...so there's only going to be some quickly-posted news links. I have some good articles cooking on the back burner and I promise they'll be served up soon. I'm even in the process of picking the first book for the HLP Monthly Book Review. Recommendations? Send 'em my way in the comments or via e-mail up in the contact tab. Here we go, another Wednesday:
Akiva Eldar, Israeli journalist of legend, thinks you might be an idiot.
On Monday, HLP talked about the new bin Laden message centered on Palestine. Juan Cole thinks it's a fake and offers a compelling argument.
It is apparently a cold day in hell. 54 members of Congress have signed onto a letter asking Barack Obama to pressure Israel to ease the siege on the Gaza Strip. "We ask you to press for immediate relief for the citizens of Gaza as an urgent component of your broader Middle East peace efforts," says the request.
On that same note, there are real consequences (bad ones, really bad ones) to not allowing Gazans to rebuild. Foreign Policy has a good article on the possible Yemenization of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak thinks the lack of clear Israeli borders is more of a threat to Israel than an Iranian nuclear bomb. I second that one, Mr. Barak.
In a new report filed by Captain Obvious we're told that Palestinians still can't go anywhere in the West Bank because of roadblocks and checkpoints.
A close aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reveals the two conditions the PA has for returning to peace talks with the Israelis. Abbas wants a full Israeli settlement freeze, even a temporary one, on both the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the final status talks to be centered around creating a Palestinian state on the 1967 Green Line, giving the Palestinians approximately 22% of historic Palestine. I expected Abbas to have more stringent conditions, but they sound pretty reasonable to me. Maybe Abbas and Ehud Barak could convince Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to freeze everything for a few months and start talking borders.
Phil Weiss reminds us that it is currently all but impossible for Palestinian-Americans to advise American officials or hold high government posts.
That's all for now, I'm off to work and continuing to recruit more bloggers for HLP. Enjoy the Wednesday and don't forget to watch Obama's State of the Union address, there might even be a shout out (albeit a frustrated one) to the Holy Land!