• We hypothesized as much yesterday, and now new reporting reveals that the United States is indeed making an extra hard push for formal Middle East peace negotiations by Feburary or March. [WSJ]
• One option is “proximity talks,” in which Special Envoy George Mitchell would shuttle between the two parties presenting each one’s side. The prime area of deadlock continues to be extending the construction freeze to East Jerusalem. [Haaretz]
• A nuclear Iran could be “very, very destabilizing,” warned the top U.S. general. He emphasized diplomacy. [Ynet]
• Israel successfully tested “Iron Dome,” a defense system designed to shoot down weapons launched from Gaza. [JTA]
• The University of Maryland’s Yiddish Department, which remains the best in the region, faces elimination at the end of this school year. [WP]
• Israel will compensate the United Nations to the tune of over $10 million for destruction of property and a U.N. driver’s life during last year’s “Cast Lead” operation in Gaza. [WSJ]