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A new paradigm

"...the Palestinian move to the United Nations is the beginning of a process of internationalizing the conflict, with sustained international attention from officials and the public. These external voices need to act as stewards of the international community's vision of two states and international legality, removing obstacles to progress like illegal Israeli settlement expansion."

Independent media hopes – a setback

"Jordan's reform movement was given a hefty present with the Odwan resignation. The media strategy that his committee produced will now become the rallying cry for activists and media professionals, and officials will have no one but themselves to blame for this high-profile retraction of the media's aspirations."

A radicalizing factor

"Most international agencies, especially those of the United Nations working in the occupied territories, have called upon Israel to end this blockade for both political and humanitarian reasons. The reconciliation agreement between Fateh and Hamas, which is supposed to produce a new technocrat government comprised of independent professionals affiliated with neither movement, is a golden opportunity for everybody, including Israel, to end this blockade and allow the new government to ensure the flow of products and passengers between the West Bank and Gaza, and from the occupied territories abroad."

When "Good" Dictators Go Bad

the torture of political prisoners in Saudi Arabia is no less horrific -- while the U.S. government’s winks and nods toward the Saudi regime are no less pernicious today than they were for decades while Mubarak’s henchmen did their foul deeds in Egypt. In both cases, the cruelty has been OK with Washington since it has been perpetrated by (cue Biden) “an ally of ours in a number of things” that has been “very responsible . . . relative to geopolitical interest in the region.”

International legality is not up for a vote

"While the idea of a referendum is legitimate for both parties, neither it nor for that matter negotiations should be over principles already established in international legality, such as the need to end the occupation that started in 1967. Rather, the referendum should be held on how those legal principles should be implemented and on the arrangements for future peace, security and prosperity for all parties within their legal borders and in complete accordance with international legal standards."

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