J Street Daily News Roundup 10/8/13

October 8th, 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

Between J Street and the Pew survey, Open Zion

Tying together her experience at the J Street conference with a new poll of American Jews, Emily Hauser wrote, “Whether it be J Street, or Jewish poetry slams , or something like LABA, New York’s non-religious house of study , we need to find, foster, and encourage all that will help us remember not just horror, but also joy. Basing our identity in dreadful narratives of death and survival, and/or an amorphous ‘caring’ about a country that’s an ocean away (essential to 53 percent of Jews aged 65 and up, and only 32 percent of 18-29 year olds ) is a path to failure. Indeed, if that’s all we care about, I’d say it already has failed. But basing our identity in each other? That could actually work.”

Wrong street?, Jerusalem Post

J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove noted in a letter the J Street conference’s emphasis on Israeli security, adding, J Street “is attracting more and more people as a natural “home” because pro-peace Israel supporters reflect the opinion of a majority of Israelis and Palestinians who support a two-state solution.”

Top News and Analysis

Israelis, Palestinians 'up the tempo' of peace negotiations, Haaretz

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met on Monday in Jerusalem for the ninth time since peace talks were renewed at the end of July. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni represented Israel, together with Prime Minister Netanyahu's envoy, Isaac Molho. Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and Palestinian official Mohammad Shtayyeh represented the other side. The sides recently agreed to meet more frequently - twice a week - as well as to increase US involvement in the talks, as demanded by the Palestinians. American envoy Martin Indyk participated in the last meeting between the sides on Wednesday, but missed out on Monday's session.

Meeting With Israelis, Palestinian Leader Strikes a Conciliatory Tone on Peace Talks, The New York Times

In a rare meeting with Israeli politicians, President Abbas expressed optimism on Monday that a peace agreement could be reached in the nine months allotted to the current round of negotiations, and pointedly avoided questions that proved provocative in the past. Abbas, hosting 10 Members of Knesset at his headquarters here, did not use the word occupation during lengthy remarks in front of dozens of reporters, and referred only briefly to settlements. He condemned violence against civilians, including a shooting on Saturday night that wounded a 9-year-old Israeli girl in a West Bank settlement, and offered condolences to the family of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, a Torah sage who died Monday, who had made incendiary comments about Palestinians, including Abbas.

World Bank: Israel to blame for Palestinian financial woes, dependence on foreign aid, Haaretz

Restrictions imposed by Israel on most of the West Bank are to blame for the Palestinian Authority's excessive dependence on foreign aid, the World Bank said in a report released Tuesday. The global financial institution also drew a direct link between what it called the "regime of restrictions" practiced by Israel in the West Bank's Area C and the weakness of the Palestinian private sector. These restrictions alone cost the Palestinian economy roughly $3.4 billion, annually.


Coalition chairman: Livni ‘just a messenger’ in peace talks, PM is pulling the strings, Jerusalem Post

Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu coalition chairman Yariv Levin on Tuesday placed full responsibility of recent peace negotiations on Netanyahu, saying Livni only serves as his "messenger." Meanwhile Levin called for the continued expansion of the settlements in the West Bank. "We need to continue strengthening all elements of settlement construction, infrastructure and people's quality of life and to strengthen our hold on the area, as well as strengthening awareness and understanding of the importance of our right to settle in these places,” he said.

IDF chief: Here’s how our next wars could look, Times of Israel

Israel’s wars of the future could include an al-Qaeda attack on the Golan Heights, rockets on Eilat and a Hamas assault on the Erez crossing with Gaza, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said Tuesday. Gantz addressed recent cuts in the defense budget, expressing confidence the IDF could still meet its obligations.

Opinion and Analysis

Israeli society corrupted by occupation, Al-Monitor

Akiva Eldar says that a new book, The Impacts of Lasting Occupation: Lessons from Israeli Society, “as well as the political reality reflected in Jerusalem’s election campaign, should serve as an additional warning sign for those Israelis who, like most of the experts who contributed to the book, want to preserve Israel’s democratic and moral identity along with its Jewish and liberal values.”