J Street Daily News Roundup 11/15/13

November 15th, 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

Place a bet on Middle East peace so both sides can win, Washington Post

“It’s pretty safe for pundits such as Mr. Diehl to bet against diplomatic success when it comes to this conflict,” wrote  J Street Director of Communications and Media Relations Jessica Rosenblum. “But for Israelis, Palestinians and Americans, it’s a dangerous proposition.

J Street responds: Don't undermine chance for 'good deal' on Iran, Haaretz

J Street Director of Government Affairs Dylan Williams said, “Let’s get beyond the name-calling and treat each crisis and each challenge on its own merits. Diplomacy leading to a tough, verifiable deal with Iran would be good for Israel, good for the United States and good for the world.”

'J Street' Pushes Congress to Give Peace a Chance, The Progressive

In an interview with Amitabh Pal, J Street Vice President of Communications Alan Elsner said that J Street’s “job is to create a political space so that the howls of indignation among a well-organized minority are countered by the voices of the majority… To those politicians who will be in favor of peace, we will be telling them, ‘We have your back.’”

J Street leader to speak in Tenafly, New Jersey Jewish Standard

Elsner will speak on Sunday at Temple Sinai in Tenafly. He said that “J Street really reflects what I believe and have always believed: That the only way to end the conflict is through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and to end the occupation, which is having a corrupting effect on Israel.”

J Street event in S.F. lauds Kerry, blasts settlements, JWeekly

More than 400 people turned out to hear Daniel Kurtzer, former United States ambassador to Israel and Egypt, speak about the outlook for Israel-Palestinian peace, which he called “a doable proposition,” on Nov. 7 at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco. Sponsored by J Street, the event also featured Jeremy Ben-Ami, the organization’s executive director. Both men focused on Secretary of State John Kerry’s extended visits to the Middle East and his visible eagerness to keep the latest peace talks going. Kurtzer defined Kerry’s efforts as “almost unprecedented in the history of American involvement” in the peace process.

The J Street National Conference: Leading the Effort to Build a “Great Constituency for Peace”, Jewish New Mexico (Page 6)

J Street New Mexico Chair Malcolm Siegel reported from the J Street national conference.

Top News and Analysis

Iran putting brakes on nuclear expansion under Rouhani: IAEA report, Reuters

Since Hassan Rouhani became president, Iran has stopped expanding its uranium enrichment capacity, a U.N. inspection report showed on Thursday, in a potential boost for diplomacy to end Tehran's nuclear dispute with the West. The quarterly report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also said that since August no further major components had been added to a potential plutonium-producing reactor that worries the United States and its allies.

Kerry: Disagreement with Israel exists, but our goal is a shared one, Haaretz

With tensions high between the US and Israel on the subject of an Iran deal, Kerry spoke Thursday afternoon with Netanyahu, telling American media shortly afterwards that he respects the Israeli leader's concerns completely. "We're having a very friendly and civil conversation about this," Kerry said. "I respect completely his deep concerns - as a prime minister of Israel should have - about the existential nature of this threat to Israel. We understand that."

Israel's Peres warns against feud with US over Iran, Reuters

President Peres urged Israelis on Friday to show respect for the United States, seeking to soothe relations with the country's most powerful ally that have been strained over Iran.


Senior US official blames settlements for talks impasse, Times of Israel

National Security Adviser Susan Rice said, “We have seen increased tensions on the ground. Some of this is a result of recent settlement announcements. So let me reiterate: The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity.” However, she said the US was still committed to pushing forward with peace talks and reiterated the US position that a “negotiated solution was the only path to peace.”

Israel on brink of isolation if no peace deal, says Livni, Times of Israel

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Israel is on the brink of international isolation and warned that the country’s economy will suffer if a peace agreement were not pursued urgently by Israel’s leaders.

Livni says Bayit Yehudi politicizing Afula murder, Jerusalem Post

Livni accused HaBayit HaYehudi of trying to use the stabbing attack that killed soldier Eden Atias for political gain. “Their entire goal is preventing us from ever being able to reaching a peace agreement,” Livni said. “They are trying to hide it by speaking about security but in the end, they are advancing one agenda: Preventing us from living here in peace.”

Erekat resigned due to Israel’s ‘lack of integrity’, Times of Israel

Two weeks after chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and a second negotiator, Mohammed Ishtayeh, tendered their resignation to President Abbas, the Palestinian government announced the move had been motivated by Israel’s “failure to fulfill commitments undertaken before the resumption of direction negotiations” in July. The two had resigned at the end of October following Israel’s announcement that it intends to demolish 20 Arab-owned buildings in East Jerusalem.

Livni raps PA negotiators for resigning, Times of Israel

Livni said that “The resignations are incompatible with the responsibilities that they took upon themselves.”

Israel fast tracks construction of national park between two Palestinian villages, Haaretz

The cabinet on Thursday ordered that a plan to build a national park on the eastern slope of Mount Scopus be expedited, along with other construction plans outside the Green Line. According to one source, the order was made as an effort to block Palestinian construction in the area.

One year after Pillar of Defense in Gaza, Hamas-Fatah rivalry is mounting again, Haaretz

Hints of reconciliation between the Palestinian factions seem to have faded as frustration among Gazans grows.

Police arrest 70 Palestinians illegally residing in Israel, Times of Israel

Seventy Palestinians illegally residing in Israel were arrested in a raid by Border Police guards and police officers from the Northern District overnight Thursday-Friday.

Bennett: Deal with Iran undermines efforts to thwart nuclear program, Haaretz

Speaking in Washington, DC, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett said that making a deal with Iran that involves easing the international sanctions on the Islamic Republic would be a strategic mistake.

Opinion and Analysis

No Nuke Deal? Don't Just Blame Tehran, Time

Fareed Zakaria notes that “Obama now faces two massive challenges. First he has to get a deal that the hard-liners in Tehran can live with, and then he has to get one that hard-liners in Washington can abide. If he can do both, maybe he will deserve his Nobel Peace Prize after all.”

The Settlements: Israel's Albatross, Huffington Post

Alon Ben-Meir stresses, “What is needed here are fundamental policy changes that must first, cease construction and second, commit in deeds, rather than empty rhetoric, to a two-state solution. Otherwise, the Netanyahu government runs the risk of the settlements becoming a self-consuming cancer.”

Netanyahu made a deal with extremists; now he's paying the price, Haaretz

“While the premier doused the fire ignited by the announcement of the E1 area construction plan, he gave the Housing Ministry to Habayit Hayehudi,” says Yossi Verter.