February 28th

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Press Release - February 28, 2014 - 12:00am

Dear friends:


News:

Pres. Obama will meet with Pres. Abbas in Washington on March 17th. (AP/Xinhua/JTA)

The White House pushes back against a report that Obama will pressure Israeli and Palestinian leaders to make progress on peace talks. (The Times of Israel)

A new survey in Israel indicates a rising support for Sec. Kerry’s initiative. (Ynet)

Former PM Olmert says Abbas agreed to a Jewish Israeli mayor of an umbrella municipality for Jerusalem. (The Jerusalem Post)

Egypt warns Hamas that it will not tolerate any use of tunnels between Sinai and Gaza. (The Times of Israel)

Israeli occupation forces will limit access to the Al Aqsa mosque for Friday’s prayers. (AFP)

Israeli occupation forces injure three Palestinian men following the Birzeit killing. (Ma’an)

Jewish “price tag” extremists torch a house near Ramallah. (Ma’an)

Israel warns Lebanon to curb Hezbollah’s threats. (Reuters/Ha’aretz)

The US says Syria leads in human rights violations in 2013. (AP)

The Syrian opposition demands an investigation into killings of 175 rebels by government forces. (AP)

ISIS claims Christians agreed to pay a discriminatory tax in parts of Syria it controlled. (AP)

ISIS withdraws from a Syrian town near the Turkish border. (Reuters)

31 more people are killed in Iraq. (AP/The New York Times)

Pres. Mansour restructures the military council in Egypt. (Xinhua)

Gunmen kill an Egyptian policeman in Mansoura. (AFP)

Israel urges the IAEA to issue their full report on Iran’s nuclear research. (Reuters)

Commentary:

Patrick Tyler says “deferral” is the key ingredient to Israeli-Palestinian peace. (The Los Angeles Times)

George Hishmeh says it is alarming that Kerry’s initiative fails to include any ideas on the future of Gaza. (The Jordan Times)

Uri Savir says peace must aim at the pragmatic interests of young people in Israel and Palestine. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Jordan Times says Jordan’s role as custodian of holy places in East Jerusalem will be compromised if ties are severed with Israel. (The Jordan Times)

Raed Omari says Jordan will remain Jordan and Palestine will remain Palestine. (Al Arabiya)

Aaron Miller says Netanyahu is “trapped” because he cannot call the shots on Iran or the peace process. (Foreign Policy)

Amos Schocken says Netanyahu’s demand to recognize Israel as a “Jewish State” is outlandish. (Ha’aretz)

Clemens Wergins says Israel no longer trusts Europe. (The New York Times)

Ha’aretz says the “unnecessary and humiliating” treatment that Arab Israelis suffer routinely in Israeli airports must change. (Ha’aretz)

John Judis says AIPAC seems to have lost “a bit of heft.” (Foreign Policy)

Abdul Rahman Al Rashed says providing the Syrian opposition with arms is the only way to defeat ISIS and al-Nusra. (Al Arabiya)

The Daily Star says the Syrian war is mired in stalemate. (The Daily Star)

Abdallah Schleifer says the most encouraging sign for Egypt’s future is the appointment of Mahlab as PM. (Al Arabiya)

Eyad Abu Shakra says Lebanon is deeply divided and national allegiance low. (Asharq al-Awsat)

Fareed Zakaria says Obama is “navigating” the changing world correctly.  (The Washington Post)

February 27th

News:

Pres. Obama plans to take a more personal role in the Middle East peace talks. (The New York Times/The Jerusalem Post)

Sec. Kerry says peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will extend beyond the April deadline. (Reuters/Xinhua)

PLO negotiator Erekat says he rejects the US move to extend peace talks. (AFP/The Times of Israel/The National) 

The US is convening an investors conference to help the Palestinian economy. (JTA)

A PLO official says Pres. Abbas’ successor could turn to “armed resistance.” (Ynet)

Palestinian women seek tougher laws to combat honor killings. (AP)

Amnesty International says some killings of Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank could be considered “war crimes.”(Reuters/Ma’an)

Israeli occupation forces kill a Palestinian man in the West Bank. (Reuters/Ma’an/Ha’aretz)

Israeli occupation forces deport 23 Palestinian families from the Jordan Valley. (PNN)

A teacher, who is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, is “strip-searched” before flying with her Jewish students for a school trip.(Ha’aretz)

Israel takes a risk with airstrikes against Hezbollah. (AP/The Jerusalem Post)

Hezbollah has reportedly amassed tens of thousands of troops for the decisive Syrian battle in Qalamoun. (USA Today)

The State Department accuses the Syrian regime of retaliating against the Syrian opposition’s peace negotiators by arresting their relatives. (The New York Times)

Syria delivers mustard gas to the port of Latakia. (The New York Times)

mortar attack kills five people in a government-controlled neighborhood in Syria. (AP)

Widespread incredulity greets Egypt’s announcement of cures for both AIDS and Hepatitis C. (The New York Times)

An apparent gas explosion in Qatar kills 12 people. (Reuters)

Iran and Qatar will establish a free trade zone. (Xinhua)

21 more people are killed across Iraq. (Xinhua)

Commentary:

Gideon Levy says the day the US becomes committed to Kerry’s efforts, a peace deal will be made between Israel and the Palestinians. (Ha’aretz)

Shai Franklin says there is “backhanded” Jewish support for Kerry’s initiative. (The Jerusalem Post)

Alan Elsner says AIPAC must back Kerry’s initiative. (The Guardian)

Ari Shavit says Israel has a “golden opportunity” to make peace.  (Ha’aretz)

Yossi Mekelberg says the recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state” should not be at the expense of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians. (Al Arabiya)

Efraim Halevy says Israel should beware the “Jewish statehood” trap. (Ynet)

Zvi Bar’el says Economy Minister Bennett needs to decide if he counts Palestinian citizens of Israel or not. (Ha’aretz)

The Daily Star says the Israeli airstrike on the Lebanese-Syrian border highlights Hezbollah’s conundrums in Syria.(The Daily Star)

Michael Young says Hezbollah does not deserve a “special role” as protector of Lebanon. (The Daily Star)

Joyce Karam says Israel has a new “game plan” for both Hezbollah and Syria. (Al Arabiya)

Abdul Rahman Al Rashed asks if the crisis in Ukraine weakens Russia and therefore also Syria and Iran. (Al Arabiya)

Brian Jenkins says al-Qaeda and ISIS are fighting over the future of “Salafist-Jihadism”. (The Daily Star)

Diana Moukalled says the execution of the poet Shaabani shows the true face of the current Iranian regime. (Al Arabiya)

Frank Costigliola says Obama should rediscover George Kennan’s wisdom when it comes to foreign policy. (The New York Times)

Adnan Oktar says educating both men and women, and living by the “moral values of the Qur’an,” are the solutions to gender discrimination. (The Jordan Times)

February 26th

News:

Israeli lawmakers tell US Amb. to Israel Shapiro that Sec. Kerry is “coercing” Israel into a terrible deal. (Ha’aretz/Ynet)

A Palestinian official claims Israel is excluding the Al-Aqsa mosque from the peace talks. (Xinhua)

A Knesset debate on Israeli sovereignty of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount sets off intense criticism in the Arab world.(The Times of Israel)

Jordanian MPs vote unanimously to expel the Israeli Ambassador. (AP/Ma’an/The Jordan Times)

Russian Duma Chair Naryshkin tells Pres. Peres Russia is keen to see a “satisfactory conclusion” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (The Jerusalem Post)

Today is the anniversary of the massacre of 29 Palestinians in a mosque in Hebron. (AFP/Ha’aretz)

PLO official Ashrawi denounces an Israeli bill that distinguishes between Muslim and Christian Palestinian citizens of Israel. (PNN)

Israeli occupation forces detain nine Palestinian men in Hebron. (Ma’an)

Gazans see solar power as the only alternative to their energy crisis. (AFP)

Hezbollah calls on all Palestinians to protect Jerusalem and the Haram al-Sharif from the “Zionist enemy.” (The Jerusalem Post)

Hezbollah says Israel bombed one of its positions near the Syrian border, and vows to retaliate.(AP/Reuters/The Washington Post)

The UN urges all sides to exercise restraint to avoid escalating tension in Lebanon. (Xinhua)

The UN says Syrians are now the world’s largest refugee population. (Reuters)

The Syrian army claims to have killed 175 al-Qaeda linked rebels. (AP/The Times of Israel)

FM Davutoglu says Syria’s worsening war now poses a danger to all countries. (Reuters)

Russia warns Saudi Arabia against supplying Syrian rebels with shoulder-launched missiles. (AFP)

Gen. Sisi will keep his post as DM in the new Egyptian government formed by PM Mehlib.(Reuters/The New  York Times)

Another explosion hits Egypt’s gas pipeline in Sinai. (AP)

An Egyptian court sentences 26 people over allegations of forming a terrorist group and targeting the Suez Canal. (AP)

The Iraqi government denies it has an arms deal with Iran. (Xinhua)

11 people are killed across Iraq. (Xinhua)

PM Erdogan is investigated for corruption. (AP)

Iranian robots remind children to say their daily prayers in schools. (The National) 

Commentary:

Rami Khouri says Palestinians desperately need to strengthen their hand in peace talks. (The Daily Star)

Chris Doyle says there can be no peace without taking into consideration the status of Hebron. (Al Arabiya)

Ha’aretz says Israel’s distinguishing between Christian and Muslim Arab citizens is racist. (Ha’aretz)

Ben Sales says PM Netanyahu may have to choose between the majority of the Knesset and the majority of his own party. (JTA)

Kenneth Marcus outlines ten ways that BDS is different now. (The Jerusalem Post)

Carolina Landsmann says that boycotts are compelling  wealthy Israelis to press Netanyahu to cut a deal with the Palestinians. (Ha’aretz)

Peter Beinart says orthodox Jewish institutions cannot be truly open if they are closed to Palestinians. (Ha’aretz)

Sheerly Avni interviews Palestinian Oscar-nominated director Hany Abu-Assad. (The Jewish Daily Forward)

Michael Ignatieff says the only remaining option in Syria is to use military force to deny Pres. Assad’s air superiority. (The New York Times)

Osama Al Sharif says Russia’s apparent defeat in Ukraine will affect its policies in Syria. (The Jordan Times)

Abdallah Schleifer says the failure of the interim government is of greater importance to Egyptians than the “over-zealousness of the security forces.”  (Al Arabiya)

The Gulf News says the resignation of the entire Egyptian government will make it easy for Sisi to run for President. (Gulf News)

Octavia Nasr tells Lebanese lawmakers to make it a priority to protect women. (Al Arabiya)

Thomas Friedman says the Cold War is not back and today’s geopolitics are more interesting than that. (The New York Times)

Michael Young says the appointment of Rob Malley to the NSC has overly raised expectations in Pres. Obama’s Middle East policy. (The National)

Abraham Sofaer says, while pursuing nuclear talks,  the US should pressure Iranian hardliners without hurting the people. (The New York Times)

S. Frederick Starr says the US should look to countries in Central Asia as examples of moderate Islam. (The New York Times)

February 25th

News:

Chancellor Merkel meets with PM Netanyahu and both express hope to advance peace talks.(Reuters/Xinhua)

Merkel says Germany is obliged to follow EU guidelines on the labelling of goods produced in Israeli settlements. (Ha’aretz/The Jerusalem Post)

The Palestinian presidency says Jordan is not an alternative homeland for the Palestinians. (Xinhua)

Israeli occupation forces storm Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount to disperse a protest, arresting three Palestinians. (AP/Xinhua/Ma’an/Ha’aretz)

Israeli warplanes reportedly launch two raids near the Lebanese-Syrian border. (AP/The New York Times/Ha’aretz)

Netanyahu refuses to say whether Israel carried out the airstrikes. (AP/The Jerusalem Post)

Sec. Kerry and Treasury Sec. Lew will speak at the annual AIPAC conference. (JTA)

Fatah is still waiting on an answer from Hamas regarding a recent proposal for national reconciliation. (Ma’an)

An Israeli right wing group starts an “anti-Jewish state” campaign. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israel passes a bill to distinguish between Muslim and Christian Arab citizens for purposes of employment. (Ha’aretz)

Hamas allegedly planned to bomb a major route linking Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. ( The Times of Israel)

UNRWA says Palestinians in the Yarmouk camp in Syria are “traumatized.” (AP)

The Syrian war stirs a new US debate on cyberattacks.(The New York Times)

The leader of the Nusra Front in Syria gives ISIS an ultimatum. (Reuters)

Anger is spreading through Lebanon’s Sunni community toward the country’s military. (AP)

Iran signs a deal to sell Iraq arms and munitions worth $195 million. (Reuters/The National)

Pres. Mansour asks Housing Minister Mahlab to form a new Egyptian government. (Xinhua/AFP)

Seven Egyptians are found dead in Libya. (The New York Times)

Kuwait launches a bid to end a standoff between Egypt and Qatar ahead of the Arab Summit. (Gulf News)

The Turkish opposition demands an investigation into PM Erdogan for alleged corruption. (AP)

Commentary:

Raanan Eliaz says Israel’s challenge is to work closely with the emerging German political generation. (Ha’aretz)

Simon Shiffer says Israel cannot deny the Germans the right to criticize its behavior towards the Palestinians. (Ynet)

Willem-Gert Aldershoff and Michel Waelbroeck say EU settlement guidelines do not constitute a boycott of Israel. (Ha’aretz)

The Jordan Times says King Abdullah is angry about rumors that Jordan will be a homeland for the Palestinians. (The Jordan Times)

Hassan Barari says Jordanian political forces will not stop talking about the “alternative homeland for the Palestinian people” due to parochial interests (The Jordan Times)

Jonathan Cook accuses Israelis of living in a “large bubble of denial.”(The National)

Cesar Chelala says Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children undermines its democratic principles and continues to perpetuate the Arab-Israeli conflict. (The Daily Star)

Ha’aretz says Economy Minister’s Bennett obsession is to turn the Arab population in Israel into second-class citizens. (Ha’aretz)

Beth Kissileff says its up to US Jews to make more of an effort to understand Jewish identity in Israel. (Ha’aretz)

Doyle McManus says Pres. Obama may soon face a turning point in Syria. (The Los Angeles Times)

HA Hellyer says all journalists in Egypt should be freed. (Al Arabiya)

Peter Jenkins says US-Iranian nuclear negotiations are finally dealing with facts, instead of assumptions. (The Daily Star)

Faisal Al Yafai says the Arab world’s concern over Iran’s nuclear programme is a symptom, not the cause, of the regional distrust of Iranian intentions. (The National)

Dennis Blair and Michael Hagee say if the US is to remain prosperous and secure, more significant progress should be made toward ending its oil dependence (The New York Times)

Richard Cohen says as the world is looking for guidance not only does the US refuse to be its “policemen” but will not be its ”hall monitor.”  (The Washington Post)

Hussein Ibish says Russia is an unacceptable ally for the Arabs. (Now Media)

The Los Angeles Times says Qatar’s World Cup preparations should not include abusing its workers. (The Los Angeles Times)

The National says Iraq’s arms deal with Iran has political repercussions far beyond its monetary value. (The National)

Elif Shafak says the “tempest of fear” in Turkey is reflected through the recent proliferation of conspiracy theories. (The New York Times)

Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck says Algeria’s upcoming elections demonstrate the steady decline of Islamist parties. (The Daily Star)

February 24th

News:

Pres. Abbas will meet with Pres. Obama to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.(Xinhua/Ha’aretz)

On the eve of Chancellor Merkel’s visit, PM Netanyahu says settlements are not the biggest obstacle to peace. (The Jerusalem Post/The Times of Israel)

Merkel and German ministers head to Israel for a landmark visit. (Ynet)

Netanyahu voices his concern over the Iranian nuclear program amid the Geneva talks.(Xinhua)

Former Fatah official Dahlan accuses Abbas of taking part in negotiations with Israel for his own political and financial benefit. (The Jerusalem Post)

A Palestinian official says the PA could address the UN over an Israeli settlement boycott. (Ma’an)

Hamas seeks to privatize Gaza border crossings due to the deteriorating economic situation.(AFP/Reuters)

Israeli occupation forces arrest two Palestinians in the West Bank. (Xinhua)

Israeli occupation forces issue eviction orders to 40 Palestinian families in East Jerusalem. (Ma’an)

The destruction of tunnels by Egyptian authorities marks “the end of good times” for Gazan entrepreneurs. (The National)

Israeli gas will be sold to Jordan. (AP)

An Arab professor is elected deputy chairman of the Council for Higher Education at the University of Haifa. (Ha’aretz)

The Palestinian Scouts Association organizes a unified march in three Arab countries to demand the “right of return.” (PNN)

The UN Security Council demands humanitarian aid for all of Syria. (AP/The New York Times)

Syria’s opposition Supreme Military Council is in chaos. (The New York Times)

Syrian regime troops advance near a Golan Heights city.(AP)

A Syrian rebel commander is killed by rival Islamists. (Reuters)

An Al-Qaeda linked group claims responsibility for a suicide bombing against Lebanese soldiers. (AP)

Egypt’s military-backed government resigns. (AP/Reuters/The Washington Post)

The Egyptian army kills 14 militants in Sinai. (Xinhua)

Egypt elects the first woman, Hala Shukrallah, to head a political party.(The Jerusalem Post)

There are growing concerns over the status of academic freedom in Egypt. (The New York Times)

Chinese FM Yi visits Baghdad. (The National)

Iraqi election officials begin handing out new computerized voter identification cards. (AP) 

In Iraq 17 people are killed in bombings and shootings. (Reuters)

Iraq will start building a new oil refinery. (AP) 

Commentary:

Amal Moussa says the Palestinian issue has become more complicated because it has lost both its position and prominence among Arab nations. (Asharq al-Awsat)

Danny Danon says Israel has no choice but to reject the framework proposal of Sec. Kerry. (The Jerusalem Post)

Donniel Hartman says negotiations with the Palestinians do not only require a coalition in the Knesset but also need to be supported in the streets. (The Times of Israel)

Ha’aretz says as long as Israel controls East Jerusalem, it must protect the rights of the Palestinians living there. (Ha’aretz)

Oudeh Basharat says if the Israeli government intends to try to draft Christian Arabs into the army, it should start building more prisons. (Ha’aretz)

Moshe Arens says those who call for a boycott of Israeli investments in the settlements lack the knowledge of basic economic principles. (Ha’aretz)

Amir Oren says next year Netanyahu will decide if he will move on to the presidency. (Ha’aretz)

Amos Schonfield and Ella Taylor say UK Jewish students are urging their community to use only maps that show Israel in its 1967 borders.(Ha’aretz)

David Benkof says “Palestine denial” rhetoric invalidates Palestinian rights. (The Times of Israel)

Yishai Mishor and Oded Steinberg say there is no difference between Jewish and Palestinian extremists. (Ynet)

Ofra Bengio says the “Shiite threat” in the Middle East has helped form a “virtual alliance” between some Sunni states and Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

Theodore Karasik says the US and Saudi Arabia are finally cooperating on Syria. (Al Arabiya)

The Jordan Times says the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution on humanitarian aid in Syria is a starting point. (The Jordan Times)

The National says the UN resolution on Syria highlights the limited ability of the international community to challenge the Assad regime. (The National)

The Gulf News says there is nothing to celebrate about the UN resolution on Syria.(Gulf News)

Amer Al Sabaileh says the key to current US strategy in Syria is to remove any possible obstacle to a regional settlement. (The Jordan Times)

Sharif Nashashibi says the grievances of Sinai residents are long-running, and many have little to do with former Pres. Morsi and Islam. (The National)

Hussein Ibish says Libya’s oil reserves should be its biggest asset but is its greatest liability. (The National)

The New York Times says Turkey’s new law that tightens government control of the internet is the latest blow to its democracy. (The New York Times)

Fred Hiatt says Obama’s turnabout on foreign policy is “dizzying.” (The Washington Post)

Abdul Rahman Al Rashed says there is too much conspiracy theory in many interpretations of modern Middle East history. (Al Arabiya)

February 21st

News:
Sec. Kerry asks Pres. Abbas to extend peace talks with Israel for an additional nine months. (Xinhua)
A Palestinian official says the ideas Kerry presented to Abbas could not serve as the basis for a framework agreement. (The Jerusalem Post/The National)
US Amb. to Israel Shapiro says framework agreement will include Palestinian recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state.” (The Times of Israel)
A PLO official says there is a possibility that the Palestinian leadership could recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.” (Ma’an)
Pres. Peres says there is no alternative to peace with the Palestinians. (Xinhua)
Israeli right-wing lawmakers warn PM Netanyahu against settlement freeze. (Ha’aretz)
Israeli Interior minister Sa’ar claims the Jordan River Valley will “prosper for agesunder Israeli sovereignty.” (Ynet)
A group of Israelis plans to lobby the Knesset to declare the country a “Jewish state” by law. (AP)
Israel debates a bill that would ban NGOs that deny Israel’s “Jewish character.” (Ha’aretz)
A Palestinian official denies Israeli reports about a joint Palestinian-Israeli committee to solve environmental problems. (Xinhua)
PLO official Ashrawi meets with a J Street delegation in Ramallah. (Ma’an/Ynet)
Six Palestinians are injured in clashes after extremist Jewish settlers attack a high school near Nablus. (Ma’an)
Israel questions a Palestinian citizen of Israel over Facebook remark. (Ha’aretz)
An Israeli anti-racism group petitions Israeli government to compensate Palestinian citizens of Israel targeted by “price tag” extremists. (Ha’aretz)
Gaza’s unemployment rate increases. (Reuters)
Oscar nominated film “Omar” hits US theaters today. (The Times of Israel)
The UN Security Council will vote on the Syria aid resolution on Saturday. (Reuters)
The Syrian army intensifies its aerial bombardment of southern areas. (AP)
Iran boosts military support of Assad regime. (Reuters)
Syria offers to work with Lebanon in fighting terrorism. (The Daily Star) 
Saudi Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef is reshaping Saudi’s domestic policies against Islamist militancy. (Reuters)
In Egypt, three Al Jazeera journalists plead not guilty. (The New York Times/AP)
Egypt’s population reaches 94 million. (Xinhua) 
Lebanese security forces detain a militant suspected of recruiting suicide bombers. (Reuters)
21 people are killed in attacks across Iraq. (The New York Times/The National)
The EU says Iran nuclear talks are off to “a good start.” (AP)
Arab governments are poised to increase Arabic web content. (The Jordan Times)
Commentary:
Ha’aretz says the Israeli government must stop kowtowing to the settlers. (Ha’aretz)
George Hishmeh calls on Pres. Obama and Netanyahu to revisit their policies in the Middle East. (The Jordan Times)
Yossi Sarid says “yes to a boycott” of the Israeli settlements. (Ha’aretz)
 
Uri Savir says Israel must make every possible effort to help Kerry. (The Jerusalem Post)
Michael Gerson says a Somalia-like future for Syria would be an uncontainable regional and global threat. (The Washington Post)
Fouad Ajami says it would be a moral stain to see Pres. Assad’s reign outlasting that of Obama. (The Wall Street Journal)
J.J. Goldberg says the new escalation of American involvement in Syria is due to the stalemate in Geneva. (The Jewish Daily Forward)
The Gulf News says Lebanon’s “fragile peace” is in danger. (The Gulf News)
Ahmad Majdoubeh says there are no quick solutions to the problems in the Middle East, and democracy takes time. (The Jordan Times)
PM Maliki says Iraq is using all the political, economic, and military tools at its disposal in its effort to defeat al-Qaeda. (Foreign Policy)
Sami Moubayed says Iran might be behind Sadr’s decision of early retirement from Iraqi politics. (The Gulf News)
George Weidenfeld says Europe should help foster peace in the Middle East as an “unbiased mediator.” (Project Syndicate)
Anne-Marie Slaughter says Germany and other EU countries must step up as the US steps down from its role as a “global policeman.” (Project Syndicate)

February 20th

News:
Sec. Kerry holds a second round of talks with Pres. Abbas in Paris after discussing the framework agreement yesterday. (AFP/The Times of Israel)
Kerry meets FM Judeh to push for a framework agreement. (The Jordan Times)
Kerry is disappointed with Palestinian verbal attacks against Israel. (The Jerusalem Post/Ynet)
A PLO official says Kerry’s framework draft is too vague. (The Times of Israel)
The PLO proposes an understanding on a joint ruling of Jerusalem. (Xinhua)
Israel debates a legislation offering compensation for West Bank settlers to move inside the internationally recognized borders of Israel.(Ha’aretz)
Pres. Peres will award Chancellor Merkel Israel’s highest civilian honor. (Ha’aretz)
Extremist settlers uproot 700 olive tree saplings in the occupied West Bank. (Ma’an)
Palestinian public sector employees in the West Bank will strike against the government. (Ma’an)
Jewish-Arab couple protests against the demolition of their house in the occupied East Jerusalem. (Ha’aretz)
Israel’s Tamar gas field will sell gas to Jordan. (Xinhua)
A Jordanian-Israeli citizen named after Yitzhak Rabin will join the IDF.(Ha’aretz)
A Jewish museum in New York comes under fire for featuring BDS-backing professorJudith Butler at an event. (Ha’aretz)
Two Israeli arms dealers are arrested for allegedly selling parts of military aircrafts to Iran. (The Times of Israel)
UNRWA resumes food distribution in Yarmouk after an 11-day halt. (AP)
The UN resolution on Syria aid will face a vote on Friday. (AP/The New York Times/Reuters)
Some Syrian rebel commanders reject the dismissal of Gen. Idris. (AP)
Syrian activists accuse the Assad regime of using chemical weapons again. (The Daily Beast)
Islamist rebels in eastern Syria order women to put the face veil. (Reuters)
The Egyptian army bombs suspected militants in Sinai. (AP)
Egypt adjourns the Al Jazeera journalists trial to March 5th. (AFP)
FM Lavrov arrives in Baghdad to hold talks with Iraqi leaders. (Xinhua)
A Bahrain court sentences a Shiite protester to death. (The National)
Pres. Obama and PM Erdogan discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. (AP)
Iran and the six world powers agree on a framework for nuclear talks. (AP/Reuters/The New York Times)
An American official says the US will remain “very mindful” of Gulf states’ concerns over Iran in the nuclear talks. (Xinhua)
Commentary:
Rami Khouri asks if Israelis and Palestinians are ready for Kerry’s framework. (The Daily Star)
David Benkof says Jews should look to their own history to find compassion for the Palestinian  “right of return.” (The Times of Israel)
Ari Shavit argues that the late Palestinian leader Arafat publicly recognized Israel as a "Jewish state" six months before his death. (Ha'aretz) 
Yossi Mekelberg says the continuing Israeli occupation can lead to an international isolation and confrontation with the EU and the US. (Al Arabiya)
Roy Isacowitz says PM Netanyahu's rhetoric makes him feel like an “anti-Semite.” (Haaretz)
Akiva Eldar says the Israeli anti-boycott policies are counterproductive. (Al-Monitor)
Daniel Friedmann says the boycott disputes are purely political. (YNet)
Myriam Schermer claim the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is largely religious based. (The Times of Israel)
Gideon Levy accuses Israeli media of bias against the Palestinian citizens of Israel. (Ha'aretz)
David Ignatius says a revived US-Saudi alliance on Syria will stop aid from leaching away to Al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and ISIS. (The Washington Post)
 
Michael Young says Russia's increased activity in Syria is due to America's inaction. (The National)
The Los Angeles Times says diplomacy remains the best option for Obama’s Syria policy.  (The Los Angeles Times)
Fehim Taştekin says Syria war sparks Turkish Alawite anxiety. (Al-Monitor)
Enas Hamed accuses the Egyptian security forces of abusing female detainees. (Al-Monitor) 
Michael Jansen says the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt can be held responsible for the escalation of jihadist attacks. (The Jordan Times)
Rob Ben-Yeshi is not optimistic about the outcome of the Iranian nuclear talks. (YNet)
Aaron Miller says the costs of failure of the US-Iran talks will be significant. (Foreign Policy)

February 19th

News:
The US will ask Israel to freeze some of its settlement activities. (Xinhua/AFP/The Jerusalem Post)
Israeli negotiator Livni calls Sec. Kerry a “game changer” in the peace process. (The Jerusalem Post)
German-Israeli ties are at all-times low as Chancellor Merkel prepares to visit Israel. (Ha’aretz)
FM Judeh says Israel does not have the power to cancel Jordan’s role as custodian of Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. (The Jordan Times)
Tel Aviv district court rules that the Likud party can debate Kerry’s initiative at its conventions. (Ha’aretz)
Palestinians accuse Israel of committing “violations” against the Al-Aqsa mosque. (Xinhua)
Jewish “price tag” extremists vandalize 30 Palestinian cars in occupied East Jerusalem. (Xinhua/Ha’aretz)
Israeli Labour party leader Herzog says not all criticism of Israel is anti-semitic. (The Jerusalem Post)
FM Lieberman says American Jews are facing a demographic catastrophe. (Ha’aretz)
American lawmakers ask the House leadership to invite PM Netanyahu to give an address. (JTA)
trip to the occupied West Bank for Israel’s pre-army cadets sparks protests among Israelis. (Ha’aretz)
The construction of the planned city of Rawabi is cited by some as an example of Palestinian-Israeli cooperation. (The Times of Israel/Ynet)
A new Gallup poll reveals that Americans have a more favorable view of the PA and Egypt compared to a year ago. (The Jerusalem Post)
Arab Idol winner Assaf is invited to sing at the opening ceremony of FIFA’s upcoming Congress. (Ma’an)
Robert Malley is appointed Senior Director at the National Security Council. (The Times of Israel/The New York Times/Ha’aretz) 
The Turkish government will offer residency to Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria. (Ma’an)
Syrian aid workers evacuate more people from Homs. (AP)
Syrian rebels seek to persuade Pres. Obama to provide them with advanced weapons. (The Washington Post)
A UN official confirms they are talking to the Al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusraregarding humanitarian aid in Syria. (Foreign Policy)
Russia says a UN resolution on humanitarian aid access in Syria is within reach. (Reuters)
An Al-Qaeda-linked group claims responsibility for a suicide bombing in Beirut that killed four people. (AP/Reuters/The New York Times)
Two Libyan militias demand that Libya’s interim parliament step down or face arrest. (AP)
Black Tunisians say racism is still an issue in their country. (The National)
Commentary:
Naser al-Tamimi says recognizing Israel as a Jewish state “will open a door” to new conflicts rather than solving existing ones. (Al Arabiya)
Mustafa Barghouti says Kerry’s initiative will not lead to a Palestinian state. (The Daily Star)
Peter Beinart says the Jewish critics of Israeli policy in the occupied West Bank are not naive. (Ha’aretz)
Eric Yoffie says Israel would be isolated and vulnerable without AIPAC’s support in Washington. (Ha’aretz)
Miriam Elder and Sheera Frankel ask whether Pres. Peres is the only man in Israel who still believes in peace. (Buzzfeed)
Thomas Friedman profiles a Palestinian citizen of Israel who is a scientist at Technion University. (The New York Times)
Ben Caspit says Israel is waiting for Egypt to take necessary action in Sinai. (Al-Monitor)
The New York Times says the US must avoid going to war in Syria while continuing searching for a political solution. (The New York Times)
Michael Rubin accuses the US of ignoring Syrian Kurds. (The Wall Street Journal)
 
The National condemns global indifference to the plight of Syrian refugee children. (The National)
Octavia Nasr says Lebanon’s new government can help avert a presidential election crisis and an ensuing vacuum. (Al Arabiya)
Khairallah Khairallah says the late PM Hariri was assassinated because he restored life to Lebanon. (Al Arabiya)
Delphine Minoui says the “personality cult” of Field Marshal Sisi has reached a level of collective madness in Egypt. (The New York Times)
Osama Al Sharif says Sisi is the only hope for Egypt now. (The Jordan Times)
Smadar Perry says Egypt is downplaying its ties with Israel. (Ynet)
The Jordan Times says the meeting between Obama and King Abdullah II was the longest summit between the two leaders. (The Jordan Times)
Omar Mahmood says the greatest threat to the GCC is Iran’s asymmetric capabilities. (Royal United Services Institute)
Jeffrey Goldberg interviews Gary Samore, former Obama Administration chief expert on WMDs, who says nuclear talks with Iran have "virtually no chance of success." (Bloomberg)

News:
The US will ask Israel to freeze some of its settlement activities. (Xinhua/AFP/The Jerusalem Post)
Israeli negotiator Livni calls Sec. Kerry a “game changer” in the peace process. (The Jerusalem Post)
German-Israeli ties are at all-times low as Chancellor Merkel prepares to visit Israel. (Ha’aretz)
FM Judeh says Israel does not have the power to cancel Jordan’s role as custodian of Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. (The Jordan Times)
Tel Aviv district court rules that the Likud party can debate Kerry’s initiative at its conventions. (Ha’aretz)
Palestinians accuse Israel of committing “violations” against the Al-Aqsa mosque. (Xinhua)
Jewish “price tag” extremists vandalize 30 Palestinian cars in occupied East Jerusalem. (Xinhua/Ha’aretz)
Israeli Labour party leader Herzog says not all criticism of Israel is anti-semitic. (The Jerusalem Post)
FM Lieberman says American Jews are facing a demographic catastrophe. (Ha’aretz)
American lawmakers ask the House leadership to invite PM Netanyahu to give an address. (JTA)
trip to the occupied West Bank for Israel’s pre-army cadets sparks protests among Israelis. (Ha’aretz)
The construction of the planned city of Rawabi is cited by some as an example of Palestinian-Israeli cooperation. (The Times of Israel/Ynet)
A new Gallup poll reveals that Americans have a more favorable view of the PA and Egypt compared to a year ago. (The Jerusalem Post)
Arab Idol winner Assaf is invited to sing at the opening ceremony of FIFA’s upcoming Congress. (Ma’an)
Robert Malley is appointed Senior Director at the National Security Council. (The Times of Israel/The New York Times/Ha’aretz) 
The Turkish government will offer residency to Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria. (Ma’an)
Syrian aid workers evacuate more people from Homs. (AP)
Syrian rebels seek to persuade Pres. Obama to provide them with advanced weapons. (The Washington Post)
A UN official confirms they are talking to the Al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusraregarding humanitarian aid in Syria. (Foreign Policy)
Russia says a UN resolution on humanitarian aid access in Syria is within reach. (Reuters)
An Al-Qaeda-linked group claims responsibility for a suicide bombing in Beirut that killed four people. (AP/Reuters/The New York Times)
Two Libyan militias demand that Libya’s interim parliament step down or face arrest. (AP)
Black Tunisians say racism is still an issue in their country. (The National)
Commentary:
Naser al-Tamimi says recognizing Israel as a Jewish state “will open a door” to new conflicts rather than solving existing ones. (Al Arabiya)
Mustafa Barghouti says Kerry’s initiative will not lead to a Palestinian state. (The Daily Star)
Peter Beinart says the Jewish critics of Israeli policy in the occupied West Bank are not naive. (Ha’aretz)
Eric Yoffie says Israel would be isolated and vulnerable without AIPAC’s support in Washington. (Ha’aretz)
Miriam Elder and Sheera Frankel ask whether Pres. Peres is the only man in Israel who still believes in peace. (Buzzfeed)
Thomas Friedman profiles a Palestinian citizen of Israel who is a scientist at Technion University. (The New York Times)
Ben Caspit says Israel is waiting for Egypt to take necessary action in Sinai. (Al-Monitor)
The New York Times says the US must avoid going to war in Syria while continuing searching for a political solution. (The New York Times)
Michael Rubin accuses the US of ignoring Syrian Kurds. (The Wall Street Journal)
 
The National condemns global indifference to the plight of Syrian refugee children. (The National)
Octavia Nasr says Lebanon’s new government can help avert a presidential election crisis and an ensuing vacuum. (Al Arabiya)
Khairallah Khairallah says the late PM Hariri was assassinated because he restored life to Lebanon. (Al Arabiya)
Delphine Minoui says the “personality cult” of Field Marshal Sisi has reached a level of collective madness in Egypt. (The New York Times)
Osama Al Sharif says Sisi is the only hope for Egypt now. (The Jordan Times)
Smadar Perry says Egypt is downplaying its ties with Israel. (Ynet)
The Jordan Times says the meeting between Obama and King Abdullah II was the longest summit between the two leaders. (The Jordan Times)
Omar Mahmood says the greatest threat to the GCC is Iran’s asymmetric capabilities. (Royal United Services Institute)
Jeffrey Goldberg interviews Gary Samore, former Obama Administration chief expert on WMDs, who says nuclear talks with Iran have "virtually no chance of success." (Bloomberg)

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