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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speak to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.

President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority formally requested that the Security Council elevate Palestine to full United Nations membership on Friday. Read more»

The days of power are numbered for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi but the lame duck congress may be able to cut some deals on foreign policy.

With the Obama mandate of 2008 slipping away, Congressional Democrats hope to find a more practical species of Republican sitting in their assigned seats later this month when the "lame duck" Congress reconvenes in Washington. Read more»

Judean People’s Front? Or the People’s Front of Judea?

To understand this moment in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or “talks,” you need to return to what is the single most important contextual reference for the Middle East’s most intractable problem: Monty Python’s “Life of Brian.” Read more»

Humanitarian cargo waits to cross into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip in 2009. Egypt opened its border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, letting Palestinians cross until further notice amid a storm of international criticism of Israel's blockade of the enclave, officials in Egypt and Gaza said. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters) Click to enlarge photo

It’s time for Israel to end its three-year blockade of Gaza and for the international community to abandon its failed policy of trying to isolate Hamas. Read more»

An Israeli barrier wall in the West Bank, 2009.

Indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were set to resume this week, as Mideast envoy George Mitchell prepared for yet another round of shuttle diplomacy intended to revive the peace process. Read more»