NEWS: Palestinian villagers say they are interested in the realities of life on the ground, not votes at the UN. The US is still scrambling to avert a showdown at the UN. Palestinians say they're being pressured by both Arab and European states to go to the UN General Assembly rather than the Security Council. Palestinians say it is the failure of 18 years of the Oslo process that is leading them to the UN. FM Lieberman again warns of “harsh consequences” from Israel. A senior PLO official questions the wisdom of a UN initiative.Some Jewish-American groups are supporting continued funding for the PA no matter what happens in September. Gazans express mixed feelings about the initiative. Palestinians are still asking the US for reasons not to go forward. A key member of Congress is trying to defund Palestinian and international institutions in the event of an initiative. Palestinians reiterate their conditions for resuming negotiations with Israel. Israeli authorities are worried about the rising Jewish extremism, particularly among settlers. COMMENTARY: David Ignatius says Israel will be more secure in a world of Arab democracies, but will have to make more compromises. Chuck Freilich says Egypt has an important role to play in shaping a compromise at the UN. Bradley Burston lists 10 reasons why Palestinians are right to approach the UN. Jonathan Freedland says both Britain and Israel should support Palestinian statehood. Tony Karon says the PA may lose control after a UN vote. Husam Itani says Israel is being influenced by the “Arab Spring” both internationally and at home. Jameel Theyab says he can understand why Hezbollah continues to support the Assad regime, but not Hamas' silence about its brutality. Mohammad Salah says that the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo was part of a generalized culture of vengeance Egypt must move beyond. Rebecca Vilkomerson says many US liberals are progressive on everything except Israel. Marwan Muasher answers questions about Middle East peace and the Palestinian UN initiative.

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