J Street Daily News Roundup 10/18/13

October 18th, 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

Berkeley's Jewish Student Union's Rejection of J Street - and Reality, Huffington Post

Hitting back at the University of California, Berkeley Jewish Student Union’s rejection of J Street U, J Street Vice President of Communications Alan Elsner wrote, “J Street U's members also love Israel and are not afraid to say so. Their love, I would argue, is much more authentic than the immature devotion of those who refuse to see Israel's imperfections, which is more akin to a teenage crush than a real, abiding emotional commitment. It is more authentic because it is based on reality rather than an air-brushed fantasy and because it squarely confronts the greatest moral threat facing Israeli society - namely the occupation of another people against their will for the past 47 years.”

Embrace J Street U, Daily Californian

The editorial board argued, “There is not one way to be pro-Israel. But there is only one path toward a more inclusive and representative Jewish Student Union: full inclusion of J Street U.”

Cal’s Jewish Student Union rejects J Street U again, JWeekly

“The Jewish Student Union at U.C. Berkeley has rejected J Street U for membership for the second time in the past two years.”

Hillel welcomes Breaking the Silence tour, Johns Hopkins News-Letter

“Hopkins J Street U hosted Avner Gvaryahu, a former Israeli soldier and co-director of the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence (BTS) at the Smokler Center for Jewish Life last Friday… ‘J Street is an organization that believes strongly in the democratic future of the State of Israel,’ Rabbi Debbie Pine, executive director of Hopkins Hillel, said. ‘We’re here to support students that support the State of Israel.’”

Summoning the courage for peace: Reflections on the J Street conference, Jewish Boston

“Here in Boston,” said Tucker Lieberman, “where there are thousands of J Street supporters, the 2 Campaign will be announced in our community through the efforts of supporters and volunteers. Those who share this vision of a two-state future can join J Street's work. As John Kerry has said, this is a great moment for ‘summoning the courage to achieve peace.’”

Is Peace Possible? U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler Looks into It, Jewish Boston

“Next week, Congressman Robert Wexler, president of the [S. Daniel Abraham] Center, will speak at two public events in the Boston area.  On Monday, October 21, he will deliver remarks  at Temple Beth Elohim at 7:30 PM in Wellesley at an event hosted by J Street.  On Tuesday, October 22, he will address  students at Tufts University at 6:30 PM in Pearson 106.”

Top News and Analysis

Kerry, Netanyahu to meet in Rome, JTA

Secretary of State Kerry will meet in Rome with Prime Minister Netanyahu on Wednesday to discuss talks with the Palestinians and Iran.

PA rejects Israeli ‘leasing’ proposal for Jordan Valley, Times of Israel

Maariv reported that Israeli negotiators offered to transfer sovereignty of the Jordan Valley to the Palestinian Authority, which would in turn lease it back to Israel, but Palestinian representatives rejected the idea out of hand.

A thaw in Geneva?, The New York Times

According to The New York Times editorial board, “A certain patience is needed to conduct these negotiations [with Iran] and bring them to a constructive end. But hard-liners are already trying to undercut them… An early and tangible sign of good will — like a temporary freeze in Iran’s enrichment activities and some sanctions relief by the major powers — could begin to persuade both sides that real progress is possible.”

An enriching dialogue with Iran — with limits, Washington Post

The Washington Post editorial board says that “it is worth exploring a settlement that permits a token amount of enrichment while locking down the program to minimize the chance of an undetected breakout. Certainly this would be preferable to military action. But such a deal would require far greater concessions than the regime appears to be contemplating.”


Suspected Palestinian terrorist shot dead trying to enter IDF base in West Bank, Jerusalem Post

The Israeli army said that a Palestinian man was shot dead after trying to enter an IDF base in the West Bank by breaching the base's fence with a tractor.

'Likud will not allow interim agreement', Jerusalem Post

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said that an interim agreement with the Palestinians means giving away land and getting nothing in return, and the Likud will not allow it. He listed recent attacks in Psagot, the Jordan Valley and other places, saying that “those who love the Land of Israel had a difficult few weeks.”

Not discriminatory to give benefits to only some east Jerusalem Palestinians, court rules, Jerusalem Post

The National Labor Court on Thursday endorsed a controversial government decision made in April to extend certain benefits to Arabs who, prior to 2004, were Israeli residents – but not citizens – living in areas such as Sur Bahir in East Jerusalem on the Israeli side of the West Bank security barrier, while not extending them to Arabs who moved to the area after 2004.

After Geneva progress, Iranian team must battle hard-liners at home, Associated Press

In a sharp counterpoint to the Western outreach by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s government, hard-line factions in Iran have amplified their bluster and backlash in messages that they cannot be ignored in any diplomatic moves with Washington either in the nuclear talks or beyond.

Opinion and Analysis

Secret negotiations, increasing the chances of success, Jerusalem Post

Gershon Baskin contends that “until reaching an agreement, the negotiations must be carried out in full secrecy.”

Palestinian Political Dynamics in the Aftermath of the Egyptian Coup, Brookings Institution

According to Khaled Elgindy, “Dramatic events in Egypt may have been the most decisive factor in compelling Abbas to go back to the negotiations. With Abbas’ Hamas rivals in Gaza seemingly sidelined, the costs of failing—and not just participating—in negotiations were suddenly and dramatically reduced.

Turkey blows Israel’s cover for Iranian spy ring, Washington Post

David Ignatius reports that “the Turkish-Israeli relationship  became so poisonous early last year that the Turkish government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is said to have disclosed to Iranian intelligence the identities of up to 10 Iranians who had been meeting inside Turkey with their Mossad case officers.”

A new, calmer look at BDS, Partners for Progressive Israel

Ralph Seliger says, “There's plenty of blame to go around, and a BDS campaign that targets only Israel ignores this truth.”