NEWS: The US says a renewed Palestinian UN bid would threaten the peace process. Palestinian officials say there are diminished hopes in the peace process and the prospects for a two-state solution. More evidence emerges that former PM Olmert may be planning a comeback to challenge PM Netanyahu. Israel's parliament formally announces elections for Jan. 22. Palestinian sources claim Pres. Abbas met secretly in Jordan last week with DM Barak. A leading Israeli radio station bans playing a military protest song. Egypt's campaign against Gaza smuggling tunnels demonstrates that national interests are trumping ideology. Smuggled iPhone 5s are reportedly selling well in Gaza in spite of astronomical prices. The PA announces a plan to increase trade with Arab countries. The US reiterates it does not accept the legitimacy of Israeli settlement activity. The BBC and Bloomberg both look at the Palestinian economic crisis. A new Egyptian movie looks unflinchingly at the fate of the Jewish community in that country. South Africa is moving forward with regulations to clearly distinguish settlement products from those made in Israel. COMMENTARY: David Myers says the threatened shutdown of Ben-Gurion University's Department of Politics and Government for political reasons would be “a further erosion of democratic values in Israel.” Akiva Eldar says a new Israeli government report demonstrates there is no Jewish majority between the river and the sea, and that, therefore, an apartheid reality now exists in the territories controlled by Israel. Salman Masalha says sensible Palestinian citizens of Israel have no one to vote for. Gershon Baskin outlines how, if he were Israel's prime minister, he would revive the peace process. Paul Scham and Edy Kaufman say it's time to look for alternatives to a two-state solution, but don't find any reasonable ones. Analysts call the planned visit by the Emir of Qatar to Gaza, "a reward to Hamas for breaking ties with Syria."

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