March 30th

NEWS: Israel reportedly is reserving 10 percent of the occupied West Bank for more settlement expansion. Pres. Abas reportedly drops a threat to dismantle the PA from a draft letter to PM Netanyahu. Israeli authorities close off the West Bank ahead of Land Day. Israeli police arrest 16 accused hooligans for an anti-Arab soccer riot. Settlers in Hebron seize a Palestinian home, and the Israeli military says this poses a security threat. New Kadima leader Mofaz faces many challenges. A hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner agrees to end her fast in exchange for release to Gaza for three years. Israeli officials accuse Hamas of responsibility for attacks against Israel. An arts center in a Palestinian refugee camp celebrates Palestinian culture and history. COMMENTARY: Ha’aretz says Israelis should listen to Marwan Barghouti. Sam Bahour and Fida Jiryis say Land Day is still important. Harriet Sherwood says more Israeli fences might be a sign of weakness. Raphael Magarik and Elisheva Goldberg say the pro-israel Jewish left was much weaker in the past. Joel Braunold says Israelis and Palestinians must reach out to each other. Isam al Khafaji looks at changes in Hamas. Hanni Manor looks at contested water issues in the occupied Palestinian territories. Talal Okal says Sinai has been out of control for some time. Yoram Meital says events in Sinai offer both challenges and opportunities for Israel. Tony Karon says Palestinian protests challenge both Israeli and the Palestinian leadership. Peter Beinart responds to Bret Stephens' critique of his new book.

March 29th

NEWS: Mofaz defeats Livni for leadership of the Kadima party. Pres. Abbas says the Hamas leadership has placed national unity efforts on permanent hold. A Palestinian court extends the detention of a journalist who alleged corruption at the PLO mission in Paris, and some Palestinian journalists say they will boycott a press freedom award in protest.The Palestine Exchange (PEX) plans to become a publicly traded stock itself. J Street is targeting its message towards Jewish Democrats this year. Israel may have acquired airbases in Azerbaijan. Fears are growing about the potential for a third Palestinian intifada. A new poll shows most Israelis and Palestinians support a two-state solution, but don't think it will happen.The State Department declines to include Jerusalem as a part of Israel in a new travel itinerary. COMMENTARY: Shmuel Rosner says Israelis should appreciate the support of right-wing American evangelicals. Palestinian Christians issue an open letter to Israeli Amb. Oren challenging his account of how Israel treats Christians. Israel Harel says the Israeli Supreme Court is impeding the settler movement. Amir Oren says any Israeli plans to attack Iran have been put on hold until next year at the earliest. Carlo Strenger says boycotting settlements won't save the two-state solution. Douglas Bloomfield says Arab states in the Gulf fear Iran's nuclear program but also the consequences of any Israeli attack. Arie Maliniak says Arab soccer players in Israel should go on strike against racism. Gal Beckerman reviews Peter Barnard's new book. George Hishmeh says that between procrastinating on peace and expanding settlements, Netanyahu is making a two-state solution impossible. Amnon Lord says the dismantling of the PA might produce new political opportunities. Gilad Halpern says Israel's political conversation is obsessed with the past and blind to the future.

March 28th

NEWS: At an ATFP/Carnegie event in Washington, a panel of experts warns the international community must act quickly to avert a "crisis" in Palestine. PM Netanyahu and DM Barak unite on the issue of Iran. Mofaz defeats Livni in the Kadima leadership contest. Israel may allow absentee ballots for citizens living abroad. Two 'infiltrators" are killed near Egypt's border with Israel. The Palestinian Constitutional Court refuses to rule on whether the president may also serve as the PM. The PA and Egypt sign a gas deal to end the Gaza energy crisis. Pro-Palestinian activists prepare for Land Day events, but organizers fear violence. Palestinians in Jerusalem describe being attacked by masses of Israeli football hooligans. A Brooklyn food co-op has decided not to boycott Israeli products. The PA extends the detention of a Palestinian journalist. Palestinian entrepreneurs are trying to move into the high-tech field. COMMENTARY: The New York Times says the Israeli government must obey a court ruling on evacuating the largest “unauthorized” settlement outpost. Salman Masalha says Israel's occupation is playing into the hands of regional demagogues like Iran. Bradley Burston says Israelis will have to consider the possibility of a bi-ethnic, but not unitary single, state. The Jerusalem Post says Land Day this year could be violent. Jane Eisner says Peter Beinart's idea for a pro-Israel settlement goods boycott is unworkable. Philologos says Israel's national anthem should be rewritten to include Arab aspirations. Bilal Hassan says Israel is comfortable with the status quo. Gershon Baskin says Netanyahu is the man who can make peace with the Palestinians. Samir Abdullah outlines the consequences of a collapse of the PA. Hussein Ibish says Bret Stephens has shown a total inability and unwillingness to empathize with Palestinians.

March 27th

NEWS: The US Supreme Court postpones a ruling on whether Americans born in Jerusalem can list Israel as their birthplace on their passports. Israel suspends cooperation with the UN Human Rights Council. The PA institution-building program is gravely imperiled by a financial crisis. The PA will ask the UN to demand an end to Israel's policy of “administrative detentions.” Marwan Barghouti calls for ending all cooperation with Israel and a new wave of Palestinian civil disobedience against the occupation. Fatah says Hamas has detained its spokesman in Gaza. Hamas arrests dozens of drivers for “spreading rumors” about the fuel shortage, as an online campaign blames the organization for the crisis. The PA is set to ratify a budget with a more than $1 billion shortfall for this year. Former PM Olmert insists Pres. Abbas is indeed “a partner for peace.” COMMENTARY: Nehemia Shtrasler says the deal on the Migron "unauthorized" settlement outpost is a judicial mockery. Chemi Shalev says J Street is like "the 'Bizarro World' of AIPAC.” Nimrod Asulin says Israel has lost some traditional allies in the Middle East, but has found new ones elsewhere. Sarah Colborne says Jerusalem is at the heart of the Palestinian struggle. Marc Schneier and Shamsi Ali say Jews and Muslims should strengthen their ties in the face of terrorist attacks. Yossi Alpher says it would be a disaster for both Israelis and Palestinians if the PA collapsed, and Ghassan Khatib says that without international action it could happen. Gershom Gorenberg says the blurring of the line between Israel and the occupied territories is a dangerous fiction. Barbara Slavin says Israelis fear being blamed for a US-Iran war. Hussein Ibish says a settlement goods boycott is indeed possible.

March 26th

NEWS: Israel's Supreme Court has rejected a government-brokered deal and ordered the removal of settlers from the largest “unauthorized” outpost. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is reportedly pressuring Hamas to moderate, promoting Palestinian unity and willing to recognize Israel in its 1967 borders. Pres. Abbas approves the integration of security and civil authorities in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. PM Fayyad says Hamas officials failed to attend a Cairo meeting about resolving the ongoing fuel crisis. US lawmakers release about $90 million in aid to the Palestinians, and Fayyad says this may help ease the financial crisis. Palestinians ask for support at the Baghdad Arab League conference. Reports in Arab newspapers suggest that Hamas ordered gas station owners not to sell petrol in order to inflame passions against Egypt. Palestinians continue to build a theatrical tradition in the occupied territories. American pro-Israel advocates are training those in other countries. American evangelical Christians are traveling to the occupied territories to volunteer in Israeli settlements. COMMENTARY: Akiva Eldar says Israel missed a historic opportunity by ignoring the Arab Peace Initiative. Amira Hass says Israel's complaints to the donor-liaison group for Palestinian aid ring hollow. Aeyal Gross says the Migron case is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to settlement colonization. Yigal Sarna says PM Netanyahu's desire to attack Iran reveals an unconscious wish to smash Tel Aviv. Lara Friedman says it's important for Jewish Americans to boycott Israeli settlements. Pinhas Inbari and Charlotte Silver offer contrasting evaluations of the Palestinian financial crisis. Charles Glass says the Toulouse attacks unfairly tarnished the reputation of the Palestinian cause. Fateh Abdelsalam looks at Israeli policy towards the Syrian uprising. Barbara Slavin interviews Jeffrey Goldberg on Iran and boycotts. Alan Wolfe looks at liberal Zionists vs. leftist anti-Zionists with a critical eye on both, but ultimately sides with the former. Hussein Ibish says pro-Palestinian activists should detail the realities of life under occupation rather than just calling it apartheid.

March 23rd

NEWS: Limited transfers of fuel to Gaza are barely alleviating the power crisis. Israel is trying to deport refugees back to South Sudan. No arrests are made following an anti-Arab riot by Israeli hooligans. PM Fayyad welcomes a call to increase aid to the PA. A UN agency is launching an investigation into Israeli settlement activities. Israel calls the investigation “hypocritical.” Hamas claims to be optimistic about the financial situation in Gaza. Palestinian refugee schoolgirls study hard in Jordan but face an uncertain future. Most observers agree there will probably be another flareup of violence between Israel and militants in Gaza sooner rather than later. Palestinian dishes are the trendy new fad in high-end Tel Aviv restaurants. COMMENTARY: Amiel Ungar says PM Netanyahu was too restrained in the recent flareup of violence with Gaza-based militants. Jamie Levin says Israel's Iron Dome antimissile system is prohibitively expensive. Amal Shehadeh says Israel's recent attacks on Gaza were a marketing exercise for Iron Dome. Chemi Shalev interviews Peter Beinart. Steven Bayme says Beinart's call for a Zionist boycott of settlement goods will be counterproductive and Nathan Guttman says there's not much to boycott anyway. The Forward calls the idea “dangerously misguided,” but Beinart says his plan can work. Hirsch Goodman says American leaks are part of a campaign to deter an Israeli attack against Iran. Uri Savir says in spite of its military might, Israel faces profound security problems. Jeffrey Goldberg interviews Jeremy Ben-Ami.

March 22nd

NEWS: DM Barak says Israel and the US disagree on the timetable for dealing with Iran's nuclear program. The PA says it has spent $7 billion on Gaza since the split with Hamas in 2007. PM Fayyad urges donors to fund a desalinization plant to alleviate the water crisis in Gaza. Pres. Abbas and Sec. Clinton discuss the upcoming Quartet meeting. The power crisis in Gaza is exacerbated by tensions with Egypt. Israel finalizes a deal with Germany for a 6th Dolphin submarine. The UK Advertising Standards Authority insists Israeli representations of its borders adhere to the 1967 lines. The Egyptian military is resisting Muslim Brotherhood calls to open the border with Gaza, as Egypt's relations with Hamas remain tense. A new EU report says Israel is “turning a blind eye” to settler violence against Palestinians, particularly farmers. COMMENTARY: Ha'aretz says the settlement project is leading to Israel's self-destruction. Gideon Levy says Israel is not succeeding in playing the eternal victim. Ari Shavit says Israel isn't bluffing about a possible attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. Douglas Bloomfield says PM Netanyahu fears that a 2nd-term Pres. Obama might not be “so easily bullied.” Edward Stourton asks if an Israeli attack on Iran is inevitable or preventable. J.J. Goldberg says recent remarks by EU foreign policy chief Ashton have been completely misunderstood and misrepresented. George Hishmeh says Americans are becoming more aware of religious extremism and racism in Israel. The Daily Star says the Toulouse killer is only the latest terrorist to cynically misappropriate the Palestinian cause. Aaron David Miller says it's ridiculous to claim that Israel controls Washington. Hussein Ibish says Jewish Americans and all those interested in peace should boycott settlement goods.

March 21st

NEWS: After a deadly anti-Semitic attack in France, PM Fayyad says extremists should stop exploiting the Palestinian cause to justify terrorism. The PLO, PA and Palestinian missions denounce the attack. Israel indicts a Hamas member for allegedly plotting attacks on Israelis. Iran's supreme leader says it will retaliate if attacked by Israel or the US. An Israeli human rights groups says the number of Palestinians killed by Israel rose last year to 115, including 18 children. Fatah claims Iran is paying Hamas to thwart national unity talks, while Hamas says Fatah prefers US aid to national unity. Hamas denies that Iranian experts are helping militants in Gaza. Pres. Abbas meets with the family of a hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner. An Israeli anti-discrimination organization says racist incidents against Arabs in Israel dropped following last year's social protests. COMMENTARY: Zvi Bar'el says Israel should warn its population before attacking Iran. Bradley Burston asks whether the Zionist Organization of America can really claim to be pro-Israel. Ron Kampeas says Peter Beinart's call for a Jewish American boycott of settlements and settlement goods is not resonating yet, as he defends his position against critics. Nathan Guttman previews J Street's upcoming conference. Robert Zaretsky says French officials have promoted suspicion and distrust between Jews and Muslims in that country. Husam Itani looks at the question of the Golan Heights, Israel's occupation and the Syrian uprising. Nachman Shai says Hamas may become a viable negotiating partner for Israel. Roni Shaked says Israel's policy of assassinations is backfiring. Tal Becker urges a more nuanced debate on Iran

March 20th

NEWS: A classified US wargame reportedly suggests an Israeli attack on Iran could draw the United States into a wider regional conflict, possibly including hundreds of American deaths. Another hunger striking Palestinian prisoner is said to be in mortal danger. PLO officials say they are ready to resume talks with Israel. Israel says it is making several improvements to the quality of life for Palestinians living under occupation. Fatah officials denounce Israel's policy of assassinations. Palestinians are to ask for a UN investigation of settler abuses. The EU pledges €35 million for a Palestinian infrastructure project. Israeli officials are set to claim that the Palestinian economy is not ready for independence. Pres. Obama has a telephone conversation with Pres. Abbas. Israel continues to deny Palestinians access to their own water. Israel's military is accused of abusing Palestinian children. COMMENTARY: ATFP President Ziad Asali suggests practical steps that can be taken by all sides during the political interregnum on Israeli-Palestinian peace. Richard Cohen says Israel needs to buy time on Iran. Sefi Rachlevsky says Iran has started a Cold War between the United States and Israel. Yakir Elkariv says an Israeli attack on Iran would reveal a death wish. Navi Pillay says indiscriminate shooting of rockets between Israel and Gaza is illegal and unjustifiable. Gershon Baskin says Israel must not cut off electricity to the Palestinians. Donald Macintyre says Einstein considered the problem of how Jews and Arabs could live together in Palestine and could not find a solution. Yossi Alpher says violence has not only failed, it has undermined a two-state solution. Ghassan Khatib says violence is only increasing the Palestinian determination to end the occupation. Ephraim Sneh says the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has no military solution. Bernard Avishai says informed Chinese are predicting that the occupation will ultimately turn global opinion against Israel.

March 19th

NEWS: Palestinians are beset by soaring levels of debt. Jewish-American groups are increasingly divided over Iran policy. The Israeli debate about war with Iran is focusing on defense. Israeli and American officials agree Iran has not decided whether to create a nuclear weapon. The PA is negotiating the Palestinian tax revenue issue with Israeli officials. The IMF says Palestinians urgently need the delivery of pledged aid. Israel claims the Iranian military experts are operating in Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula. A UN report says Israeli settlers are taking over Palestinians springs. A new book by an Israeli academic claims Israeli textbooks promote hatred against Palestinians. Israeli and other women complain of sexual harassment at anti-occupation protests in the occupied territories. COMMENTARY: Peter Beinart says Zionists should boycott Israeli settlements and their goods in order to save Israel. Sarah Chayes and Amir Soltani say both Israel and Iran are using the nuclear issue as a diversion from deeper problems. Akiva Eldar says Israel is finding it increasingly difficult to plausibly claim victimhood. Avner Cohen says PM Netanyahu has shown contempt for the Holocaust. Nathan Jeffay asks why large “unauthorized” settlement outposts remain intact after years of court orders and promises to remove them. The Forward says it's a bad idea for pro-Israel groups to try to squelch campus free speech using Title VI. Emad El Din Adeeb says there is the danger of a war that begins in Gaza and ends in southern Lebanon. Elias Harfoush looks at changes taking place within Hamas and other Palestinian groups. Jeff Wheelwright looks at the effects of new genetic science on Israel's attempts to define “who is a Jew.” Barry Rubin says US primacy in the Middle East may have died in 2011.

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