NEWS: Israel arrests three suspects in the murder of a Palestinian Christian leader in what appears to have been an intra-communal real estate dispute. Hamas leader Haniyyeh is visiting Iran. PM Netanyahu offers a wide range of concessions to the settler movement. Netanyahu answers questions online from Arab netizens. Netanyahu's office denies reports it might be willing to forgo sovereignty in the Jordan Valley in the event of a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Jordan and Qatar emerge as the leading candidates to be Hamas' new headquarters. Palestinian actor Mohammed Bakri faces a campaign of harassment from Jewish extremists. A new study suggests the violence of the second intifada did not damage Israel's national morale. The JTA looks at a controversy involving the Center for American Progress. MK Tibi says criticisms of him in the Knesset are totally unfair. COMMENTARY: Uri Misgav says Israel needs to separate religion and state. Avirama Golan says Israeli school students are being indoctrinated in nationalism more extreme than ever. Akiva Eldar says Newt Gingrich's flip-flop on Palestine won't help him win Florida. Gershon Baskin says both sides are to blame for the failure of peace talks in Jordan. David Newman criticizes Israel's growing policy of walling its borders. The Forward says there's something fundamentally undemocratic about billionaire Sheldon Adelson funneling $10 million to Newt Gingrich's campaign. The Jordan Times says the King was correct in opening a new chapter with Hamas. Yossi Alpher says the Amman talks bordered on counterproductive. Ghassan Khatib says Jordan and other sponsors should explain to the world Israel's responsibility for the talks' failure. Maher Abukhater says no matter how frustrated parties are, talks will continue.

January 30th

NEWS: Hamas leader MIshaal makes his 1st official visit to Jordan since 1999. A hard-line settler is challenging PM Netanyahu for the leadership of the Likud party. Netanyahu may be moving towards early national elections in Israel. After an outcry of opposition, the PA is suspending tax hikes. The PLO executive committee is meeting today to discuss the impasse in negotiations with Israel, for which both sides are blaming each other. Turkey denies reports it has provided funding to Hamas. A new report says Palestinian citizens of Israel are increasingly attending higher education institutions in PA-controlled areas. 70 West Bank settlements are on the new Israeli “national priorities” list for special benefits. The New York Times profiles Gingrich benefactor Sheldon Adelson. COMMENTARY: Ha'aretz says Israel's curriculum is hiding the occupation from students. Barry Rubin dismisses the idea that Israel might attack Iran. Mohammed Najib says Mishaal maybe trying to carve out a new role for himself. Paul Harris says Adelson isn't running for office but his money could have a big impact on the Florida primary. Robert Fisk says when it comes to Middle East peace, the past trumps the present. Salman Masalha says Israeli society is permeated with discrimination. Khaled Elgindy says the Middle East Quartet has outlived its usefulness. Jackie Spinner says the dramatic reduction in US aid to the PA is a significant threat to Palestinian economic recovery in cities like Hebron.

January 27th

NEWS: The PLO says Israel has given it no reason to continue with talks and dismisses Israel's proposals on borders. The continued diplomatic impasse is throwing the viability of a two-state solution into doubt. Pres. Abbas meets with EU foreign policy chief Ashton. The Palestinian election commission says it's ready and able to hold elections in May if so instructed. Hamas has effectively abandoned its headquarters in Damascus. In spite of having resigned, Dennis Ross is reportedly still providing regular advice to the Obama administration. Israel agrees to the construction of an access road for the first planned Palestinian city in the West Bank. An Israeli cabinet minister takes journalists on a tour of a West Bank settlement. In a conversation with Pres. Peres at the Davos forum, PM Fayyad says building a Palestinian state will require Israeli cooperation and Peres says a Palestinian state has in effect already been established. Pro-Palestinian hackers apologize for a cyber attack on the Ha'aretz website. COMMENTARY: David Ignatius memorializes the late Palestinian journalist Tewfik Mishlawi. Yossi Sarid says PM Netanyahu may face an angered and reelected Pres. Obama next year. Guy Bechor says Hamas is in real trouble. Herb Keinon says low-level Israeli-Palestinian talks are likely to continue. The National says the peace process is a fig leaf for the Quartet. George Hishmeh says the suggestion by a newspaper editor that Israel might assassinate Obama met with a shocking silence, except from the Jewish-American community.

January 26th

NEWS: Palestinians and Israelis have not yet agreed on another round of talks. Significant challenges are facing efforts to revive them. The EU says there is still hope they will continue and is reportedly working on an incentive package for Palestinians. Hanan Ashrawi says Israel is “thwarting all efforts” to continue negotiations. Some experts say Palestinians are looking for alternatives to continued talks. Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti is placed in solitary confinement following recent public comments. Palestinian officials doubt elections will be held in May, as planned. Palestinians are concerned about new Israeli search technologies involving nausea-inducing gas. Hamas says it's trying to improve relations with Jordan. COMMENTARY: Carlo Strenger says politicians, including PM Netanyahu, and others should stop misusing the Holocaust. Israel Harel says Israel's High Court should create a constitutional court. Roni Brizon says religious and nationalist extremists are taking over Israel. Gershon Baskin says Israel will only find security through peace. Jonathan Rosen says Israel will probably have an election before October. Douglas Bloomfield says negotiations might be futile at this stage but they are still necessary. Gal Beckerman says Sheldon Adelson's apparent ability to change Newt Gingrich's attitudes on Israel and the Palestinians shows one person can affect an election if they're willing to spend enough money. Joel Braunold says the apparent failure of negotiations doesn't change the fundamental realities facing Israelis and Palestinians. Eyal Press looks at a new Israeli film about law and the occupation. Ronen Bergman asks if Israel will attack Iran.

January 25th

NEWS: EU foreign policy chief Ashton says Israel and the Palestinians should keep talking. Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti says Palestinian strategy should be based on national unity, non-violent resistance and negotiations with Israel. Pres. Abbas says the Amman talks are not yielding progress and Palestinians say they may end the talks after the next round. The last session was reportedly contentious. The Palestinian election commission opens offices in Gaza. The US announces a 3-year extension of loan guarantees for Israel. Reports in the Arab media suggest Jordan may be considering sanctions against Israel. Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood officials say they will not meet with Israeli representatives. PA tax hikes meet with vocal Palestinian opposition. COMMENTARY: Zvi Bar'el says Israel's highest court mustn't be a plaything in the service of the settler movement. Bradley Burston says Jewish Americans, including those in Hollywood, need to see Israelis as normal people. Moshe Ronen says Israel would be wrong to silence outspoken Palestinian MK Zoabi. Uriel Heilman asks why some Jewish Americans dislike Pres. Obama so much. Stuart Reigeluth and Dimitris Bouris say Europe should be much more assertive in opposing Israeli settlements. Ibrahim Sharqieh says the US should abandon its policy of seeking Palestinian statehood only through negotiations. Linda Heard says the international community cannot continue to turn a blind eye to Israel's discriminatory practices. Michael Sharnoff says the Arab Peace Initiative should be the basis for new diplomatic progress. The Oman Tribune says Palestinians would be justified in walking out of the current round of negotiations. Wayne Barrett asks if massive donations from a pro-settler billionaire explain the apparently sudden transformation of Newt Gingrich's attitudes on Israel and the Palestinians.

January 24th

NEWS: Israeli forces arrest two Hamas officials at a protest in occupied East Jerusalem, bringing the total number detained in recent days to 5. One of them is ordered jailed for 6 months without charges.The US says the latest composition of the UN Security Council isn't more favorable to the Palestinians. A Jordanian official says Hamas leader Mishaal will visit that country on Sunday, along with the emir of Qatar. Hamas says Mishaal won't be visiting Gaza anytime soon. PM Netanyahu may have finally reached an agreement with settlers in a large “unauthorized” outpost. Israeli authorities say they will not interfere with two PA police stations on the outskirts of municipal Jerusalem. Israeli embassies and consulates in many places are on high alert due to an anthrax scare. DM Barak says if Hamas accepts the Quartet principles and renounces violence, Israel will negotiate with it. COMMENTARY: The Washington Times interviews PM Fayyad. Sefi Rachlevsky says Israel has its most extreme government. Akiva Eldar says mainstream Israeli society is coming to terms with the historical facts of the Palestinian Nakba. Barak Ravid says Pres. Abbas is eager to continue negotiations but Israel will have to play its part for that to happen. Ehud Eiran says Israel needs to urgently repair relations with Turkey. Omar Ghraieb says Palestinians remained badly divided. Matthew Weinstein says depictions of Israel in films at the Sundance Festival range from critical to abysmal. JJ Goldberg says Jewish Americans should take the resignation of an editor who suggested Israel might assassinate Pres. Obama as an opportunity for introspection. Elias Harfoush says Mishaal's apparent decision to step down indicates Hamas may be attempting to emulate Islamist parties in emerging Arab democracies. Amb. Peter Millett says Israeli-Palestinian peace is achievable and necessary.

January 23rd

NEWS: Hamas confirms that its Politburo leader Khaled Mishaal will not seek reelection for the position. The move may reflect new challenges and opportunities facing the group. Pres. Abbas says he's willing to continue talks but calls negotiating documents submitted by Israel “worthless.” Israel condemns a sermon by a leading Palestinian cleric. Settlers reject a request from PM Netanyahu to voluntarily evacuate an "unauthorized" outpost. Jewish groups in the UK cancel a meeting with Abbas, apparently at Netanyahu's request. The Guardian profiles the plight of Palestinian children in Israel's jails. The construction industry is booming as Gaza rebuilds. The owner of an Atlanta Jewish newspaper apologizes for suggesting Israel might assassinate Pres. Obama. COMMENTARY: Oudeh Basharat says Palestinian citizens of Israel face undemocratic discrimination. Susan Hattis Rolef says the basic facts in the controversial French report on Israel's water policies seem accurate and fair. The National says shifts in Hamas policies and leadership place Palestinian reconciliation in doubt. Musa Keilani says Jordan is right to urge renewed emphasis on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Uri Avnery says Israel needs more large-scale protests. Mya Guarnieri says Israeli settlers are continuing to abuse vulnerable Palestinians. Jaimie Levin says Masada should be a grim reminder to Israelis about the importance of compromise. Yossi Alpher says everyone understands that Oslo has reached the end of the road, yet no one is doing anything about it. Ghassan Khatib says political changes are raising questions about the prospects for a two-state solution. Shlomo Avineri says a single state is not a solution but a recipe for institutionalized civil war. Sam Bahour says that years of warning signs show that the two-state solution has collapsed.

January 20th

News: A top US general is visiting Israel to discuss Iran. Israeli forces arrest another Hamas-affiliated Palestinian MP in the West Bank, and the organization calls for an end to negotiations and security cooperation in response. The PLO says it's under “huge pressure” to extend negotiating deadlines. Hamas promises to investigate stabbing attack against a human rights activist in Gaza after he wrote an article critical of their policies. Fatah appears ill-prepared for any upcoming election. Thailand formally recognizes Palestine. Palestinian students say they were arrested by Israeli authorities for urging a boycott of a speech by Pres. Peres. 10 members of “an Islamic jihad cell” are arrested in the West Bank. Recent attacks on Shiites in Gaza by Hamas may be a symptom of its political shifts. Palestinian officials say they may renew their UN campaign or turn to intensified nonviolent protests because diplomacy with Israel appears fruitless. COMMENTARY: Khaled Diab looks at the increasing number of cyber attacks between Israel and Arabs. Jordan Michael Smith says the American conversation on Israel is changing, though that has yet to reach the political highest levels. Bruce Riedel says a nuclear Iran is not an existential threat to Israel. J.J. Goldberg says Israeli hardliners are looking at old documents to justify claims to occupied territory. Trita Parsi looks at the complex US-Israel-Iran triangle. Naava Mashiah says Arab Jews should insist on maintaining their identity. The Economist says Palestinians and Israelis have begun talking again, but can't agree about what. Ali Younes looks at GOP candidate Rick Santorum's views on Israel and the Palestinians. Joe Klein says attempts to cast critics of Israeli policies as "anti-Semites" are a symptom of paranoia.

January 19th

NEWS:PM Fayyad calls for a national debate on the financial crisis facing the PA. Mahmoud Abu Rahma is released from hospital in Gaza after being stabbed apparently due to an article he wrote criticizing Hamas and other militant groups. Israeli forces demolish an "unauthorized" settlement outpost. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is mixing ideology and pragmatism in its approach to Israel. Palestinians say the UN Security Council will take up the issue of Israeli settlement activity next week. A new UN report calls the blockade of Gaza "collective punishment." A spokesman for PM Netanyahu denies he said Israel’s "biggest enemies" are The New York Times and Ha'aretz. Internal strife hits the hawkish Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. The Forward looks at how Jewish-American university presidents deal with issues regarding Israel. One year on, the family of slain Hamas operative Mabhouh is still looking for answers about his assassination. The PA women's ministry staff goes on a hunger strike, alleging harassment and corruption by top officials. COMMENTARY: ATFP Pres. Ziad Asali calls for a movement of the Arab citizen. Jordan's King Abdullah says the Palestinian issue remains the most important cause in the Arab world. Ari Shavit compares FM Lieberman to Vladimir Putin. Shuki Sadeh says Israel quietly trades with much of the Muslim world. Yossi Melman looks at a new book on the evolution of Israel's de facto borders. Sarah Kreimer says Israel's latest settlement activity makes a mockery out of new peace talks. Bilal Hassan says Palestinian popular resistance should aim to challenge both the Israeli occupation and US support for it. George Hishmeh says that by postponing a large joint military drill, Pres. Obama may still be trying to pressure Israel.

January 18th

NEWS: Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in Gaza. Hamas leaders are evacuating their families from Syria. A gaming exercise suggests Israel could live with a nuclear Iran. Shiite worshipers say they were violently attacked by Hamas forces in Gaza over the weekend. DM Barak says Israel is preparing for “a period of uncertainty” in the occupied West Bank. MK Tibi is suspended from the Knesset for a week for reciting a risqué limerick about another MK who was suspended for a month for throwing water on a third MK. Hamas bans a TV singing contest as “indecent.” Pres. Obama thanks Jordan for facilitating peace talks. Hamas officials call reports that Khaled Meshaal will be giving up his leadership position “pure speculation.” The pro-Israel lobby is increasingly reaching out to African American students. COMMENTARY: Zvi Bar'el says political change in the Arab world is an opportunity Israel seems set to squander. Both The Independent and Carlo Strenger say Europe needs to make its objections to Israel's policies more clear. Amira Hass says Israel's mistreatment of Palestinian leaders like Pres. Abbas undermines public support for negotiations. Ray Hanania says the Assad regime is no friend to the Palestinians. Mark LeVine says it would be “national suicide” for Israel not to protect the rights of all people under its rule. Yossi Alpher says Israel has both a stake in, and legitimate concerns about, Palestinian reconciliation. Shlomo Brom says Israel should take a more positive attitude towards Palestinian reconciliation. Ghassan Khatib says Palestinians don't understand what bothers Israel about reconciliation under present conditions. Nathan Brown says Hamas is not "mellowing" its policies yet.

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