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Please begin with an informative title:

Cross posted at The Progressive Zionist

Welcome to Team Shalom Fry'd Daze. Fry'd Daze was a long running series dedicated to dialogue in the Middle East. For a while I pulled it, but recently was asked to bring it back and decided that I should. These diaries are not intended to be a flame forum, but rather something where community members can meet and exchange ideas about I/P and/or issues that concern the Middle East.

Generally, these diaries take the form of four to five news articles and short commentary selected by the diarist. These stories however, are just a platform to get discussion going. The diaries from now on will publish under the banner of the  Team Shalom

What is Team Shalom:

"Team Shalom is Team Peace. We are a group of Kossacks supporting a fair, pragmatic, and realistic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the two-state solution. We support Israel's continued existence as a Jewish and democratic state, with it existing alongside Palestine, a Palestinian and democratic state, as friends and neighbors. We believe this is the only way forward and the only way to achieve an enduring peace. This is the view endorsed by the overwhelming majority of the world's nations, including the Quartet, which consists of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations."

So please participate. The only thing we ask is that you keep comments respectful, reality based and please no use of Anti-Semetic or Anti-Arab memes. Enjoy!


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Our first story today comes from Haaretz and Maan both.

It comes out of news last night that had stated Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu had offered Palestinian Authority President a Settlement Freeze on all government construction. This offer was rejected by the Palestinian Authority which cited that most of the construction was done by private contractors so really, they are saying that it would not be much of a freeze at all.

Palestinians confirm Israel offered partial West Bank settlement freeze in return for talks

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to freeze government construction in West Bank settlements as well as construction on government land there in return for an agreement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to resume direct peace talks.

Erekat told the Associated Press that the proposal was offered to the Palestinians via a third party and that the Palestinians rejected the proposal because it only applied to government construction and most settlement construction is carried out by private contractors.

"If Netanyahu wants to resume negotiations, he has to say that settlement building will stop. Either it stops or it doesn't stop," Erekat said.

During this, Palestinian President Abbas has reportedly threatened to resign if there is no diplomatic progress during the next three months.

Our second story is from Maan News where there are conflicting news stories regarding President Abbas regarding unification talks with Hamas. First there is a report that the date for those talks has not been set: Fatah: No date set for meeting with Hamas

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- No date has been set for President Mahmoud Abbas' meeting with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to discuss national unity, Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad said Friday.

Al-Ahmad, who heads Fatah's reconciliation delegation, told Ma'an that the meeting would be held after the president's regional tour.

He said Abbas initiated the meeting with Mashaal to implement the reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo in May to end years of bitter rivalry between Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and Abbas' Fatah party, which heads the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

The president also hoped to discuss Palestine's future with Mashaal, who leads the Hamas movement from exile in Damascus.

Abbas left for Cairo on Friday to meet with Egypt's military ruler Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

However... in these "non-existent meetings" Report: Abbas to offer January elections
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas will propose elections in upcoming meetings with Hamas officials, Time Magazine reported on Thursday.

"We're suggesting January, because the law requires 90 days notice," Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah told Time.

The reconciliation agreement signed on May 4 by the president's Fatah party and Hamas set out plan for a unity government of technocrats, the release of political prisoners and holding of elections.

Implementation has stalled as the sides dispute the candidates for the joint government, notably current chief of the Ramallah-based government Salam Fayyad, whom Hamas rejects.

Today's Maan online seems confused however.... For instance, they are reporting that the Palestinians are unaware of Israel's offer for a partial settlement freeze but as we see above they have responded. Either way... interesting developments could be afoot.

Next we have the leader of Hizbollah Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah promising: Next war with Israel will start in Tel Aviv

The next war with Israel will start in Tel Aviv, not on the northern border, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned on Friday, the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper reported.

“If Israel decided to wage a war against Lebanon, we will not only break the Israeli soldiers’ bones, we will smash them,” Nasrallah was quoted as saying during a meeting with Hezbollah members.

"The war would be waged without any red lines, and [Hezbollah] would in return commit to the new equations,” Nasrallah said.

"“[Hezbollah] has many surprises that will change the face of the region,” he added.

And there we have it more bloviating from the hidden leader of Hizbollah... This part: "The war would be waged without any red lines" is telling. Fortunately this is like a monthly occurance for Nasrallah who generally more than anything likes to hear himself sound tough (all while hiding from the Israelis). Oh the Irony.....

Finally.. spurred on by the events in Libya and the fall of Moammar Gadhafi the Syrian Protest movement is sparked. Gadhafi's killing fuels Syria's Friday protests

The killing of Libya's Muammar Gadhafi fuelled demonstrations across Syria after Friday prayers that called for the ouster of President Bashar Assad, braving a heavier than normal security presence, activists and residents said.

Syrian forces shot dead on Friday at least 13 anti-Assad protesters, according to activists and residents.

Most of the killings were in the central city of Homs and in Hama to the north, scene of some of the largest military operations in a crackdown on the seven month uprising, where a nascent insurgent movement has also emerged, they said.

"Gadhafi is finished. It is your turn now Bashar!" shouted demonstrators in the town of Maaret al-Numaan in the northwestern province of Idlib, according to one witness.

Please feel free to discuss and bring in stories that are relevant to the M.E.
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