J Street Daily News Roundup 10/14/13

October 14th, 2013

J Street works to promote an open, honest and rigorous conversation about Israel. The opinions reflected in articles posted in the News Roundup do not necessarily reflect J Street's positions, and their posting does not constitute an endorsement from J Street.

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Please email newsroundup@jstreet.org

J Street in the News

J Street U Rejected for Standing Behind IDF Soldiers, Open Zion

Criticizing the University of California, Berkeley Jewish Student Union’s decision to reject J Street U’s membership, Oded Na’aman wrote, “Members of the JSU apparently do not want to know what happens in Israel; rather, they are concerned with what is said about Israel. The real Israel, the one that is our home, seems to be none of their concern. We do not ask for the love of the JSU. We do not need their protection or concern. But we cannot remain speechless as they, while showing vague interest in our country, still claim to protect our country from us and for our sake.”

Jewish campus groups optimistic despite statistics, USA Today

Bradley “Harmon is the founder and co-president of J Street U, a pro-Israel group [at American University]. He says his school's Jewish community is strong because it focuses on both religious and cultural ideas.”

Local rabbis talk about the Pew survey, New Jersey Jewish Standard

Speaking about the Pew survey of American Jews, Rabbi Joel Pitkowsky said, “I think we should stop pretending that J Street and the New Israel Fund are outside of the mainstream. It seems to me that they are the new mainstream, at least for younger Jews.”

Top News and Analysis

Yitzhak Rabin memorial rally draws 30,000 people, Haaretz

Thirty thousand people gathered Saturday night for a rally marking 18 years since the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, police have estimated. In his speech, Rabin’s grandson Yonatan Ben Artzi called upon Prime Minister Netanyahu to take advantage of the historic opportunity he is currently facing to achieve peace with the Palestinians. "My grandfather was murdered over peace and you owe this peace to us, to all of us," he said, adding that Netanyahu has the opportunity to simultaneously find a solution to the Iranian threat and Palestinian conflict with the backing of "the entire world."

Talks on rocks, Abbas heads to Europe to push for settlement freeze, Times of Israel

President Abbas headed for Europe on Monday on a mission reportedly to increase international pressure on Israel to halt settlement construction.

After tunnel find, Netanyahu says terror activity on the rise, Times of Israel

Despite a months-long lull in terror activity that has made 2013 the quietest year “in more than a decade,” the last several weeks have seen a marked uptick in nationalistic attacks, said Netanyahu. The prime minister’s remarks came hours after the IDF revealed it had uncovered and destroyed a 1.5 mile tunnel from Gaza to Israel, which IDF officials said was likely designed to be used in a kidnapping or attack attempt by Gazan terrorists. The tunnel terminated inside Israel proper, close to a kindergarten, and was filled with explosives, the IDF said.

Israeli politicians brace for stormy winter Knesset session, Haaretz

“Stormy times are forecast for the Knesset winter session which begins on Monday,” said Jonathan Lis. “Blustery issues like the peace talks, the governability bill and draft reform will dominate debates, while squalls, like the forecast breakup up of the coalition between Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, municipal elections and Labor's leadership battle, promise background disruptions. President Peres is expected to open the celebratory session Monday afternoon, followed immediately by a speech by Netanyahu.”


Abbas blames Israel for Palestinian fiscal crisis, Times of Israel

Abbas on Saturday blamed Israel for the economic crisis in the Palestinian territories, reiterating the findings of a World Bank report which accused Israel of limiting PA income by restricting access to the majority of the West Bank.

EU accuses Palestinians of wasting 2 billion euro in aid, Times of Israel

The Palestinian Authority squandered nearly $2.7 billion in European aid through corruption and mismanagement, a British newspaper claimed Sunday, leaking the contents of a not-yet-published European document.

Stumping for referendum, Bennett calls Palestinian state ‘delusional’, Times of Israel

Economics Minister Naftali Bennett said that while his party, HaBayit HaYehudi would not stop Justice Minister Tzipi Livni from negotiating with the Palestinian Authority, when the Knesset opens its winter session, it would pass the bill requiring a referendum on any peace deal that would relinquish sovereign Israeli territory.

PM nixes bill applying Israeli labor laws to West Bank women, Haaretz

Netanyahu announced that the cabinet will no longer consider a controversial private member’s bill that sought to apply Israeli laws protecting pregnant women from discrimination in the workplace to women living in the West Bank.

Jordan Valley killing may have been robbery gone awry, Times of Israel

There was growing suspicion on Sunday that the brutal slaying of a man in the Jordan Valley last week was a bungled burglary and not a terror attack, as originally thought.

Mufti of Jerusalem calls for preachers throughout the world to speak about Al-Aksa Mosque, Jerusalem Post

Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, who speaks at al-Aksa Mosque, called on Sunday for preachers from all over the world to allocate part of their sermons for the upcoming holiday of Eid al-Adha this week to support Al- Aksa and remind the Islamic nation of their duty towards it.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to head Hamas delegation to Iran, Jerusalem Post

Increasingly isolated since the loss of a key ally in deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is expected to lead a Hamas delegation to Iran later this week.

Iran hopeful Geneva talks can lead to 'nuclear roadmap', Reuters

Iranian Foreign Minister and chief negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced hope Iran and world powers can agree at talks this week on a roadmap towards defusing the stand-off over Tehran's nuclear activity, but warned the process would be complex.

Opinion and Analysis

What Do Jews Lose When Rabbis Feel Compelled to Dissemble on Israel?, Open Zion

Examining a recent poll of American rabbis, Emily Hauser asks, “When we force our rabbis to lie to us [about Israel]—what are we doing to ourselves?”

A new American Jewish generation arises, alienated from intransigent Israel, Haaretz

According to Ori Nir, “[Rabbi David Saperstein] asked whether Israel could ‘lose’ American Jews because of its own self-destructive, anti-peace policies. You don’t need polls to realize that this is already happening with young American Jews.”

Will New Knesset Session Bring Changes in Netanyahu's Coalition?, Al-Monitor

Mazal Mualem notes that “Netanyahu’s biggest problem was, and remains, his Likud Party. He will be able to change the elements of the coalition, but it is uncertain that he has the emotional wherewithal to split up the Likud.

My Conversation With Hamas, Al-Monitor

Gershon Baskin interviews Ghazi Hamad, deputy foreign minister of the Hamas government in Gaza.