J Street Daily News Roundup 10/24/13

October 24th, 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 and New Israel Fund Call ADL’s “Top Anti-Israel Groups” List “Short-Sighted and Unproductive”, J Street

J Street joined with the New Israel Fund to criticize the Anti-Defamation League’s List of “Top Anti-Israel Groups.”

J Street, New Israel Fund slam ADL for Top 10 anti-Israel list, Times of Israel

“Two major left-wing groups issued a stinging denouncement of the Anti-Defamation League’s list of ‘Top 10 Anti-Israel Groups in America’ Wednesday, arguing that the lineup ‘exacerbates unnecessary confrontation’ in an increasingly polarized Jewish community and that the choice of organizations cited was ‘shortsighted and unproductive.’”

President Obama Can Ease Sanctions on Iran by Himself — But That’s Not the End of the Story, Washington Monthly

Rachel Cohen wrote that President “Obama’s strategy—cautiously considering winding-down sanctions against Iran in exchange for diplomatic cooperation—enjoys fairly robust popular support right now. In terms of those who back the renewed negotiations, ‘it’s a lot wider of a coalition than many people understand,’ said Dylan Williams, the Director of Government Affairs for J Street. Anti-war coalitions, the US business community, and the US security establishment have all voiced support for negotiations. And according to the latest CNN/ORC poll, 78 percent of Americans are in favor of direct diplomatic negotiations between the US and Iran—anything, it seems, to avoid another military engagement in the Middle East.”

Top News and Analysis

Seven hours but few details as Netanyahu and Kerry meet, Haaretz

Prime Minister Netanyahu met for over seven hours on Wednesday with Secretary of State Kerry at the home of the American ambassador in Rome. The meeting dealt primarily with the Iranian nuclear program and the ongoing peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. For half of the long meeting, Netanyahu and Kerry spoke alone. Kerry reportedly briefed Netanyahu on his meeting with Arab League foreign ministers in Paris on Monday and Netanyahu told Kerry that he is interested in advancing the peace process with the Palestinians, but in light of the instability in many Arab nations, any agreement will require very stringent security arrangements.

Israel's fate in his hands, Netanyahu's moment is now, Haaretz

“Now it’s Netanyahu's moment,” argues S. Daniel Abraham. “Will he follow Begin’s choice and secure Israel's existence as a Jewish, democratic and prosperous state?”

"Israel Doesn’t Need America on D-Day." A leading voice of restraint is starting to worry about Iran, The New Republic

In an interview with Ben Birnbaum, Amos Yadlin says that “next year, unlike previous years, is really the year of decision [on Iran]. Decision is not necessarily an attack—it can be an attack, it can be leaving the problem to Obama to solve, a decision to live with problematic deal, or a decision to live with the bomb, with all its ramifications.”


Arab League ‘not optimistic’ about peace talks, Times of Israel

Arab League spokesman Nasif Hata said Wednesday that the 22-member body isn’t optimistic about renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Meanwhile, an Israeli source in Rome with the prime minister reportedly said Netanyahu was prepared to meet with President Abbas “anytime, anywhere.”

Abbas asks Western companies to pull out of West Bank settlements, Jerusalem Post

Abbas called on European and other Western firms on Wednesday to stop violating international law by working in West Bank settlements. “We want to live alongside Israel and build bridges of peace with it,” Abbas said. “This call is directed against settlements that were established on the territories of the occupied State of Palestine and its capital, Jerusalem, after 1967.”

Senior parliamentarian says Iran has halted 20 pct enrichment, Reuters

Iran has stopped enriching uranium to 20 percent, a main demand of world powers in talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear program, a senior Iranian parliamentarian was quoted as saying. Diplomats from member states accredited to the IAEA said they were not aware of any cessation of higher-level enrichment.

Despite AIPAC Lobbying, Obama Admin Calms Congress on Iran Talks, Foreign Policy

On Wednesday the Obama administration held its first classified briefing with Congress on its high-stakes nuclear talks with Iran. Despite deep skepticism of White House engagement with Iran -- and despite a fresh lobbying effort by AIPAC -- exiting lawmakers appeared mollified by the State Department's chief nuclear negotiator Wendy Sherman , who led this month's talks with Iran in Geneva.

Opinion and Analysis

We already forgot thee, O Jerusalem, a long time ago, Haaretz

Chemi Shalev writes that opponents of dividing Jerusalem in a peace agreement “daydream of a Jerusalem of Gold as the city continues to decline and divide.”

This piece is for the Palestinians, Jerusalem Post

Gershon Baskin makes the case that Palestinians should recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

Uneasy calm on the West Bank following several violent incidents, Haaretz

Amos Harel examines the possibility of Palestinian unrest.

Despicable Me, The Nation

Eric Alterman responds to Max Blumenthal.