J Street Daily News Roundup 11/26/13

November 26th, 2013

J Street in the News

Netanyahu Should Remember: Obama is a Friend, Huffington Post

Warning that “the rift between [President] Obama and [Prime Minister] Netanyahu [could spill] into the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks as well,” J Street Vice President of Communications Alan Elsner wrote, “It's time to calm down and for friends to start behaving like friends again. These two countries need each other.”

Administration tries to reassure American-Jewish groups, CNN

“One American-Jewish group, J Street, which is somewhat more liberal than other organizations, has been more supportive of the outreach to Iran and said the deal shows Obama is ‘on the right path.’ ‘The alternatives to diplomacy were more sanctions and/or military action which would only have delayed, but not destroyed the Iranian program, but which would have plunged the Middle East into turmoil and possibly dragged the United States and Israel into a costly and bloody war,’ J Street said in a statement.”

What it means to be pro-Israel, Chicago Maroon

J Street UChicago board member Daniela Tolchinsky argued that “pro-Israel also means actively advocating for [Israel’s] future as a secure, democratic state and Jewish homeland at peace with its neighbors.”

Jeffrey Goldberg Gets J Street Wrong, Open Zion

Coming out of the closet as a J Street supporter, Emily Hauser dissects a recent Twitter spat with Jeffrey Goldberg.

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu orders additional talks with EU over scientific cooperation pact, Haaretz

Following two emergency meetings to discuss the rift with the European Union over the Horizon 2020 scientific cooperation initiative, Netanyahu decided overnight Monday to continue seeking a compromise that would enable Israel to sign the pact. Recent negotiations between the sides over the terms for signing the Horizon 2020 initiative all but hit an impasse, after the EU rejected most of Israel's compromise proposals concerning the European ban on funding entities in West Bank settlements.

Livni: Peace with Palestinians means ‘new front’ with Arabs against Iran, Times of Israel

Justice Minister and chief peace negotiator Tzipi Livni said that Israel must achieve a final status agreement with the Palestinians quickly in order to present a “new front” with Arab countries against the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Congress Iran Hawks Back Off — for Now, JTA

Skeptics in Congress appear to be willing to give the agreement space to breathe — albeit with tough new punitive measures in place should Iran fail to live up to its end of the bargain.

Iran deal is a diplomatic success story, Washington Post

“In May of next year, Iran will be further away from being able to build a bomb than it is today,” writes Eugene Robinson. “And this achievement is being attacked with the word ‘appeasement’ and references to Munich ? Give me a break.”

A good deal in Geneva, Foreign Policy

Colin Kahl says that “although no diplomatic agreement is perfect, the one reached in Geneva is pretty darn good.”


World powers to Israel: Stop griping, work with us toward final Iran deal, Haaretz

Many of the world powers that took part in the negotiations with Iran have sent communiques to the Israeli government over the last two days, both publicly and through back channels, all conveying the same message: The interim agreement with Iran is a fait accompli. Western diplomats said it was made clear to Israel that instead of complaining about what was, Jerusalem should instead focus its efforts on what will be, by beginning to work with the powers over the next six months, ahead of the negotiations with Iran over a final agreement.

Wary of war, Israeli public gives Iran deal a chance, Reuters

Going about their business on Monday, Israelis seemed more accepting than Netanyahu, of a nuclear deal with Iran that he rejected as a historic mistake.

AIPAC asks Congress for new sanctions that will kick in if Iran reneges on deal, Haaretz

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee criticized the agreement with Iran, but did not reject it outright. It called on Congress to pass legislation that would “increase the pressure on Iran and ensure that any future deal denies Tehran a nuclear weapons capability.”

Ron Dermer Faces Big Challenges as Israel’s New Ambassador to the US, Forward

Before even getting a chance to unpack his bags and settle in, Israel’s new ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, has been thrust into one of the toughest challenges an Israeli envoy can face: a major row between Jerusalem and Washington over Iran’s nuclear program.

Molotov cocktails thrown at Palestinian home in suspected 'price tag' attack, Jerusalem Post

Unknown assailants threw two Molotov cocktails in a suspected "price tag" attack Tuesday at a home in the Palestinian village of Burin, south of Nablus. Minor property damage was sustained, but no injuries reported.

Opinion and Analysis

American Jews, embrace your dual loyalties, Haaretz

Dov Waxman contends that “difficult as they are to manage, American Jews should embrace their dual loyalties as an expression of their multifaceted identity.”

A tale of two West Bank building permit requests, Haaretz

Chaim Levinson reports, “The Jewish settlement of Givat Salit, located in the Jordan Valley, had no permits for its buildings until last week, when the Civil Administration approved a master plan that would retroactively legalize it and facilitate the construction of 100 new homes. The small Palestinian village of Susya, located next to the southern Hebron Hills settlement of the same name, had no permits for its buildings either. And that's still the case, since last month the Civil Administration rejected Susya residents' request for approval of a master plan that would have made their homes legal. The difference is that the government wants to promote Givat Salit, where just 10 families live so far.”

We Have a Deal With Iran. A Good One, Slate

Fred Kaplan predicts, “Had George W. Bush negotiated this deal, Republicans would be hailing his diplomatic prowess, and rightly so.”

Iran Deal: Here Comes the Tough Part, National Interest

Calling the deal with Iran “a major achievement that deserves enthusiastic applause,” Paul Pillar delves into the details.

Bibi's Agreement Anxiety Disorder, American Prospect

Gershom Gorenberg says, Netanyahu “knows how to speak your fears, but the poor man is not thinking clearly.”

The Iran Deal: Neville Chamberlain Revisited?, Partners for Progressive Israel

Jeff Pozmantier writes, “We have given the Iranians an opportunity to turn back. Hopefully, they will seize it. If so, the effort to achieve diplomatic peace will have been a success. If not, the effort still provides the greatest opportunity to have the world united in whatever action it must then take. And that is undeniably better than Israel having to go it alone.”