won't do anything to stop settlements. (Ha'aretz)

Kobi Niv says a society with racism at its core, Israel, cannot be sincerely or successfully antiracist. (Ha'aretz)

Nabeel Kassis says Palestinians should not recognize Israel as a "Jewish state." (Al Monitor)

The NYT interviews NSA Rice on the Obama Administration's Middle East policies. (New York Times)

Jackson Diehl says Pres. Obama's Middle East policies are based on fantasy and wishful thinking. (Washington Post)

Marwan Bishara says many Arabs fear a US-Iranian rapprochement. (New York Times)

Raghida Dergham says the US has adopted an isolationist foreign policy of appeasement and avoidance. (Al Hayat)

Abdullah Al Shayji says America's Gulf allies are losing trust in the US. (Gulf News)

Joshua Haber says the rift between Cairo and Washington is deepening. (Al Monitor)

Stephen Walt says the US shouldn't worry if Saudi Arabia and Israel are upset with its policies. (Foreign Policy)

The LA Times says the Saudi women driving ban protest is about more than just cars. (Los Angeles Times)

The Forward "video-profiles" Palestinian-American comedienne Maysoon Zayid. (The Forward)

Hussein Ibish says Syria and Hizbollah have hollowed out the Lebanese state, which is facing its biggest crisis since the civil war. (The National)

Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed says it's ridiculous to see the Syrian conflict as a way of getting Hezbollah and Al Qaeda to destroy each other. (Asharq Al- Awsat)

October 24th

News:

Palestinian-Israeli negotiations continue in deep secrecy. (New York Times)

The Arab League says it is "not optimistic" about the peace talks. (AP/Times of Israel)

Few details emerged from the recent seven-hour meeting between Sec. Kerry and PM Netanyahu. (Ha'aretz)

Pres. Abbas calls on international corporations to boycott Israeli settlements. (Ma'an/Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian officials say a new economic plan has been approved and will soon be implemented. (Xinhua)

Israel's Finance Minister Lapid says the conflict with Palestinians is mostly psychological. (Jerusalem Post)

Iran has reportedly delayed a visit to Tehran by Hamas leader Mishaal. (Times of Israel)

A former Israeli military intelligence chief says US could soon accept an Israeli strike on Iranian targets. (Times of Israel)

US Middle East policy is coming under increasing criticism from traditional allies, particularly Saudi Arabia and Israel. (New York Times)

A senior Israeli official says the gap between his country and the US on Iran is "small." (Xinhua)

Saudis are considering how far to push the United States on changing its Middle East policies. (AP)

Militant settlers attack Palestinian farmers and vehicles near Nablus. (Ma'an)

Israeli occupation forces arrest 12 Palestinians in the West Bank. (PNN)

Amnesty International urges Israel to release a Palestinian human rights lawyer. (Amnesty International/Ma'an)

Palestinians complain about noxious fumes from charcoal factories. (Ha'aretz)

Israel will hand over 36 bodies of Palestinians to the PA. (YNet)

Economic cooperation between Israel and Canada is drawing. (The Media Line)

Another Egyptian policeman is killed in Sinai. (AP)

Four are killed in Sunni-Alawite clashes in Tripoli in northern Lebanon. (Reuters)

14 people are killed in and around Baghdad in another spate of attacks. (AP)

Egypt is considering draft legislation that would strongly restrict protests. (Washington Post)

Palestinians in Gaza express themselves through graffiti art. (Al Monitor)

Palestinian LGBT activist talks about life under occupation at Cornell University. (Cornell Daily Sun)


Commentary:

Hazem Saghieh says the Muslim Brotherhood has no political model or program whatsoever. (Al Hayat)

Semih Idiz says Turkey is on the defensive regarding its ties to Hamas. (Al Monitor)

Zack Gold says Egypt and Israel finally see eye to eye on Gaza smuggling tunnels and must coordinate. (The Daily Star)

S. Daniel Abraham says if Netanyahu is serious about peace, it's time to show the courage of his convictions. (Ha'aretz)

Gershon Baskin asks why it's so difficult for Palestinians to accept Israel is a Jewish state. (Jerusalem Post)

Robert Satloff says Israel's Holocaust memorial needs to recognize unsung Arab heroes that saved Jews from the Nazis. (Foreign Policy)

Chemi Shalev condemns Israel's policies in occupied East Jerusalem. (Ha'aretz)

Eitan Haber says the peace treaty with Jordan is invaluable for Israel. (YNet)

Douglas Bloomfield says Netanyahu's biggest fear is the US is being lulled into a false sense of security by Iran. (Jerusalem Post)

Majid Rafizadeh says as talks continue, Iran is inching closer to full nuclear capability. (The National)

David Ignatius says nothing serious is being done to repair US-Saudi relations. (Washington Post)

Ariel Ben Solomon says Saudi Arabia is standing up for all US allies in the region. (Jerusalem Post)

Hassan Haidar says no Middle Eastern allies trust the United States anymore. (Al Hayat)

Frank Gardner asks how serious the dispute between the US and Saudi Arabia really is. (BBC)

Rami Khouri says Saudi Arabia is crucial for the success of Syrian peace talks. (New York Times)

Azzaman interviews former Egyptian FM Amr Moussa on the new constitution-drafting process he is leading. (Al Monitor)
 

October 23rd

News:

Sec. Kerry and PM Netanyahu hold a seven-hour meeting in Rome, mostly on peace talks. (Ha'aretz)

Pres. Abbas says Israel will be to blame if talks collapse over its demands for ongoing control of the Jordanian border area, but says he's ready to meet with Netanyahu. (AFP/Times of Israel)

Palestinians say hopes for successful peace talks are "diminishing." (AP)

The PA criticizes Netanyahu's statements about permanent Israeli control over all Jerusalem. (Xinhua)

The PA cabinet emphasizes Jerusalem is the key to peace. (PNN)

Saudi Arabia criticizes Israel's "daily violations" in occupied East Jerusalem. (Al Arabiya)

The latest round of peace negotiations reportedly included discussions over water. ( AFP)

Palestinians use this year's olive harvest to highlight the hardships of occupation. (New York Times)

Rabbis for Human Rights has been trying to defend the olive harvest in the occupied West Bank from settlers. (Christian Science Monitor)

Israeli occupation forces shoot a Palestinian cameraman filming a protest in Bil'in in the occupied West Bank. (PNN)

Pres. Peres says Israel is militarily more powerful than may meet the eye. (Jerusalem Post)

An eight-year-old Palestinian child is reportedly in shock after being attacked by settlers near Nablus. (Ma'an)

Israel's mayor in Jerusalem, including occupied East Jerusalem, is reelected in a boost for Netanyahu. (Reuters/AP/Washington Post)

Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem show apathy and frustration on election day. (Ma'an)

An Arab-American activist in Chicago is arrested over allegedly lying to US immigration officials about her conviction in a bombing in Israel 40 years ago. (AP/Times of Israel)

The UK will reportedly provide UNRWA £15.5 million in humanitarian aid for Palestinian refugees. (PNN)

Hamas praises Jordan's continued support for Palestinians living under occupation. (Jordan Times)

The Obama administration is reportedly more divided over Syria policy than is generally recognized. (New York Times)

Norway may take possession of most of Syria's chemical weapons. (AP)

Militants kill at least 22 security personnel in Iraq.(Reuters)

Militants kill an Egyptian soldier and a civilian in Sinai. (AP)

Saudi Arabia says it anticipates a "major" shift away from reliance United States. (Reuters)

The White House insists that cooperation with Saudi Arabia will continue. (AP)

Moderate rebels in Syria say they are quickly losing ground to extremists due to lack of funds. (Washington Post)

A Kuwaiti report suggests Israeli attacks against Syrian targets six months ago went unreported until now. (YNet/Times of Israel)

Israel is becoming a major partner in an EU satellite program. (Times of Israel)

Hollywood insiders reportedly form a group to combat celebrity BDS. (The Forward)

 

Commentary:


Adnan Abu Amer says Hamas' apparent new policy of tunneling into Israel may signal a new phase in the conflict. (Al Monitor)

Shlomi Eldar says Hamas has no choice but to swallow its pride and turn to Israel for help. (Al Monitor)

Ali Jarbawi says Palestinians must take a long-term approach to realizing their goal of independence. (New York Times)

Judy Dempsey asks several asks several experts what it would take to realize Israeli-Palestinian peace. (Carnegie)

David Landau says history will condemn Netanyahu's demands that Palestinians recognize Israel as a "Jewish state." (Ha'aretz)

Ben Caspit says Netanyahu offers reassuring stability to Israel and the region. (Al Monitor)

Bradley Burston says delegitimization of Israel begins with its own policy choices. (Ha'aretz)

The National interviews former US special envoy George Mitchell, who says Palestine is a "demographic time bomb." (The National)

Yermi Brenner looks at Qatar's role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. (The Forward)

The BBC looks at how different communities live in close proximity in Jerusalem. (BBC)

Yossi Mekelberg looks at the current status of settlements and settlers. (Al Arabiya)

Moshe Arens says, despite new claims to the contrary, the 1973 war was unavoidable. (Ha'aretz)

Dafna Katzenelson Bank says, rather than being shamed, Israelis are turning emigration from the country into a source of pride. (YNet)

Maclean's interviews Israel's Intelligence Minister Steinitz. (Maclean's)

Zvi Bar'el says US and others may be concluding that the Syrian opposition is permanently failing. (Ha'aretz)

Ali Ibrahim anticipates the rise of a post-Islamist movement in the wake of the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood project. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Saudi Prince Turki expresses a 'high level of disappointment' with the United States over Syria. (Al Monitor)
 

October 22nd

News:

Sec. Kerry says peace talks are moving at "an increased intensity," and that Qatar has agreed to provide the PA $150 million in debt relief. (Reuters/PNN)

Israeli officials say they plan new settlement construction projects in the occupied territories soon. (Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank kill a Palestinian man suspected of a bombing last year. (AP/Reuters/Ma'an)

Clashes break out between Palestinians and Israeli occupation forces after a home demolition in Abu Dis. (Ma'an)

Al Quds University evacuates its campus following the clashes. (PNN)

Israeli DM Ya'alon says while there has been an increase in West Bank violence, there is no sign of a third intifada. (Jerusalem Post)

Palestinians condemn pending Israeli legislation restricting negotiating on Jerusalem. (Ma'an/Xinhua)

The tradition of not voting in Jerusalem municipal elections helps keep Palestinians powerless in that city. (New York Times/Times of Israel)

Israeli occupation forces release a Palestinian man detained for Facebook postings. (Ma'an)

Texas A&M may open a campus branch in Nazareth. (New York Times)

Israel scientific cooperation with the EU may be in danger due to the new occupation guidelines. (The Media Line)

Israeli NGOs accuse police of not doing enough to protect Palestinian olive groves from settler attacks. (Times of Israel)

Gaza's poorest residents struggle to survive. (AP)

The PA condemns remarks by former Israeli FM Lieberman against Pres. Abbas. (Xinhua/Jerusalem Post)

Fiji and Israel agree to increase agricultural cooperation. (Xinhua)

Local Palestinians are alienated by the Australian government's strong support for Israel. (Ha'aretz)

Britain urges support for "moderate opposition" forces in Syria. (New York Times)

Western powers are urging the Syrian opposition to take part in Geneva peace talks. (Reuters)

An Egyptian soldier is killed by a roadside bomb in Sinai. (AP)

Egyptian authorities arrest a policeman accused of killing detained Islamists. (Reuters)


Commentary:

Ghassan Charbel says Hamas is living in a political and literal tunnel dug for itself. (Al Hayat)

Adnan Abu Amer asks what Hamas is trying to accomplish in its recent speeches and actions. (Al Monitor)

Muhammad Shtayyeh says the real cost of occupation is not just economic but the denial of peace. (Ha'aretz)

Lara Friedman looks at two new major and alarming reports on growing Israeli settlement activity. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)

Akiva Eldar says PM Netanyahu has an unsustainable double standard for Europe regarding Iran and Israel's occupation. (Al Monitor)

The Guardian looks at Palestinian participation in Jerusalem municipal elections. (The Guardian)

Ha'aretz says Israel should stop trying to craft a "Jewish state" law and integrate all its citizens. (Ha'aretz)

Gershom Gorenberg says Israel's Chief Rabbinate has proven the country would be better off without it. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)

Hussein Ibish says Muslims should love secularism when it is properly defined and implemented. (NOW)

Moshe Ronen says proposed Israeli legislation to weaken its Supreme Court is a threat to democracy. (YNet)

Filmmaker Ali Waked discusses his new, award-winning, movie "Bethlehem." (Ha'aretz)

The CSM says Pres. Obama should prepare for Syrian peace talks by bolstering the moderate opposition. (Christian Science Monitor)

Bret Stephens says Iraq is heading towards an abyss of violence while few outsiders are paying attention. (Wall Street Journal)

Kirk Sowell says Iraq's judicial reshuffle concentrates power in a few hands. (The National)

Marc Lynch says Iraq could be the key to solving many regional conflicts if it could stabilize itself. (Foreign Policy)

Phillip Smyth asks if brutality actually makes for good propaganda for Hezbollah. (The National)

Elias Harfoush asks if, two years after the fall of Qaddafi, the West or the Libyan people are most responsible for the country's future. (Al Hayat)

Colum Lynch looks at growing alienation between Saudi Arabia and the United States. (Foreign Policy)

Walaa Hussein says Gulf money is helping Egypt's economy, but structural reforms are still indispensable. (Al Monitor)

October 21st

News:

Peace Now says settlement construction is up 70% compared to last year. (AFP)

Pres. Peres says "the status quo with the Palestinians cannot go on." (Xinhua/Times of Israel)

Israel's chief negotiator Livni urges the Labor Party to join the Netanyahu government for the sake of peace. (Jerusalem Post)

Arms supplies to Gaza are being severely disrupted by the Egyptian blockade. (Al Monitor)

Despite economic hardships and blockades, Palestinians in Gaza find joy in the Eid al-Adhaholiday. (Al Monitor)

Palestinians seems set to continue boycotting Jerusalem elections. (Ha'aretz)

Settlers attack Palestinian vehicles near Nablus. (Ma'an)

sensory room for stress relief, especially for disabled children, is being built in Gaza. (The Media Line)

An ambulance dispatch center for Israeli settlers faces cutbacks. (YNet)

Protesters opposing the Israeli military-designated "Firing Zone 918" in the occupied West Bank promote nonviolent resistance. (PNN)

Hezbollah reportedly captures an Israeli "spy eagle" in Lebanon. (Jerusalem Post)

The Egyptian army destroys another smuggling tunnel in Rafah. (Ma'an)

Syria's deputy PM says a Geneva peace conference is planned for Nov. 23-24. (Reuters/AP)

More Syrian armed rebels say they have split with the mainstream exiled political opposition. (AP/Los Angeles times)

Amnesty International urges Egypt to end its policy of detaining and deporting Syrian refugees. (AP)

Pres. Obama plans to host Iraq's PM at the White House on Nov. 1. (AP)

Egypt's FM says his country's relationship with the US is "in turmoil" and "disruption."(AP/Xinhua/Los Angeles Times)

Egypt's new government pledges to protect Coptic Christians from attacks and preserve their heritage. (Times of Israel)

Britain and Iran are moving to restore diplomatic relations. (Times of Israel)


Commentary:

Eyad Abu Shakra asks if the apparent US decline in the Middle East is a matter of declining will or a real loss of power. (Asharq Al Awsat)

The Jerusalem Post interviews academic Sami Miaari on how Palestinians vote in Israeli municipal elections. (Jerusalem Post)

Jonathan Rosen says an agreement with Palestinians on borders would be a success for Israel and PM Netanyahu. (Jerusalem Post)

Kathleen Peratis says BDS can promote a two-state solution. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)

Amos Harel says Netanyahu wants the West to pressure Iran, but will compromise if necessary. (Ha'aretz)

Akiva Eldar asks how long Israel will be able to keep its own nuclear weapons off the table. (Al Monitor)

Ari Shavit describes a grand bargain involving a freeze on settlements, Iran's nuclear program and talk of bi-nationalism. (Ha'aretz)

Gideon Levy says Iran is starting to get the better of Israel internationally. (Ha'aretz)

Amira Hass claims Hamas has the right to build smuggling tunnels. (Ha'aretz)

Gilad Kariv says in addition to his work on peace, the late PM Rabin wanted to promote equal rights for Arab citizens. (YNet)

Eitan Haber says Rabin admitted he didn't know everything and wasn't always right, unlike Israel's present leaders. (YNet)

Yonah Jeremy Bob asks if Israel should redefine war crimes. (Jerusalem Post)

David Ignatius says Turkey revealed the names of Israeli spies to Iran last year. (Washington Post)

Michael Young says Syrian opposition divisions and rejection of Geneva only help Pres. Assad. (The National)

The National says Assad is using hunger as a weapon of war against his own people. (The National)

Ursula Lindsey looks at the plight of Syrian refugees in Egypt. (New York Times)

Douglas Bloomfield says the government shutdown will keep Jewish-American solidly in the Democratic camp for many years. (Jerusalem Post)

Asharq Al-Awsat interviews the foreign policy chief of the Iraqi KRG, Falah Mustafa, on federalism and more. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

George Semaan asks if Libya is going back to the 50s, or even earlier. (Al Hayat)

News:

The PA categorically rejects the idea of a continued Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley after a peace agreement. (Jerusalem Post)

Right-wing Likud leaders say they will not permit an interim agreement with the Palestinians. (Jerusalem Post)

Sec. Kerry will meet PM Netanyahu in Rome on Oct. 23. (JTA)

Salafists from Gaza are reportedly killed while fighting in the Syrian conflict. (Al Monitor)

An Israeli court rules it's not discriminatory to give benefits to only certain Palestinian Jerusalem residents. (Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli military says it killed a Palestinian man at a military base in the occupied West Bank. (New York Times/Ma'an)

2,000 Indians claiming to be Jewish emigrate to Israel amid skepticism about their real ties to the faith. (JTA)

Pres. Abbas invites Pope Francis to the "Holy Land." (Ma'an)

Abbas swears in PM Hamdallah and an unchanged PA cabinet. (Ma'an)

After meeting Abbas, German Chancellor Merkel urges Israel to restrain settlement construction. (YNet)

18 Palestinians are charged with terrorist plotting in Lebanon. (naharnet)

Israeli occupation forces detain five Palestinians in separate incidents Thursday in the occupied West Bank. (Ma'an)

Abbas promises to save the life of a girl suffering from a failed kidney, diabetes and thalassemia. (PNN)

4 girls die after being trapped in a car in Hebron. (Ma'an)

This year's Palestinian olive harvest is being overshadowed by fears of annexation. (PNN)

US Amb. to Israel Schapiro denounces Hamas' smuggling tunnels. (Times of Israel)

Israel's mayoral race in Jerusalem is contested between radically different components. (Washington Post)

Saudi Arabia rejects a seat on the UN Security Council. (New York Times/AP/Reuters)

Hezbollah is further endangering Israeli hawks by accusing them of "spying." (AP)

Egypt's Coptic Christians struggle to preserve their heritage under significant pressure. (AP)

59 are killed and 196 wounded in a day of violent attacks in Iraq. (Xinhua)

Iranian officials say new nuclear negotiations signal the beginning of a new era with the West. (AFP/Ha'aretz)

Iran says Israel is trying to undermine the new negotiations with the West. (YNet)

Turkey denies having exposed an Israeli spy ring in Iran. (YNet/Jerusalem Post)

A senior Syrian government intelligence officer is killed in the conflict in that country. (BBC)
 

Commentary:

Hussein Ibish looks of the dying mythologies of the "axis of evil" and the "axis of resistance." (Al Majalla)

Talal Salman says Lebanon is now no longer the only Arab "country without a state." (As-Safir/Al Monitor)

Sharif Al Nashashibi says declining US clout in the Middle East has shaken Egypt and many regional allies. (Gulf News)

Aaron David Miller looks at the reasons behind declining US influence in the Middle East. (Foreign Policy)

Zuheir Kseibati says the Arabs are massacring each other while Iran and Israel negotiate to divide the spoils. (Al Hayat)

Andrew Apostolou warns against offering "sanctions relief" to Iran at this stage. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)

Nawaf Obaid says Saudi Arabia is adopting a much more activist foreign policy. (Al Monitor)

Barbara Slavin analyzes Iran's new nuclear proposal. (Al Monitor)

Roger Cohen says Netanyahu has to ask himself the question: "if not now, when?" (New York Times)

Anshel Pfeffer says the only real threat to Israelis from BDS and universal jurisdiction is fear. (Ha'aretz)

Avi Issacharoff says in desperation, Hamas is hoping to capture another Israeli soldier. (Times of Israel)

Yossi Sarid says Netanyahu is "the most dangerous leader in the Western world" and needs to put away his Churchillian cigar. (Ha'aretz)

Yoel Marcus says Israel doesn't have a better leader than Netanyahu right now. (Ha'aretz)

Saba Farzan and Saeed Ghasseminejad say Netanyahu is doing well in PR with the West, but not the Middle East. (Jerusalem Post)

David Weinberg claims the late PM Rabin was "close to stopping the Oslo process." (Jerusalem Post)

Uri Misgav says the court ruling there is no such thing as "Israeli" nationality is not a shock but an identity crisis. (Ha'aretz)

Michael Oren evaluates the 1973 war, 40 years later. (The New Republic)

Yossi Melman denounces "Turkey's unprecedented betrayal of Israel." (Jerusalem Post)

Ilene Prusher interviews David Harris-Gershon, whose wife was almost killed in a 2002 terrorist attack in Jerusalem. (Christian Science Monitor)

The Jerusalem Post interviews Finance Minister Lapid. (Jerusalem Post)

Lish Lee Avner says Israelis should feel free to live in Berlin despite the Holocaust. (YNet)

The BBC looks at the plight of Syrian refugees stuck in France. (BBC)

Elhanan Miller says PM Erdogan is politically turning to less nationalism and more Islamism. (Times of Israel)

Samir Salha says Kurds need a state, and the only real question is where and when it will be. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Norm Coleman says the US was wrong to cut aid to Egypt. (Washington Post)

News:

An Israeli committee advances a new law that would greatly restrict negotiations on Jerusalem. (Xinhua)

Israel's chief negotiator Livni is leading the charge to oppose the legislation. (Jerusalem Post)

Pres. Abbas says Israel's demands on Jerusalem are turning the conflict from a political to a religious one. (Ma'an)

Israel will reportedly release a second batch of Palestinian prisoners on Oct. 29. (Xinhua)

Palestinians in Nablus say they are determined to return to normal lives without violence. (Washington Post)

Ex-Shin Bet chief Diskin warns there is no chance of peace given the current Israeli political climate and another intifada is possible. (Jerusalem Post/Times of Israel)

As peaceful protests are declining, fears of another intifada are intensifying. (The National)

Hamas urges the PLO to abandon negotiations with Israel and calls for a new intifada. (Xinhua/AP)

Abbas denies negotiations with Israel are at a dead end. (Times of Israel)

Hamas admits digging a tunnel from Gaza into Israel. (Xinhua/AFP)

Reports claim PM Erdogan is urging Hamas not to make any concessions to Egypt as long as the political situation there remains volatile. (Ha'aretz)

Israel approves a new x-ray cargo inspection facility that should assist the Palestinian economy. (Xinhua)

The mayoral race in Nazareth proves hotly contested. (New York Times)

Israel honors New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with a $1 million prize. (AP)

The Arab League announces Syrian peace talks to be held in late November. (Washington Post)

Dozens are killed by a suicide bomber at a café in Baghdad. (New York Times/AP)

Dozens are killed by suicide bomber linked to Al Qaeda in Hama. (New York Times)

Egypt's PM condemns deadly attacks on Coptic Christians, especially at a wedding. (AP/AFP)

An Egyptian family rejects an Israeli honor for one of their ancestors. (AP)

E-commerce is hugely expanding throughout the Middle East. (Christian Science Monitor)

Israeli NGOs are quietly distributing aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan. (Times of Israel)

Bedouin women in Israel are increasingly turning to education for a better future. (The Media Line)

 

Commentary:

Hussein Ibish looks at the "toxic effects" of political and cultural nostalgia in the Middle East and around the world. (The National)

Aeyal Gross explains why the proposed legislation restricting negotiations on Jerusalem is illegal and undemocratic. (Ha'aretz)

The Jerusalem Post interviews Livni, who reiterates nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. (Jerusalem Post)

Dan Goldenblatt argues it's important to start finding ways to convince settlers of the necessity of peace. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)

Tom Friedman says understanding Middle Eastern politics can help explain Washington dysfunctionality. (New York Times)

Oudeh Basharat looks at panic in Israel about the idea of Jewish women having sex with Arab doctors. (Ha'aretz)

The Washington Post says US policies are doing nothing to stop the Syrian regime attacking its own people. (Washington Post)

The Jerusalem Post says Hamas becoming more desperate, and therefore more dangerous. (The Jerusalem Post)

Miriam Awadallah looks at efforts by Hamas and Islamic Jihad to compete for Iranian support. (Sharnoff's Global Views)

Noah Klieger says Israel should suspend relations with Turkey. (YNet)

Ben Caspit says Israeli-Turkish relations have reached a new low. (Al Monitor)

Joseph Federman says there are signs of a US-Israel rift over Iran. (Times of Israel)

Sharif Nashashibi says Sudan may prove to be "the next Syria." (The National)

Abdullah Iskandar says state fragmentation in Lebanon has reached an all-time low. (Al Hayat)

Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed says Turkey is mobilizing against Al Qaeda in Syria but can do much more. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Nasouh Majali says a Geneva conference on Syria would be a step forward, but no solution. (Jordan Times)

Ayman Mustafa says the Muslim Brotherhood persists in trying to use religion to gain political power. (Gulf News)

October 16th

News:

Settlers attack Palestinians harvesting olives in Hebron. (Ma'an)

Leaders of Fatah and Hamas speak via telephone on the eve of Eid al-Adha. (AFP)

Hamas says Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria should come to Gaza. (Jerusalem Post)

The Times of Israel profiles a Muslim Brotherhood family in Gaza. (Times of Israel)

Younger Palestinians seem to be having fewer children. (Al Monitor)

PM Netanyahu says he "needs a partner" to make peace, and that Iran is the primary obstacle. (Jerusalem Post/Times of Israel)

A former Shin Bet director warns Jewish "price tag" violence could lead to another Israeli political assassination. (YNet)

Bedouin citizens of Israel are continuing to resist forced relocation plans. (Al Monitor)

US officials praise an Iranian proposal after a rare private meeting on the eve of renewed nuclear negotiations. (Washington Post/Los Angeles Times)

Iran is reportedly ready to discuss snap inspections of its nuclear facilities. (Ha'aretz/Jerusalem Post)

Israel and some Arab states may be quietly working together to counter Iran. (YNet)

Russia denies issuing any conclusions regarding the death of the late Pres. Arafat as controversy continues to swirl over the issue. (AFP/Los Angeles Times)

Facebook acquires the mobile Israeli startup Onavo. (Xinhua)

Pres. Peres awards $1 million to US scientists for technology allowing disabled to get up from wheelchairs. (Xinhua)

Texas Gov. Perry is going to London and Israel. (AP)

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are seeking $10.8 billion in US arms sales. (AP)

A new study estimates that 500,000 Iraqis died during the conflict over the past decade. (Los Angeles Times)

A Jordanian band is being criticized by some fans for touring Israel. (Christian Science Monitor)


Commentary:

B'Tselem says disruptions at the Rafah Crossing highlight Israel’s duty to enable Gazans’ travel. (B'Tselem)

Raji Sourani and Shawan Jabarin say it's time for the ICC to act on Palestine. (Al Jazeera)

Ha'aretz says an unauthorized settlement is symptomatic of Israel's "march toward a messianic, anti-Zionist dream." (Ha'aretz)

Uri Avnery says the political left in Israel today is defined largely by attitudes towards the occupation. (Ha'aretz)

Yechiam Weitz says Netanyahu sees himself as Churchill, but all they have in common is a taste for good cigars. (YNet)

Ben Caspit says Netanyahu is playing for political time in Israel with hackneyed positions. (Al Monitor)

Mitch Ginsberg tries to explain how Hamas built a tunnel into Israel and how Israel detected it. (Times of Israel)

Shlomi Eldar says Hamas has little else to do but try to dig tunnels. (Al Monitor)

David Kirshenbaum says Jews have rights at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. (Jerusalem Post)

David Newman receives an OBE and explains it's possible to be a liberal Zionist. (Times of Israel)

Avi Issacharoff says US Middle East allies are bewildered by its policies, especially on the eve of talks with Iran. (Times of Israel)

Frederic Wehrey examines strained relations between the US and Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia. (Carnegie)

Ma'an interviews PLO leader Hanan Ashrawi and Prof. Beshara Doumani. (Ma'an)

Zvi Bar'el says Iran has to choose between pursuing its nuclear program and maintaining regional influence. (Ha'aretz)

Reuters looks at China's growing influence in the Middle East. (Reuters)

Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Gen. Salim Idris, head of the FSA's Supreme Military Council. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Ali Mamouri laments the "crisis of moral decline in Iraqi society." (Al Monitor)

Talal Alyan says the politics of self-defeat will ultimately be overcome in Arab societies. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)

Karl Sharro parodies armed gangs at a fictional "Annual Conference for Arab Militias." (karlremarks.com)


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