October 2nd

NEWS: The US reportedly warns, in “private correspondence,” EU states not to support any upgrade in UN status for Palestine to nonmember observer state. Syrian state media lashes out at Hamas. Palestinians say two teams of experts are investigating the death of the late Pres. Arafat. Israeli pro-settler vandals deface a Jerusalem monastery. Hamas detains a group of Muslim extremists in Gaza. PLO officials say Pres. Obama did not ask them to resume negotiations with Israel immediately. The CSM looks at Israel's new campaign to question Palestinian refugee rights by raising the issue of Jewish refugees and migrants from the Arab world. A former militant turned theater director is released by the PA. Palestinian citizens of Israel commemorate the killing of 14 demonstrators by Israeli police in October 2000. PM Netanyahu's popularity in Israel appears to be getting a post-UN bump. The Forward profiles Henry Siegman, a prominent Jewish American critic of Israeli policies. COMMENTARY: Hussein Ibish says free speech shouldn't be restricted to protect either Islam or Israel. Roger Cohen says Israel and Iran must step back from the brink of war. Rachel Shabi calls Israel's campaign on Jewish refugees and migrants from the Arab world “obnoxious diplomacy.” Ha'aretz interviews British-Palestinian writer Selma Dabbagh. Yitzhak Laor calls Netanyahu's UN speech “hypocritical.” Rawia Aburabia says Israel needs a holistic approach to dealing with the Bedouins of the Negev. Aaron David Miller says Mitt Romney has shown he has no new ideas on Middle East policy. Alon Ben-Meir says only the US can realize Israeli-Palestinian peace. Louis Charbonneau says Pres. Obama and Netanyahu both got what they wanted out of the UN meeting.

October 1st

NEWS: Qatar says it intends to open a diplomatic office in Gaza. Palestinians in Gaza ask the Egyptian government not to continue destroying smuggling tunnels. PLO officials say a vote on UN nonmember observer state status for Palestine will be “very soon,” and that their issue isn't going to go away even if it is being ignored by the US. Israeli authorities release two detained Hamas politicians in the occupied West Bank. American evangelical Christian TV broadcasters are programming out of Jerusalem. The Israeli-Palestinian group OneVoice is pushing for progress on peace. Electric companies claim some PA agencies haven't paid bills in over 2 years. The PA says it will cut fuel prices starting Oct. 1. The new poll finds most Palestinians enthusiastic about voting and strongly preferring Pres. Abbas over Hamas leader Hanniyeh. DM Barak strongly criticizes FM Lieberman's harsh comments about Abbas. Preparations are still underway for the potential exhumation of the body of the late Pres. Arafat. Jordan appoints a new ambassador to Israel. In its latest crackdown, Hamas is arresting Gaza teenagers wearing baggy pants and prominent underwear. The PA is trying to securitize $200 million in public debt in order to reduce borrowing from banks. COMMENTARY: GOP candidate Mitt Romney is strongly critical of Pres. Obama's Middle East policies. Aaron David Miller says Obama had good political reasons for refusing to meet with PM Netanyahu and Pres. Morsy last week. The Boston Globe says the PAs financial crisis is a problem for the US and Israel as well. Tamir Haddad says Hamas corruption is weighing heavily on Gaza's economy and society. Daniel Levy is harshly critical of Netanyahu's foreign and domestic policies. Rachel Corrie's mother describes the Israeli court verdict in their lawsuit as “deeply disturbing.” Norman Birnbaum decries what he calls “false prophecy” in the Middle East.

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