J Street Daily News Roundup 11/4/13

November 4th, 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

Foxman confirms: Jewish groups to take 'time out' in Iran sanctions campaign, Haaretz

Expressing support for the reported decision by Jewish organizational leaders to give a 60 day “time out” from pushing for stronger sanctions on Iran, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said, “There is an opportunity in the weeks ahead to test whether we can achieve the goal of ensuring that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon through diplomacy. This isn't the moment to endanger that diplomacy. There will be plenty of time to enhance sanctions if the talks fail… It would be great for these groups to actually lobby to bolster the administration's policy toward Iran, which is supported by a large majority of the US Jewish community.”

Securing a peaceful future, Pomona Student Life

J Street U Southwest Co-Chair and J Street U Claremont Colleges President Sage Lachman said, “It will be challenging to bring an end to the occupation while ensuring the security of both Israel and a Palestinian state. But it is not impossible. And, more to the point, it is necessary. After suffering through decades of violence and terror, both sides deserve to live in their own safe and secure states.”

The Challenges of Dissent, The Importance of Dialogue, and The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Wesleyan Argus

J Street U Northeast Regional Co-Chair and J Street U Wesleyan Co-Chair Danny Blinderman wrote that J Street U “creates the space to grapple with the issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and provides opportunities to advocate for vigorous U.S. leadership to reach a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict… If we want to encourage an open and critical discussion on our campus, we need to engage with the most diverse set of voices possible, no matter how challenging they may be.”

The Ted Cruz of Israel, New Republic

In his profile of Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, Ben Birnbaum noted that “in March 2011, [Danon] held a hearing to determine whether the US “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby J Street was actually pro-Israel.”

Yes, Sacramento-area Jews can talk civilly about Israel, JWeekly

Dan Gorfain discussed a Sacramento event which featured the Jewish federation, J Street, New Israel Fund and AIPAC.

Top News and Analysis

US to propose Israeli-Palestinian peace deal in January, senior MK tells Haaretz, Haaretz

Meretz chairman Zahava Gal-On said that Secretary of State Kerry informed Prime Minister Netanyahu in Rome that the Obama administration plans to present in January its own plan for a draft framework agreement on permanent status between Israel and the Palestinians. Gal-On said she was basing her information on conversations she has had in recent days with senior Palestinian, American and Arab officials.

Israel, PA spar ahead of next round of talks, Times of Israel

The Palestinian Authority slammed the Israeli government late Sunday after the Housing and Construction Ministry announced that it would approve the sale of land for some 1,700 apartments over the Green Line, a move which came on the heels of a statement by Netanyahu earlier in the day that Israel must keep a “security border” in the Jordan Valley in any final peace deal with the Palestinians. The announcements were made ahead of a visit by Kerry who is set to meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials this week — a visit which coincides with the launch of the next round of talks between the two sides.

Abbas promises Kerry not to pull out of peace talks, Haaretz

Senior Israeli and US officials have confirmed that though the Palestinians severely condemn the recent settlement construction, they would not pull out of peace talks with Israel. President Abbas said the Palestinians promised the United States to carry on negotiations for nine months and that they intended to keep that promise.

Jewish groups lobby for new sanctions on Iran, deal or not, Jerusalem Post

Major American Jewish organizations have continued lobbying Congress to pass new sanctions targeting Iran without pause, despite reports of a deal struck between their leaders and the Obama administration to delay such efforts until the end of the year.

Prevent the next big explosion, Ynet

Yuval Diskin proposes recommendations for strengthening the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and avoiding another intifada.


US will push Mideast peace process forward: Kerry, AFP

Kerry said he remained hopeful there would be progress toward peace in the coming months and renewed his plea for the world to give negotiators space to work. He stressed that the US remained committed to a goal of a final peace deal, but acknowledged recent tensions, particularly after Israel announced it would go ahead with 1,500 settler homes in East Jerusalem.

Livni urges Labor to seize the moment, join the coalition, Times of Israel

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni called on the Labor Party to join the coalition to counter the influence of the hawkish HaBayit HaYehudi and show support for the peace process with the Palestinians. Livni said “it isn’t enough to make speeches about the need for an agreement...The Labor Party must be courageous and join the government in order to help advance it.”

Israel to face deepening isolation if peace talks fail, says national security adviser, Haaretz

National Security Adviser Ya’akov Amidror said on Sunday at a cabinet meeting that the resumption of the peace process is contributing significantly to Israel’s international standing, but its failure would bolster the anti-Israel boycott movement and deepen the country's international isolation


On Iran, says Hanegbi, ‘nothing will prevent Netanyahu from doing what he believes is right’, Times of Israel

In an interview, Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi shared his views on Iran and peace with the Palestinians.

Israel's military advocate: IDF training inside Palestinian villages is legal, Haaretz

There is no legal barrier to Israel Defense Forces training inside Palestinian villages in the West Bank, according to a document prepared by the IDF's Military Advocate General.

To Shape Young Palestinians, Hamas Creates Its Own Textbooks, The New York Times

For the first time since taking control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Hamas is deviating from the approved Palestinian Authority curriculum, using new textbooks as part of a broader push to infuse the next generation with its militant ideology.

Khamenei tells Iran's hardliners not to undermine nuclear talks, Reuters

Iran's supreme leader gave strong backing on Sunday to his president's push for nuclear negotiations, warning hardliners not to accuse Hassan Rouhani of compromising with the old enemy America. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments will help shield Rouhani, who has sought to thaw relations with the West since his surprise election in June, from accusations of being soft on the United States, often characterized in the Islamic Republic as the "Great Satan".

Thousands protest at former US embassy in Iran, Associated Press

Tens of thousands of demonstrators packed the streets Monday outside the former US Embassy in Tehran in the biggest anti-American rally in years, a show of support for hard-line opponents of Rouhani's historic outreach to Washington.

Opinion and Analysis

Might those peace talks actually be getting somewhere?, Times of Israel

“That something positive could be happening in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority may comes as a surprise after the overwhelming pessimism expressed by both Israeli and Palestinian leaders before the current round of talks began in late July, writes Avi Issacharoff, “But there are quite a few reasons to suspend disbelief and skepticism.”

Israel weighs its options, Al-Monitor

Ben Caspit reports that Israeli negotiators “pose questions, raise quandaries and make productive remarks. However, they avoid making statements or showing their positions. In these negotiations, Israel behaves as if it were actually the United States. A neutral, curious observer.”

Netanyahu's distorted priorities, Haaretz

The Haaretz editorial board argues that “Israel deserves a different agenda, one that will guarantee its future as a democratic and prosperous country: A peace agreement with the Palestinians, the integration of its Arab citizens and civil investment in projects such as the light rail train in the Dan region, which would significantly improve the quality of life of millions of Israelis - projects that are always put off because of the construction of housing in the isolated settlements. These goals are within reach. What is needed is just leadership that wants to change direction, and such leadership does not exist today in Israel.”

Obama's Mideast policies are working, Politico

Aaron David Miller says that “if the Obama administration is realistic, it may well produce some kind of agreement on some of the core issues.”

Israeli Army Avoids Confronting Settler Violence, Al-Monitor

According to Shlomi Eldar, “Ignoring the violent acts committed by a hardcore group of settlers has had a snowball effect on what was once a localized phenomenon. Jewish residents commit attacks, and the soldiers stand off to the side.”