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J Street in the News
J Street Vice President of Communications Alan Elsner warned, “The potential for violence within the heavily-armed settler community and its allies still exists. The only way to prevent this from happening is for all sections of Israeli society, from the far right to the far left, whether they agree with a two-state solution or not, to vigorously condemn all manifestations of incitement within Israeli society.”
Rawabi’s Success will Signal the Success of a Two-State Solution, Jewish Journal
J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove reflected on his trip to the Palestinian city of Rawabi, praying that the city’s “success will be not only a success for Palestine, but for Israel as well.”
Winning Middle East peace: The view from Cambridge, Wicked Local Cambridge
“At the [J Street] conference,” wrote Donna Spiegelman, “it was apparent to me that we, as American Jews, no longer need feel alienated or marginalized from the Jewish community. The home we have found in J Street allows us to express our love for Israel while still being critical of specific policies that we believe to be harmful for its future, and for that of the Jewish people.”
Dan Seligson debated the concept of “beyond-the-conflict” with Elsner.
Rabbis Martin and Daniel Weiner noted that “in a time of increasing apathy amongst young Jews toward their faith and their communities, and growing ambivalence towards some of Israel’s policies, J Street is the voice of a new generation of American Jews inspired by a renewed vision for peace.”
Ron Kampeas provided the inside scoop on J Street’s annual Halloween pumpkin.
Top News and Analysis
Six months before an unofficial deadline for a final peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, the Obama administration is feeling pressure to show progress in US-sponsored peace talks that both sides say have not made much headway.
Secretary of State Kerry will visit Jerusalem and the West Bank next week to prod both sides, which have been holding direct meetings among negotiators for three months. The trip offers the chance to push the talks along — and raise the stakes for all sides — by convening the first direct meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
The Palestinian leadership will take a series of steps in the coming days in response to a new wave of Israeli settlement construction, the Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee announced after an emergency meeting at the office of President Abbas. PLO officials did not rule out the possibility of ceasing negotiations with Israel, or referring recent Israeli actions to various United Nations bodies. Members of the PLO committee are exerting considerable pressure on the Palestinian negotiating team, headed by Dr. Saeb Erekat, to step down, and cut off ties with Israel following the government’s announcement of plans for settlement expansion.
Erekat denied night reports claiming he had resigned. As of now, next week's meetings between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are expected to take place as scheduled.
Diplomacy is key to a deal with Iran, Washington Post
Hitting back at “misconceptions” that Iran has already decided to acquire a nuclear weapon, Paul Pillar writes, “As they sit down for their next round of talks with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, the United States and its negotiating partners have an opportunity to forge a relationship with an Iran that remains a non-nuclear-weapons state — not so much because of technical barriers they might raise, but because the relationship would be one in which the Iranians would not want a nuclear weapon.”
Israel bombs Gaza tunnel; 4 Hamas militants killed, Associated Press
Israeli aircraft bombed what the military described as a "terror tunnel" used by Hamas in Gaza and the militant Palestinian group said three of its fighters were killed in the strike early . The military said it carried out the strike after five of its soldiers were wounded as they tried to demolish another tunnel. That incident drew Israeli fire that killed one Hamas militant.
Settlers allegedly attack soldiers and a Palestinian man, Times of Israel
Two settlers allegedly attacked IDF soldiers and a Palestinian man with a club and pepper spray at the entrance to the settlement of Bay Ayin , prompting the army to withdraw troops that have been protecting the community.
Joe Biden presses Senate Dems on Iran, Politico
Vice President Biden joined other top Obama administration officials in a bid to persuade the Senate not to impose new sanctions on Iran, a sign of how eager the White House is to avoid a conflict with Congress over the delicate diplomatic matter.
Opinion and Analysis
Peace is closer than you think, Jewish Chronicle
Gershon Baskin cautions that when it comes to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, “those who speak don’t know, and those who know are not speaking.”
What’s on offer?, Economist
The Pomegranate Correspondent discusses reported disagreements in the negotiations over an Israeli security presence in the Jordan Valley and the period of implementation for a deal.
Elisheva Goldberg reports that by accepting settlement expansion to coincide with the release of Palestinian prisoners, Kerry became “knowingly party to a negotiations deal that actively moves away from a future Palestinian state.”
According to Yossi Verter, If “[Economics] Minister Naftali Bennett, pulls a few more political stunts of the kind he did this week, HaBayit HaYehudi might find itself living on borrowed time in the coalition.”
Yoel Marcus urges, “If Netanyahu wants to, he can be remembered as someone who brought peace to the region. He can achieve that goal by giving the cabinet a face-lift and by recruiting partners who aspire to peace.”
Jeff Pozmantier examines the Jewish community's response to the Pew poll of American Jews.