December 20th

[NOTE: Due to the upcoming holidays, the ATFP News Roundup will be suspended for next week and resume service on Monday, December 30.]


Palestinians say Sec. Kerry has modified somewhat a US security proposal after hearing Palestinian concerns. (Xinhua)

Palestinians urge China to help pressure Israel on peace. (Jerusalem Post)

The Irish ambassador to Israel says the Israeli-Palestinian deal is "inevitable." (Times of Israel)

Violence and settlement activity are complicating Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. (AFP)

The PA condemns Israel's killing of two Palestinians. (Xinhua)

The UN says at least 3,608 Palestinians were injured by Israeli occupation forces in 2013. (PNN)

An Israeli soldier filmed hitting Danish activists with his gun is sentenced to two months community service. (Jerusalem Post)

Pres. Abbas is going to Cairo to meet with Egyptian officials and Arab foreign ministers. (Ma'an)

Hamas urges Abbas to speed up the process of national reconciliation. (Xinhua)

Israeli occupation forces detain two young men in Qalqiliya and clash with local residents. (Ma'an)

The New York Times profiles "Arab Idol" Mohammed Assaf, including in both an article and a video feature. (New York Times)

The outgoing EU Middle East envoy says support for labeling Israeli settlement goods is growing in Europe. (Ha'aretz/AP)

Israelis are split over whether an international boycott movement is really a threat or not. (AP)

Israel is promoting Arabic studies in Jewish schools to counter growing anti-Arab racism. (Ha'aretz)

A Jewish Israeli is indicted for throwing hot tea on Palestinian MK Tibi. (YNet)

Tibi says Arab MKs suffer from incitement in the Knesset, which leads to such incidents. (Times of Israel)

"Jihadist" leader in Syria spells out his vision of an Islamic state in the country in an Al Jazeera interview. (New York Times/BBC)

Human Rights Watch urges Lebanon to protect minorities and prevent more spillover Syrian conflict. (AP)

A new report shows Palestinian refugees, particularly women, in Lebanon live in constant fear of eviction. (The Daily Star)

450,000 Syrian Christians are said to have been displaced in that country's conflict. (Xinhua)

Syrian Kurds remain divided over upcoming peace talks in Geneva. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Leaked conversations about Egyptian DM Sisi having prophetic dreams seem to have enhanced rather than harmed his popularity. (AP)

Egypt begins its national dialogue on its "transitional roadmap." (Xinhua)

Egyptian authorities extend their crackdown on dissent to a non-Islamist NGO. (New York Times/Christian Science Monitor)

Tunisia's new caretaker PM faces many complex challenges. (Reuters)

Suicide bombers kill 36 Shiite pilgrims in Iraq. (Reuters/AP)

Six more Iraqis are killed in a double bombing at a sheep market north of Baghdad. (AP)

The death toll in Iraq on Thursday reaches 46, with at least 100 wounded. (Xinhua)

Eight people close to the government are jailed in Turkey in an anticorruption probe. (AP)

Libya extends voter registration for a constitution-drafting Constituent Assembly. (Xinhua)


Joshua Mitnick interviews chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. (Wall Street Journal)

Yoel Marcus says time is running out for peace talks to succeed and it's in Israel's vital national interests they don't fail. (Ha'aretz)

Uri Savir says 2014 is the year for both Palestinians and Israelis to decide if they want to accept reasonable peace terms or not. (Jerusalem Post)

Mazal Mualem says PM Netanyahu's hard-line speech at the recent Likud convention doesn't sound like he's ready for compromise. (Al Monitor)

Uri Dromi says Kerry will need a miracle to succeed in peace talks. (Miami Herald)

An anonymous Economist correspondent says Palestinians are upset about recent developments but Jordan is pleased. (The Economist)

The New York Times and Victoria Brittain both remember the late Palestinian psychiatrist and activist Eyad Sarraj. (The New York Times/The Guardian)

Zafrir Rinat says Palestinians tend to hate "nature reserves" in the occupied territories because they find them reserved for settlers. (Ha'aretz)

Michael Ross says boycotting Israeli universities is an attack on academic freedom. (Los Angeles Times)

Lawrence Grossman says calls for academic boycotts against Israel are hypocritical and should be stopped. (JTA)

Henry Siegman says there is no bigotry in anti-Israel boycotts because of the occupation. (Ha'aretz)

George Hishmeh says the BDS movement is gaining ground. (Jordan Times)

Shlomi Eldar says Israeli academics are worried the academic boycott movement could have "a snowball effect." (Al Monitor)

Martin Kramer calls the academic boycott "ridiculous." (Foreign Policy)

The Jerusalem Post says Israel needs to pick its battles and not every critic is an "anti-Semite." (Jerusalem Post)

David Fachler says Israel tried to court Nelson Mandela and other Africans in the 1960s with training and other inducements. (Ha'aretz)

David Horovitz says there is growing evidence the Lockerbie bombing attack was conducted by an extremist Palestinian group tied to Syria. (Times of Israel)

Diana Atallah profiles a Palestinian woman victim of a so-called "honor killing." (The Media Line)

Rami Khouri looks back at three years of Arab uprisings. (Jordan Times)

Eyad Abu Shakra says Iran's efforts at exercising regional hegemony through proxies like Hezbollah is pushing the region to the brink. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Lebanon's PM-designate Salam about his unsuccessful attempts to form a government. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The National says clerics are spewing sectarian hate speech and Gulf states have to put an end to it. (The National)

Hasan Tariq Alhasan says GCC states should turn their focus back onto economic integration. (Gulf News)

Kadri Gursel tries to tally the damage done to the government by Turkey's ongoing corruption scandal. (Al Monitor)

Samir Salha says upcoming municipal elections will determine the future of Turkey's ruling AKP and PM Erdoğan (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Mohammad Akef Jamal says April elections in Iraq will be a litmus test for that country's future. (Gulf News)

The Daily Star says the US should listen closely to the legitimate complaints of its Arab allies. (The Daily Star)

December 19th


Palestinians say they are ready to extend peace talks with Israel beyond the April deadline. (AP/AFP)

Palestinian negotiators say a framework agreement with Israel is within reach. (Los Angeles Times/PNN)

Sec. Kerry is reportedly pressuring Israel not to announce more settlements following the next prisoner release. (Xinhua)

Pres. Abbas has reportedly sent a letter to Pres. Obama outlining his concerns about a US proposal. (Xinhua/Ha'aretz)

A senior PLO official urges the EU to place sanctions on whatever party thwarts peace talks. (Xinhua)

PM Netanyahu vows to continue with settlement expansion. (AFP)

A recent survey suggests many settlers would voluntarily leave a Palestinian state. (Al Monitor)

Abbas' guards intervene in a violent confrontation among PA security officers and officials. (Ha'aretz/Jerusalem Post/Times of Israel)

Palestinian businesses suffer millions in losses due to the recent snowstorms. (Ma'an)

The UN says nearly 1 million Palestinians in Gaza will need food aid in 2014. (Reuters)

Two Palestinians are killed by Israeli occupation forces in separate West Bank incidents. (Los Angeles Times/YNet/Times of Israel)

Palestinians say the killings threaten the future of peace talks. (AFP)

Israeli occupation forces shoot in the back and kill a Palestinian security officer they were seeking to arrest. (Reuters/AP/Xinhua)

Palestinians say the officer was killed "in cold blood." (Ma'an)

Israeli occupation forces detain another Palestinian security officer after raiding his home. (Ma'an)

Eight more Palestinians are detained by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank. (Ma'an)

In a deep crisis, Hamas is seeking support and guidance from Gaza intellectuals. (Al Monitor)

Israel will ask Pope Francis to reconsider only holding a mass in occupied Bethlehem. (YNet)

The Roman Catholic patriarch in Jerusalem says Israeli settlements hamper peace. (YNet)

China's Foreign Minister visits Israel amid the backdrop of controversy over an antiterrorism case. (AP)

China reiterates its support for the Palestinian cause. (PNN)

Pres. Peres tells the Chinese FM peace is Israel's greatest desire and Iran is its greatest problem. (Jerusalem Post)

Egyptian prosecutors accuse former Pres. Morsi of a vast terrorist plot. (New York Times/AP)

The charges against Morsi include plotting with Hamas and "espionage." (AFP/Washington Post)

The last charges against former Egyptian Pres. Mubarak's final PM are dropped. (Reuters)

The Egyptian military counteroffensive in Sinai is still proving relatively ineffective. (Ha'aretz)

Almost 2,000 Palestinians have died in the Syrian conflict. (Jerusalem Post)

Like some other Middle Eastern countries, Tunisia is worried about their own youths beingradicalized by fighting in Syria. (New York Times)

Syrian Kurds want their own delegation at the upcoming Geneva peace talks. (Reuters)

The UN says people in Syria are systematically disappearing in a nationwide "terror" campaign. (AP/BBC)

Amnesty International accuses extremist Syrian rebels of atrocities. (Reuters)

Syrians are positioned to soon become the world's largest group of refugees. (Reuters)

The US denies Syrian rebel suggestions it is prepared to live with Pres. Assad. (Jerusalem Post)

Attacks on Shiite pilgrims and others kill 24 in Iraq. (AP)

Iran will soon resume nuclear negotiations with the P5+1. (Xinhua)

PM Erdogan says a new corruption probe is just an effort to to smear his government. (Reuters)

Several senior Turkish police officials are fired after corruption arrests. (Reuters)

An influential US-based Turkish cleric denies he is behind the corruption probe. (AP)

Nine officials and executives are facing corruption charges in Oman. (Reuters)

The American Studies Association faces a backlash after adopting a resolution supporting boycotts against Israel. (Ha'aretz)


The PLO issues a "fact sheet" about occupied Bethlehem. (PLO)

Avi Issacharoff says recent West Bank violence shows a third intifada is in the making. (Times of Israel)

Yonatan Gher says, rather than being upset about being accused of "apartheid," Israel should make sure it doesn't practice it. (YNet)

Laura Wharton says Israel's new administration in Jerusalem is a cause for serious alarm. (Jordan Times)

Shlomi Eldar says Israel and Hamas have an unwritten code of coexistence. (Al Monitor)

The Daily Star says the EU doesn't have much more credibility on settlements than the US. (The Daily Star)

In an open letter to Abbas, Carlo Strenger says the Palestinians' fate is in their own hands. (Ha'aretz)

Maysoon Zayid explains why she is a supporter of the one-state agenda. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)

Uri Sadot says Israel doesn't face a demographic "time bomb," as long as you don't count the population of Gaza. (Foreign Policy)

Khaled Diab notes that reactions to apartheid in South Africa varied widely throughout the Arab world. (Ha'aretz)

Marissa Young claims the PA is punishing Palestinians who seek to build ties with Israelis. (Jerusalem Post)

Owen Kirby says a nuclear deal with Iran hardly means the end of its regional ambitions. (Jerusalem Post)

The New York Times says the West should support the political compromises ongoing in Tunisia. (New York Times)

The CSM says Tunisia is still an Arab Spring inspiration. (Christian Science Monitor)

Ariel Ben Solomon says Egyptian DM Sisi is determined to stamp out all opposition. (Jerusalem Post)

Michael Young calls for an "honest debate" about Syrian refugees in Lebanon. (The National)

Michael Young also says Hezbollah has become cannon fodder in a war with Al Qaeda. (The Daily Star)

Jean Aziz notes that Hezbollah is hinting at a change of attitudes towards the US and Lebanon. (Al Monitor)

Osama Al Sharif says the apparent collapse of the FSA and SMC in Syria is a cause for serious alarm. (Arab News)

Samir Atallah says the region is experiencing so much state failure, the Arab world has no simple metaphor for chaos. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Francis Matthews acknowledges the US is working hard to allay GCC fears about its policies. (Gulf News)

Henri Barkey says Abdullah Gul and democracy may prove the winners in the latest Turkish upheaval. (Al Monitor)

December 18th


Jordan reportedly closes its doors to Hamas, as do most Arab capitals, in solidarity with Egypt. (Jerusalem Post)

The PA and Hamas are reportedly in talks about the possibility of forming a national unity government. (PNN)

Palestinians accuse Sec. Kerry of unfairly siding with Israel. (Ha'aretz/UPI)

Palestinians say a US security proposal keeps Israeli troops stationed 3 miles from the Jordan border after the establishment of a Palestinian state. (Times of Israel)

The noted Palestinian psychiatrist and human rights activist Dr. Eyad al-Sarraj dies at 70. (AP/PNN)

Jordan complains to Israel about surveillance cameras at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem. (Xinhua/AFP)

Some religious Jews are intensifying demands for access to at what are now Muslim holy places in occupied East Jerusalem. (AP)

Israeli occupation forces arrest 17 Palestinians in West Bank raids. (Ma'an)

A Palestinian media group complains about "worrying" new restrictions in both the West Bank and Gaza. (Ma'an)

Palestinians prepare to welcome the Chinese FM. (Xinhua)

Israel says Lebanon has promise to punish a sniper who killed an Israeli soldier last week. (AP/Ha'aretz)

An American family again accuses Israel of protecting China by refusing to allow testimony in an antiterrorism case. (AP/Ha'aretz/Jerusalem Post)

A new award-winning comedy film, "Peace After Marriage," looks at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (New York Times)

Political quarrels have led to a crisis in the Israeli cabinet. (Jerusalem Post/Times of Israel)

Jordan is experiencing an intensified water crisis with a flood of Syrian refugees. (Reuters)

The plan is finalized for destroying Syria's chemical weapons. (AP)

Regime aircraft pound Aleppo for a fourth day in the Syrian conflict, including hitting an elementary school. (AP/Jerusalem Post)

Three Iranian Revolutionary Guards are reportedly killed by a roadside bomb. (Reuters/BBC)

A well-connected Iranian businessman is wanted by the US for arms smuggling. (Reuters)

Iran's FM is visiting Saudi Arabia. (Xinhua)

Egypt and Qatar are trying to rebuild their strained relationship. (Xinhua)

With over 150 police officers killed since August, morale in the Egyptian force is starting to fray. (New York Times)

The UAE adjourns the trial of 30 suspected Muslim Brotherhood members. (Xinhua)

$4.5 million in cash is seized by anticorruption police from the home of a bank CEO close to PM Erdogan. (AP/Christian Science Monitor)

Rights groups say migrant workers in Qatar are so mistreated they are even running low on food. (AP)


Nadia Darwazeh says a new commercial arbitration center is a breakthrough for Israel and the Palestinians. (Jerusalem Post)

Ben Caspit says Israel is benefiting from Hamas' meltdown and fears of being overthrown. (Al Monitor)

MK Ahmad Tibi says Israel's "Jim Crow" treatment of Palestinians continues. (The Hill)

Jonathan Cook says the US security proposal would make a Palestinian state non-viable. (The National)

Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz al Saud, Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the UK says his country may act without relying on the West anymore. (New York Times)

Tom Friedman says, even though his tasks regarding Iran and Palestinian-Israeli peace seem daunting, one has to respect Kerry's daring. (New York Times)

David Ignatius describes how Iranian hardliners are opposing a nuclear deal with the West. (Washington Post)

Amir Taheri thinks the nuclear deal with Iran has already "quietly collapsed." (New York Post)

Alex Fishman says if another Lebanese soldier kills an Israeli soldier, Israel will not see it as a random incident. (YNet)

David Rosenberg says the BDS movement is still losing the battle, but only for now. (Ha'aretz)

Bradley Burston says PM Netanyahu is boycotting the world, so BDS is superfluous. (Ha'aretz)

The Jerusalem Post calls for anti-boycott grassroots activism to combat BDS activism. (Jerusalem Post)

Nathan Guttman says BDS activists will move on from the ASA to a much bigger target, the MLA. (The Forward)

Peter Beinart says the ASA boycott resolution misguidedly targets Israel rather than the occupation. (Daily Beast)

Gerald Steinberg says a new law cracking down on foreign funding of liberal Israeli NGOs is misguided. (Ha'aretz)

Daniel Sokatch says the new anti-NGO law is the first step toward silencing dissent in Israel. (Ha'aretz)

Mshari Al-Zaydi says a new Saudi law restricting speech is a weapon against terrorism. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Haviv Rettig Gur says Netanyahu has successfully beaten back a challenge from Likud hard-liners. (Times of Israel)

Osama Al Sharif says foreign meddling will ensure that fighting in Syria continues. (Jordan Times)

Itamar Rabinovich says the tide in Syria is turning in favor of the Assad regime. (INSS)

The Daily Star says the US would be wise to reach out to the newly created Islamic Front in Syria. (The Daily Star)

Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed says the creation of jobs for women must be a Saudi priority. (Asharq Al Awsat)

December 17th


Hamas allegedly notifies Pres. Abbas it's willing to join a unity government in preparation for new elections. (Ma'an)

A new poll shows a small majority of Palestinians opposed to resumed negotiations with Israel andbelieve they are dead. (Palestinian Center For Public Opinion/Ma'an/Jerusalem Post)  

Palestinian officials say the US is pressuring them to recognize Israel as a "Jewish state." (Ha'aretz)

UN officials say settlement activity cannot be reconciled with a two-state solution. (PNN) 

The EU warns Israel not to announce more settlement activity after the next round of prisoner release. (AP/Ha'aretz)

The US welcomes a pledged EU aid package for Israel and the Palestinians in the case of peace. (Xinhua) 

Israel allows more truckloads of goods into Gaza. (Xinhua) 

Quartet Envoy Tony Blair expresses deep concern about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. (PNN) 

Israeli occupation forces storm a village near Bethlehem and conduct a widescale military drill. (Ma'an)

Palestinians who served time for "security-related offenses" are banned from a nature reserve in the occupied West Bank. (Ha'aretz)

Israel and Lebanon try to defuse tensions after a deadly border incident. (New York Times/AP/Los Angeles Times/Christian Science Monitor) 

Israel mulls its options since it believes a lone, rogue Lebanese soldier was at fault. (Ha'aretz/Jerusalem Post)

car bomb attack targets a Hezbollah military base in eastern Lebanon. (AP/Reuters) 

The US reaffirms to Israel its determination to stop Iran from possessing a nuclear weapon. (Xinhua) 

The boycott vote against Israel by the American Studies Association is a stinging but largely symbolic rebuke. (New York Times)

Now that a forced mass relocation plan has been shelved, Bedouins in Israel are demanding recognition. (The Forward) 

African migrants in Israel protest their prolonged detentions. (AP/YNet/Jerusalem Post)

Activists say Syrian government warplanes have bombed Aleppo again, killing 13. (AP) 

The UN says the next Syrian conflict "peace conference" will begin on January 22 in Montreux. (AP) 

Lacking funding and supplies, more moderate Syrian opposition fighters are defecting to anti-western militias. (Christian Science Monitor) 

There are now 3.1 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, 842,000 in Lebanon, and approaching 1.5 million in Turkey. (Xinhua) 

Freezing children are starving to death in Syria as aid can’t reach them. (Reuters) 

Egyptian state TV says a bomb has exploded near a school in Cairo without causing any injuries. (AP) 

The Egyptian government apologizes for a badly botched Constitution banner. (Reuters/Los Angeles Times) 

A homemade bomb wounds two police officers in Bahrain. (AP) 

A senior Iranian official insists a full nuclear agreement is achievable. (AP) 

Saudi Arabia passes a new law cracking down on dissent and defamation. (AP) 

65 people are killed in Iraq in the bloodiest day of violence there in two months. (AP) 

A Tunisian rapper questions what has been gained by the Arab uprisings. (BBC)

BP signs of $16 billion deal to develop Oman's shale gas reserves. (Asharq Al Awsat)


Hassan Barari says no Palestinian leadership can accept an Israeli military presence in an independent Palestinian state. (Jordan Times) 

Rasha Abou Jalal says winter storms are causing a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. (Al Monitor) 

The National says the people of Gaza are suffering while Hamas has no focus. (The National) 

Maysoon Zayid says the new Palestinian movie "Omar" is a stark representation of the realities of occupation. (Daily Beast/Open Zion) 

Hilik Bar says, despite conventional wisdom, there are reasons to hope PM Netanyahu can be a peacemaker. (Jerusalem Post)

Akiva Eldar says Netanyahu has to find a way to keep negotiations with the Palestinians from collapsing. (Al Monitor) 

Sefi Rachlevsky says even if Netanyahu "pretends to be on the brink" of an agreement with the Palestinians, he should never be saved by the Israeli center-left. (Ha'aretz)

Ha'aretz says the bill targeting liberal Israeli NGOs shouldn't be softened, it should be struck down. (Ha'aretz) 

David Horovitz interviews new Labor Party leader Herzog. (Times of Israel) 

Chemi Shalev describes a "pro-Israel" discussion in New York that ended in walkout, insults and recriminations. (Ha'aretz)

Arie Hasit says banning controversial speakers contradicts Hillel's mission. (Ha'aretz)

Jay Michaelson asks if the Israel of today is becoming the South Africa of the 1980s. (The Forward) 

Alan Dershowitz says the ASA Israel boycott vote was a "victory for bigotry." (Ha'aretz) 

Chemi Shalev says the ASA boycott could spark Israel-centered brawls at campuses across the US. (Ha'aretz)

The Jerusalem Post says Israel must remain vigilant along the Lebanese border. (Jerusalem Post) 

Fayez Sara says both Syrian Pres. Assad and the "jihadists" are dangerous extremists. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Fawaz Gerges says Saudi Arabia and Iran must end its "proxy war" in Syria. (Gulf News)

Doyle McManus calls US policy towards Syria "feeble." (Los Angeles Times)

Cengiz Çandar says both the US and Turkey are rethinking their Syria policies. (Al Monitor) 

John Hudson says the US is considering closer ties to "hard-line Islamists" in Syria. (Foreign Policy) 

Michael Glackin says the West has abandoned its allies in Syria. (The Daily Star) 

The CSM says American empathy for Syrian suffering is about to be tested again during a tough winter. (Christian Science Monitor) 

Lyse Doucet looks at the struggle of Syrians for the most basic staples such as bread. (BBC) 

Brian Klaas and Jason Pack say Tunisia remains the best hope for Arab democracy. (Los Angeles Times) 

Iscandar Mamari says US drone strikes are infuriating the people of Yemen. (The Media Line) 

Christian Emery says Iran's leaders face significant hard-line opposition to a nuclear deal with the West. (Asharq Al Awsat) 

Bernard Haykel and Daniel Kurtzer say Israel and Saudi Arabia have very different concerns regarding Iran. (The Daily Star) 

December 16th


As winter begins to hit, Gaza's only power plant is up and running again, thanks to fuel from Qatar. (New York Times/Xinhua/Reuters)

40,000 Palestinians in Gaza flee their homes due to flooding. (AP/Los Angeles Times)

Gaza's port suffers $100,000 in storm related damage. (Ma'an)

Israeli occupation forces shoot and wound a young Palestinian in Gaza near the Israeli border. (Xinhua)

A new poll shows that, although they are pessimistic, a majority of Palestinians are in favor of talks with Israel. (Palestinian Center For Public Opinion)

Sources say Pres. Abbas has declined, for now, Sec. Kerry's proposal he meet with PM Netanyahu. (Xinhua/Times of Israel)

The Israeli government approves pending legislation penalizing foreign-funded liberal NGOs. (Xinhua)

An Israeli ministerial committee also approved a bill requiring a steep two thirds majority on any Jerusalem compromise. (Jerusalem Post)

Israeli forces exchange fire with Lebanese soldiers after an Israeli sergeant is killed near the border (New York Times/Xinhua/AFP)

The Israeli military shoots two Lebanese in the skirmishing, and blames Lebanon. (AP)

Lebanese, Israeli and UN officials meet to discuss the violence, as neither side seems interested in a broader conflict. (Reuters/Ha'aretz)

Recent successes in promoting settlement boycotts give new life to the boycott movement. (AFP)

Former MK Azmi Bishara may be trying to broker Hamas-Fatah negotiations. (Times of Israel)

A prominent Saudi prince criticizes the Obama administration, particularly on insufficient Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. (New York Times)

A Palestinian citizen of Israel almost becomes the world kickboxing champion. (Ha'aretz)

Snows disrupt this year's pilgrimages to Bethlehem. (The Media Line)

An outsourcing call center is providing new jobs in Bethlehem. (BBC)

Palestinians are teaching the art of pickle-making in Saudi Arabia. (Arab News)

33 more Iraqis are killed in a string of attacks throughout the country. (AP/New York Times)

An Iraqi official and his family are killed by assailants. (New York Times)

The death toll in a Syrian government military bombing attack on Aleppo rises to 76, including 28 children. (Reuters/AP/AFP)

The Syrian government may have continued to use chemical weapons even as the West was threatening retaliation. (Foreign Policy)

Moderate Syrian rebel leaders vow to protect journalists. (AP)

The UN seeks $6.5 billion in aid for Syrian refugees next year. (Reuters)

Syrian refugees in Lebanon and elsewhere are facing a bitter winter. (AP)

Yemen's parliament votes to ban the US use of drones in its country. (Xinhua)

The Egyptian government faces an opposition badly divided between Islamists and liberals. (Washington Post)

Turkey's deputy PM says relations with Israel are important and reparable. (Times of Israel)

Tunisian parties finally agree on a technocratic caretaker PM. (BBC)

Qatar's new emir seems to be shifting focus to domestic rather than foreign policy. (The National)


ATFP Pres. Ziad J. Asali says Israel needs to enforce the law against violent extremist "price tag" hooligans. (Ha'aretz)

ATFP Executive Director Ghaith Al-Omari says there already are emerging effective models of Arab-American engagement. (Al Arabiya)

ATFP Senior Fellow Hussein Ibish says the occupation structures a relationship of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. (The National)

Charles Bronfman and Peter Joseph say the US will have to find ways to promote peace and strengthen Israel's security simultaneously. (Jerusalem Post)

Amira Hass says Palestinian rage is contained for now but is about to boil over. (Ha'aretz)

Rami Khouri suggests five points for Kerry to keep in mind on Israeli-Palestinian peace. (The Daily Star)

Betty Herschman says both sides are responsible for, and must curb, violence in Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post)

Mattia Toaldo, Fatima Ayub, Hugh Lovatt, and Dimi Reider conduct a "stress test" on the state of the two state solution. (ECFR)

Steven Klein asks if foreign troops will be necessary to secure an Israeli-Palestinian peace. (Ha'aretz)

Moshe Arens says negotiations will not bring about an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Ha'aretz)

Dave Sharma says innovative forms of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation may be paving the path to peace. (Times of Israel)

Oudeh Basharat asks, where is the Israeli de Klerk? (Ha'aretz)

Avi Weiss explains why he once picketed Nelson Mandela for supporting Palestinians. (The Forward)

Paul Scham says the demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a "Jewish state" makes no sense. (Partners for Progressive Israel)

Jerome Siegel says there are ways of helping address refugee issues while maintaining Israel's "Jewish character." (Foreign Policy)

Abeer Ayyoub describes the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza without sufficient electricity this winter. (Ha'aretz)

Josh Nason points out Hamas has suffered an unprecedented series of defeats, but is still hanging on in Gaza. (Tablet)

Avi Issacharoff asks if Hamas' last resort is going to once again be Iran. (Times of Israel)

Ariel Ben Solomon asks what's next for Israel's Bedouins now the mass relocation plan is postponed. (Jerusalem Post)

The Daily Star says the Obama administration's policy on Syria is incomprehensible. (The Daily Star)

Ali Hashem says Qatar is retooling its Syria policy. (Al Monitor)

James Traub says the rise of Al Qaeda in Syria has been a complete game changer for everybody. (Foreign Policy)

David Ignatius says Iran wants a nuclear deal, but negotiations will be tough. (Washington Post)

Abdullah Al-Otaibi says the GCC must adapt to the new strategic situation in the region. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Mohammad Alrumaihi says the debate on Gulf unification is gathering steam. (Gulf News)

Saad Dosari says Oman's opposition to intensified Gulf unity should prompt GCC soul-searching. (Arab News)

The National says Tunisia's selection of a new caretaker PM is a small but necessary step forward. (The National)

Ayesha Almazroui says individual efforts can save many Syrian lives. (The National)

David Miliband says more can be done for refugees. (The Daily Star)

December 13th


Sec. Kerry meets PM Netanyahu to try to advance peace talks. (AP/AFP)

Kerry is pushing both sides on the new American security proposal. (Washington Post)

Pres. Abbas reportedly explains his concerns about US security proposal to Kerry. (Xinhua)

Kerry may be pushing for a summit meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas. (Times of Israel)

Kerry's mission is taking place amid a rapidly changing regional landscape. (Wall Street Journal)

The EU reportedly proposes massive incentives including billions of euros to Israel and the Palestinians to make peace. (Ha'aretz)

Other European measures are rekindling Israeli fears of widespread boycotts. (Financial Times)

After a massive outcry from many quarters, Israel postpones plans for mass forced Bedouin relocation. (New York Times/AP/Times of Israel)

1,000 Bedouins are still facing eviction in the Negev desert. (AFP)

A Palestinian teenager is indicted for stabbing an Israeli soldier. (Times of Israel)

Israeli and Palestinian officials agree to coordinate civilian emergency responses. (Jerusalem Post)

Palestinians express concern that divisions between nationalists and Islamists become almost permanent. (AP)

Hamas cancels all anniversary celebrations due to terrible finances and weather conditions. (Ma'an)

Arab foreign ministers will meet in Cairo on December 21 to discuss the Palestinian issue. (Xinhua)

The EU and Israel finalize a new air traffic agreement. (Ha'aretz)

Hillel's leadership insists it will enforce limitations on free speech despite the recent vote at Swarthmore. (JTA)

The White House announces new list of Iranian companies to be targeted by existing sanctions. (New York Times/AP)

Iran criticizes the new sanctions list. (Xinhua)

UN says chemical weapons have been repeatedly used in Syria. (New York Times/AP)

Former CIA chief Hayden says a victory for Pres. Assad in Syria is "the best of three very bad outcomes." (AFP)

Many are feared killed in a rebel attack near Damascus. (AP)

Syrian refugees in Jordan complain about bad and worsening conditions. (Xinhua)

film critiquing the Saudi Royal family opens in Damascus. (AP)

A drone strike in Yemen kills 11 people, including Al Qaeda suspects and civilians. (New York Times)

Drone strikes in Yemen are gaining Al Qaeda new sympathy. (Reuters)

22 inmates reportedly escape prison in Iraq in a violent breakout. (AP/Reuters)

Egyptian DM Sisi reportedly says of the late Pres. Sadat appeared to him in a dream. (Times of Israel)

Tunisian parties agree on a new prime minister to lead a caretaker government. (BBC)

A new report suggests the Arab film industry operating well below its potential. (Xinhua)

Saudi Arabia's grand mufti deems suicide bombers "criminals." (AFP)

Turkey reaches out to Armenia but offers no apology. (Al Monitor)


Jonathan Brown says Palestinians can't go running anymore without fear of getting shot by Israeli soldiers. (The Economist)

Mustafa Barghouti explains what Nelson Mandela meant to the Palestinian people. (Foreign Policy)

The Daily Star says the US needs to show that it can start to stand up to Israel on peace. (The Daily Star)

Matthew Kalman satirizes the peace process as if it were a Hollywood film. (Daily Beast)

Roy Isacowitz says if Netanyahu is sincerely praising Mandela, he knows where that logic leads. (Ha'aretz)

Zvi Hauser looks at new difficulties regarding a possible Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. (Ha'aretz)

Nathan Guttman says the American Studies Association vote supporting boycotting Israel is symbolically important but will have little practical impact. (The Forward)

Yossi Alpher looks at how regional dynamics are affecting Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects. (NOREF)

Paul Adams says the rise of Syrian Islamists is causing many to rethink the future of Assad. (BBC)

Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Syrian opposition's interim government PM Tu’mah. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

James Denselow says the US can't do much to stop the fighting in Syria until it develops a grand strategy for the region. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Andrew Parasiliti interviews Samy Gemayel about Hezbollah's intervention in Syria and its impact in Lebanon. (Al Monitor)

Nasser Chararah says Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli has become a microcosm of the Syrian conflict. (Al Monitor)

Lally Weymouth interviews Tunisian politicians Rachid Ghannouchi and Beji Caid Essebsi. (Washington Post)

The CSM notes that senior Muslim clerics are becoming more angrily outspoken against suicide bombings. (Christian Science Monitor)

The Gulf News says Gulf states are right to welcome Iran's new, more "moderate" posture. (Gulf News)

Alan Philps says Russia is in no position to become a major player in the Middle East. (The National)

December 12th


Sec. Kerry is back in the region pursuing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and more. (Reuters/AFP)

Pres. Abbas is reportedly under pressure to accept the new US security proposal. (Xinhua)

Palestinians confirm they will complete the established negotiation timeframe despite frustrations. (Xinhua)

Palestinian sources reportedly say Kerry is dooming the peace talks by siding with Israel. (Ha'aretz)

The EU's Court of Auditors says aid to the PA needs to an "overhaul" and some major changes. (AFP)

The PA says it is still sending Palestinian patients for treatment overseas despite heavy costs. (Ma’an)

The UN condemns Israel's destruction of 30 Palestinian properties in the occupied territories. (AFP)

Israel's chief negotiator Livni says settlement construction outside the large blocs harm Israel's security. (Ha'aretz)

Israel slams a Dutch water company for cutting ties to Israel over settlement activity. (AP/Xinhua)

The Dutch move is only part of a growing trend in Europe to isolate settlements and occupation. (The Media Line)

British NGOs complain about UK participation in the development of a new Israeli drone. (The Guardian)

Palestinians draw parallels between their own fight for independence and Mandela's anti-apartheid struggle. (The Guardian)

The PLO criticizes the President of Guatemala for visiting Israeli institutions in occupied East Jerusalem. (PNN)

10 years after a bloody siege, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is undergoing a facelift. (New York Times/AP)

blood collection crew in Israel's parliament refuses a donation from an Ethiopian-born MK. (Reuters/AFP)

Jerusalem experiences its heaviest snows in many years. (Xinhua/Washington Post/Ha'aretz)

International news organizations call on Syrian factions to stop kidnapping journalists. (New York Times/AP)

The UK joins the US in halting all nonlethal aid to northern Syria. (AP)

Extremist rebels reportedly storm a suburb of Damascus killing many people. (Xinhua)

Detained at sea, many Syrian refugees now find themselves stranded in an Egyptian limbo. (Christian Science Monitor)

Israeli artists take a new approach to depicting Pres. Assad. (Christian Science Monitor)

A key White House adviser says the growth of extremism in Syria may actually be a key to ending the conflict. (Foreign Policy)

Sec. Hagel's visit to a huge US military base in Qatar reveals much. (New York Times)

Bickering continues between political and military and paramilitary leaders in Iran. (New York Times)

Egyptian riot police use water cannons and tear gas against protesters. (Reuters)

More Egyptian judges recuse themselves in trials of Muslim Brotherhood leaders. (AP)

Tunisia says it plans to hold elections before the end of 2014. (Asharq Al Awsat)

The UAE will host a GCC defense think tank for the study of common security threats. (The National)


Elias Groll thinks the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is no longer a top US priority. (Foreign Policy)

Gershon Baskin says he suspects more progress is being made in peace talks and most people think. (Jerusalem Post)

Brent Budowsky says he's not optimistic but Kerry is waging a valiant one-man battle for "common interests and common sense." (The Hill)

Emily Hauser sees many flaws in the recent Israel-PA-Jordan water agreement. (Daily Beast/Open Zion)

Nathan Jeffay asks if imprisoned Fatah leader Barghouti could prove the "Mandela of the Palestinians." (The Forward)

Chemi Shalev says Israel is inching closer to an international South Africa-style boycott regime. (Ha'aretz)

Israel's new opposition leader Herzog calls PM Netanyahu "an enigma." (AP)

Israel Harel says pro-Israel loyalists should support Netanyahu. (Ha'aretz)

George Hishmeh says Israeli leaders avoided Mandela's funeral fearing "a trial and oral whiplashing." (Gulf News)

Ari Shavit says, after missing its top leaders avoided Mandela's funeral, Israel must restore its international moral credibility. (Ha'aretz)

Osama Al Sharif says Mandela's Middle East legacy may be realized when Israel is ready for peace in Palestine. (Arab News)

Chaim Levinson points out that in the occupied West Bank home construction rules are changed depending on whether the owners are Arabs or Jews. (Ha'aretz)

Monika Halkort looks at the rebuilding of the Nahr el Bared Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. (Open Democracy)

Andy Bachman says censorship at campus Hillel organizations goes against Jewish traditions. (The Forward)

David Ignatius says Pres. Obama's realistic, pragmatic foreign policy recalls the days of Kissinger and Baker. (Washington Post)

Nicola Nasser says, with friends like Kerry, the Palestinians need no enemies. (Arab News)

El Hassan bin Talal says between violence, kidnappings and a harsh winter facing refugees, the brutality of the Syrian conflict is laid bare. (Jordan Times)

The National says aid for Syrian refugees will be a test of Iran's intentions. (The National)

Rym Ghazal looks at life in the Zaatari refugee camp on the Jordan and Syria borders. (The National)

Yaron Friedman says, despite shared interests, there is little chance of Israeli-Saudi normalization. (YNet)

Jacky Hugi agrees there will be no formal, or even informal, Israeli-Saudi alliance against Iran. (Al Monitor)

Francis Matthews says Gulf states are extremely concerned at the drift in American policies. (Gulf News)

Joseph Kechichian looks of the evolving structure of the GCC. (Gulf News)

Mustafa Akyol says the Erdogan-Gulen rift should make Turkey stronger. (New York Times)

December 11th


Israeli occupation forces shoot dead a 14-year-old child in the back near Ramallah. (Xinhua)

Thousands mourn the dead Palestinian child. (Ma'an)

Palestinian teenager is seriously injured as unidentified device explodes south of Hebron. (Ma'an)

Palestinians mourn Nelson Mandela as an inspiration for their own liberation. (AP/Times of Israel)

Pres. Abbas will go to South Africa for Mandela's funeral. (Ma'an)

PM Netanyahu will not attend Mandela's funeral due to "high costs." (Los Angeles Times/Ha'aretz)

The US security proposal reportedly includes some residual Israeli military presence in Jordan Valley. (Ha'aretz)

PLO SG Abed Rabbo accuses the US of appeasing Israel over Iran at the Palestinians' expense. (Reuters/YNet)

US Amb. Shapiro says there is no link between US policy on Iran and Israeli-Palestinian talks. (Jerusalem Post)

Palestinians say they won't accept any further delays in a third round of prisoner release. (Xinhua)

The Israeli military seizes a Palestinian home in the occupied territories despite a court ruling. (Ha'aretz)

Netanyahu says any peace with the Palestinians will likely be a "cold" one. (AP)

Israel says it's about to sign a "historic" agreement with Jordan and the PA to protect the Dead Sea. (AFP/Times of Israel)

An East Jerusalem photographer says he was badly mistreated when trying to cover a Netanyahu event. (Ha'aretz)

Israeli Finance Minister Lapid pledges his party's support for peace efforts. (Reuters)

Pres. Shimon Peres says he's willing to meet Pres. Rouhani. (Xinhua)

The Dutch PM says he has no idea why Israel won't let scanner be used for exports to West Bank. (Ha'aretz)

Because of Israel's refusal about the scanner, the Dutch PM angrily cancels a dedication ceremony. (Ha'aretz)

The UK government warns its citizens against doing business in Israeli settlements. (Ha'aretz)

Egypt's blockade is taking a heavier toll on Gaza businesses. (Reuters)

Gaza's power crisis is intensifying as winter approaches. (Ma'an)

The World Health Organization expresses concern about the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. (Ma'an)

Palestinians in Gaza spoof a noted Volvo ad. (ABC)

Bedouins in Israel see a forced mass relocation plan as a threat to their way of life. (New York Times)

Benny Begin, who was in charge of formulating the Bedouin relocation plan, denies they agreed to it. (YNet)

The first International Film Festival on Nakba and Return is held in Tel Aviv and Jaffa. (Ma'an)

Jordanian officials criticize Israel's "systematic and repeated violations" against Christian and Muslim holy places in occupied East Jerusalem. (Xinhua)

The OECD urges Israel to fight unemployment among Arab and ultra Orthodox citizens. (Xinhua)

Israelis and Palestinians are trying to build bridges by working together to control sewage. (Christian Science Monitor)

Israeli officials say an explosion in the occupied Golan Heights deliberately targeted their forces. (New York Times)

Syrian government troops seize control of a key strategic highway. (AP)

The head of the Syrian National Coalition fears the US-Iranian thaw could benefit the Syrian dictatorship. (Reuters)

Syrian refugees in Jordan are turning to desperate measures. (The National)

The number of Palestinians fighting in reportedly Syria on the rise. (Times of Israel)

At least 45 people, mostly Shiites, are killed in a wave of bombings in Iraq. (New York Times/AP)

A car bomb near an Iraqi cafe used by Sunni militia kills 11. (Reuters)

Al Qaeda-linked groups are gaining ground in Iraq are gaining ground in Iraq. (Washington Post)

Kurdish PKK militants capture four Turkish soldiers, but then free them. (Reuters/Xinhua)

The leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood appears in court. (Reuters)

Egypt releases 21 female protesters. (AP)

More students protest at Egypt's Al-Azhar university. (AP)

Jordan wins a seat, that was refused by Saudi Arabia, on the UN Security Council. (AFP)

Plans for a EU-style GCC upgrade hit a snag with Omani and other objections. (The National)

The US naval presence in the Gulf is a crucial part of the strategy of keeping pressure on Iran. (New York Times)

Arab officials express unease about Iran's new posture and the West's engagement with. (Reuters)


Pres. Obama and Sec. Kerry separately address US Middle East policy at a Brookings forum. (Brookings)

MK Ahmad Tibi the says the peace process is failing. (Foreign Policy)

Raphael Ahren says Obama appeared more inflexible on Israeli concerns about Iran but more empathetic regarding concerns about the Palestinians. (Times of Israel)

Ron Ben-Yishai tries to decipher what Obama is saying to Israelis. (YNet)

Hassan Barari says US can't yet claim to be an "honest broker" between Israel and the Palestinians. (Arab News)

Netanyahu and FM Lieberman also address the Brookings gathering. (Brookings)

David Horovitz says Netanyahu avoided confrontation but did imply condescension. (Times of Israel)

Mustapha Karkouti says Netanyahu is increasingly isolated over Iran. (Gulf News)

David Patrikarakos says the US and Iran can turn from adversaries to allies. (New York Times)

Hussein Ibish says if Arab states are uneasy about the trajectory of US policy, they should do more to engage the Washington policy conversation. (The National)

Amer Al Sabaileh says apparent pullback of American engagement in the Middle East opens opportunities for Germany. (Jordan Times)

Theodore Sasson says the Iran agreement means Jewish-American groups have lost clout. (The Forward)

Ataollah Mohajerani says Israel is trying to use Iran to distract attention from the Palestinian issue. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Ori Nir says Palestinian resistance to occupation shouldn't mean refusing to talk to Israelis. (Ha'aretz)

Bill Van Esveld thinks Palestinians should seek justice at the ICC. (Ma'an)

Amira Hass looks of the intricacies of "Israeli apartheid." (Ha'aretz)

Ha'aretz says Bedouin citizens of Israel must be allowed the right to protest. (Ha'aretz)

J.J. Goldberg asks why there's such a huge divide between Israeli security officials and politicians. (The Forward)

Bernard Avishai looks at deep divisions in Israel over Iran. (The New Yorker)

Lally Weymouth interviews Libyan PM Zeidan. (Washington Post)

The Los Angeles Times says the US needs to be wary about a more aggressive policy in Syria. (Los Angeles Times)

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed says the Assad dictatorship is "playing dirty" to crush the opposition. (Arab News)

Rami Khouri says Islamist militants pose a real threat to all in Syria. (The Daily Star)

James Traub compares and contrasts the founding of Israel and the United States. (Foreign Policy)

Marwan Asmar says Jordan is ready to be an active member of the UN Security Council. (Gulf News)

Nathan Brown and Michelle Dunn say the new draft Egyptian Constitution rewards the military and judiciary. (Carnegie)

Mshari Al-Zaydi complains about "vulgar," absurd comparisons between Mandela and former Pres. Morsi and Azmi Bishara. (Asharq Al Awsat)


Israel, Jordan and the PA sign a historic agreement on water cooperation. (Washington Post/Los Angeles Times)

Sec. Kerry is again headed to the Middle East and Asia, as both parties warn of possible "failure."(AP/AFP)

The US' Israeli-Palestinian security proposal reportedly allows Israel a 10 year military presence in the Jordan Valley. (Ha'aretz)

Both sides have voiced doubts about the proposal. (Jerusalem Post)

A new poll shows a majority of both Israelis and Palestinians favor a two-state solution if the other side does too. (USIP)

PM Netanyahu and Pres. Peres are both mistakenly listed as in attendance at Nelson Mandela's funeral. (Times of Israel)

Jewish Israeli extremists conduct a "price tag" attack against Palestinians inside northern Israel.(Xinhua/Ma'an/YNet)

Israeli settlers attack a Palestinian park near Nablus. (Ma'an)

Israeli occupation forces destroy a Palestinian home and several other structures near Nablus. (Ma'an)

Israel army recruits tour the al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem. (Ma'an)

The New York Times prepare a map of Bedouin villages in Israel facing forced relocation. (New York Times)

Israel will allow building materials into Gaza, but only for UN projects. (New York Times)

PM Hamdallah says the PA is working on an access to information law. (PNN)

Some Palestinians seem to embrace Mandela more as a fighter than a peacemaker, at least for now. (Christian Science Monitor)

Hamas leader Zahar says his organization renewed ties with Iran following Pres. Rouhani's election. (AFP/Jerusalem Post)

The Gaza energy crisis has electricity operating for a quarter of every day. (The Media Line)

Al Jazeera reportedly fired a journalist for questioning its murder theory about the death of the late Pres. Arafat. (Washington Free Beacon)

Israel is now a leading manufacturer of drone aircraft. (The Media Line)

Swarthmore's Hillel, in defiance of the broader organization, rejects prohibiting BDS and other controversial speech. (JTA)

PM Netanyahu explains what Israel seeks in a broader international agreement with Iran. (Xinhua)

The Syrian army is attacking rebels in mountains near Lebanon. (AP)

A Spanish daily says to its journalists have been kidnapped in Syria. (AP/BBC)

Iraqi forces clash with militias near the Syrian border. (New York Times)

Urban inflation in Egypt is soaring, adding to risks of social unrest. (Reuters)

A US drone strike kills three Al Qaeda operatives in Yemen. (AP)

Saudi Arabia urges the GCC to stick together for security reasons. (AFP)

Iran and the UAE are reportedly close to deal on the Hormuz Islands. (Defense News)


Jeffrey Goldberg says, if Israelis don't think they have a Palestinian peace partner, they have nothing to lose by making the most forthcoming peace offer possible. (Bloomberg)

Nahum Barnea says the American security proposal has robbed Netanyahu of his most cherished excuses against peace. (YNet)

Ha'aretz says Israel's opposition to Kerry's security proposal is based purely on ideology. (Ha'aretz)

The Daily Star calls the American security proposal "a bad deal" for the Palestinians. (The Daily Star)

Shlomi Eldar thinks Kerry has a reason for his often-repeated optimism on Israeli-Palestinian peace. (Al Monitor)

Aeyal Gross says Israel's closing of the investigation into the death of a Palestinian protester shows its disregard for human rights. (Ha'aretz)

Khaled Diab says it would take more than a leader of Mandela's character to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Ha'aretz)

Bradley Burston says Netanyahu has shown what kind of person he is by declining to attend Mandela's funeral. (Ha'aretz)

Sima Kadmon says Netanyahu's excuse that traveling to  South Africa would cost too much is an insult to the intelligence. (YNet)

Zvi Bar'el says Netanyahu is just using Iran to put off peace with the Palestinians. (Ha'aretz)

Mazal Mualem says Netanyahu has left himself few diplomatic options. (Al Monitor)

Victor Kotsev says the walls are closing in on Hamas. (The Daily Star)

Naela Khalil says the concern about Al Qaeda sympathizers in the West Bank is more about the future than the present. (Al Monitor)

Debra Kamin asks if Israel and Qatar can learn to be friends again. (Times of Israel)

Ari Briggs says Israel is just trying to enforce law and order on Bedouins. (Jerusalem Post)

AP interviews the head of the Egyptian Constitution-drafting committee, Amr Mousa. (AP)

Ahmet Uzumcu, head of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), urges Israel and others to join the chemical weapons treaty. (Reuters)

Richard Cohen looks at Ari Shavit’s new book about Israel, good and bad. (Washington Post)

Doyle McManus says Kerry is emerging as the unexpected star of the second term Obama White House. (Los Angeles Times)

Douglas Brinkley says Kerry has a simple doctrine: go big or go home. (Foreign Policy)

Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed says the focus of the Damascus dictatorship and its allies has been and remains to crush the Free Syrian Army. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Leon Panetta says he regrets the lack of a US strike on Syrian targets, among other misgivings. (Foreign Policy)

Elliott Higgins completely dismisses Seymour Hersh's recent article alleging chemical weapons used by Syrian rebels. (Foreign Policy)

Frank Kane interviews prominent Qatari royal Sheikh Mohamed bin Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani. (The National)

Madawi Al-Rasheed says Omani rejection of the proposed GCC union adds insult to injury for Saudi Arabia. (Al Monitor)

Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi says the peoples of the Gulf should unite to face an uncertain future. (Arab News)

Abdulkhaleq Abdulla says it's become impossible for the Gulf states to trust the US to way they used to. (Gulf News)

Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Libya's PM Zeidan (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Maxim Suchkov asks if Russia is preparing to exploit Kurdish issues for its own purposes. (Al Monitor)

Faisal Al Yafai says political lobbying by Arabs in the West must start of the grassroots. (The National)


Sec. Kerry and Pres. Abbas will discuss the new US security proposal in Ramallah on Thursday. (Xinhua)

Kerry calls negotiations with Iran "a hinge point in history." (Jerusalem Post)

Israelis and Palestinians seem to agree that peace talks are not progressing. (Ha'aretz)

Palestinians raise the prisoner release issue in international forums. (Jerusalem Post)

A major Dutch water company severs ties to an Israeli company over settlement activity. (Ha'aretz)

Israelis express concern PM Netanyahu's skipping Mandela's funeral fuels accusations Israel is an apartheid state. (Christian Science Monitor)

South African Jews and Blacks join together to slam Netanyahu's "disgraceful" decision. (The Forward

In a eulogy to the late South African leader, Marwan Barghouti vows to "honor Mandela's struggle."(Ha'aretz)

Netanyahu cancels an appearance at a US reform Jewish meeting as well. (Ha'aretz)

Romania angers Israel by refusing to allow its workers to help settlement construction. (AFP)

The EU says the PA should stop paying public employees in Gaza who don't work. (AP)

A group of Israelis is trying to draw up a "grand strategy" for the country. (Jerusalem Post)

A Palestinian man is stabbed by a group of "religious" Israelis in West Jerusalem. (Ma'an)

More details emerge about a "price tag" attack Monday by Jewish extremists on Palestinian citizens of Israel. (Xinhua)

The PA policeman is killed by unknown assailants near Bethlehem. (Ma'an)

Palestinians see a worrying rise in "honor killings." (Reuters)

More women in Gaza are learning karate. (The Media Line)

Palestinians complain their "most fertile meadow" is at risk due to corruption. (Ma'an)

10 years on, Palestinians put a patriotic spin on the siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. (Times of Israel)

The U.S. Congress increases funding for Israel's missile defense programs. (YNet)

human rights lawyer is now among four people recently kidnapped by Islamist extremists in Syria. (New York Times/Washington Post/Foreign Policy)

Egypt frees detained Syrian and Palestinian refugees. (Xinhua/Ma'an)

Israel passes a law allowing the detention of African migrants for up to a year without any process. (New York Times)

A former Israeli military chief reportedly says the country prefers Pres. Assad over Islamist rebels. (Jerusalem Post/Times of Israel)

Western Muslim radicals fighting in Syria are using social media to attract more recruits. (AFP)

Lebanon is increasingly worried Syrian refugees will be staying indefinitely. (New York Times/NOW)

Syrian refugees are being hit hard by winter snowstorms. (Reuters)

Wounded and disabled Syrian refugees are the hardest hit. (The Media Line)

The UN says the EU must do more to help Syrian refugees. (Reuters)

The US is suspending its non-lethal aid program in northern Syria. (Reuters)

Hillel reprimands its Swarthmore chapter over a recent vote in favor of free speech. (JTA)

13 Sunnis and 12 Shiites are killed in another spate of attacks in Iraq. (New York Times)

Egypt says it will hold its constitutional referendum in January. (Asharq Al Awsat)

The US may have underestimated the amount of sanctions relief Iran will receive under the interim nuclear agreement. (Ha'aretz)

Sec. Hagel tours a low-profile US base in Qatar, as the two countries sign a new defense accord. (AP/Reuters)

The US says it is "not expecting a Gulf union soon." (The National)

The GCC steps closer to an EU-style union, and creates a joint military command. (The National/AP)


Ron Kampeas says Israel and the US seem to be closer on a framework agreement for peace, but the Palestinians perhaps not. (JTA)

Ben Caspit calls Kerry the "evangelist of Israeli security and Palestinian peace." (Al Monitor)

Osama Al Sharif says Mandela's legacy to Palestinians is the belief in their own freedom. (Jordan Times)

Susan Collin Marks says Mandela's example can show the way forward in the Arab world. (The Daily Star)

Ha'aretz says Netanyahu's absence at Mandela's funeral is a symbol of Israel's growing isolation because of the occupation. (Ha'aretz)

The Forward agrees skipping Mandela's funeral is Israel enforcing its own international isolation. (The Forward)

Ali Ibrahim says Mandela showed that politicians don't have the luxury of revenge. (Asharq Al Awsat)

Aluf Benn recalls how apartheid era South Africa saved Israel's defense industry. (Ha'aretz)

Amir Oren and Avi Shilon separately recalls and contextualizes Israel's alliance with apartheid-era South Africa. (Ha'aretz)

Amira Hass says senseless acts of violence like the recent killing of a Palestinian teenager are the likely trigger for a third intifada. (Ha'aretz)

Jonathan Cook says as Bedouin villages are destroyed, so too are hopes for Palestinian peace deal. (The National)

Ben Sales looks at the unlikely coalition opposing forced mass Bedouin relocation in Israel. (JTA)

Dan Diker says a plausible alternative to a two-state solution is a three-way confederation with Jordan. (Jerusalem Post)

The Gulf News says Hamas shouldn't look to Iran for support. (Gulf News)

Bradley Burston says it's becoming difficult for Jewish Americans to love and Israel with warped values. (Ha'aretz)

Melanie Ward says nothing that happens in occupied Hebron makes any rational sense. (Ha'aretz)

Rami Khouri praises the American Studies Association support for boycotting Israel, but The Forward calls it hypocritical. (The Daily Star/The Forward)

Graham Liddell interviews Palestinian filmmaker Mais Darwazah. (Ma'an)

Nasser Chararah notes that Hezbollah is escalating its rhetoric against Saudi Arabia. (Al Monitor)

Anthony Cordesman says more Gulf cooperation is needed to protect vulnerable assets. (The National)

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017