• In advance of a U.N. follow-up on the Goldstone Report, U.S. diplomats quietly advised Israel to ease the Gaza blockade in order to blunt the Report’s chances of reaching the International Criminal Court. [Haaretz]

• The United States has proposed its first ambassador to Syria since 2005, when it recalled its envoy after Syrian leadership was linked to the assassination of Lebanon’s prime minister. [NYT]

• Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat argued that his side should consider abandoning the Oslo two-state process and instead pursue a single binational state. [JPost]

• It’s looking more like Russia explicitly told the Jewish Agency of Israel it could not hold its meeting in St. Petersburg, as planned (it will now be in Jerusalem), due to the presence on the Agency’s Board of a prominent political enemy of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The Agency’s chairman is Natan Sharansky, who was born in Russia. [Haaretz]