J Street Daily News Roundup 10/15/13

October 15th, 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

At Berkeley, love of Israel means no fear - except fear of J Street, Haaretz

Labelling J Street U “a growing, vibrant, explicitly pro-Israel organization,” Bradley Burston called the University of California, Berkeley Jewish Student Union’s decision to reject J Street U, “not love of Israel. It is fear of it. Fear of looking at Israel square on. Fear of Israel in all its complexity. Fear of the opinions of others who may love Israel exactly as much as you do, but happen to disagree with you.”

Where’s Joe Biden? VP Shies From Debt Fight Spotlight, ABC News

“The last time Biden was heard from was at the J Street National Conference Sept. 30, hours before the shutdown, when he made no mention of the budget battle.”

Top News and Analysis

Kerry asks AIPAC to 'have Netanyahu's back' on peace process, Jerusalem Post

Secretary of State Kerry on Sunday asked members of AIPAC to support Prime Minister Netanyahu as he negotiates with the Palestinians. “More than ever,” Kerry said, “if Prime Minister Netanyahu decides that it is in the best interests of the people of Israel to make reasonable compromises for peace, he will need to know that you have his back.”

PM: No accord without Palestinians recognizing Jewish Israel, Times of Israel

Netanyahu on Monday declared that there could be no peace agreement with the Palestinians until they recognize Israel as the sovereign state of the Jewish people. At the opening of the 19th Knesset’s winter session, he said, the Palestinians would have to “abandon the demand for what is called ‘the right of return’” for millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Israel, otherwise there could be no “end of conflict” accord. Without this shift, and without the abandoning of “other nationalistic demands on the land and sovereignty of Israel,” he said, there simply could be no genuine peace.

Next year in Jerusalem, Foreign Policy

Citing the recent Pew poll of American Jews, Bruce Stokes argues that “as Washington ramps up its efforts to get the Israelis and Palestinians to fashion a lasting settlement of their differences, there is no uniform American Jewish viewpoint on the peace process. American Jews are hopeful about the objective, but divided on the details. And the view held by many foreigners, that Jewish Americans are knee-jerk supporters of the Israeli [government’s] position on the Palestinian territories, is just wrong.”

Pew Findings on Israel Show Criticism Has Entered Jewish Mainstream, Forward

“Because of these views,” writes Rebecca Vilkomerson, “I, and others like me, are being shut out by the self-appointed leaders of the Jewish community — solely because our political perspective on Israel and Palestine falls outside the acceptable parameters they have unilaterally decided upon… for the sake of the Jewish community in the US — and I would add, even more importantly, for the sake of the future of Israelis and Palestinians, it is time for the litmus test on Israel to be over.”


Lapid slams Right for post-terror calls to stop peace talks, Jerusalem Post

Finance Minister Yair Lapid blasted right-wing politicians on Monday for calling to stop negotiations with the Palestinians whenever there is a terrorist attack.

Yachimovich demands update on talks with Palestinians, Times of Israel

The leader of the opposition and head of the Labor Party, Shelly Yachimovich, called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to provide the Knesset with a serious progress update on talks with the Palestinians.

IDF conducts controlled explosion of Hamas tunnel from Gaza to Israel, Jerusalem Post

The IDF conducted on Tuesday a controlled explosion of a bomb-filled tunnel dug by Hamas from Gaza into southern Israel.

Iran says makes proposal aimed at breakthrough in nuclear standoff, Reuters

Iran said it presented "logical" proposals in talks with six world powers on Tuesday aimed at achieving a breakthrough in a decade-old standoff over its disputed nuclear program.

Opinion and Analysis

Rabin’s Legacy Fades as Israelis Lose Interest in Peace Talks, Al-Monitor

Mazal Mualem says that “Rabin's legacy could easily become relevant again. That would happen if Netanyahu presents the Israeli public with an outline for an agreement with the Palestinians. Under such a concrete scenario, the battle between left and right over the partition of this land would return to life, along with Rabin's forgotten legacy and the political-diplomatic debate that divided the country, just like it did then, 18 years ago.”

Fatah Leader Warns of 'Extreme' Israeli Position in Peace Talks, Al-Monitor

Shlomi Eldar interviews Fatah leader Qadura Fares.

Humiliating story, Jerusalem Post

James Adler writes in a letter that “Israel has an irrefutable case – that today it exists. It is a fact on the ground. That is the ultimate basis for any country. But there would be less self-righteousness and arrogance about the 700,000 Israeli settlers on the Palestinians’ last 20% of land if people grasped the Palestinians’ humiliating story.”