July 15th

NEWS: Palestinian officials are rethinking their UN plans. Six Palestinians are injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza. Palestinians plan municipal elections in October. UNRWA says it is facing severe shortages due to the blockade of Gaza. Former US UN Amb. John Bolton says Palestinian efforts at the UN “mean nothing.” The PLO objects to UNESCO listing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Palestinians in Nablus say another intifada is unlikely. A new poll shows Palestinians disenchanted with Hamas, Iran and the peace process. US officials say Arab support for a Palestinian UN initiative won’t help it succeed. The UN says settler violence against Palestinians is increasing. COMMENTARY: Roger Cohen says all parties have squandered the past year, especially Israel’s refusal to recognize the achievements of PM Fayyad. Ha’aretz says it’s appropriate that Israelis and Palestinians march together for peace. An international “Friends of Israel Initiative” warns Palestinians against seeking statehood at the UN. Patrick Seale says PM Netanyahu does not seek peace. Jeffrey Goldberg says it may be time for Jewish Americans to boycott Netanyahu. Ami Brand says the boycott law may boomerang. Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff say both Israelis and Palestinians are worried about a return to violence. Dan Ephron says Palestinian divisions could impede a statehood bid. The Forward slams the new Israeli anti-boycott law and suggests boycotting settlement goods “can be a legitimate use of nonviolent protest to achieve a worthy goal.”

July 14th

NEWS: Israeli and Palestinian leaders react to the independence of South Sudan. There is a “balance of terror” between Israel and Hezbollah. PLO leaders urge the US to support a UN statehood initiative. More disturbing details emerge about the killing of a Palestinian by occupation troops in Nablus. PM Netanyahu defends the new Israeli anti-boycott law. Israel approves completion of a “museum of tolerance” built on a Muslim graveyard. Pres. Abbas reiterates he is determined to approach the UN in September, as Palestinians continue to weigh their options and chances of success. The Arab League says it will present a Palestinian statehood bid to the UN. COMMENTARY: Gideon Levy says Israelis must fight against the new boycott law and Nechama Duek calls it “undemocratic and immoral,” but Eliyahu Stone says it lets Israel defend itself. Eitan Grossman explains why Israelis and Palestinians will march together for peace. JJ Goldberg says the right is rewriting politics in both Israel and the US. George Hishmeh says Palestine is already a reality. Daoud Kuttab outlines the hardships of crossing between Jordan and the occupied West Bank. Laura Rozen looks at the failure of the recent Quartet meeting. Rachel Shabi investigates the frustration and impatience of Palestinian youths under occupation.

July 13th

NEWS: Occupation forces kill a Palestinian man near Nablus. FM Al-Maliki says Palestinians won’t press a UN initiative if talks resume. The unemployment rate for Palestinian graduates is slowly improving. Palestinians say the US bears some responsibility for Israeli policies. US officials defend US aid to the PA and urge more Arab support. The new Israeli anti-boycott law will be challenged in court. Haaretz interviews Palestinian UN ambassador Riad Mansour. Hamas reiterates it will not accept the continuation of PM Fayyad in office. The Quartet reportedly failed to agree on a joint statement over the issue of Israel as a “Jewish state.” An Israeli policeman will not face prosecution over the death of a Palestinian girl. Jewish-American groups of all orientations are criticizing the boycott law. Palestinians in Bethlehem face severe water shortages. COMMENTARY: Yitzhak Laor says Israelis and Palestinians must unite to end the occupation. Bradley Burston says Israel’s new boycott law is creeping fascism. Daniel Ben Simon says he voted against the boycott law because it is a threat to peace. Deputy FM Ayalon says Israel’s “new foreign policy” is bearing fruit. Roger Hercz looks at discrimination against Palestinians in Israel. Michael Weiss calls the boycott law “stupid and self-defeating.” Jennifer Aaronson says she supports Israel by working for peace with APN and ATFP’s joint internship program. Mahdi Abdul Hadi says whatever happens in September, Palestinians need to secure their sovereignty on the ground. Steve Clemons says Israel has undermined its own democracy. Hussein Ibish says the boycott law delegitimizes Israel by conflating it with the occupation. Jeffery Goldberg says he is totally against boycotts of Israel but understands why Palestinians and others would want to boycott settlements.

July 12th

NEWS: Israel passes a law banning calls for boycotts, including against settlements. Israelis and Palestinians connect on Facebook. Rachel Corrie’s parents say Israel is hiding evidence about her death. The Quartet meeting produces no breakthroughs. Hamas says Palestinian national unity is being thwarted by Pres. Abbas insisting on PM Fayyad continuing in office. Palestinians are beginning to feel negative consequences of their new diplomatic strategy. Both Palestinians and Israelis reportedly think US peace efforts have failed. Hebron merchants elect a Chamber of Commerce. Israel and Turkey are working on repairing relations. Palestinians in Lebanon find new educational opportunities. COMMENTARY: Ali Halimeh says the Palestinians must appeal to the UN for independence. Amir Oren says Israel is being held hostage by an extremist minority. Gershon Baskin says Israel must move towards peace. Doron Ben-Atar says Palestinians should urgently return to negotiations. Carlo Strenger says Israel’s new anti-boycott law reflects a siege mentality. Hussein Shobokshi says resistance in Palestine is now a political commodity in the Arab world. Linda Heard says Palestinians need to be patient, and that global powers need to impose Middle East peace. Yossi Alpher says Israel desperately needs a peace plan. Ghassan Khatib says peace depends on whether Israel is mature enough to end the occupation. Sean Cleary says Israeli-Palestinian peace is crucial to the future of the Middle East.

July 11th

NEWS: Israel blocks air travel to a Palestinian conference. The Middle East Quartet will meet Monday to try to fend off a looming diplomatic crisis. Pres. Abbas says the PA may not be able to meet payroll next month. PM Fayyad says the PA is committed to protecting Palestine from settlers. Testimony ends in the Rachel Corrie trial. Israelis are pressing legislation criminalizing boycotting settlements. The Ma’an office in Gaza is firebombed. Palestinians await the outcome of the Quartet meeting. Israel sees the “flytilla” as a rare media and diplomatic victory. UNRWA changes its name to “the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees,” but promises no change of mission. COMMENTARY: Ephraim Sneh, former Israeli Minister of Defense, calls on Israel to embrace American proposals and become an active member of the peace process in the Middle East.Akiva Eldar says PM Netanyahu has turned all critics into Israel-haters. Ha’aretz says growing tensions between Palestinians and settlers recall the early days of the second intifada. Cindy Corrie says the US is complicit in the Gaza blockade. Charles Glass says South Sudan shows Palestinians gaining independence is the easy part. The National says settlements and settler violence are a timebomb. Mostafa Zein says French supporters of Israel are exploiting the Syrian opposition. The Gulf News asks why Israel is so terrified of foreign activists. The Arab News says it’s time to end the Gaza blockade. Uri Avnery says Israel is only the latest society to succumb to complete paranoia.

July 8th

NEWS: Jordan says the peace process must be rescued. A UN official severely criticizes a new UN report on last year's flotilla. Labor MK Isaac Herzog says Israel should vote 'yes' on Palestinian statehood at the UN. Israel fails to secure a Bulgarian commitment to oppose Palestinian statehood. Smuggling in Gaza is still a vast enterprise. Israel expropriates Palestinian land to authorize a West Bank settlement. Two activists from the "flytilla" are to be deported from Israel, and others thank PM Netanyahu for PR. The outgoing US ambassador says the US made a major effort to support Israel. Palestinian architects renovate old buildings. COMMENTARY: Henry Siegman asks who is 'delegitimizing' whom. Adam Schatz looks at the Palestinian political landscape. Bradley Burston says Israel's message is hatred of non-violent activists. Amos Harel says Israel's excessive preparations for clashes with activists is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Haim Zisovitz agrees. Hassan Haidar looks at the domestic impact of relations with Israel on Egypt and Syria. Douglas Noll says a different kind of mediation is needed in the peace process.

July 7th

NEWS: After meeting with US officials, PLO officials say they are still intent on a UN initiative, but add this does not contradict the peace process. A PA report says settler violence against Palestinians increased "dramatically" in June. UNRWA insists its name has not changed. Israeli police deploy to meet a pro-Palestinian "flytilla." The PA eliminates immunity for ministers in a corruption probe. Hamas arrests another male hairdresser. Arabs and Israelis quarrel at an international water conference. Israel and Turkey are reportedly negotiating about a UN report on last year's flotilla. EU officials say the July Quartet meeting will try to develop the framework for new talks. COMMENTARY: Amira Hass says Israel's response to the flotillas is self-defeating. Larry Derfner says that flotillas should be supported despite their flaws, but D. Bloomfield says the whole thing is pointless. Ruqaya Izzidien says flotilla solidarity is more important than aid cargo. Leonard Fein says rather than just opposing Palestinian UN initiatives, the US should craft a compromise resolution. Michael Jansen says Palestinians should push the West to change its peace approach. Tony Karon questions the idea that Israel is the "national home of the Jewish people." Daniel Kurtzer says the role of mediators is crucial. Nizar Farsakh profiles the role of Quartet mediator James Wolfensohn in the Gaza redeployment. Ron Pundak looks at lessons from Oslo mediation. Aaron David Miller says chances of a negotiating breakthrough in the short run are slim.

July 6th

NEWS: FM Lieberman threatens a tough response to a Palestinian UN initiative. Greece cooperation is the key to Israel thwarting the new Gaza flotilla. The PA cabinet vows to resolve a fiscal crisis. Extremist rabbis are increasingly in conflict with the Israeli state. PM Netanyahu orders the disruption of a pro-Palestinian "fly-in." The UN Security Council will discuss Palestinian UN membership at its July 26 meeting. The UN says Israel used unnecessary force against Nakba Day protesters. The Palestinian prisoner issue sparks heated debate. A new poll shows continuing Jewish American support for Pres. Obama. A new study details the plight of nonregistered Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. COMMENTARY: Shaul Arieli says Israel must not let itself become a theocracy. Eitan Haber says Israeli decision-making is in deep trouble. Nahum Barnea says military rabbis are bringing Soviet-style indoctrination to the Israeli army. Adam Shapiro says Gaza flotillas have had an impact. Osama Al Sharif says the "Arab Spring" will transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Reuters says the flotilla dispute foreshadows coming diplomatic tensions. Christopher Hitchens poses pointed questions to flotilla activists. Richard Falk says the flotilla is about the occupation. Bitterlemons interviews PLO official Hanna Amireh about a possible UN initiative.

July 5th

NEWS: The Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel is again attacked. PA employees will get half pay this month. Israel continues home demolitions in the Jordan Valley. The latest Gaza flotilla is stalled. PM Netanyahu remains very popular in Israel in spite of stalled diplomacy. Israel is planning more West Bank settlements. Israeli and Palestinian security services are both preparing for possible violence in September. Clashes between Palestinians and settlers increase. Two Palestinians are killed in an Israeli attack on Gaza. US officials say Pres. Obama plans to visit Israel. Israel says it is determined to keep pressure on Hamas. Palestinian unity talks are stalled. COMMENTARY: Yitzhak Laor says the siege of Gaza is turning into a moral blockade of Israel and Ha'aretz says it must end. Zvi Bar'el says the US may move towards talks with Hamas. Gershon Baskin says leaders must change their messaging. David Newman says Palestinians and Israelis need to work to protect each other's human rights. Linda Gradstein says Israeli attitudes are still shaped by the Gaza redeployment. Eric Alterman says Israeli and Palestinian leaders are making a two-state solution impossible. Linda Heard says the flotilla was blocked by a conspiracy. Yossi Alpher says one of the reasons Palestinians are thinking about asking for UN membership is that they want progress on two states but Netanyahu does not. Ghassan Khatib says Palestinians are ready for freedom and independence.

July 1st

NEWS: An aide to Pres. Abbas says Palestinians still prefer negotiations over UN initiatives. Hamas leaders say unity talks are making progress. Gaza’s economy remains desperate. Israeli security figures differ on the "dangers" of the flotilla. Some Palestinians say they need stability more than a UN resolution. Public outrage over a so-called “honor killing” in the West Bank prompts harsher sentences. Israeli Amb. Oren describes Israel’s ideas for negotiating terms of reference. Jordan’s FM says his country supports Palestinian UN initiatives. ATFP and APN announce another joint summer internship program. COMMENTARY: Ha’aretz says PM Netanyahu should take Ronald Lauder’s warnings seriously. Doron Rosenblum says Israel is in danger of becoming a theocracy. The Jordan Times says Palestinians need to unify before going to the UN. Samah Sabawi says Palestinians have both a right to return and to remain. Stuart Littlewood says Israel’s approach to the flotillas violates the law of the sea. Amos Guiora says Israel’s blockade of Gaza is self-defense. Neil Steinberg says Israelis and Palestinians both need a two-state solution. Daniel Levy looks of the role of borders in negotiations.

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