The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates Jacqueline Fernandez, Jayce Henderson and Desk Assistant Amanda VanAllen

ISRAEL ABC News’ Christiane Amanpour: “ Amanpour: Perry’s Fierce Defense of Israel Breaks New Ground” Gov. Rick Perry’s support for Israel’s right to build new settlements and a possible end of US aid to the Palestinian Authority not only break with the Obama administration’s policies, but goes even further than George W. Bush’s Middle East approach. In a speech this morning in which he called the Obama administration’s Middle East policy “naïve, arrogant, misguided and dangerous” – Perry called for drastic measures if a UN vote to recognize Palestinian statehood goes through. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler: “ White House Faces Mideast Test”  President Barack Obama set out early in his presidency to repair a tattered U.S. relationship with the Muslim world and rekindle the Middle East peace process. Two years later, he has achieved neither. Instead, the problems he hoped to solve have now cost him points with Israelis, Palestinians and American voters alike as a painful confrontation unfolds this week at the United Nations. LINK

Politico’s Josh Gerstein and MJ Lee:  ” Obama set to meet with Abbas” President Barack Obama will meet here Wednesday evening with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as the U.S. presses him to abandon plans to seek U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state, the White House announced Tuesday night. “What [Obama] will do is explain very clearly why we don’t think that’s the best course of action,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said after announcing the 6 p.m. session. LINK

The New York Times’ Jennifer Steinhauer and Steven Lee Myers: “ House Republicans Discover a Growing Bond With Netanyahu” When the Obama administration wanted to be certain that Congress would not block $50 million in new aid to the Palestinian Authority last month, it turned to a singularly influential lobbyist: Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. LINK

The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker: “ Perry blasts Obama’s policies on Israel, Palestinians” Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry castigated President Obama for his handling of Israeli-Palestinian relations on Tuesday, accusing Obama of a “policy of appeasement” toward the Palestinians that he said was undermining U.S. security interests in the Middle East. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Andrew Malcolm: “ Rick Perry on Obama’s Israel policy: ‘Naive, arrogant, misguided and dangerous’Gov. Rick Perry’s remarks on Israel, as provided by  ”Thank you. Let me begin by thanking Dr. Solomon Frager and Aron Hirtz for helping us organize this press conference today. I am joined today by a diverse group of Jewish leaders from here and abroad who share my concern that the United Nations could take action this week to legitimize the Palestinian gambit to establish statehood in violation of the spirit of the 1993 Oslo Accords”. LINK

2012 ELECTIONS: The Hills’ Sam Youngman: “‘ Just go be Joe’: Obama lets Biden loose on the campaign trail” Vice President Biden has been unleashed on the campaign trail, he said Tuesday night, telling a crowd at a Chicago fundraiser “we are going to win this race.” Biden joins President Obama in the new phase of the 2012 reelection campaign, targeting Republicans in Congress while at the same time batting down unflattering reports from a new book. LINK

The New York Daily News’ Thomas M. Defrank: “ Enough mister-nice-President! Obama should ‘go negative’ on GOP to win 2012 election, experts say” Forget the utterly predictable spin from the White House- Barack Obama is in serious peril of being a one-term President. That’s why Democratic Party elders know he has to hit the road – the low road. LINK

OTHER: The Washington Times’ Jerry Seper: “ Taxpayers foot the bill for Justice Department’s $16 muffins“  The Justice Department and several of its agencies engaged in “extravagant and wasteful” spending on food, beverages and event planning for law enforcement conferences, including paying $16 each for muffins, $76 per person for lunch and more than $8 for a cup of coffee, according to an audit released Tuesday by the department’s Office of Inspector General. LINK 

USA Today’s Susan Page: “ Poll: Economic pessimism deepens, and more blame Obama” Americans’ pessimism about the economy and its future is deepening, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, and they are increasingly willing to hold President Obama responsible for hard times. Eight of 10 say the economy is in a recession, and nearly as many say it hasn’t improved over the past year. LINK 

ABC NEWS VIDEOS: Sen. Lamar Alexander Resigns from GOP LeadershipLINKRick Perry Assails Obama’s Middle East PolicyLINK

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