July 25th

NEWS: DM Barak says Israel’s efforts on Palestinian UN initiatives should focus on Europe. Ma’an interviews UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness. FM Lieberman says he won’t resign in the event of an apology to Turkey for last year's flotilla incident. An ancient ruin is uncovered in Nablus. Pres. Abbas is leading a global push for Palestinian statehood recognition. The Israeli cabinet is considering canceling the Oslo agreements in response to Palestinian UN initiatives. A senior PLO official says Israel isn’t implementing the agreements anyway. The Israeli Navy continues to deny fishing rights to Palestinians off the Gaza coast. Palestinian youth in Jerusalem turn to kite flying for a sense of freedom. COMMENTARY: Bernd Debusmann looks at the potential for boycotts against Israel in the United States. The Jordan Times says the “Arab Spring” doesn’t mean the issue of Palestine will remain on the back burner. Uri Avnery says US inattention is enabling the rise of extreme right-wing politics in Israel. Daniel Levy says the United States has been inconsistent in the Quartet. Howard Sumka says Israeli and Palestinian political elites have failed their peoples. Gidi Grinstein says Israel is only encouraging a Palestinian UN initiative by opposing one. James Carroll says Israel could stop a “train wreck” in September by recognizing the Palestinian right to statehood. D. Bloomfield says most Jewish Americans want Pres. Obama to do more to promote Middle East peace according to a new poll.

July 22nd

NEWS: PM Netanyahu is interviewed by Al Arabiya. Settlers burn Palestinian fields near Nablus. The PA reduces the price of bread. Israel’s government is split over an apology to Turkey for last year’s flotilla incident. The PA says it will take more action to support Palestinian prisoners. Occupation authorities want to claim more West Bank territory as Israeli “state land.” Pres. Abbas says the PLO’s aim in a possible UN initiative is to get on equal diplomatic footing with Israel. Abbas is seeking more support in Turkey. The Economist looks at the future of settlers in a Palestinian state. Jewish Americans continue to overwhelmingly support Pres. Obama according to a new poll. COMMENTARY: ATFP President Ziad Asali says all parties stand to lose from a confrontation at the UN in September. Jackson Diehl says Palestinians need to decide what they want. Bradley Burston looks at the growing divisions on the Israeli right. Nahum Barnea says Israel’s election season has begun. JJ Goldberg says he agrees with Hussein Ibish that demographic forces are involved in Israel’s shift to the right. Hassan Haidar asks whether the Syrian regime has recognized Palestine or actually is recognizing Israel. George Hishmeh says Pres. Obama needs to do some serious housecleaning on foreign policy. Samah Jaber says Israel demands Palestinian nonviolence but objects to all forms of it. Naomi Chazan says Israel’s boycott law is discrediting and undemocratic.

July 21st

NEWS: Europe is assuming a larger role in peace talks. Refugees across the Middle East experience deep frustration. Pres. Abbas says UN initiatives should not affect negotiations with Israel. A shelter for abused women is opened in Gaza. The Knesset rejects a bill to investigate NGOs and human rights groups. Analysts say Israel’s handling of the latest flotilla reflects a learning curve. Despite the blockade, a new mall opens in Gaza. Israel’s attorney general has reportedly told PM Netanyahu to apologize to Turkey over last year’s flotilla. Several countries ask Israel to stop forging their passports. Israel’s cost-of-living crisis may be the consequence of funding the occupation. Palestinians are also facing a growing economic crisis. COMMENTARY: Ha’aretz says the high command must stop the spread of religious extremism in the Israeli military. Gideon Levy says MK Danny Danon is acting like Joe McCarthy. D. Bloomfield says Netanyahu was wrong to support an antidemocratic boycott law. Noam Sheizaf says the law is about forcing Israelis to support the occupation. The National says Israel is afraid of nonviolent protests. Salon interviews the founder of J Street. Hagit Ofran and Jennifer Kaplan say settlement activity is a lucrative business. Bernard Avishai looks at why Israelis are nervous about September. Didier Jacobs says the international community, especially the EU, must play a stronger role in peace talks. Robert Baer says he does not actually have any information about Israel planning to bomb Iran. Trudy Rubin looks at the prospects for Israeli-Turkish rapprochement.

July 20th

NEWS: The PA’s financial crisis is causing controversy in the West Bank. Spain reportedly says it backs Palestinian statehood initiatives. PM Fayyad praises Palestinians in Hebron for defying segregation and siege. Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti calls on Palestinians to march in support of UN statehood initiatives. Violence may increase between Israel and Gaza-based militants. The EU says it’s disappointed by new settlement construction. A senior PLO official says Palestinians should delay their proposed UN statehood initiative. An extremist religious book divides Jews in Israel. Pro-Israel groups worry the Murdoch scandal may weaken a strong pro-Israel voice. There is little optimism at a UN-sponsored meeting between Israelis and Palestinians. Gaza smuggling spurs a construction boom. COMMENTARY: Carlo Strenger says PM Netanyahu’s cabinet is united by hatred of liberal values. Michael Felson says if the refugee issue can be resolved, other issues will fall into place quickly. Ray Hanania says Christians must be encouraged by governments to stay in Israel, Palestine and the Arab states. Americans for Peace Now says it’s responding to the boycott law by boycotting settlement goods. Tariq Alhomayed asks why the Syrian regime would choose this moment to recognize a Palestinian state. The Gulf News says the suspension of MK Zoabi is further evidence of Israeli racism. Rami Khouri says Israel’s policies look and smell like apartheid. Henry Siegman says Elliott Abrams is wrong to oppose a letter on peace by prominent Americans. Akiva Eldar says responsibility for says the failure of the peace process will lie with the Quartet.

July 19th

NEWS: Israel drops leaflets warning Gazans not to approach the “buffer zone.” Israel’s Navy boards a French boat bound for Gaza, without incident. Pres. Abbas says he is ready to circumvent US opposition at the UN, but Deputy FM Ayalon says Palestinians are being defeated. Syria says it recognizes a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. Israel plans hundreds of more settler housing units in the occupied territories. Settlers are increasingly lobbying in the United States. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat is making a political comeback. Palestinians in Jericho face drought and home demolitions. A new House bill could limit US aid to several countries and the PA. COMMENTARY: Ha’aretz says Israel’s equality under the law doesn’t apply to Palestinians. Shlomo Gazit says he is determined to fight what he he says amounts to “apartheid” in Israel. Reuven Pedatzur says the PA has proven itself a worthy partner in peace. Gershon Baskin says face-to-face encounters are a key to Israeli-Palestinian peace. Asharq al-Awsat interviews Michael Weiss. Musa Keilani says Jordan needs a Palestinian state. Jeffrey Goldberg says support from Michele Bachmann and other right wing evangelicals is dangerous for Israel. Saliba Sarsar and Hussein Ibish say the international community must make an irreversible commitment to a Palestinian state. Hussein Ibish says antidemocratic tendencies are growing in Israel.

July 18th

News: Palestinians cannot agree on national unity but will not cancel the process. Over the past five years, Israel has detained more than 800 Palestinian youths for throwing rocks. Some argue green energy can advance Palestinian independence. Two Palestinians are injured in Israeli air attacks on Gaza. The PA economics minister denies allegations of corruption. Israel is looking for builders for more West Bank settlement units. MK Hanin Zuabi is stripped of parliamentary privileges. A Palestinian citizen of Israel fights for Arab women’s rights. A senior Israeli commander says settlers are “terrorizing” Palestinians. The PA has two employees charged with preventing clashes with settlers. Palestinian extremists in Gaza say they are planning attacks against Israel. Time profiles jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti. Palestinians may avoid the UN Security Council in September so as not to provoke a US veto. Commentary: The New York Times says Israel’s boycott law is not befitting a democracy. Carlo Strenger says that “bullshitting” is an inevitable fact of political life but can come to threaten democracy. Ha’aretz looks at why rocket fire from Gaza has resumed. Larry Derfner says it’s good the world is running out of patience with Israel. Jonathan Cook says Israel is suppressing Palestinian nonviolent resistance. The Gulf News says Palestinian statehood must be recognized. Adel Safty says the peace process is crumbling because Palestinian interests are not taken into consideration. The Jordan Times says US inaction is driving the Palestinians towards the UN. Yossi Alpher says the Quartet needs to work with, not fear, the UN track. Ghassan Khatib says the international community simply must intervene in the process.

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.

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