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.

June 30th

NEWS: Pres. Abbas may postpone further national unity talks with Hamas until after the UN meeting in September. Bilin villagers prepare to build on land regained from the separation barrier. Some flotilla ships are ready to sail, but organizers say two of them have been sabotaged. Palestinian leaders condemn a U.S. Senate resolution threatening an aid cutoff. The Israeli military reports it has no means to deal with mass nonviolent protests in the West Bank. Israeli officials say they’re working with the US and Europe to restart talks. Unnamed sources say Jordan may oppose Palestinian moves at the UN. Prominent friends of Israel urge PM Netanyahu to accept Pres. Obama’s proposal for new negotiations. COMMENTARY: Daoud Kuttab says nonviolence is the Palestinian third way. Gideon Levy says Israel has become obsessed with force and violence. Carlo Strenger says despite hysteria, Israel is not on the brink of destruction. Bradley Burston says Israel could easily deal with the flotilla by just letting it dock in Gaza. Nahum Barnea says the arrest of an extremist Rabbi is political theater. D. Bloomfield says it’s not clear what Abbas wants. Rep. Gary Ackerman says a Palestinian UN initiative could pose a serious threat to Israel. Larry Derfner says Israeli propaganda over the flotilla is out of control.

June 29th

NEWS: PM Fayyad expresses skepticism about a UN bid and says he refuses to be cast as the obstacle to national unity. Palestinians are using former settlement land in Gaza for agriculture. Israel intensifies its campaign against the next flotilla. The debate on the Gaza blockade is intensifying. Raed Salah is arrested during a trip to the UK. The BBC looks at possible Palestinian UN strategies. Pres. Abbas is visiting the Netherlands to seek more support. COMMENTARY: Gerard Errera says a Paris peace conference could be very effective. Shlomo Avineri says efforts to push Palestinian statehood don’t constitute delegitimization of Israel. Ha’aretz says an extremist Rabbi should not be arrested, but should be fired. Sobhi Ghandour says pan-Arab unification is the only good answer to Israel. Rami Khouri says Palestinians are developing new strategies. Gary Rosenblatt profiles Bashar Masri. Aaron Menenberg says Israel is constantly sabotaging itself. Gershon Baskin says he doesn’t think the Israeli government is doing everything it can to recover Gilad Shalit. Qadura Fares discusses the predicament of Palestinian prisoners.

June 28th

NEWS: Israel reverses its warning it would ban foreign journalists who board the next Gaza flotilla. Israeli lobbying stalls the boats in Greece. Hamas blames Fatah for a delay in unity talks. PLO officials say they are optimistic about a UN statehood bid. FM Lieberman says flotilla activists seek “blood,” but organizers dismiss the claims. Israel says it’s preparing for an outbreak of violence in September. Israel bans teaching Palestinian prisoners. The US is funding a study of Israeli and Palestinian textbooks. Experts say Israel far outstrips Arab states in technology. COMMENTARY: Walter Rodgers says Israel and Evangelicals need to understand that the book of Genesis is not a policy guide. Ma’an says Palestinian leaders should be clear about their national liberation policy. Moshe Arens says Egypt should now be responsible for Gaza. Akiva Eldar says PM Netanyahu is playing with fire by relying on a US veto at the UN. Gershon Baskin says whatever happens in September, the two-state solution must be preserved. The Arab News says the world should support Palestinian statehood in September. Yossi Alpher says Israel is mishandling the Gilad Shalit issue. Ghassan Khatib says the prisoner issue generally is crucial to peace. Hussein Ibish says Palestinian nonviolent resistance will be a crucial component to national liberation.

June 27th

NEWS: Israel warns international journalists against being onboard another Gaza flotilla. US officials are trying to resuscitate talks to forestall a Palestinian UN initiative in September. Israeli leaders are urged to directly address the Arab publics. PLO leaders say they are going forward with their UN initiative and seek international support. After years of protests, court rulings and delays, Israel moves the separation barrier from part of a West Bank village. Villagers say their protests are far from over. Another prisoner dies in Hamas custody. Hamas says it doesn’t want to work with the German mediator in prisoner negotiations anymore. Gaza construction belies ongoing economic misery. Fatah says the nomination of PM Fayyad to continue in office is “final” and must be accepted by Hamas. COMMENTARY: Yossi Alpher, Colette Avital, Shlomo Gazit and Mark Heller say a Palestinian UN statehood initiative can be turned into a win-win scenario. Hagit Borer explains why she’s joining the Gaza flotilla. Ma’an interviews UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness. Ha’aretz says Israel should just let the flotilla land in Gaza. Akiva Eldar says Europe should keep pushing for peace. Uri Avnery says Israel was created both unilaterally and at the UN. Raymond Helmick and Nazir Khaja say Palestinians are recasting their struggle in nonviolent terms. Foreign Policy interviews novelist Alice Walker about joining the Gaza flotilla. Liam Hoare says FM Lieberman’s party is shaped by its Soviet foundations. JJ Goldberg says increasingly few people think PM Netanyahu believes in peace.

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