J Street Daily News Roundup 10/16/13

October 16th, 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.


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J Street in the News


Is Bibi Softening His Line on 'Undivided' Jerusalem?, Forward

JJ Goldberg noted that Prime Minister Netanyahu has seemed to avoid discussing the political status of Jerusalem since his re-election earlier this year. “This all might be nitpicking,” he said, “if not for one other event: the appearance of a close Netanyahu ally, Knesset member Tzahi Hanegbi, at the J Street conference in Washington in early October, where he said ‘that if the Palestinians give up the right of return, Israel can compromise on the subject of Jerusalem.’”



Event Featuring Ex-Israeli Soldier Seeks To "Break Silence" at Hillel, Harvard Crimson

“‘If you care about Israel, you can’t let [the occupation] go on,” said Joshua B. Lipson ’14, a Crimson editorial writer and president of the J Street U, which co-sponsored the [Breaking the Silence] event along with the Progressive Jewish Alliance, Friends of Breaking the Silence, and the New Israel Fund.”


Top News and Analysis


Iran the main obstacle to peace with Palestinians, PM says, Times of Israel

In an unscripted response in the Knesset, Netanyahu said, “Who among us doesn’t want peace?... If we don’t secure the areas from which we [plan to] withdraw, there won’t be peace. There might be peace on the White House lawn or peace in ceremonies in Oslo, but not here. I want peace that will be sustainable, so I’m demanding the things that a changing reality demands.” He added, “You also need the other side… It doesn’t only depend on the Israeli side, just like it didn’t depend solely on the five prime ministers who preceded me since the start of the Oslo process.” He concluded that “we will not miss the opportunity for peace with a partner who truly wants it.”



Any US sanctions relief on Iran likely to start slowly, Reuters

Any easing by Washington of sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran taking steps to scale back its nuclear program is likely to be fleeting and symbolic, with any moves for bigger concessions likely to be blocked by Congress. At talks in Geneva on the nuclear program with six world powers on Tuesday, Iran's negotiators presented a proposal on defusing a decade-old standoff. But both sides said it was too early to talk of a breakthrough.


News


Tony Blair optimistic about economic plan for Palestinian territories, Financial Times

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said a $4 billion economic plan being drafted alongside Arab-Israeli peace negotiations will be ready to launch within weeks but he acknowledged that securing Israeli approval for investments in areas under its administrative control would be “tough.”



Shas forms pact with Lieberman to dismantle Netanyahu government, Haaretz

Shas has forged a strategic pact with Yisrael Beiteinu aimed at dismantling Netanyahu’s current government, and this pact was behind the two parties’ decision to run Moshe Leon as a candidate for mayor of Jerusalem, Shas chairman Aryeh Deri said in a radio interview on Tuesday.



Egypt-US relations in turmoil: Egyptian foreign minister, Reuters

Relations between the United States and Egypt are now in turmoil and the entire Middle East could suffer, the Egyptian foreign minister said in remarks made a week after Washington moved to curtail military aid to Cairo.


Opinion and Analysis


How Palestinian Hate Prevents Peace, The New York Times

Minister of Intelligence and International Affairs Yuval Steinitz writes, “If Israelis are ever to believe that peace with Palestinians has a chance, the first step Mr. Abbas must take is to swiftly terminate the campaign to delegitimize the Jewish people and its state.”



The Amona complex, Haaretz

The Haaretz editorial board argues that “Amona is not just an outpost built through deception on privately owned Palestinian land; it is a symbol of a state that mortgages the future of its citizens to a messianic, anti-Zionist dream dictated by an aggressive, violent gang that has taken over the political and institutional centers of power. The fact that even the prosecution is collaborating with these lawbreakers, and that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is backing this illegal takeover of private land, ought to worry every Israeli who desires to live in a sane country.”



Israel wants West to let Iran sweat, but Netanyahu will compromise if needed, Haaretz

According to Amos Harel, “Unofficially, Israel is ready for compromise” on Iran.



Israeli and Palestinian narratives mirror one another, but do not reflect parity, Open Zion

Mira Sucharov says that “when your side wields the power, one can afford to demand that its use be moderated. One may even feel compelled to push one’s own side to pursue a sliver of justice.”