October 11th

Israel's cabinet approves a new loyalty oath for new non-Jewish citizens only, angering Palestinians of all persuasions. The Guardian says it is overtly discriminatory. Israelis are transfixed by documents from the 1973 war. The civil trial in the death of Rachel Corrie continues. PA officials say Hamas is ignoring its own security failures. Israel keeps the door open to a settlement freeze extension. Shas is split on the issue. Israel is still not allowing an access road to the new West Bank city Rawabi. An ancient mosaic is unveiled in Jericho. Pres. Abbas is examining alternatives in case negotiations fail. The French and Spanish FMs express outrage over FM Lieberman's conduct in Europe. The PA adopts a textbook, banned in Israel, that presents both national narratives. The French FM refuses to rule out UN creation of a Palestinian state. An Israeli ministerial committee passes potential legislation that any territorial agreements must be approved by popular referendum. The easing of the Gaza blockade is damaging some businesses. Dubai's police chief says an arrest has been made in the Mabhouh assassination.

October 8th

The US does not expect the Arab League to cancel direct negotiations. The New York Times reviews a new film about the death of Rachel Corrie. The Israeli military is facing more abusive videos mocking Palestinian prisoners. A deal may be brewing on settlements. Palestinian citizens of Israel condemn a proposed new loyalty oath. Hamas' military wing vows revenge after Israel kills two operatives in Hebron, and demands the PA stop suppressing violence. Pres. Abbas is threatening to resign if settlement activity continues, and Palestinians say that would mean dissolving the PA and transferring authority back to Israel. The US and Israel finalize a deal on F-35 stealth fighters. D. Bloomfield says Israel needs a real foreign minister. Hamas declares a “war on drugs.” Jewish Americans have a mixed reaction to a new film about Palestinian nonviolent protests. Osama Al Sharif says PM Netanyahu must realize Israel's interests are under threat from the status quo. Faisal Abbas says online videos have exposed Israeli abuses. Rami Khouri says unconditional US support for Israel's security undermines diplomacy.

October 7th

The New York Times says both Israeli and Palestinian leaders need to be more serious about negotiations. Some analysts say the US is offering too many inducements. Declassification of Israeli documents about the 1973 war sparks controversy. Palestinians are halfway through their first state building project, and the US reiterates its support. A settlement in the Jordan Valley is expanding. Pres. Abbas and PM Netanyahu will reportedly meet in Paris. Palestinian officials say they do not believe there will be serious negotiations with this Israeli government. Israel bombs Gaza. Xinhua asks what will happen if talks fail. Hamas and Fatah will hold another round of talks in Damascus. Israel is likely to adopt a new loyalty oath that Palestinian citizens call racist, and the Labor Party hopes to leverage it for a settlement freeze extension. Palestinians say settlers are stealing their olive harvest. Todd Hasak-Lowy says many Israelis are oblivious to the dangers they face. Michael Jansen says negotiations are going nowhere.

October 6th

The New York Times looks at the costs and benefits of the US engagement with Middle East peace. PM Netanyahu is considering a US offer on settlements, but may want more concessions. The Washington Post looks at the role of Dennis Ross. Rabbis from nearby settlements replace Korans at a torched West Bank mosque. Palestinian police run soccer clinics. Hamas militants threaten the PA leadership. Farmers complain they have not been compensated by the PA as promised. International activists help Gazans harvest olives. Amira Hass says Israel "is punishing Palestinians shamelessly." An imam from Nazareth is arrested on various charges. 350 new settler housing units are under construction. Palestinians say the US is working on a three-month settlement freeze extension. Shlomo Ben-Ami says the Palestinian leadership is facing a crisis of legitimacy. Former president Clinton says peace would be a serious blow to terrorism.

October 5th

Israeli settlers are suspected of torching a West Bank mosque and burning Korans. Palestinians celebrate Oktoberfest with a local brew. A compromise may be brewing over settlements. A Palestinian man is shot by Israeli forces in the West Bank. The PA denounces a new video of occupation forces mocking captured Palestinians. A new study shows both Israelis and Palestinians retaliate against each other. Israel deports an Irish Nobel laureate. Egyptian Pres. Mubarak warns of "global terror" without a peace agreement. A majority of Palestinians don't want talks to continue if settlement activity does. The ADL condemns the mosque arson. A leading Israeli poet says Israel is “an apartheid state.” Ami Kaufman says Israelis should support a Palestinian Declaration of Independence in one year. US opens a new consulate in West Jerusalem. Rock star Roger Waters says he's not anti-Semitic, just opposed to the occupation. Simon Tisdall says Pres. Obama faces humiliation if talks collapse. PM Netanyahu says he's using quiet diplomacy. Tariq Alhomayed says Netanyahu has turned the tables on Pres. Abbas. Christopher Hitchens says it's not offensive to point out the effectiveness of Jewish-American organizations.

October 4th

Israeli soldiers are convicted of using a nine-year-old boy as a human shield. Palestinians say peace talks depend on a settlement freeze extension. The Washington Post looks at the definition of “Jewish state.” Aaron David Miller identifies five myths about Middle East peace. The LA Times looks at one of the largest Israeli settlements, and at a major West Bank highway, and says FM Lieberman should go. The Arab League will meet on Friday to discuss negotiations. Israeli forces kill a Palestinian man in Jerusalem. An Irish Nobel laureate is challenging Israel's decision to prevent her entry. Since peace talks began in 1991 settlements have continued to expand. Palestinians and Israelis are blaming each other for threats to continued negotiations. FM Lieberman is a key cabinet vote on settlements as pressure mounts on PM Netanyahu to reject American offers. Palestinians say they plan to invest $2 billion in Jericho. Ha'aretz looks at the possibility of a third intifada. Leonard Fein looks at David Grossman's new book. Uri Avnery says former PM Olmert's views on peace should be taken seriously.

October 1st

The US uses pressure and inducements to try to shift Israel on settlements. A key settler leader is not himself a settler. An Israeli school principal is disciplined for including Palestinian perspectives. Courtney Martin remembers the killing of Rachel Corrie. Arnaud de Borchgrave derides “instant diplomacy.” Four unauthorized outposts are reportedly being built in Hebron. The World Bank is providing $40 million to the PA. Ha'aretz says FM Lieberman must be fired. The Arab League may take the settlement issue to the UN. Dutch officials complain about Israeli ads depicting the occupied territories as part of Israel. Palestinian citizens of Israel commemorate the killing of 13 by Israeli forces in 2000. Seth Freedman looks at lessons from the second intifada. The Independent profiles a leader of Palestinian nonviolent protests. George Hishmeh says Pres. Obama must confront Israel over settlements.

September 30th

The UN Human Rights Council endorses a report on the Gaza flotilla attack accusing Israeli troops of summary executions. Japan calls for a settlement freeze. The PA vows to support olive farmers. Baroness Ashton will join Mideast peace efforts. Palestinians reiterate their position on settlements. Analysts think another intifada is unlikely even if talks fail. Yossi Verter calls FM Lieberman's UN speech “petty politics.” Shlomo Sand says insecurity about identity is the heart of PM Netanyahu's demands on Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The US is pushing for a two-month moratorium extension. Netanyahu affirms that he is in charge of Israeli policy. Palestinians say Israel will be to blame if talks collapse over settlements. Jewish activists on a Gaza a boat claim they were abused by Israeli troops. Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid calls Pres. Abbas "the world's worst negotiator." Randa Takieddine looks at the French role in negotiations. Daoud Kuttab says international “disappointment” with Israel's policies is not enough.

September 28th

ATFP Advocacy Director Ghaith Al-Omari discusses negotiations on PBS' Newshour. The international onus is now on Pres. Abbas not to leave negotiations, but he is under heavy regional and domestic pressure to do so. Construction has resumed in many settlements, to a barrage of international and American criticism. Richard Cohen says all parties have miscalculated on the settlement issue. Some Palestinian refugees in Lebanon continue to support armed struggle, and the Lebanese government hopes recent reforms will stem radicalism. A Fatah official claims serious progress in reconciliation talks with Hamas. Three Palestinians are killed in Israeli air strikes in Gaza. Gaza's tunnel economy is collapsing. Israel's navy seizes a Gaza-bound boat without violence. Dror Etkes points out that settlement construction barely slowed during the moratorium. Dozens of Palestinian families are threatened with eviction in occupied East Jerusalem. Special Envoy Mitchell is returning to the region. Gershon Baskin says Israel should stop wasting resources on settlements. Gabrielle Rifkind says there are many ways of dealing with the settler issue. Many Israelis have a financial stake in the settlement project.

September 27th

Negotiations are in question as Israel's settlement moratorium expires, and settlers begin new construction projects. Palestinians have not quit the talks. The Washington Post says Pres. Abbas has the most to lose from a breakdown, but he says with settlement activity talks are futile. The CSM says Abbas and PM Netanyahu should match Pres. Obama's risk-taking. An Israeli settler is injured in another drive-by shooting. Reuters looks at occupied Hebron. Settlers claim God gave them the West Bank. An AP photographer is injured by Israeli troops. PLO officials say they believe Israel will restrain settlement activity. Sec. Clinton asks Arab leaders to support Abbas. Nahum Barnea says all three leaders have miscalculated on the settlement issue. B'tselem says 6,371 Palestinians and 1,083 Israelis have died in armed conflict in the past 10 years. Israelis are still being induced to become settlers with heavy subsidies. Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Deputy PM Meridor. Raghida Dergham analyzes Palestinian state building.

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