November 14th

NEWS: Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari is killed by an Israeli missile attack. Israeli diplomats say their country will consider the Oslo Agreements null and void if Palestinians go forward with a request for nonmember state observer status at the UN. An internal Israeli government document says toppling Pres. Abbas is one possible response. The PA rejects the threats. Israel is reportedly considering a compromise in which the Palestinian UN bid would be dropped in favor of “provisional statehood.” 6 Palestinians are injured by Israeli forces in West Bank commemorations of the1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence. Four rockets from Sinai land in southern Israel. Palestinians prepare to exhume the body of the late Pres. Arafat, as a French doctor at the hospital where he died says there is "absolutely no way" he was poisoned. Israel prepares its latest missile-defense system. Egypt strongly criticizes Israel for attacks against Gaza. Fighting between Israel and militants in Gaza appears to have subsided. Israel says it will launch a satellite in the coming months. Israel is planning to evict 120 Bedouins to make way for a landfill. The PA continues to struggle to pay public employee salaries. European watchdogs say they're concerned by PA pressure against Palestinian journalists. Some Palestinian refugees in Jordan say they still want to return to Israel. Khalid Mishal may still be a contender to continue to head Hamas' politburo. COMMENTARY: Sufian Abu Zaida says Palestinians can only envy the American elections and accountable political system. James Zogby says Hussein Ibish is wrong and that the Arab-American community is already politically "normalized." Carlo Strenger says Akiva Eldar is wrong and that Israelis and Palestinians have to look beyond a two-state solution. Daniel Levy says fault lines between Israel and the second Obama administration are already showing. Zvi Bar'el says discrimination against Arabs in Israel is normal. The Jerusalem Post says Israel would be better off promoting an independent state in Gaza. Ben Sales interviews Palestinian businessman Munib al-Masri. George Semaan says Pres. Obama will have to deal with the Middle East, including the Palestinian issue. Rafi Noy argues that Pres. Assad’s regime may be better for Israel than that of the Syrian insurgents.

November 13th

NEWS: Pres. Abbas says the PLO will present its new UN resolution on Nov.29. Israel says it may cut off transfer of all Palestinian tax and other revenues if the PLO proceeds with the initiative. PLO officials are seeking feedback, especially in Europe, on their draft resolution. Palestinian officials say Pres. Obama placed a personal phone call to Abbas expressing opposition to the initiative, but Abbas said he would go ahead anyway. FM Lieberman meets ambassadors to rally opposition to the Palestinian initiative. Israel's finance minister admits the country has doubled spending on settlement activity in recent years. Israel fires warning shots into Syria. 7 more Palestinians are killed in fighting in a refugee camp outside Damascus. Violence continues to escalate on the Israel-Gaza border. Israel says it is prepared for major military action in Gaza if necessary, as four Palestinians and a youth are killed by Israeli shelling. The PA says it is again beginning to partially pay public employee salaries. Israel announces 500 new settlement housing units in the occupied West Bank. Russian experts will now join French and Swiss investigators looking into the death of the late Pres. Arafat. 1,200 tunnels between Egypt and Gaza are reportedly operating at full capacity, but Egypt may be preparing to destroy many of them. A new breast cancer screening unit is operating in the occupied West Bank. COMMENTARY: Hussein Ibish says Arab Americans must politically normalize themselves.The New York Times says it would be a huge mistake for Obama not to reengage with Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, but Thomas Friedman says he is otherwise occupied. Amira Hass says it's hard to tell who has a tighter “iron fist” against demonstrators, Hamas or Israel.Gideon Levy says Israel is not an apartheid state, but its occupation is an apartheid system. Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff say Israel will probably avoid a major military operation in Gaza, but may assassinate Hamas leaders. Barry Rubin says Israeli leaders are increasingly realizing they cannot simply rely on the US as a protector. Rachel Shabi looks of a new film about how Israeli courts enforce military rule against Palestinians. The National says Israel's reaction to Palestinian UN initiatives shows "anxiety, ruthlessness and hypocrisy." Eitan Schwartz says diplomacy with the Palestinians is the only way to end Israel's international isolation. Raja Shehadeh recalls his father's1967 peace proposal to Israel. Stephen Rosen asks if J Street is winning a battle over Israel in the Democratic Party. Ami Ayalon says a two-state solution is Israel's only hope. The Media Line interviews Fatah Central Committee member Mohammed Shtayyeh.In his final column after 35 years at Haaretz, Akiva Eldar urges Israelis to keep the two-state solution alive.

November 9th

NEWS: A Palestinian boys killed by Israeli forces during clashes with Palestinian militants in Gaza. DM Barak says Iran has slowed uranium enrichment. Palestinian farmers are increasingly adopting organic methods. Israel warns Syria about stray missiles landing in the occupied Golan Heights. Sudan says Israel will face a “painful response” to an alleged bombing attack. The Arab League says it will organize a “stand in solidarity” with the Palestinians. FM Lieberman faces possible indictment next month. PM Netanyahu is being criticizing Israel for openly supporting Mitt Romney in the American election. Fatah members in Gaza say Hamas refused to allow them to commemorate the death of the late Pres. Arafat. The Arab League says 51 states are still undecided about a Palestinian request for UN nonmember observer state status. Palestinians are circulating a draft of the proposed resolution. PLO officials say the UK is pressuring them to abandon the initiative. Israeli Amb. Oren says his country is coordinating closely with the US to thwart any Palestinian UN initiative. A report suggests Palestinians might be willing to postpone the initiative if they were presented with American incentives on negotiations with Israel. A photograph of a young Palestinian girl confronting an occupation soldier variously enrages and fascinates Israelis. Ireland says it would like, but thinks it will be unable to secure, an EU ban on Israeli settlement products. Palestinian ex-pats are building palatial homes in the occupied West Bank. COMMENTARY: The LA Times interviews controversial Israeli historian Benny Morris. Yossi Verter Says PM Netanyahu will never forget wrongly betting against Pres. Obama's reelection. Aluf Benn says Obama won't punish Netanyahu, but Eli Bardenstein says he might. Bradley Burston recalls the profound cultural impact in the United States of the fictionalized book and movie account of the founding of Israel, “Exodus.” Michael Herzog says the growth of extremism in Gaza has made it a powder keg. George Hishmeh says Obama should follow George Washington's advice about passionate attachments regarding Israel. The Arab News says Arabs should give Obama the benefit of the doubt on Iran and Israel. Nervana Mahmoud says it would be madness for Israel and the West to abandon Pres. Abbas in favor of a rising Hamas. Gershon Baskin says Obama has a historic opportunity to forge Israeli-Palestinian peace.

November 8th

NEWS: PM Netanyahu is seen as moving quickly to try to repair relations with Pres. Obama, and Palestinians appear lukewarm to his victory. Israeli forces and militants in Gaza exchange fire. Israel says it is ready to resume negotiations with the Palestinians without preconditions.Israel and Russia continue intensive consultations. PLO officials insist their renewed UN bid is an effort to save the two-state solution. Hamas says Pres. Abbas is not welcome in Gaza. Quartet envoy Blair says Obama's reelection opens the door for a new push on Middle East peace. Amnesty International declares Palestinian nonviolent protester Bassem Tamimi, now held in Israeli jail, to be a “prisoner of conscience.” Three shells fired from Syria land near an Israeli settlement in the occupied Golan Heights. DM Barak demands the US and Israel work together to thwart a renewed Palestinian UN bid. COMMENTARY: David Ignatius says Israeli-Palestinian peace should be a major priority for a 2nd Obama term. Yossi Sarid apologizes to Obama for Netanyahu's behavior and urges him to resume peace efforts urgently. Ha'aretz says Obama must now face two crucial problems: Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace. Gideon Levy says Israel desperately needs Obama to save it from its own occupation. Sima Kadmon says Israel will pay a price for Netanyahu's hostility towards Obama. Kamel Abu Jaber wonders whether or not it is wise to raise the issue of a renewed Jordanian role in the West Bank. Michael Jansen says the Palestinians are always the forgotten people, this time in Syria. Yossi Melman says Netanyahu's goal in 2010 was to provoke, not attack, Iran. Hani al-Masri doubts that PM Fayyad intends to resign. Bernard Avishai says Obama should appoint Bill Clinton his new Middle East envoy. Aaron David Miller says Middle East policy can make or break Obama's legacy.

November 7th

NEWS: There is widespread relief but not euphoria in the Middle East at Pres. Obama's reelection. Obama's victory may spell trouble for PM Netanyahu who has ordered his officials not to make any public comments. Pres. Abbas congratulates Obama and Palestinians express hope for a change to US policies. A crocodile has been on the loose in Gaza. A stray bullet from fighting in Syria sets off a land mine in the occupied Golan Heights, sparking a fire. Syrian rebels kill 10 more pro-Assad Palestinian militiamen. The UK condemns new Israeli settlement construction plans. A US court throws out a lawsuit linking an Arab bank to a Hamas shooting incident. US Ambassador to Israel Shapiro says direct negotiations between the parties are the only way forward. A Druze citizen of Israel challenges mandatory military service. Palestinian date farmers in the occupied West Bank are struggling. Israel prevents Palestinian students from Gaza from traveling to the West Bank to study. COMMENTARY: Amos Harel says Iran will not have to take center stage on Obama's agenda. Barak Ravid reflects on the significance of the election from Israel's point of view. Aluf Benn says Netanyahu has successfully accustomed the world to the idea that Israel will attack Iran. The Jerusalem Post is convinced that US-Israel relations will remain strong. Tony Michels looks at the complex relationship between left-wing thought and Zionism. The National says Obama has a new mandate on foreign policy but Middle East peace will probably take a backseat to other concerns. Tariq Alhomayed says Syrian military moves in the demilitarized zone with Israel show Pres. Assad's desperation. Hazem Saghieh says Abbas' recent controversial remarks were merely realistic and serious. Osama Al Sharif says Abbas' era is over and wonders what will come next. Talal Awkal says Palestinians need to see the full video of Abbas' interview on Israeli TV. Ben-Dror Yemini says Israel must respond to Abbas' overtures. Natan Sharansky denies Hussein Ibish's charge that he uses rhetoric about human rights and democracy as a cover for Israel's occupation and denial of Palestinian rights.

November 6th

NEWS: PM Netanyahu reiterates his willingness to strike Iran without any international support. Israel says it is preparing to “ensure the collapse” of a new Palestinian UN initiative, and is considering a range of retaliatory measures. Israel issues tenders for 1,200 new settlement housing units in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.The Syrian government physically shutters Hamas' offices in Damascus.A Turkish court is trying four Israeli military officers in absentia over the deadly flotilla incident. Three Israeli soldiers are wounded by a bomb near the Gaza border. School teachers go on strike in the West Bank. Hamas denies it prevented a Fatah official from leaving Gaza. Russia says Hamas can play a vital role in advancing the Palestinian issue. Palestinians and Israeli settlers are locked in a court battle over the burning of wood for fuel. FM Lieberman's new level of influence is worrying some Israelis. An internal Israeli Foreign Ministry report allegedly contradicts many current government assumptions, including that Palestinian statehood would not threaten Israel, but the stalled peace process does. COMMENTARY: Hussein Ibish pens a memo to the incoming American president on Middle East policy. George Salem says Arab-Americans should vote for Mitt Romney, but Jim Zogby says they should reelect Pres. Obama. Bernard Avishai says a Romney administration would probably ignore the Israeli-Palestinian problem, and that would be a disaster. Adam Gonn says Pres. Abbas is trying to reinsert the Palestinian issue into Israel's election. David Grossman says Netanyahu urgently needs to talk to Abbas. Gershon Baskin says that in his recent interview with Israeli TV, Abbas merely reiterated long-established positions and again demonstrated he is a good partner for peace. J.J. Goldberg says Netanyahu will probably find himself in conflict with whoever wins the American election. Jonathan Yavin says the assassination of the late PM Rabin marked a turning point in Israel's history. Elisheva Goldberg profiles a generation of Israeli youngsters being inculcated with the extremist ideology of the late Rabbi Kahane. Philippe Assouline says both Hamas and the PA are suppressing aspects of Palestinian culture they don't like. Michael Koplow compares Abbas to Guy Fawkes.

November 5th

NEWS: Remarks by Pres. Abbas on Israeli television are denounced by Hamas and left-wing factions and dismissed by PM Netanyahu. Israeli media suggests Netanyahu was considering military action against Iran in 2010, but was overruled by security officials. Palestinians reject Netanyahu's demands they drop a renewed UN bid, and the Arab League encourages them to go forward with it. Israeli forces kill a mentally ill Palestinian man near the Gaza border. 20 are killed in fighting in a Damascus Palestinian refugee camp. Swiss investigators visit the tomb of the late Pres. Arafat in preparation for possible exhumation. Israel releases a Palestinian teenager improperly jailed for six months. Despite a new promise of aid from the UAE, no date is set for paying PA employees. Newly released documents illustrate the range of Palestinian reactions to early Zionist settlement. A once-thriving Palestinian village has been turned into a virtual ghost town by the separation barrier. COMMENTARY: Ha'aretz says Israel needs to say "yes" to Abbas' overtures, but the Jerusalem Post says the whole affair proves the Palestinians aren't ready for peace. Hussein Ibish says Abbas didn't say anything new and explains the official Palestinian position on refugees. The National praises Abbas' "realism and openness to calculated compromise." The New York Times says a new Palestinian bid for greater UN recognition won't help anyone, and Netanyahu seems unwilling to make any substantial compromises. Issam Younis writes an open letter of complaint to Hamas. Christa Case Bryant says US-Israel relations have never been stronger, and don't depend on presidential personalities. Saeb Erekat says whoever wins tomorrow's US presidential election may be the last American leader with a real chance of securing a two-state solution. Zvi Bar'el says with Pres. Morsy distracted by domestic politics, a volcano of violence may explode in Sinai. Jamal Zahalka calls for international sanctions against Israel, but Adel Safty says a boycott campaign is pointless. Danny Rubinstein says the visit to Gaza by the Emir of Qatar is a devastating and possibly fatal blow to the PA. George Hale describes the pitfalls of trying to report on corruption in the West Bank.

November 1st

NEWS: Israeli authorities in occupied East Jerusalem are creating more street names. Palestinians intensify their diplomatic campaign for greater recognition at the UN. Syrian rebels are reportedly arming anti-Assad Palestinian factions. Israeli center-left parties are reportedly discussing the possibility of a coalition to defeat PM Netanyahu. Israeli settlers scuffle with occupation forces as they demolish unauthorized settlement structures. PLO sources reportedly say PM Fayyad has proposed a new cabinet. A Palestinian columnist is being investigated by the PA for libel. UNRWA is facing resistance from its own teachers in educating Palestinian students about the Holocaust. US police chiefs are studying Israeli counterterrorism methods. Israel acknowledges the details of the assassination of PLO leader Abu Jihad. Pres. Peres says there shouldn't be any diplomatic initiatives until the next Israeli election. COMMENTARY: Hussein Ibish says whoever wins the election, the next administration will have to deal with the question of Palestine. Siraj Davis and Yasmin Omar Lulu look at the plight of refugees in Gaza. Ari Shavit calls FM Lieberman a "grotesque version" of Pres. Putin. Shaul Arieli says Israel's leaders are not adopting peaceful positions. Barak Ravid says Moshe Kahlon is very supportive of Israeli settlement efforts. Jeremy Ben-Ami says the Levy Commission Report serves bashers of Israel. Morgan McDaniel says Palestinian businesswomen are increasingly asserting themselves. Alon Pinkas says Netanyahu's move to the right opens up space for former PM Olmert in the Israeli political center. Yedidia Stern says Israeli women shouldn't be forced to choose between a religious life and a full one. Menachem Klein says the next Palestinian uprising will probably begin by targeting Palestinian leaders, not Israel.

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