J Street Daily News Roundup 10/21/13

October 21st, 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

It's Time to Think Creatively About Getting Settlers on the Side of Peace, Open Zion

Mentioning J Street’s 2 Campaign, Dan Goldenblatt suggests that “a two-state solution with freedom of movement, which does not require uprooting of settlers, enables those of us in the peace camp to reach out to the Right and to build a new peace coalition.”

Top News and Analysis

Ministers back bill requiring 66% Knesset majority to negotiate Jerusalem status, Haaretz

According to a bill approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, the Israeli cabinet won't be able to even negotiate the status of Jerusalem without the approval of a two-thirds majority in Knesset favoring talks. Prime Minister Netanyahu opposes the motion. The cabinet can still torpedo the bill if it backs the appeal that Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who heads the Ministerial Committee for Legislation as well as the Israeli peace negotiation team, has said she will file. Finance Minister Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid party - who has said he does not want Jerusalem to be divided - also opposed the bill. But he refused Livni’s request to join her in appealing it.

30 more Palestinian prisoners to be released, sources say, Times of Israel

Israel is expected to release a second group of 30 Palestinian prisoners on October 29 as part of ongoing peace efforts. The batch will include more members of the group of 104 pre-Oslo Peace Accords inmates Israel has pledged to release, contingent on progress in the talks. Twenty-six prisoners were released in the first wave on August 13, just after talks started.

Abbas: Reports are wrong — peace talks not at a dead end, Times of Israel

President Abbas said in an interview, “The negotiations are difficult, but they haven’t reached a dead end. They are still in the initial stage and we have enough time to further deal with the main issues that turn out to be difficult.” Abbas said he couldn’t reveal any details of the current state of the negotiations but intimated that the pre-1967 lines are the basis for talks regarding future borders. He added that both he and Netanyahu faced opposition for their decision to re-enter talks, but there was no reason to fear the opposition because any peace deal would be “legitimized” by a public referendum.


Livni to Post: I have unfinished business in making peace with Palestinians, Jerusalem Post

Livni said that “peace and two states for two peoples is not only an imperative to avoid the statistical demographic issue of Palestinians outnumbering Israelis. Rather, it is necessary to preserve the Jewishness of Israel’s Jewish and democratic state model. To maintain a Jewish-democratic state, we need negotiations on two states for two peoples with each state a solution for its people.”

Former Shin Bet head warns of ‘Palestinian Spring’, Times of Israel

Former head of the Shin Bet Yuval Diskin warned, “All of the conditions exist in our situation for the Palestinian masses to rise up… In the West Bank, the intense tension and frustration is worsening among the Palestinians, who feel that their land is being stolen from them, that the state they strive for is getting further away, and the economy is no longer something that they can take comfort in.” He said that “we must bring in Egypt and Jordan to the early stages of the negotiation process. Their entrance into this story will give Abbas legitimacy to make critical decisions.”

Hamas says it's responsible for tunnel under Gaza-Israel border, Reuters

Hamas claimed responsibility on Sunday for a tunnel that Israel said was found beneath the heavily fortified Israel-Gaza frontier.

Hamas PM calls for armed struggle, popular uprising against peace talks with Israel, Haaretz

Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh called on Saturday for the end to the divisions in Palestinian society in order to better confront the dangers of negotiations with Israel and any resulting agreement.

Opinion and Analysis

What a nuclear deal with Iran could look like, Washington Post

“It is commendable that the United States and its allies hope earnestly that Iran would take the path of true transparency and cooperation; indeed, [Iranian] President Hassan Rouhani’s “charm offensive ” is so beguiling because it appeals to those hopes,” writes Michael Singh. “But we, and perhaps even Rouhani, cannot compel Iran to make such a fundamental change in course. We can, however, with firmness at the negotiating table and confidence in our leverage make plain the alternatives and force Tehran to confront, rather than evade, the consequences of its choices.”

Should we worry about bill requiring Knesset supermajority to negotiate on Jerusalem?, Haaretz

Aeyal Gross discusses the legal flaws of the bill forbidding negotiation over Jerusalem.

Lapid's losing ground, Deri can't get a break, and Netanyahu's rising in the poll thanks to Iran, Haaretz

In his examination of a new poll of Israeli voters, Yossi Verter writes that “the sidelining of so-called social matters in favor of dealing with the issues of Iran, Syria, security, and the negotiations with the Palestinians − this works to Netanyahu’s benefit.”

Peratis gives up on Progressive Zionism, Partners for Progressive Israel

Nathan Hersh says, “While the refusal to take part in the occupation is necessary for progressive Jews around the world, doing so with a cultural and academic boycott is not standing up for what is right, nor is it helping Israel hear our discontent.”