November 23rd

NEWS: Hamas is gaining in confidence following the prisoner swap with Israel. Pres. Abbas will meet Hamas leader Mishaal in Egypt in spite of the unrest, and some analysts think they will finalize a deal soon. Israel is concerned about the future of its peace agreement with Egypt, and a former defense official is urging contingency plans to re-enter Sinai, but Egypt reaffirms its commitments. Israel charges a Palestinian man with "revenge" killings. Israel's Internal Security Minister says he fears more political assassinations by Jewish extremists. UNSG Ban calls on Israel to release Palestinian tax revenues. One of PM Netanyahu's media advisors resigns over threats to press freedom. UNESCO defunding is crippling its programs. COMMENTARY: Sarah Schulman says Israel engages in "pinkwashing" by using gay rights rhetoric to distract from the occupation. Bradley Burston says Netanyahu's government is hypocritical. Ha'aretz says Netanyahu must choose between FM Lieberman and the rule of law. Attila Somfalvi says Netanyahu is deliberately stifling the media. Gershon Baskin says Netanyahu could be a leader for peace if he wanted to. The Jordan Times says King Abdullah's Ramallah trip was timely support. Rebecca Vilkomerson says Israel is failing to protect its own citizens. Marwan Muasher says the Arab Peace Initiative may be dead. Dan Simpson says the peace process must be revived. Zvi Bar'el says Jordan may become the new home for Hamas' leadership.

November 22nd

NEWS: UN officials say settlement building is a primary obstacle to peace. Some Israelis are planning to boycott businesses that work with Palestinians. A new law making it easier to sue journalists for defamation passes 1st reading in the Knesset and is supported by PM Netanyahu. Netanyahu intervenes to resolve the feud between Israeli intelligence and the Foreign Ministry. A prominent rabbi faces criminal investigation for anti-Arab remarks. A new study says that because of Israeli restrictions, Palestinians invest twice as much in Israel as in the occupied territories. Jordan confirms that it maintains relations with the PA, but not Hamas, but the visit of its King to the West Bank fuels rumors of Pres. Abbas resigning. Israel says it will seek to eliminate UNRWA. COMMENTARY: The Washington Post says it is shocking that Israel would contemplate measures against NGOs reminiscent of authoritarian states. Nasser Lahham says Hamas and Fatah can and should unite, but Maher Abukhater doubts this is possible in practice. Merav Michaeli says a self-victimizing right is misleading Israelis. UK Amb. Gould Says Britain and Israel need to work more closely together. The Jerusalem Post says the new defamation bill will stifle free speech. David Newman says the attack on Israeli democracy is a real and severe. Sami Moubayed says Hamas is benefiting greatly from the Arab uprisings. The Jordan Times says Israel must respect international law. Keith Ellison says the US should not forfeit its influence in the UN by defunding agencies over Palestine.

November 21st

NEWS: As Palestinians seek UNESCO recognition for heritage sites in the occupied territories, Israel also lays claim to them. Jordan's King Abdullah visits Pres. Abbas in Ramallah. Senior US officials will meet with Palestinian and Israeli leaders this week. The Israeli government delays a bill that would restrict foreign funding to liberal NGOs. Israel's ambassador returns to Egypt. PM Fayyad says he's ready to leave office if a new prime minister is selected. Ha'aretz describes the procedure through which Palestinians are arrested by occupation authorities. Israeli officials say they will continue to withhold Palestinian tax revenues. Unemployment continues to grow in the occupied territories. Experts say Abbas is performing a delicate political balancing act. COMMENTARY: ATFP President Ziad Asali says Israel must do more to curb “price tag” settler violence. Shlomo Avineri says the “Jewish identity” bill in Israel would cause chaos. Amos Harel says strong ultra-Orthodox participation is changing the nature of the Israeli military. David Michaels says it's shameful that Christians in Jerusalem are abused by some Jewish extremists. Leonard Fein says the world should thank Pres. Sarkozy for giving a frank opinion of PM Netanyahu. The National says Israel is isolating itself internationally. Fahed Fanek says Jordan should promote more trade with Palestine. Brigitte Herremans says the EU needs to do much more to invest in peace. Yossi Alpher looks at best and worst case scenarios for a Palestinian unity government. Ghassan Khatib doubts that Hamas is in a hurry to complete an agreement with the PLO.

November 18th

NEWS: Hamas fines banks in Gaza. A pilot program to increase exports from Gaza is faltering. Israel is increasing diplomatic outreach in East Africa. Israel annexes privately-owned Palestinian land within Israel itself. A leading settler rabbi says soldiers should prefer death to listening to a woman singing. Israeli soldiers say extremist settlers have tried to kill them. Israel's separation barrier divides a Christian community in the occupied territories. Fatah and Hamas still plan unity talks, and some experts expect them to succeed at the expense of PM Fayyad. “Price tag” attacks are now targeting Palestinian citizens of Israel. COMMENTARY: Nehemia Shtrasler says PM Rabin understood the intimate connection between peace and economics. Anshel Pfeffer says there is no need for the ultra-Orthodox in Israel to protest, because they already run the place. Yair Lapid says the Israeli right does not understand that the left can also use new oppressive laws. Uri Savir says an Obama reelection is strongly in Israel's interests. Marcus Sheff says Palestinians may be divided about the right of return to a Palestinian state. Ahmad Majdoubeh says Palestinians should continue to insist on statehood and recognition. Ronit Avni says the story of occupation in Jerusalem is not being told. Hagit Ofran says the potential eviction of a Palestinian family in Jerusalem could spark a political crisis. Paul Pillar says nonviolence is the most potent Palestinian weapon. Former Special Envoy Mitchell says the peace process is not dead and must be continued. Abdel-Moneim Said says dissolving the PA would be “the mother of all gambles.”

November 17th

NEWS: Israel allows a shipment of construction materials into Gaza. Pres. Abbas will meet Hamas leaders next week, and Israel accuses him of preferring to deal with Hamas over peace with Israel. Israelis accuse a Palestinian journalist of being “an Iranian agent.” PLO officials dismiss reports, citing European diplomats, of a secret deal to release Palestinian tax revenues. The widow of the late Pres. Arafat says she never took any public money. The Israeli economy again faces the threat of a slowdown or recession. Concerns are growing over settler violence. Palestinians are reconsidering their diplomatic options.Israel has been building multibillion-dollar electronic weapons that could be deployed in the event of an attack against Iran. COMMENTARY: Michael Cohen says Palestinians and other Arabs have learned historical lessons but Israel and the US haven't. Gideon Levy says PM Netanyahu is Israel's last hope for democracy. Ari Shavit says without its political left, Israel would be a backward country. Musa Abu Hashhash says events in Hebron show religious extremists on both sides pose a grave danger. Douglas Bloomfield asks if Middle East peace has become a mission impossible. Dan Stein says pro-Palestinian activists have created a controversy within the occupy Wall Street movement. Trudy Rubin says the peace process is the victim of neglect. Khaled Diab profiles Palestinian “freedom riders.”

November 16th

NEWS: Israeli generals again say they may need to attack Gaza. Israel announces more settlement activity in occupied East Jerusalem. Palestinian "freedom riders" are boarding segregated Israeli buses, and are being arrested. The CSM looks at the idea of dismantling the PA. France summons the Israeli ambassador after its consul in Gaza is injured in an Israeli attack. Pres. Abbas vows to accelerate reconciliation with Hamas, and Palestinians say they have agreed on elections in May. Fatah says PM Fayyad remains their preferred candidate for prime minister. A Republican foreign aid proposal startles supporters of Israel. COMMENTARY: Amira Hass says PM Netanyahu is less of a liar than other Israeli prime ministers. Amos Harel says the Israeli military is split between rabbis and generals. Nir Hasson looks at who funds right-wing Israeli groups. Sameer Abu Eisheh looks at the idea of dissolving the PA, and Danny Rubinstein says it is a real option and would redefine everything. Shai Bazak says Palestinians must return to negotiations. Tony Karon thinks Fayyad, and possibly Pres. Abbas, will soon be out of office. Elliott Abrams thinks Palestinian diplomacy is in deep trouble. Arieh O’Sullivan says Bedouins in the Sinai are joining Al Qaeda not out of ideology but bitterness. Trudy Rubin says Israeli settler violence is a huge threat to peace. Nour Joudah explains why she supports the Palestinian “freedom riders.”

November 15th

NEWS: The French consul in the Gaza Strip is injured in an Israeli military attack. The Quartet does not appear to have made any progress between Israel and the Palestinians. The CSM asks if Israel was responsible for a massive explosion in Iran. Palestinian officials say they have made progress on national reconciliation talks, and Fatah officials say that may mean replacing PM Fayyad. Israeli generals want to fight gender segregation in their ranks, and say there is the prospect of a major military action in Gaza. The Knesset is proceeding with two controversial bills. Egypt arrests a suspect in the attacks on the gas pipeline to Israel. Israeli and Palestinian activists are launching “freedom rides” on segregated buses in the occupied territories. COMMENTARY: Richard Cohen says Pres. Peres' new book about Ben-Gurion is worth reading. Sefi Rachlevsky says Israel desperately needs a new prime minister. Ha'aretz says there are serious threats to freedom of the press in Israel. Gershon Baskin says “economic peace” may be the only thing available right now. Ron Kampeas asks what the exchange between Pres. Obama and Pres. Sarkozy about PM Netanyahu really means. The National says Israel is wrong to withhold Palestinian tax revenues. Yossi Alpher says dissolving the PA would be extremely risky, Yossi Beilin says it's actually a possibility, but Ghassan Khatib says it's simply not an option. Donald Macintyre looks at why the sincerity of Netanyahu is doubted by other leaders.

November 14th

NEWS: Israel is maintaining a block on transferring Palestinian tax revenues. The Israeli government is trying to limit foreign funding to liberal NGOs. An American activist badly injured by Israeli occupation forces during a protest files suit. As ultra-Orthodox religious groups gain power in Israeli society, women fear for their rights. Palestinians ponder their next step at the UN. A Hamas police officer is killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza. PM Fayyad again says he is not, and will not agree to be, an obstacle to Palestinian reunification. Western officials suggest Israel may have been behind a huge explosion in Iran. Quartet efforts are unlikely to restart negotiations. The CSM looks at RIWAQ which preserves Palestinians' cultural heritage buildings. COMMENTARY: Akiva Eldar asks why anyone would ever believe PM Netanyahu, and Uri Avnery says lying is the essence of his political career, but Deborah Danino Harkham says he has been subject to unfair character assassination for many years. Amira Hass says Israel is always coming up with new ways to expel Palestinians, but nobody cares. Susan Hattis Rolef says the NGO Bill is a threat to Israeli democracy. Mourid Barghouti says he is a poet from a country with no name. Shlomo Ben-Ami says Israel inexplicably bolstered Hamas with the prisoner swap when it should be moving quickly towards a deal with Pres. Abbas. Alon Ben-Meir says the status quo is incredibly dangerous for Israel. Natasha Mozgovaya says Pres. Obama is going to have to work harder now on Jewish outreach. Ha'aretz says Israel's leaders are putting their political interests ahead of the law.

November 11th

NEWS: Senior Obama administration official Dennis Ross resigns. Israeli occupation forces accidentally kill a settler near Hebron. The family of the late Pres. Arafat say they have discovered the cause of his death. UNESCO suspends projects after US funding is cut. Ireland urges Israel to release activists from the latest flotilla. Fatah officials say there will be no surprises in the next meeting with Hamas. Planned demolitions of “unauthorized” settlement outposts could endanger PM Netanyahu's coalition. Palestinian officials say they're worried about an outbreak of violence in the occupied territories. Raw sewage is a huge problem in Jerusalem streets. Bedouins oppose Israeli plans to relocate them. COMMENTARY: Tom Perry says Pres. Abbas needs at least a symbolic victory at the UN. Yoel Marcus says Israelis need to be protesting about their country's foreign policy as well as the economy. Analysts look at Palestinian options following UNESCO membership. Uri Savir says Israel must freeze settlements immediately in its security interests and to deal with Iran. Hassan Haidar says Israel is using the Iranian nuclear threat to “blackmail” its allies. Stuart Reigeluth says Israel's destruction of a Palestinian solar plant demonstrates the worst aspects of the occupation. Lina Attalah describes being involved in the latest Gaza flotilla. Edwin Brown says Israel should face consequences for its violations of international law. Harriet Sherwood says Palestinians might force a Security Council vote even though they know it will fail. Joshua Hersh says the US will not make any new diplomatic initiatives during the election season. Elliott Abrams says no one can blame Ross for resigning under the present circumstances, but Michael Hirsh says he's the symbol of a failed policy.

November 10th

NEWS: Palestinians say, lacking a majority in the Security Council, they will probably now take their case to the General Assembly. Comments about PM Netanyahu by Pres. Obama and Pres. Sarkozy underscore tensions between Israel and the West, though the White House is seeking to limit damage. Saboteurs blow up the Egyptian-Israeli gas pipeline for the seventh time this year. Palestinian activists are planning “freedom rides” on Israeli buses. Israelis and Palestinians dispute land uncovered by the receding Dead Sea shoreline. Support for Hamas in Gaza is dwindling. Pro-Israel students in the US are ramping up campus activities. Recent events at the UN show the continuing extent of Israeli influence in the US. COMMENTARY: Moshe Negbi says those really responsible for the assassination of PM Rabin remain unpunished. Bradley Burston says in some ways Israel is turning into Iran. Uri Misgav says the proposed Israeli law banning foreign funding for left-wing NGOs is hypocritical. Douglas Bloomfield says brinksmanship could spark another Middle East war. Yossi Alpher says Israel is unlikely to attack Iran, at least for now. The National says Palestinians should continue to push for statehood but avoid all forms of violence. George Hishmeh thinks Israel is running out of American friends. Ziad Khalil Abu Zayyad says the Palestinian UNESCO membership was intended to keep the possibility of a two-state solution alive. Udi Aloni says Judge Goldstone is wrong and Israel does indeed practice apartheid. Richard Woolcott says Australia should rethink its opposition to Palestinian UN membership. Aaron David Miller says Obama should neither pander to nor punish Netanyahu.

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