J Street Daily News Roundup 11/20/13

November 20th, 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.

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J Street in the News

Founder of J Street speaks on two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Daily Princetonian

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said at Princeton University said that “working for the creation of Palestinian state is a quintessentially pro-Israel position.”

Q&A: Ben-Ami ’84, founder of J Street, Daily Princetonian

Ben-Ami said that “J Street U is one of the most important things that J Street does, actually, because it is the connection of younger Jewish-Americans and other young Americans to Israel that is at risk in traditional pro-Israel advocacy. When you say the only way to be engaged is to give uncritical support to the government of Israel, that doesn’t go over well with young people, who are by nature critical and inquisitive.”

Preparing for peace, Tufts Daily

Discussing a lecture Ben-Ami gave at Tufts University, Jonathan Wolf wrote, “For decades, leaders have paid lip service to the two-state solution, but actually preparing for peace requires raising awareness about what the two-state solution specifically entails. J Street’s “2 Campaign” seeks to build an American constituency that supports the two-state solution not only in theory, but also in practice.”

Most US Jewish Groups Wary Of Iran Deal, Jewish Week

J Street Director of Government Affairs Dylan Williams said, “If diplomacy [with Iran] is still viable, we not going to support additional sanctions that would undermine the current round of diplomacy. However, if Iran were to change its behavior in the negotiations such that additional sanctions would be necessary, we would definitely support them at that time.”

Top News and Analysis

World Powers Renew Push on Iran Nuclear Program, The New York Times

Senior officials from six world powers met Wednesday in Geneva in a new bid to reach an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program despite opposition from Israel, some members of the United States Congress and Iranian hard-liners. The new round of negotiations, tentatively scheduled to run until Friday, will reveal whether the progress both sides said they made in those negotiations provided sufficient momentum to achieve the breakthrough that eluded them earlier this month.

France: Iranian comments complicate nuclear talks, Associated Press

A French government spokesperson said that President Francois Hollande believes comments by Iran's supreme leader, calling Israel “the rabid dog of the region,” were “unacceptable”and complicate talks between world powers and the Islamic regime.

New Iran sanctions not likely while nuclear talks still in progress, key senators say, Washington Post

Lawmakers acknowledged Tuesday that they were unlikely to impose new economic sanctions on Iran while sensitive nuclear talks are underway, removing a potential obstacle to a diplomatic settlement that US officials say could come within days.

Let’s Make a Deal, The New York Times

Tom Friedman says that while he doesn’t “begrudge Israel and the Arabs their skepticism,” the best option is to make a deal with Iran that would prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon.


Netanyahu visits Russia to lobby against Iran deal, Reuters

Prime Minister Netanyahu flew to Russia on Wednesday to appeal for tougher terms in a nuclear accord with Iran.

UK Prime Minister phones Iran’s president, Associated Press

Prime Minister David Cameron contacted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday in the first such conversation between the leaders of the two countries in more than a decade. Cameron's office said that the prime minister and Rouhani agreed that significant progress had been made in recent Geneva negotiations and that it is important to "seize the opportunity" in the next round of talks.

UN political chief: Israel settlement construction could irreparably damage peace talks, Associated Press

The UN political chief warned that chances of peacefully ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be "irreparably damaged" unless steps are taken to prevent new Israeli settlement building and other "negative developments."

Lieberman: Israel, Palestinians won't achieve peace in foreseeable future, Haaretz

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that it will be impossible to achieve peace between Israel and Palestinians in the foreseeable future and international mediation cannot help resolve the conflict. “We can talk seriously about a political settlement with the Palestinians when their per capita GNP reaches $10,000 -- not a day before that,” he said. “All other talk is detached from reality.”

Likud mulls proposal to give Netanyahu more power within party, Jerusalem Post

Netanyahu could get significant new powers over the Likud Party if a proposal by a group of mayors passes in the upcoming Likud convention during the week of December 15. The fate of the partnership between Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu will also be decided at the convention.

Opinion and Analysis

The time to prepare for evacuation of the West Bank is now, Haaretz

“We must absorb these settlers who will be returning to Israel’s borders, whether they are determined by an agreement or the lack of one, writes Gilead Sher. “We must prepare for the eventuality that the army will remain in places we evacuate and in the Jordan Valley until responsibility for security passes to an entity that is acceptable to us. This means comprehensive, responsible and careful preparedness at the national level - both in planning and on the ground; at the civilian and security levels - and an internal Israeli dialogue for the necessary preparation of the public and of the national infrastructure.”

Protecting the Environment of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks, Open Zion

Tal Harris notes that while a new plan by Environmental MInister Amir Peretz “in no way rewrites Israel’s borders, his progressive stance demonstrated that he will prioritize the areas within the Green Line for economic development.”

Jewish Groups, American Rabbis Call on Israel to Withdraw Bedouin Displacement Plan, Open Zion

Mira Sucharov discusses a letter signed by 780 rabbis, cantors, and rabbinical and cantorial students demanding that the government of Israel withdraw the Prawer-Begin plan, which would displace 30,000 to 40,000 Bedouins from their homes in the Negev.

An American-Iranian Health Care Proposal, Partners for Progressive Israel

Peter Eisenstadt says, “Unless there is an agreement between the western powers and Iran, war and nuclear proliferation is the almost certain outcome.  And Israel will be the worse for it.”