November 30th

NEWS: Israel releases withheld Palestinian tax revenues. PA Economy Minister Abu Libdeh resigns amid corruption indictments. Hamas leaders accuse Pres. Abbas of not being serious about national unity. Iceland becomes the first Western European state to recognize Palestine. The Forward profiles the pro-Israel group StandWithUs. The ACLU files suit against a Michigan bus company that refused an advertisement critical of Israel. A bill pending in the US Congress would remove the presidential waiver on moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Asharq Al-Awsat reports on an allegedly major split in the Hamas leadership. The Independent looks at the plight of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem's old city. COMMENTARY: Thomas Friedman says if Israel is concerned about instability in the Arab world, it should move quickly to bolster the position of PM Fayyad. Zvi Bar'el says Israel's hostile reaction to Arab uprisings might undo its peace treaty with Egypt. Bradley Burston says in uniting to attack moderates, the Jewish pro-occupation extreme right and anti-Zionist ultra-left find common cause. Kenneth Bandler says Jewish Americans need to know more about challenges facing Palestinian citizens of Israel. The Jerusalem Post says Palestinians should focus on the unfinished job of state building. Yossi Alpher says both sides are to blame for Israel's shift to the nationalistic right. Bitterlemons Interviews Palestinian MK Haneen Zoubi. The Jordan Times says King Abdullah was right to remind Pres. Peres about the urgency of peace.

November 29th

NEWS: A new poll finds a majority of Palestinians support the continuation of PM Fayyad as prime minister. Pres. Peres visits Jordan to discuss issues related to the Palestinians. A second Palestinian teenager is convicted of murdering an Israeli settler family. A Fatah leader says Palestinian factions have agreed to release each other's prisoners. Pres. Abbas says he “hopes” talks with Hamas will lead to elections on May 4. Israeli officials say there has been an exchange of rocket fire across the Lebanese border. Israeli authorities apologize for mistreating a New York Times journalist. FM Lieberman is looking for ways to prevent Israeli airport security from humiliating foreign VIPs. Ha'aretz says data shows that almost all cases before occupation military tribunals end in convictions. COMMENTARY: In an interview with the Media Line, Fayyad says "unity and non-violence" are prerequisites for Palestinian statehood. Sefi Rachlevsky says Palestinian citizens of Israel are being discouraged from voting. Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff say Arab elections are boosting both democracy and Israeli fears. Asaf Gefen says right-wing legislation is threatening Israeli democracy. Gershon Baskin says it's in everyone's interests that Hamas adopt more moderate policies as a result of negotiations with Fatah. Khaled Diab says Israel could do with some freedom riders of its own. Hassan Jabareen says Israeli officials are prone to making false historical analogies. Amy Teibel says there is a battle raging for the character of the Israeli state. The UN urges greater support for Palestinian refugees. Ghassan Khatib says the occupation is starting to manifest itself inside Israel.

November 28th

NEWS: Palestinian leaders say they will skip forming an interim unity government and go directly to elections. Israel may be considering releasing withheld Palestinian tax revenue, as PM Fayyad says the sanctions are taking their toll. Deputy FM Ayalon says the collapse of the PA “would not be the end of the world” for Israel. Supporters of Israel intensify outreach efforts aimed at the African-American community. A majority of Palestinians once again say they do not support armed struggle against the Israeli occupation. PM Netanyahu is strongly critical of the pro-democracy Arab uprisings. Christian groups are quarreling over who gets to repair the roof of the Church of the Nativity. Palestinian children create a human sculpture for peace. Israel delays controversial demolition plans for a bridge at a holy site. COMMENTARY: Akiva Eldar says Netanyahu has personally "won," but Israel has lost, many diplomatic battles. Chemi Shalev says the kind of support Israel is getting from most Republican candidates isn't worth having. The Jordan Times says Palestinians should remain united against Israeli bullying. Uri Avnery says Israel is paying a historic price for the consistent policy of blocking Palestinian statehood. Amira Hass outlines what she thinks Palestinian national reconciliation should accomplish. Karl Vick says Hamas is moving closer to the international mainstream. Neil Steinberg interviews the Israeli consul general in Chicago. Dan Ephron reviews a new documentary about Israeli military tribunals in the occupied territories. Amir Oren says there are two legal processes set for January that could bring down the Israeli government. Gershom Gorenberg says “price tag” violence, extreme segregation and other occupation phenomena are coming home to Israel itself.

November 23rd

NEWS: Hamas is gaining in confidence following the prisoner swap with Israel. Pres. Abbas will meet Hamas leader Mishaal in Egypt in spite of the unrest, and some analysts think they will finalize a deal soon. Israel is concerned about the future of its peace agreement with Egypt, and a former defense official is urging contingency plans to re-enter Sinai, but Egypt reaffirms its commitments. Israel charges a Palestinian man with "revenge" killings. Israel's Internal Security Minister says he fears more political assassinations by Jewish extremists. UNSG Ban calls on Israel to release Palestinian tax revenues. One of PM Netanyahu's media advisors resigns over threats to press freedom. UNESCO defunding is crippling its programs. COMMENTARY: Sarah Schulman says Israel engages in "pinkwashing" by using gay rights rhetoric to distract from the occupation. Bradley Burston says Netanyahu's government is hypocritical. Ha'aretz says Netanyahu must choose between FM Lieberman and the rule of law. Attila Somfalvi says Netanyahu is deliberately stifling the media. Gershon Baskin says Netanyahu could be a leader for peace if he wanted to. The Jordan Times says King Abdullah's Ramallah trip was timely support. Rebecca Vilkomerson says Israel is failing to protect its own citizens. Marwan Muasher says the Arab Peace Initiative may be dead. Dan Simpson says the peace process must be revived. Zvi Bar'el says Jordan may become the new home for Hamas' leadership.

November 22nd

NEWS: UN officials say settlement building is a primary obstacle to peace. Some Israelis are planning to boycott businesses that work with Palestinians. A new law making it easier to sue journalists for defamation passes 1st reading in the Knesset and is supported by PM Netanyahu. Netanyahu intervenes to resolve the feud between Israeli intelligence and the Foreign Ministry. A prominent rabbi faces criminal investigation for anti-Arab remarks. A new study says that because of Israeli restrictions, Palestinians invest twice as much in Israel as in the occupied territories. Jordan confirms that it maintains relations with the PA, but not Hamas, but the visit of its King to the West Bank fuels rumors of Pres. Abbas resigning. Israel says it will seek to eliminate UNRWA. COMMENTARY: The Washington Post says it is shocking that Israel would contemplate measures against NGOs reminiscent of authoritarian states. Nasser Lahham says Hamas and Fatah can and should unite, but Maher Abukhater doubts this is possible in practice. Merav Michaeli says a self-victimizing right is misleading Israelis. UK Amb. Gould Says Britain and Israel need to work more closely together. The Jerusalem Post says the new defamation bill will stifle free speech. David Newman says the attack on Israeli democracy is a real and severe. Sami Moubayed says Hamas is benefiting greatly from the Arab uprisings. The Jordan Times says Israel must respect international law. Keith Ellison says the US should not forfeit its influence in the UN by defunding agencies over Palestine.

November 21st

NEWS: As Palestinians seek UNESCO recognition for heritage sites in the occupied territories, Israel also lays claim to them. Jordan's King Abdullah visits Pres. Abbas in Ramallah. Senior US officials will meet with Palestinian and Israeli leaders this week. The Israeli government delays a bill that would restrict foreign funding to liberal NGOs. Israel's ambassador returns to Egypt. PM Fayyad says he's ready to leave office if a new prime minister is selected. Ha'aretz describes the procedure through which Palestinians are arrested by occupation authorities. Israeli officials say they will continue to withhold Palestinian tax revenues. Unemployment continues to grow in the occupied territories. Experts say Abbas is performing a delicate political balancing act. COMMENTARY: ATFP President Ziad Asali says Israel must do more to curb “price tag” settler violence. Shlomo Avineri says the “Jewish identity” bill in Israel would cause chaos. Amos Harel says strong ultra-Orthodox participation is changing the nature of the Israeli military. David Michaels says it's shameful that Christians in Jerusalem are abused by some Jewish extremists. Leonard Fein says the world should thank Pres. Sarkozy for giving a frank opinion of PM Netanyahu. The National says Israel is isolating itself internationally. Fahed Fanek says Jordan should promote more trade with Palestine. Brigitte Herremans says the EU needs to do much more to invest in peace. Yossi Alpher looks at best and worst case scenarios for a Palestinian unity government. Ghassan Khatib doubts that Hamas is in a hurry to complete an agreement with the PLO.

November 18th

NEWS: Hamas fines banks in Gaza. A pilot program to increase exports from Gaza is faltering. Israel is increasing diplomatic outreach in East Africa. Israel annexes privately-owned Palestinian land within Israel itself. A leading settler rabbi says soldiers should prefer death to listening to a woman singing. Israeli soldiers say extremist settlers have tried to kill them. Israel's separation barrier divides a Christian community in the occupied territories. Fatah and Hamas still plan unity talks, and some experts expect them to succeed at the expense of PM Fayyad. “Price tag” attacks are now targeting Palestinian citizens of Israel. COMMENTARY: Nehemia Shtrasler says PM Rabin understood the intimate connection between peace and economics. Anshel Pfeffer says there is no need for the ultra-Orthodox in Israel to protest, because they already run the place. Yair Lapid says the Israeli right does not understand that the left can also use new oppressive laws. Uri Savir says an Obama reelection is strongly in Israel's interests. Marcus Sheff says Palestinians may be divided about the right of return to a Palestinian state. Ahmad Majdoubeh says Palestinians should continue to insist on statehood and recognition. Ronit Avni says the story of occupation in Jerusalem is not being told. Hagit Ofran says the potential eviction of a Palestinian family in Jerusalem could spark a political crisis. Paul Pillar says nonviolence is the most potent Palestinian weapon. Former Special Envoy Mitchell says the peace process is not dead and must be continued. Abdel-Moneim Said says dissolving the PA would be “the mother of all gambles.”

November 17th

NEWS: Israel allows a shipment of construction materials into Gaza. Pres. Abbas will meet Hamas leaders next week, and Israel accuses him of preferring to deal with Hamas over peace with Israel. Israelis accuse a Palestinian journalist of being “an Iranian agent.” PLO officials dismiss reports, citing European diplomats, of a secret deal to release Palestinian tax revenues. The widow of the late Pres. Arafat says she never took any public money. The Israeli economy again faces the threat of a slowdown or recession. Concerns are growing over settler violence. Palestinians are reconsidering their diplomatic options.Israel has been building multibillion-dollar electronic weapons that could be deployed in the event of an attack against Iran. COMMENTARY: Michael Cohen says Palestinians and other Arabs have learned historical lessons but Israel and the US haven't. Gideon Levy says PM Netanyahu is Israel's last hope for democracy. Ari Shavit says without its political left, Israel would be a backward country. Musa Abu Hashhash says events in Hebron show religious extremists on both sides pose a grave danger. Douglas Bloomfield asks if Middle East peace has become a mission impossible. Dan Stein says pro-Palestinian activists have created a controversy within the occupy Wall Street movement. Trudy Rubin says the peace process is the victim of neglect. Khaled Diab profiles Palestinian “freedom riders.”

November 16th

NEWS: Israeli generals again say they may need to attack Gaza. Israel announces more settlement activity in occupied East Jerusalem. Palestinian "freedom riders" are boarding segregated Israeli buses, and are being arrested. The CSM looks at the idea of dismantling the PA. France summons the Israeli ambassador after its consul in Gaza is injured in an Israeli attack. Pres. Abbas vows to accelerate reconciliation with Hamas, and Palestinians say they have agreed on elections in May. Fatah says PM Fayyad remains their preferred candidate for prime minister. A Republican foreign aid proposal startles supporters of Israel. COMMENTARY: Amira Hass says PM Netanyahu is less of a liar than other Israeli prime ministers. Amos Harel says the Israeli military is split between rabbis and generals. Nir Hasson looks at who funds right-wing Israeli groups. Sameer Abu Eisheh looks at the idea of dissolving the PA, and Danny Rubinstein says it is a real option and would redefine everything. Shai Bazak says Palestinians must return to negotiations. Tony Karon thinks Fayyad, and possibly Pres. Abbas, will soon be out of office. Elliott Abrams thinks Palestinian diplomacy is in deep trouble. Arieh O’Sullivan says Bedouins in the Sinai are joining Al Qaeda not out of ideology but bitterness. Trudy Rubin says Israeli settler violence is a huge threat to peace. Nour Joudah explains why she supports the Palestinian “freedom riders.”

November 15th

NEWS: The French consul in the Gaza Strip is injured in an Israeli military attack. The Quartet does not appear to have made any progress between Israel and the Palestinians. The CSM asks if Israel was responsible for a massive explosion in Iran. Palestinian officials say they have made progress on national reconciliation talks, and Fatah officials say that may mean replacing PM Fayyad. Israeli generals want to fight gender segregation in their ranks, and say there is the prospect of a major military action in Gaza. The Knesset is proceeding with two controversial bills. Egypt arrests a suspect in the attacks on the gas pipeline to Israel. Israeli and Palestinian activists are launching “freedom rides” on segregated buses in the occupied territories. COMMENTARY: Richard Cohen says Pres. Peres' new book about Ben-Gurion is worth reading. Sefi Rachlevsky says Israel desperately needs a new prime minister. Ha'aretz says there are serious threats to freedom of the press in Israel. Gershon Baskin says “economic peace” may be the only thing available right now. Ron Kampeas asks what the exchange between Pres. Obama and Pres. Sarkozy about PM Netanyahu really means. The National says Israel is wrong to withhold Palestinian tax revenues. Yossi Alpher says dissolving the PA would be extremely risky, Yossi Beilin says it's actually a possibility, but Ghassan Khatib says it's simply not an option. Donald Macintyre looks at why the sincerity of Netanyahu is doubted by other leaders.

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