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J Street in the News
The Vulnerability of American Rabbis, Open Zion
J Street Rabbinic Director Rabbi Jonah Geffen asked, “How can we possibly expect American Jews to meaningfully engage with Israel if their own rabbis don’t model that behavior?”
“J Street, a more liberal lobbying group, took a different tack [on Iran], urging supporters on its website to ‘tell your senators: don't undermine Iran negotiations with new sanctions.’”
At the J Street luncheon in Chicago, former Shin Bet Director Carmi Gillon said, “In my eyes, American policy is not coming out of weakness. It comes out of power.”
Luncheon lineup reflects J Street’s growing influence, Chicago Sun-Times
J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said that “J Street is in a far different place than… three or four years ago… Our political action committee now endorses nearly half the Democrats in Congress, we’ve raised more money than any other political action committee in the Jewish community that works on Israel, our lunch at which Ambassador Gillon is the keynote speaker — Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel is speaking, [Senator] Dick Durbin is speaking, David Axelrod is speaking — that is a very significant showing that four years ago wouldn’t have happened.”
Despite setback, can’t let chance for Iranian nuclear deal slip away, Chicago Sun-Times
In its discussion of negotiations between world powers and Iran, the Sun-Times editorial board quoted Ben-Ami, who said, “We are getting ‘yes’ for an answer from the Iranians… What do we give them?”
Ben Armbruster mentioned Gillon’s meeting with the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board.
J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove recalled his visit to the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
J Street U communications co-chair Benjy Cannon wrote that “the Israeli government and their counterparts in the pro-Israel lobby, must acknowledge the destructive reality of the occupation – first and foremost on the Palestinians who are subjected to it, but also on the Jewish-American psyche. That means embracing the legitimacy of critical opinions and acting on them, rather than splitting the community with misguided ‘loyalty’ tests.”
Recalling meeting Peter Beinart at a J Street U conference, Rachel Cohen lamented that “right smack in the middle of fragile peace negotiations, losing [Open Zion] provides a stark reminder of what kind of void it was originally created to fill.”
The Saboteurs Go Into Overdrive, National Interest
Paul Pillar referred to a recent piece by J Street Director of Government Affairs Dylan Williams.
Sharon residents working for peace through J Street, Wicked Local Sharon
J Street member Karyl Weicher said that “this is the first time in many many years that I have seen that there’s a possibility for peace.”
Top News and Analysis
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected Secretary of State Kerry's pinning of blame on Iran for the lack of a deal on its nuclear program last week, saying splits between Western powers prevented a breakthrough. Responding to remarks by Kerry in Abu Dhabi , Zarif said that singling out Iran only served to undermine confidence in the Geneva negotiations, which will resume on . Kerry struck a more positive tone , saying he was encouraged by the progress in Geneva, which built on a diplomatic opening to the big powers created by Iran's election in June of moderate Hassan Rouhani as president.
Where do the Iran nuclear talks stand?, Associated Press
Behind the scenes a lot was accomplished, according to diplomats in Geneva for the talks.
Iran will grant UN inspectors "managed access" to a uranium mine and a heavy-water plant within three months as part of a cooperation pact reached .
Obama faces worry at home, abroad over Iran talks, Associated Press
President Obama's hopes for a nuclear deal with Iran now depend in part on his ability to keep a lid on both hard-liners on Capitol Hill and anxious allies abroad, including Israel, the Arab Gulf states and even France.
US lawmakers will wait for a briefing by Secretary of State John Kerry this week before deciding whether to impose tough new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, Senate aides said .
In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Netanyahu urged hundreds of supporters attending an assembly of the Jewish Agency, many of them from the United States, to help him avert what he called a "bad and dangerous deal" emerging with Iran. "You are our partners, you are our brothers and sisters, and we are one big Jewish family. Like all families we have to face challenges together, that's what families do," Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu pleads for ‘a Palestinian Ben-Gurion’, Times of Israel
In an address marking the 40th anniversary of the death of David Ben-Gurion, Netanyahu said Israel was committed to an end-of-conflict agreement with the Palestinians — “two states for two peoples” — and was ready to make compromises to that ends. He said he longed for a “Palestinian Ben-Gurion who would give an address, in Arabic, at a West Bank university, to parallel his own landmark two-state speech delivered at Bar Ilan University in 2009.
Iran Nuclear Talks: Unfinished, but Alive, The New York Times
The New York Times editorial board emphasized that “diplomacy takes work, and agreements rarely flow seamlessly from beginning to end. [And] if all those inveighing against any deal — namely members of Congress, Israel and Saudi Arabia — see the weekend results as a new opportunity to sabotage it, what is the alternative?”
A Doable Iran Deal, The New York Times
Addressing questions over the Geneva talks, Roger Cohen stresses, “There will not be a better opportunity with any other conceivable team within a useful time frame.”
The case for a deal with Iran, Los Angeles Times
“Yes, there are risks in an interim agreement,” writes The Los Angeles Times editorial board. “Iran might renege on its assurances or drag out negotiations. Even if Rouhani is sincere, the country's religious leaders might balk at allowing him to conclude an agreement. But these uncertainties must be weighed against the indications that Iran is willing to abandon its nuclear ambitions in exchange for an end to economic isolation. It would be irresponsible for the US and its partners not to pursue that possibility.”
The Israeli-Palestinian negotiations may be at their most delicate and momentous stage just as Israel, the US and others are making a difficult and complicated assessment of whether Iran has complied with the interim nuclear deal and whether a permanent pact should be put in place.
A day after he was sworn in as foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman said, “Ties with the US administration are crucial, stable, and good. Nothing can change that.”
Ministers, opposition slam emerging deal on Iran’s nuclear program, Times of Israel
Ministers and opposition politicians criticized the reported deal that was negotiated in Geneva.
Bennett to personally lobby Congress against Iran deal, Times of Israel
Economics Minister Naftali Bennett will travel to the US this week to lobby US Congress members against a potential deal with Iran.
Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman predicted that “Kerry's outrageous behavior will unite the American Jewish community… It is chutzpah to lecture Israel about the risks of peace and war."
‘No deal is better than a bad deal’ with Israel, PA says, Times of Israel
Palestinian negotiator Muhammad Shtayyeh said that failing to reach an agreement with Israel was a better option than signing a bad treaty
Egypt ‘skeptical’ about Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, Times of Israel
Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said that Egypt remained skeptical over an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal because of “settlement activity.”
HaBayit HaYehudi MK Orit Struck said that Kerry is not a fair negotiator, in what appears to be a trend of lawmakers from her party penning angry letters to Kerry.
Leading construction planning companies are steering clear of a Housing and Construction Ministry tender for the initial planning of new neighborhoods, both within the Green Line and across it. Participation in the tender requires urban planners to commit to planning housing projects in the West Bank.
With Israeli permission, dozens of Palestinian police officers have been operating against criminals in the A-Ram neighborhood just outside Jerusalem.
A new Palestinian city struggles to come into its own, Times of Israel
Work on the first planned Palestinian city is now well underway: Rawabi was discussed extensively for years, but this time it’s for real. However, this unique project has encountered more than a few obstacles placed by Israel.
Israel's ministers voted in a special cabinet session to demolish an unauthorized Bedouin village and replace it with a religious Jewish community.
Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu will soon hold separate discussions on whether to end their political partnership, with sources in both parties expecting a split despite the wishes of Netanyahu. Yisrael Beiteinu's central committee will meet to discuss the split on , while a Likud vote on the issue is due at the beginning of December.
Opinion and Analysis
This Is What A Winning Negotiation With Iran Looks Like, Think Progress
Noting that “the right kind of deal [with Iran] would strengthen US national security, increase regional stability in the Middle East and demonstrate that diplomacy — by using all aspects of American power — can secure core security objectives,” Joel Rubin argues, “From all accounts, this is just the type of deal that was on the table in Geneva and that will be the focus of the continuing negotiations.”
Saving Kerry's Peace Plan, The New York Times
Yossi Beilin proposes a solution to the issues of settler evacuation from the West Bank and Israel’s desire to be recognized as a Jewish State.
It ain’t over til Kerry sings, Times of Israel
“Though reports coming out of the Israeli-Palestinian talks paint a grim picture,” writes Avi Issacharoff, “there may be some reason for hope.”
The Haaretz editorial board urges, “Netanyahu should grit his teeth, curb statements that only widen the rift between Israel and the United States and let the talks with Iran pass the experimental phase. Meanwhile, he should harness his rhetorical abilities and his concerns in progressing the diplomatic process with the Palestinians.”
Chemi Shalev suggests, “If Israel plays its cards right, it could bring some of its objections to bear on the administration’s positions during the upcoming round of talks, as long as it realizes that the objectives outlined by Netanyahu yesterday – no enrichment and no centrifuges – are unattainable, at least during the ‘first step’ that the Administration is advocating.”
Israel Must Stop Settler Violence, Forward
According to Mairav Zonszein, “the issue of settler violence is different not only because it is brutal violence in in broad daylight, but also because the Israeli government can easily — and does — shirk responsibility, conveniently pointing a finger at a small group of fanatics.”
James Adler says that “the temporary delay in the Iran-Western nuclear deal is disheartening but let us hope — for Israel’s sake as well as the rest of the responsible world — for a deal soon.”