August 23rd

NEWS: Egypt says it never considered withdrawing its ambassador to Israel. The US is investigating possible ties of Al-Qaeda sympathizers to recent attacks in Israel. Glenn Beck's Israel tour raises questions about the Christian right and its agenda. Israel's anti-missile system may have helped stop an escalation with Gaza militants. Pres. Abbas postpones planned municipal elections in the West Bank. The UN report on last year's flotilla incident is again delayed. Israeli courts reject an appeal by Palestinians against the separation barrier. PM Netanyahu reportedly tells his cabinet why a large-scale assault on Gaza is not in Israel's interests. Resentment against Hamas is growing within Gaza's middle class. Gaza tunnel operators are focusing on moving people. Egypt bans the export of palm leaves to Israel. The Arab League chief reportedly suggests Palestinians reconsider any UN initiative. COMMENTARY: Rachel Tabachnick says Israel should shun Glenn Beck. Noam Sheizaf says Beck's tour could be disastrous. Eitan Haber says it makes sense for Israel to apologize to Egypt over the death of its soldiers. Sami Abdel-Shafi says the EU should aid Gaza. George Semaan says Israel faces a strategic crisis. Mohammad Salah says the incident over the flag at the Israeli embassy in Cairo is a symptom of Egypt's loss of influence. The Jordan Times says recent attacks in Israel only undermine the Palestinian cause. Uri Avnery says violence is being driven by extremists, including those in power.

August 22nd

NEWS: Israel apologizes for the deaths of Egyptian soldiers. After a series of deadly exchanges, Israel, Hamas and other Gaza factions seem to be observing a cease-fire. The violence may prompt the end of "social justice" protests in Israel. Speculation grows that Bedouins may have been involved in the attacks in Israel. The Independent looks at Egyptian efforts to curb lawlessness in Sinai. Syrian forces are reportedly scrambling to erase evidence of bloodshed at the Ramel Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia. Diplomats say Iran has curtailed or ended financing of Hamas. PM Fayyad denies reports that the US threatened to cut off aid if Palestinians pursue a UN initiative.Palestinian quarry workers go on strike. COMMENTARY: Aaron David Miller says all parties are seeking to avoid blame for the ongoing diplomatic impasse. Zev Chafets says Glenn Beck, though a Mormon, may be trying to become the leader of the pro-Israel Christian right. Akiva Eldar says there is a confrontation between "Israeli arrogance" and "Arab honor." Bradley Burston says everyone must accept that Israelis are people like all others. The National says violence only harms the Palestinian cause. Nahum Barnea says Israel has no strategy. Khaled Diab says self-criticism is essential. Husam Itani says the Negev attacks show that armed conflict between Arabs and Israel is counter-productive. The Daily Star says all parties have good reasons for avoiding an escalation.

August 19th

NEWS: Israel and militants in Gaza exchange attacks. At least five Egyptians are killed in the fighting. Israel blames "poor security" in Sinai for the attacks. Israeli attacks strike a refugee camp in central Gaza. Reuters looks at the group blamed for the attacks in southern Israel. The Media Line looks at the state of Egyptian security in Sinai. The US urges Egypt to do more to control Sinai. Israel opens a light rail service linking West Jerusalem with occupied East Jerusalem. Pres. Abbas says the PLO will not accept observer status at the UN. The battle intensifies in Congress over how to react to a Palestinian UN initiative. COMMENTARY: Akiva Eldar says Israel no longer looks like a Goliath in the region. Avi Issacharoff says the Egyptian revolution has left a vacuum in Sinai. David Borowich Ya’ari says Israelis are awakening to "social justice" issues. Roi Ben-Yehuda says the protests may lead to a new era of Jewish-Arab cooperation, but Yisrael Harel says they are indifferent to the Palestinians. Abir Kopty explains how Palestinians in Israel are trying to involve themselves in the protests. The Daily Star says the exchange of attacks shows the status quo is untenable and peace is the only option. Shane Farrell and Mona Alami say Abbas achieved much in his trip to Lebanon.

August 18th

NEWS: Israeli vehicles are attacked near the Egyptian border, with at least five killed. Israeli and Palestinian authorities are preparing to deal with possible massive demonstrations in September in the West Bank, but Reuters says there is no sign of them. Hamas bans 8 Gaza students from traveling to study in the United States for “cultural and social reasons.” Hamas denies it's moving its headquarters to Egypt. Turkey is likely to retaliate diplomatically for Israel's refusal to apologize for last year's flotilla incident. Prisoner swap talks between Israel and Hamas are reportedly deadlocked. Palestinians may be working with the EU to find an effective UN strategy. Hamas and other Palestinian factions find themselves in a difficult position over Syrian government attacks on Palestinian refugees. A Palestinian man faces a lonely struggle against a key settlement. Ousted former PLO official Muhammad Dahlan is struggling for his political survival. Pres. Abbas opens the Palestinian embassy in Beirut. COMMENTARY: Ha'aretz says the attacks on the border show Egypt is losing control of Sinai. D. Bloomfield wonders if PM Netanyahu is bluffing on the border issue. Hussein Shobokshi says Pres. Assad has become more dangerous to the region than Israel. George Hishmeh says the US is still not evenhanded. Israel's consul general in New England says Palestinians won't benefit from a UN initiative. Daoud Kuttab says Palestinians can still negotiate with Israel no matter what happens in September. Eva Bartlett looks at the dangers of swimming in Gaza. Josh Rubner says Congress should hold Israel responsible for use of US weapons. Oded Eran says secret talks have been useful between Arabs and Israelis.

August 16th

NEWS: Activists say thousands of people, including Palestinian refugees, have been herded into a stadium in Latakia by the Syrian government. More than 80 members of Congress are visiting Israel during the current recess, funded by a group affiliated with AIPAC. Israeli cost-of-living protests ignore the question of the occupation. A Palestinian man is killed and seven injured in Israeli air strikes on Gaza. Palestinians are outraged by attacks by Syrian government forces on Syrian and Palestinian civilians. The PLO accuses Syria of crimes against humanity. Pres. Abbas appeals for more Arab financial and diplomatic support. Abbas appoints the chairman for a new constitutional committee. Sen. Leahy says the US should cut funding for Israeli military units guilty of abuses in the occupied territories. Critics say a proposed new Israeli law threatens democracy and Arab rights. The American Jewish Committee is divided over the distinction between anti-Semitism and criticism of Israeli policies. Egypt says Hamas is refusing to hand over suspects in attacks on the Sinai gas pipeline. COMMENTARY: Amir Oren says Pres. Obama will not save PM Netanyahu. Gershon Baskin says Israel's social justice movement must include Palestinian concerns. Eran Shayshon says in order to support Israel, Jews must have an "open tent.” Yossi Alpher says settler violence is an inevitable byproduct of occupation. Ghassan Khatib says Israel must be held accountable for settlement expansions. Matthew Bell looks at the US stance towards Palestinian UN initiatives. Carlo Strenger says FM Lieberman does not understand the Middle East. Mel Frykberg says Hamas executions reveal divisions in Palestinian society. Hussein Ibish says all national narratives, including Israeli and Palestinian ones, must be respected but should not be confused with historical truth.

August 15th

NEWS: UNRWA says Palestinian refugees are among those being attacked by Syrian forces in Latakia, with at least two killed. Palestinians in Ramallah rally for the downfall of Pres. Assad. Rep. Hoyer says Pres. Abbas and PM Fayyad delivered mixed messages on potential Palestinian UN initiatives. FM Al-Maliki says Palestinians will apply for full UN membership. Palestinians say they are determined to win more bilateral and multilateral recognition. Abbas reportedly held for "secret meetings" with Pres. Peres. Hamas objects to PA plans for municipal elections in October. A dispute between Fatah and ousted former official Dahlan is bolstering Hamas. The Palestinian Economy Minister is referred to the Attorney General for potential prosecution. Israel announces more settlement activity. Controversy continues to haunt the Freedom Theater in Jenin. COMMENTARY: Gideon Levy says Israel's closest neighbor is its own military. Harold Zwier and Larry Stillman say Australia should support Palestinian statehood. Tariq Al Maeena says years of negotiating have not yielded anything for the Palestinians. A new book looks at nonviolent resistance to Israel's occupation. Joel Brinkley critiques the ideology of extremist settlers. Akiva Eldar says Israel may take military actions in response to a Palestinian UN initiative. Yaakov Katz says the Israeli military is prepared for whatever might happen in September.

August 12th

NEWS: Pres. Abbas and PM Fayyad send mixed messages on UN bid. The US threatens to halt aid to Gaza. Pres. Abbas says NATO may have a future role in a Palestinian state. The PA is formulating policies to offset future financial crises. Israel prepares for possible Palestinian statehood rallies in September. Israel may freeze defense spending because of cost of living protests. The US urges Israel not to proceed with planed settlement expansions in occupied East Jerusalem. The EU says the plan threatens a two-state solution. PM Fayyad says the move shows “total disregard for Palestinian rights.” Abbas stresses there can be no settlements in a Palestinian state. Israel is accused of systematically denying education to Palestinian prisoners. COMMENTARY: Amos Oz says Israel's middle-class protest movement shows the spirit of the country. Ha'aretz says Israeli leaders are becoming hysterical about September. Israeli Amb. Michael Oren says Israel will not agree to international peacekeepers in a Palestinian state. Joseph Dana says Israeli “social justice” protests are ignoring the occupation. JJ Goldberg looks at the lawsuit on the status of Jerusalem in US passports. The Arab News says the time has come for Palestinians to go to the UN and demand independence. David Newman says the West Bank separation barrier is actually a de facto border between Israel and Palestine. Sharif Omar says the wall has not changed the strategic equation between Israel and the Palestinians. Hussein Ibish looks at the Palestinian financial crisis and its political implications.

August 11th

NEWS: A Palestinian TV satire program rankles its targets. The Israeli government is set to approve thousands of new settler homes around occupied East Jerusalem. Palestinian officials say the US response is “insufficient.” Lebanon and Qatar may be key support at the UN for the Palestinians. Some settler leaders try to join the Israeli social justice protests. DM Barak warns that Israeli sanctions could lead to the collapse of the PA. PM Netanyahu reportedly rules out any apology to Turkey. The Israeli military is also preparing for tensions with Syria. Palestinian officials make detailed plans to prevent violent confrontations during possible mass rallies in September. COMMENTARY: Gideon Levy says Netanyahu understands nothing about public relations. Farid Abdel-Nour says a Palestinian statehood initiative can breathe new life into the two-state solution. Sima Kadmon says the Israeli government privileges settlers, even in "unauthorized" outposts. Dov Weisglass says the idea of abrogating the Oslo agreements is foolish. George Hishmeh asks when Pres. Obama will stand up to Netanyahu. The Daily Star says Palestinians need to overcome both internal and external obstacles to statehood. Daoud Kuttab looks at options for the future of Jerusalem. Kieron Monks says Palestinian youth are frustrated and volatile. The Jordan Times says Netanyahu is resorting to weak excuses. Dov Waxman says Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel can use the cost of living protests to forge a better future together.

August 10th

NEWS: Some find new hope for the Palestinian cause in the Arab uprisings. Israel and the Arab states may meet to discuss a nuclear-free Middle East. Marwan Barghouti again talks about mass demonstrations following a UN vote. The Chinese military chief will visit Israel. Western diplomats warn about the consequences of Palestinian UN plans. Pres. Peres says Israeli-Palestinian peace is still possible. The US says it's “deeply concerned” about Israel's new settlement plans in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli businesses are criticized for "Jews-only" hiring policies. Palestinian police are angered by a satirical TV program. Palestinian prisoners languish for years in Israeli administrative detention. COMMENTARY: Shai Feldman examines the background and implications of a potential Palestinian UN initiative. Ibrahim Sharqieh says the US must support a Palestinian statehood bid. Nehemia Shtrasler says the Netanyahu government fits very well in the Middle East. Gershon Baskin proposes a draft UN Security Council resolution affirming two states for two peoples. Kenneth Bandler says Jewish Americans need to take more interest in Palestinian citizens of Israel. Jessica Steinberg says by accepting the 1967 lines in theory, PM Netanyahu is strategically maneuvering. The Jordan Times says Jordan strongly supports the Palestinian cause. Henry Siegman says there are no real arguments against Palestinian statehood. Hussein Ibish analyzes the political implications of a new book tracing the history of traditional Palestinian costume.

August 9th

NEWS: Palestinians are still studying their options for a UN initiative. Lebanon and Qatar may play a crucial role. PM Netanyahu lobbies international diplomats against Palestinian statehood. Hamas is late in paying its employees wages. Israel arrests 11 Palestinians in the West Bank. Projectiles fired from Gaza land in Israel without causing injuries. Gazans defy handicaps to lead full lives. A Palestinian textile factory is booming online. Israel arrests another actor from the Jenin freedom theater. COMMENTARY: Ha'aretz says Netanyahu must distance himself from inflammatory comments by FM Lieberman. Gabriel Bacalor says Palestinians are ready for peace but Israeli policies are not. Yossi Alpher says Israel's West Bank separation barrier was justified despite many mistakes, but Ghassan Khatib says it was illegal, unjustified and ultimately destructive. Alon Ben-Meir says Israeli-Palestinian coexistence is inevitable and they must determine its form. Hussein Ibish says the latest Israeli settlement announcement shows how desperate the situation is for Palestinians.

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