November 9th

NEWS: A battle is raging the House of Representatives over US aid to the PA. There are reports of more “price tag” right-wing violence by Jewish extremists, and Israel's Education Minister calls it “a cancerous tumor.” Threats against Israeli peace activists are escalating. A draft UN report says there is no consensus in the Security Council on Palestinian UN membership, with the final report to be issued on Friday. FM Malki admits Palestine cannot get a nine-vote majority. The Quartet will meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Nov. 14. Several reporters confirm the accuracy of an overheard discussion about PM Netanyahu between Pres. Sarkozy and Pres. Obama. Netanyahu's poor international reputation is offset by strong domestic popularity. Palestinian businesses in Jerusalem's old city are suffering. COMMENTARY: Ronen Bergman looks at the history of Israeli prisoner swap negotiations. Nicholas Goldberg reflects on what the Jerusalem passport case means to him. Ha'aretz says Netanyahu is leading the fight against peace activists. Duncan Campbell says Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu deserves freedom. Walid Choucair says Israel and Iran play off each other to mutual benefit. Gershom Gorenberg proposes three steps to end Israel's international isolation. Helga Tawil-Souri looks at the cyber attack on Palestinian cable-based services. Judith Miller says it it doesn't matter if Sarkozy and Obama dislike Netanyahu, and Jackson Diehl says it doesn't make any sense if they do.

November 8th

News: The US resumes aid to the PA, releasing $200 million, but Congress is continuing to block almost the same amount, and Israel is likely to soon release withheld Palestinian tax revenues. Israeli reports suggest authorities are planning up to 50,000 new settler housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. Pres. Sarkozy reportedly tells Pres. Obama he thinks PM Netanyahu is “a liar.” Palestinians seeking legal action against occupation forces face impossibly steep court fees. DM Barak dismisses the idea of an Israeli attack against Iran. Israeli authorities arrest settlers after razing an unauthorized outpost settlement. The home of a Peace Now official is vandalized in an apparent “price tag” attack for a second time. Despite the victory at UNESCO, the Palestinian UN initiative seems to be hitting a dead end. Some Americans are getting college credit for taking what are blatantly Israeli propaganda “college courses” at “Jerusalem U." Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin calls vigilante Israeli “price tag” violence “terrorism.” Commentary: Roger Cohen says there is no alternative whatsoever to a two-state solution. Avinoam Bar-Yosef says Israel should release Marwan Barghouti if it really wants to make a peace agreement with Palestinians. Yagil Levy says religious extremists are trying to take over the Israeli military. Moshe Arens says the prisoner swap with Hamas was “a victory for terror.” Akiva Eldar says Israel is trying to turn Pres. Abbas into the late Pres. Arafat. Gershon Baskin says Israel is wrong not to wholeheartedly engage with Abbas and PM Fayyad, and the PLO is wrong not to negotiate with Israel immediately. Bradley Burston says supporters of Israel and the Palestinians must recognize each other's humanity. Debra DeLee explains why Americans for Peace Now filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on the Jerusalem passport case, and Ori Nir responds to the attacks on Peace Now in Israel.

November 7th

NEWS:The US renews aid to the PA. Fatah officials say Israel withholding Palestinian tax revenue is “disastrous” for the region. Young Palestinian activists in Gaza are disillusioned with Hamas and other parties. A new study links Palestinian suicide bombing with personal economic distress. After the recent cyber attack on Palestinian cable-based systems, hackers bring down Israeli military websites. The Knesset has a heated debate on the “Jewish national homeland” bill. Reports suggest Pres. Abbas is considering new elections, but would not run. The Al-Saraya compound in Gaza has become a holiday mall. The BBC looks at the political impact of social change in Israel. Israel's UN ambassador says he mistakenly attended a lunch for an extremist French party. Israel reportedly will not promise to clear any attack on Iran in advance with the United States. COMMENTARY: Akiva Eldar says Pres. Obama must stop PM Netanyahu and DM Barak from attacking Iran, and Uri Bar-Yosef agrees the two are acting recklessly. Oudeh Basharat says Israel is still struggling to become a normal country. Chemi Shalev says the New Israel Fund has been unfairly maligned. Adel Safty says Israel and the Palestinians need a new paradigm for peace. Musa Keilani says Abbas should clarify what former Sec. Rice says about his negotiations with then-PM Olmert. Uri Avnery says Israel is not going to attack Iran. Graham Usher says US sanctions on UNESCO hurt itself more than the UN agency or the Palestinians. Jonathan Freedland says the current Israel is not the one he loves. David Frum says the Jerusalem passport lawsuit is the Israeli answer to Palestinian diplomatic pressure. Gershom Gorenberg asks if Israel planned to expel the Palestinians in 1948.

November 4th

NEWS: FM al-Malki says Palestine does not plan on applying for membership in more UN agencies, and UNSG Ban says such membership is “not helpful.” It appears increasingly unlikely Palestinians can muster a majority in the Security Council for UN membership, and the UK and France will reportedly abstain in any vote. Israel joins the United States and Canada in defunding UNESCO. Islamic Jihad says it's open to “an all-out war with Israel.” Israeli forces kill two militants in Gaza. A senior Fatah official says Hamas' political weakness makes national reunification a real possibility. The Washington Post profiles young Palestinian activists. A Palestinian NGO, Al Nayzak, is trying to promote a culture of technological innovation. COMMENTARY: Dawoud Abu Lebdeh says many Palestinians see the Israel-Hamas prisoner swap as a defeat for Pres. Abbas. Stephen Cohen says American Jews can be liberal but pro-Israel. Carlo Strenger says Abbas has done his best to reach out to the Israeli public in recent weeks. Desmond Tutu and Michael Mansfield defend the upcoming "Russell Tribunal” on Palestine. J.J. Goldberg says it's wrong to see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a zero-sum game. The National since the UAE has joined UNESCO's executive board, it should help resolve the funding crisis. The Forward calls Palestine's UNESCO membership bid “inexplicable.” Ibrahim Shikaki says the “Arab Spring” will and does look different in Palestine, and Itamar Rabinovich says the effect on Israel has been mixed. Colum Lynch asks if the US would really defund multiple UN agencies over Palestine.

November 2nd

NEWS: Israel is speeding up settlement activity in the occupied territories. The PLO accuses Israel of “blackmail.” Israel says it has successfully tested a new long-range missile. Hackers attack all cable-based services, including Internet, in the West Bank. Israel closes an extremist seminary in a settlement. US law enforcement chiefs are visiting Israel. The Guardian provides a full breakdown of the UNESCO vote. UN teachers in Gaza go on strike for a third time this year.Yasser Arafat's widow denies Tunisian corruption allegations. Former Sec. Rice says prospects for peace have worsened under Pres. Obama. COMMENTARY: The LA Times says the UNESCO vote shows how isolated the US and Israel have become, and that anti-Palestinian laws should be repealed by Congress. Amira Hass says Palestinians should pursue “popular resistance” and not negotiations with Israel. Zvi Bar'el says the Israeli government prefers trading rocket fire with Islamic Jihad to negotiating with the PLO. The Jerusalem Post denounces UNESCO's admission of Palestine. Ian Williams says Obama has shown a lack of principle on the UNESCO issue. The National says Palestinians have scored a symbolic but important victory. The Gulf News agrees. Robert Danin says the UNESCO vote has done harm. The Chicago Tribune agrees UNESCO made the wrong decision. Carrie Budoff Brown says if Obama was planning a trip to Israel, the time for it is slipping away.

November 1st

NEWS: Palestine's UNESCO membership sets off a confrontation over US funding, and there are concerns it could have significant costs to Palestinians as well. Palestine will seek world heritage status for various sites in the occupied territories. The US has initiated an initial cut off of funding to UNESCO. The CSM looks at ramifications for four key players. Palestinians now may try to join 16 other multilateral agencies. Israeli forces demolish 5 Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem. A prominent Israeli NGO says Israel is forcing Palestinians out of Jerusalem. Egypt says Israel has agreed to delay further military actions in Gaza. Bosnia says its federation cannot agree on the Palestinian UN membership application and will abstain, meaning a Security Council majority in favor is virtually impossible. COMMENTARY: Judge Goldstone says Israel is not an “apartheid state.” Dimi Reider says freedom of speech is under attack in Israel. Akiva Eldar says PM Netanyahu is pursuing a policy of acquisition of territory by force. Amos Harel says Israel's military now prefers its soldiers to be killed rather than captured. Gershon Baskin says would be disastrous for the US to cut off all aid to the PA except security support. Susan Hattis Rolef says Israelis need to decide what they mean by “Jewish state.” The Daily Star says it's high time Palestine was admitted to UNESCO. Yossi Alpher says the latest Quartet initiative is pointless and depressing. Ghassan Khatib says Israel's new settlement construction plans are a direct challenge to the authority of the Quartet. Bernard Avishai says anyone who thinks boycotts are bad should be disturbed by the Israeli reaction to Palestine's UNESCO membership.

October 31st

NEWS: Palestine joins UNESCO as full member. After a deadly exchange of rocket fire, there are efforts to restore the cease-fire between Israel and militant groups in Gaza, but tensions continue to run high. The death toll in Gaza reaches 12. Both sides are using new technology. The attacks suggest Islamic Jihad may becoming a threat to Hamas. Pres. Abbas says the Arab rejection of the UN partition plan in 1947 was “a mistake.” The Arab League says it will look into alternatives to the bid for full UN membership for Palestine. A former Israeli soldier is jailed for leaking secret documents to Ha'aretz. UN officials say Israel should take the idea Palestinians might dismantle the PA seriously, as outlined in Asharq Al-Awsat. Palestinians say they will ask for full UNESCO membership in a vote later today, despite US threats to cut off funding to the agency. COMMENTARY: Robert Blackwill and Walter Slocombe say Israel is a true ally to the United States. Ha'aretz says Israel must end the Gaza blockade. Sefi Rachlevsky warns Israel's “radical leadership” might drag the country into war with Iran. Daniel Friedmann says a decision to strike Iran should be by the West, not Israel. JJ Goldberg notes that prominent Israeli columnist Nahum Barnea has suggested that PM Netanyahu and PM Barak are pushing for an attack on Iran. The Jordan Times says the US is blackmailing the UN over Palestine's UNESCO membership. Newsweek interviews Moshe Dayan's widow, who says the current government cannot think in terms of peace. ATFP releases a full transcript of PM Fayyad's address to its Sixth Annual Gala.

October 28th

NEWS: An American-Israeli is released by Egypt, but the agreement shows brittle ties between the countries. Bosnia says it cannot come to a consensus on Palestine's UN membership application. The Palestinian envoy to the UN files an official complaint against FM Lieberman's comments about Pres. Abbas. Abbas may discuss the future of the PA with Hamas. AP looks at the changing face of Christianity in the “holy land." Fatah has officially fired Mohammed Dahlan from his final remaining party post. Ha'aretz reports that Kadima leader Livni may have undermined negotiations under PM Olmert. Two recently released Palestinian prisoners get married. A company has lost a major contract in Saudi Arabia because of its involvement in Israel's light rail project in occupied East Jerusalem. COMMENTARY: Yoel Marcus says Abbas must choose to pursue peace with Israel. Don Futterman says Israel's abuse of Bedouins shows it still cannot treat its citizens equally. Uri Savir says peace is the only way to avoid more prisoner swaps. Hirsh Goodman says Israel would be wise to avoid being an issue in the US presidential campaign. Dawoud Abu Lebdeh says the international community must support those who believe in negotiations and nonviolence as a path to peace. Zvika Krieger asks what former Sec. Rice gets right and wrong in her account of the 2007 negotiations. Alan Elsner says Palestinians will be responsible if the US withdraws from UNESCO. May Marei outlines the challenges facing Palestinian travelers. Ron Kampeas says that in spite of media reports, he can find no evidence the United States asked Israel for another settlement freeze. Tom Perry says the Quartet finds itself hopelessly deadlocked.

October 26th

NEWS: In her new memoir, former Sec. Rice says peace was very close in 2007. Pres. Peres and EU foreign policy chief Ashton defend Pres. Abbas against criticisms by FM Lieberman. A World Bank agency is going to insure some Palestinian investments. Occupation forces close two offices in occupied East Jerusalem they claim were being used by Hamas. Palestinian officials say they're unaware of any new US proposal to restart negotiations. Former US peace envoy Mitchell says deadlocked negotiations could lead to violence. The ADL and AJC press Republicans not to attack Pres. Obama over Israel. Quartet officials say they're making another push to restart talks. The Palestinian stock exchange is performing much better than its peers under uncertain conditions. COMMENTARY: The LA Times says both the California and Israeli-Palestinian experiences show that textbook issues should be debated between scholars and not politicians. Lally Weymouth interviews Jordan's King Abdullah. Ha'aretz says PM Netanyahu must treat Abbas as a genuine partner. Jonathan Freedland says Netanyahu has no vision for peace. Kapil Komireddi says Indian-Israeli friendship should not be marred by anti-Muslim sentiments. Salman Shaikh says Hamas needs to find friends outside Damascus. Dan Rothem looks at the difficulty of drawing an Israeli-Palestinian border. Shlomo Brom says the Israel-Hamas prisoner exchange will have limited ramifications.

October 25th

NEWS: The controversy continues over Palestinian textbooks in occupied East Jerusalem. A planned “Museum of Tolerance” in occupied East Jerusalem is criticized by international archaeologists. Palestinian officials say the Quartet should judge which side is undermining peace. The PA says the Israeli government is not cracking down on settler violence. Egypt and Israel agree to a prisoner swap. The PA says Israel should release Marwan Barghouti. Jordan's King expresses doubt that Israel is really interested in a two-state solution. Israel mildly disciplines an occupation forces officer who killed a Palestinian. COMMENTARY: Timothy Wirth says if Palestine is accepted as a member, the US will have to resign from UNESCO. Ha'aretz says PM Netanyahu should listen to his own military experts. Anshel Pfeffer says the Israeli army is becoming dominated by religious fanatics. Sari Bashi says it's time to lift the siege of Gaza. Gershon Baskin says Israel should talk to Hamas. Robi Dameli says former Palestinian prisoners could turn into future peacemakers. Sarah Kreimer says settlement activity in occupied East Jerusalem is destroying the two-state solution. Yossi Alpher says the Israel-Hamas prisoner swap is not relevant to the real issues and Ghassan Khatib says it will have no impact on the moribund peace process. Barbara Slavin says the Obama administration is likely to maintain a cautious foreign policy until the next election.

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