Daily Brief–July 12, 2010

Reports say peace talks to begin in early August Ynet is reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed a forum of seven senior ministers that direct talks with Palestinians should begin as soon as early August. In an interview with Fox News, the PM also said that Jerusalem’s contested status will not stall direct ...

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567152_100712_Snapshot12JUNE2.jpg

Reports say peace talks to begin in early August

Ynet is reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed a forum of seven senior ministers that direct talks with Palestinians should begin as soon as early August. In an interview with Fox News, the PM also said that Jerusalem's contested status will not stall direct negotiations.

The Prime Minister also said during the interview that he didn't believe a peace deal could be reached by 2012, contrary to Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's goal to establish a Palestinian state by then: "Can we have a negotiated peace? Yes. Can it be implemented by 2012? I think it's going to take longer than that," said Netanyahu. Until direct negotiations begin, the Israel government is communicating to the Palestinians through George Mitchell -- President Obama's Special Envoy for Middle East Peace.

Reports say peace talks to begin in early August

Ynet is reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed a forum of seven senior ministers that direct talks with Palestinians should begin as soon as early August. In an interview with Fox News, the PM also said that Jerusalem’s contested status will not stall direct negotiations.

The Prime Minister also said during the interview that he didn’t believe a peace deal could be reached by 2012, contrary to Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s goal to establish a Palestinian state by then: “Can we have a negotiated peace? Yes. Can it be implemented by 2012? I think it’s going to take longer than that,” said Netanyahu. Until direct negotiations begin, the Israel government is communicating to the Palestinians through George Mitchell — President Obama’s Special Envoy for Middle East Peace.

  • Iraq has issued arrest warrants for 39 members of an Iranian opposition group.
  • PM Netanyahu is meeting with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak tomorrow to discuss the Palestinian peace talks.
  • Portions of the official Gaza flotilla report will be released today.
  • Israel pressures a ship with supplies for Gaza to dock in Egypt to keep it from breaking the Gaza blockade.
  • Yemen upholds the death sentences against four al Qaeda militants.

DAILY SNAPSHOT

Spanish soldiers serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) watch their nation’s match against Holland in the finals of the FIFA World Cup 2010 taking place in South Africa, at their base in Blat in the southern Lebanese district of Marjayoun (Ali Dia/AFP/Getty Images).

Arguments & Analysis

‘Turkey’s Achilles Heal’ (Hugh Pope, The Majalla) Turkey’s noted ‘zero problem’ foreign policy has been quite successfully used in navigating regional and international issues–including relations with the Arab world and Israel, the Gaza blockade, and its relationship with Syria and Iran. Yet the unresolved status over the issue of Cyprus has the greatest potential to derail Turkey in its underlying foreign policy goal par excellence of the past decade: EU membership.

‘Hamas thinks time is on its side’ (The Economist)

With the backdrop of the ongoing (and potentially ineffectual) indirect talks between Israel and Abu Mazen’s PA, Hamas is content to bide its time and confident that its reality will have to be dealt with by the international community and eventually even the U.S. Its leader, Khaled Meshal, believes the past mistakes of a Fatah-dominated PLO in negotiating with Israel suggest that its own policy of patience will yet bear significant fruit.

‘Washington’s state of denial claims yet more casualties’ (Tony Karon, The National)

The firing of Octavia Nasr for praising Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah reveals the underlying paucity of rational thinking on the Middle East emanating from Washington–which still prefers to see the region in a distorted prism of mischaracterizations and crude stereotypes.

‘An international appeal to save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’ (Bernard Henri-Levy, Huffington Post)

Though the Iranian government last week threw out a punishment by stoning for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, her conviction on highly questionable charges could still result in being punished by death through other means; as such, her case demands ongoing international attention.

Maria Kornalian is the executive associate for the Project on Middle East Political Science and an assistant editor for the Middle East Channel.

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