J Street Daily News Roundup 1/10/14

January 10th, 2014

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

Elsner: With Hamas, Hezbollah on defensive, time ripe for peace, Jewish Chronicle

J Street Vice President of Communications Alan Elsner said in an interview that “this is a very good moment for Israel to move forward with the Palestinians… [Hamas and Hezbollah] are not in a position to stir up as much mischief as maybe they would have in the past.”

“Jaw jaw is better than war war!” – Sir Winston Churchill and the Iran Sanctions Bill, Jewish Journal

J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove argued against the new senate Iran sanctions bill.

How Lobbyists Still Fly Through Loopholes, National Journal

Shane Goldmacher noted that the model of sending Members of Congress to Israel “has been so successful that the nonprofit arm of J Street, a counterweight in the Jewish lobbying community that advocates for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, began putting together trips of its own. They are organized through a similarly connected foundation, the J Street Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which took four lawmakers to Israel last year.”

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu rejects inclusion of Jerusalem in Kerry's framework deal, Haaretz

Senior Israeli officials said that Prime Minister Netanyahu has told Likud cabinet ministers and other Israeli officials that he would not accept any reference to Jerusalem in the framework agreement being drafted by Secretary of State Kerry. Another source said that the prime minister “only tried to flatten and thin out the reference to Jerusalem” but did not completely object to mentioning the issue in the framework agreement.

Israel announces tenders for 1,400 new housing units in West Bank, Jerusalem, Haaretz

The Housing Ministry announced Friday morning new tenders for 1,400 housing units in settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. Netanyahu delayed the tenders for over two weeks, until after Kerry's visit to the region, but ahead of a an additional trip that's coming up. Finance Minister Yair Lapid responded to the announcement and called the tenders "devoid of substance," adding that the new construction is a bad idea and vowed his party will fight against it.

Iran, Russia negotiating big oil-for-goods deal, Reuters

Iran and Russia are negotiating an oil-for-goods swap worth $1.5 billion a month that would let Iran lift oil exports substantially, in defiance of Western sanctions that helped force Tehran to agree a preliminary deal to end its nuclear program. Russian and Iranian sources close to the barter negotiations said final details were in discussion for a deal that would see Moscow buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.

Democratic Support For Senate Iran Sanctions Bill Tapers Off, Think Progress

The senate sanctions bill was originally touted as bipartisan but is increasingly morphing into primarily a Republican bill, as just 2 of the bill’s 27 most recent co-sponsors have been Democrats.


Protesters break up Palestinian-Israeli peace gathering in Ramallah, Los Angeles Times

Palestinian protesters disrupted a citizens peace conference in Ramallah on Thursday, throwing stones at the meeting site until Palestinian Authority police were forced to intervene and usher the activists to safety.

US denies Kerry pressing Arab League to recognize Israel as Jewish state, Jerusalem Post

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki denied reports that Kerry was pressing the kings of Jordan and Saudi Arabia to alter the Arab Peace Initiative to include recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

‘Kerry threatens to cut PA aid if no peace deal signed’, Times of israel

According to a senior Palestinian official, Kerry has threatened to discontinue all American aid to the Palestinian Authority if the current round of negotiations does not result in a

Head of Fatah reconciliation team confirms visit to Gaza, Ma’an

The head of Fatah's reconciliation team said that he would visit the Gaza Strip to meet with Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in the coming days.

Security sources see decline in Hamas’s ability to maintain truce, Jerusalem Post

Senior security sources have noted an increase over the past two weeks in attacks on Israel from Gaza, leading them to question Hamas’s motivation or ability to continue to enforce the truce that has been in effect since November 2012’s Operation Pillar of Defense.

How far will Iran's hardliners go to stop Rouhani?, Christian Science Monitor

Sidelined by progress in nuclear talks, Iranian hardliners are now turning to intimidation.

Opinion and Analysis

How One Israeli Firm Thinks Architecture Can Make Peace, Curbed

The founders of the Israeli architecture firm Saya envision what peace could like on the ground.

He may be getting somewhere, after all, Economist

Correspondents at the Economist suggest that “Kerry’s methodical midwifery may be paying off.”

Israel awaits Netanyahu verdict on Kerry framework, Al-Monitor

Mazal Mualem lays out where Israeli leaders are ahead of the introduction of Kerry’s framework.

There's only one way to counter the boycott movement, Haaretz

“Want to de-fang BDS?,” asks Michael Felsen. “Hiring 'Counter-BDS Grassroots Organizers' isn’t going to work. Address the problem at its source. Hire a Grassroots Organizer for Peace.”

On Iran, the Israel Lobby May Lose, American Conservative

Scott McConnel writes, “Like no previous issue, the Iran question is forcing the American Jewish political establishment to choose between its often reflexive and unquestioning backing of Israel’s hawkish positions and its own professedly liberal political values—which in this case militate towards testing whether negotiation is better than bombing.”

The people’s water, Jerusalem Post

Gershon Baskin argues that “no genuine peace agreement can contain a water agreement that continues discriminatory policies in water allocation. The water does not belong to the State of Israel or to the future State of Palestine, it belongs to all of the people living on the land, and no one has more rights to it than anyone else.”