June 24th

NEWS: Hamas refuses to prove that a captured Israeli soldier is still alive. PM Netanyahu has said Israel will retaliate with harsher conditions for Palestinian prisoners. Palestinians say Turkey has pledged to help their UN bid. PM Netanyahu reportedly tells US officials he accepts that negotiations should be based on the 1967 borders. Palestinians also say they’re willing to soften their positions to facilitate talks. The PA fines a truck driver for distributing settlement goods. Netanyahu’s son reportedly posts disparaging remarks about Arabs on Facebook. PM Fayyad participates in a protest against the separation barrier. The EU casts doubt on Palestinian chances that the UN in September. COMMENTARY: Yoel Marcus says Israelis and Palestinians are avoiding painful compromises like children avoiding the dentist. Jeremy Ben-Ami says Israel should welcome criticism from its friends. Yehuda Ben Meir joins calls for Netanyahu to change his coalition. Al-Hayat interviews Zbigniew Brzezinski. Marwan Al Kabalan says Arabs are starting to doubt Pres. Obama’s ability to broker peace. Ha’aretz interviews EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Rana Baker says Israeli restrictions make Palestinians tourists in their own homes. Saleh Al-Naami says settlers continue to deploy violence against Palestinians with impunity. Mohsen Saleh says recent border incidents have put the right of return back on the agenda.

June 23rd

NEWS: An Israeli artist explores issues about boundaries and identity. The CSM looks at how a hoax about stoning a dog spread across the news media. Israel’s Foreign Ministry thinks that less than two thirds of the UN General Assembly will vote for Palestinian statehood. Israel destroys Palestinian homes in the Jordan Valley. The Red Cross demands proof from Hamas that a captured Israeli soldier is still alive. Saudi Arabia pledges $70 million for housing in Gaza. EU officials say Palestinians may not approach the UN in September. Analysts speculate Hezbollah might start a war with Israel to protect the Syrian government. Pressure mounts on Palestinians not to go to the UN. COMMENTARY: Dmitry Shumsky says national narratives shape the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but are always hanging. Asaf Romirowsky says Jordan is an important ally of Israel. Larry Derfner suggests ways of combating racism at Israeli soccer matches. Susan Hattis Rolef says Israel needs a policy to deal with its Palestinian citizens. Paul Danahar says the atmosphere for peace is poisoned. The Forward is appalled Israeli politicians are again debating “who is a Jew?” Faisal Al Qasim says Israel is happy to deal with impotent Arab autocrats. Michael Jansen asks why Israel cares so much about more Gaza flotillas. Alon Ben-Meir asks if the API is still viable. Amira Hass says the Palestinian police need to operate freely in more of the occupied territories.

June 21st

NEWS: Pres. Obama says the United States may have “tactical disagreements” with Israel. Pres. Abbas reiterates that Palestinians want to resume negotiations, will go to the UN in September and will have a government headed by PM Fayyad. Fayyad says he refuses to continue as prime minister, even though a new poll shows him to be the popular choice. Obama assures Jewish donors he strongly supports Israel. Settlers use tourism to tighten their grip on the occupied territories. Gazans are not feeling much relief from the border opening. Turkey and Israel hold secret talks to repair relations. PM Netanyahu says Israel must separate from the Palestinians. Outgoing Israeli military chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi says a Palestinian state is “inevitable” and urges resuming negotiations. Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan has been stripped of his diplomatic passport after remarks critical of the Israeli government. COMMENTARY: Sefi Rachlevsky says that because of religious fanaticism, the Israeli military is leading Israel to destruction. Daoud Kuttab says Palestinians need a holistic strategy for independence. Gerald Auerbach says Israel was founded amidst a legitimacy crisis and had to fight its own extremists. Gershon Baskin says Palestinians need energy as well as political independence. Khalaf Al Habtoor says more Arab commitment to the Palestinian cause is required. Jeff Halper says even a symbolic show of support for Palestine at the UN will be a significant victory. Yossi Alpher says that rather than trying to resuscitate talks, the international community should turn UN efforts into a win-win situation. Ghassan Khatib says Europe is the key to what happens in September. Roger Hercz says Israel is torn over the Arab Spring.

June 20th

NEWS: Palestinians cancel national unity negotiations in Cairo, as the disagreement over the next PM continues. Israel approves 2,000 new settler housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. Hamas leaders complain about a feud within the organization’s hierarchy. Israel is the world’s fourth-largest arms exporter. Palestinian unemployment figures increase. Pres. Peres says peace with the Palestinians is urgent. Shaul Mofaz says Israel must prevent a Palestinian UN statehood bid. Anti-Palestinian initiatives are circulating in Congress. Young Palestinian children are routinely arrested by Israeli occupation forces in East Jerusalem. COMMENTARY: Thomas Friedman says the UN should update Resolution 181 and welcome Palestine as a member of the General Assembly. Victor Kattan says states, and not the UN as a body, will determine the status of Palestine. Akiva Eldar says Israelis prefer to forget the massacre at Deir Yassin. Carlo Strenger says the Israeli government is as disconnected from reality as mystics. Adel Safty says PM Netanyahu is sabotaging the peace process. Uri Avnery says Netanyahu’s rhetoric about Israel as a “Jewish state” is a trick to avoid Palestinian statehood. Bradley Burston says Israelis and Palestinians have equal rights to a home. Jackson Diehl claims Pres. Obama is “tough” on Israel but “timid” on Syria. Esther Cepeda says Gaza flotilla participants are not against Israel. Jeff Halper says the PA is making a “historic mistake” by not working enough with civil society.

June 17th

NEWS: Israel says it will use force against another Gaza flotilla. The US continues to press for the resumption of negotiations. A boom in Palestinian soccer activity is meant to support statehood. FM Lieberman says all past agreements will be considered broken if Palestinians approach the UN in September. Palestinians say they are going to the UN with or without negotiations in progress. Palestinians reiterate their demand for a settlement freeze. Pres. Peres says without peace, Israel is in danger of ceasing to be a Jewish state. The Israeli cabinet may weaken DM Barak’s power to curb settlement activity. Egypt’s FM says Palestinian UN membership doesn’t delegitimize Israel. A Dubai bank launches a Palestinian investment fund. COMMENTARY: Ha’aretz says PM Netanyahu is condemning Israel to live by the sword. Bradley Burston says Israeli leftists must begin to talk about the right of return. Ziad Abu Zayyad says the Palestinians have no choice but to approach the UN in September. Ron Kampeas recounts Obama administration official Steve Simon’s call to Jewish American leaders. George Hishmeh says the US had better take Saudi concerns about favoritism towards Israel seriously. The Jordan Times welcomes France’s peace initiative. Abdel-Moneim Said says Israel is preventing an effective American response to the “Arab Spring.”

June 16th

NEWS: Jordan’s King Abdullah says the failure of the peace process is a grave threat to the international community. A settler is arrested by Israeli authorities for killing a Palestinian near Nablus. Spain’s FM says talks should resume this year. Seven Palestinians are injured, two critically, during a protest against the separation barrier. Israeli officials say PM Netanyahu fears a third intifada. Israeli opposition leaders say Netanyahu has isolated Israel. A US official says cutting funds to the UN would harm Israeli and American interests. The Ford foundation maybe pulling back from funding Israeli initiatives. Hamas is trying to soften its image. Leading Jewish Americans deny Pres. Obama is trying to bully Netanyahu. COMMENTARY: Daoud Kuttab says Palestinians lack a broad strategy for independence. Larry Derfner says the US and Israeli right have become intimate allies. Brian Schaefer says that there are efforts to combat the propaganda of Birthright Israel. Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid says anyone who bans artists to keep ambassadors happy doesn’t understand the Arab spring. George Hishmeh says the US will have to do better in answering Saudi concerns about Palestine. Michael Jansen says UNRWA is the only thing stopping Israeli “stealth ethnic cleansing.” The Arab News says Gaza continues to suffer under an indefensible blockade. Victor Kotsev says Meir Dagan could be the next Ariel Sharon. William Galston asks why peace seems so elusive. Jerome Segal says the UN should reestablish its Special Committee on Palestine. Ori Nir says Netanyahu’s policies that assume peace is not possible are leading Israel to a disaster. Khaled Abu Toameh says Pres. Abbas has no mandate.

June 15th

NEWS: Palestinians continue to argue over who will be the next prime minister. Pres. Abbas and Hamas leader Mishaal will meet in Cairo to decide the issue. US officials try to resuscitate Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Israel says it expects the new Lebanese government to maintain the border truce. Israel’s navy prepares for the next Gaza flotilla. The head of the European Parliament says East Jerusalem should be the Palestinian capital. Ha’aretz interviews playwright Tony Kushner. A UN report says Syria encouraged border confrontations in the Golan Heights. PM Netanyahu says Palestinians won’t compromise even if their demands are met, and wants to form a block of 30 states at the UN to oppose Palestinian statehood. COMMENTARY: Etgar Keret says Netanyahu does not believe there is any possibility for a peace agreement. Leon Wieseltier says Jews must learn to trust their neighbors. Shaddad Attili says Israel’s water policies are extremely discriminatory against Palestinians. Avi Yesawich and Daniel Nisman say Israel’s 1967 borders are indeed defensible. Chris Gunness says attacks on UNRWA are unfounded. Jesse Rosenfeld and Joseph Dana say Palestinian nonviolence is their version of the “Arab Spring.” The Gulf News says Fayyad has been an excellent prime minister but Palestinian unity should not be derailed by disagreements over individuals. Jerome Segal says the UN should reestablish its Special Committee on Palestine. Immanuel Wallerstein says Israel faces severe diplomatic difficulties coming in September. Hussein Ibish says Arab-Americans should act as Americans of Arab heritage rather than Arabs living in the United States.

June 14th

NEWS: The Palestinian national unity deal is threatened by the dispute over the future of PM Fayyad, as Hamas and Fatah leaders meet in Cairo. Israel is cracking down on Palestinian nonviolent protests. The UN says the Gaza blockade has strengthened Hamas. Deputy FM Ayalon visits Egypt. Israeli teachers are using unofficial curricula to teach about the Nakba. The UN says almost half of Gazans are unemployed. Occupation forces and Palestinians clash at a Jerusalem holy site. The vacancy at a key position for refugees leaves Palestinians in Lebanon without recourse. A US professor is trying to promote business startups as a vehicle for Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation. COMMENTARY: Richard Cohen says Turki al-Faisal’s warning about US favoritism towards Israel should be heeded. Akiva Eldar says even if Palestinians win UN recognition, that won’t mean much in practice. Gershon Baskin says nobody seems particularly interested in challenging the status quo in Israel and Palestine. Colette Avital says Israel’s only hope for remaining a Jewish, democratic state is to have a Palestinian state alongside it. Ilan Peleg and Dov Waxman look at what Israel needs to do for its Arab minority. The National says Fayyad has been a great Prime Minister but national unity is more important than any individual. Yossi Alpher says Israel should defend its borders but make gestures towards refugees. Ghassan Khatib says justice for the refugees is a crucial part of peace. Carlo Strenger says by going to the UN, Palestinians are seizing control of the situation.

June 13th

Gazans welcome Egypt’s opening of the border. 1,600 settlers infiltrate Nablus without coordinating with the PA, and clash with Israeli forces. Officials say the new PA government will be announced on June 6. Israeli soldiers reportedly severely beat a Palestinian at a checkpoint near Hebron. Reuters asks if Palestine can become a member state of the UN, and says Israeli rhetoric about “indefensible borders” is a demand for more land. Pres. Abbas says he is determined to approach the UN in September, and the Arab League says it backs the move. Israel prepares for additional possible border protests. Israeli troops arrest eight Palestinians in the West Bank. An Israeli newspaper claims Abbas met with Pres. Peres secretly for “serious” negotiations. PM Netanyahu warns Egypt is loosing control of the Sinai. Zvi Bar'el says Hamas plays into Netanyahu’s “no partner” strategy. Akiva Eldar says Pres. Obama must confront Netanyahu on peace. Netanyahu presents a controversial plan to divide the Negev. Jeff Barak says Netanyahu’s speeches and poll numbers don’t change reality. Israelis say they’re not sure Obama made progress convincing Europeans to oppose a Palestinian UN bid. JJ Goldberg says Israel is not prepared for possible diplomatic developments in September. Mouin Rabbani says Egypt may open the border but will not take primary responsibility for Gaza. The Arab News says Palestinians have no choice but to go to the UN.

NEWS: Fatah says it wants PM Fayyad to continue in office but Hamas refuses. Analysts say this bodes poorly for national reconciliation. PM Netanyahu is mobilizing Europe against Palestinian statehood efforts at the UN. The White House discusses new peace ideas with leading Jewish Americans. Muhammad Dahlan is expelled from Fatah. A new arbitration agreement facilitates Palestinian-Israeli business links. Fayyad supports Stanley Fischer for IMF managing director. Women’s groups say the PA isn’t doing enough to combat “honor killings.” Egypt accuses an American man of being an Israeli spy. Living conditions in Gaza are slowly improving. COMMENTARY:Turki al-Faisal says US favoritism towards Israel is a failed policy. The LA Times hosts a debate between Mousa Abu Marzook and John Bolton on the UN role in Palestinian statehood. Akiva Eldar says Netanyahu ensures the world is against Israel. Merav Michaeli says the Israeli public is oblivious to the repression of Palestinian protesters. Jeff Barak says Israeli society has a long way to go before it becomes truly tolerant. The President of the European Parliament says there must be a peace agreement. Uri Avnery says Israel must make peace with all the Palestinians. Tony Karon says Palestinians doubts are Israel’s best weapon in September. Ha’aretz interviews French ambassador Valerie Hoffenberg on her government’s peace conference proposal.

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