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J Street in the News
“J Street, a dovish group that has backed all efforts for increased Iran sanctions until now, says increasing sanctions would be counterproductive. J Street was not invited to [a White House meeting last week] because it already backed the administration, said Alan Elsner, the group's vice president for communications. Elsner said pushing for additional sanctions now will strengthen the opponents of Iran President Hassan Rouhani and may pressure him to back away from the new talks. Iran should not be rewarded "just for nice words," but that Congress should resist "inserting itself into this right now and risking the Iranian negotiations," Elsner said. "Should that become an issue on the table we would definitely work to oppose it."
November Issue, Washington Life
The J Street national conference was featured on page 40 and editor Nancy Bagley wrote on page 11 that “the two-state solution is not only an ethical outcome, it’s the best strategy for Israel to achieve a lasting and secure peace.”
Not all settlements are alike, Jewish Journal
“Whether Israelis have the right to live anywhere they choose in the West Bank is not the issue,” said J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove. “I believe they do, assuming they accept the sovereignty of the future Palestinian state. The relevant issue today is whether it is politically wise for Israel to build settlements if doing so makes a two-state agreement more difficult to attain?”
Top News and Analysis
Ahead of a visit from Secretary of State Kerry, Prime Minister Netanyahu told a Likud faction meeting that Israel would examine any proposal presented during the negotiations with the Palestinians “but we won’t accept any external dictates and no pressure will help.”
Palestinian Authority officials maintain that any American peace plan must be anchored in two principles: 1) that it be a permanent, not interim, agreement, and 2) that it include a pre-determined timetable for implementation of all stages, including the core issues. A Palestinian official familiar with the negotiations said that up to this point, the United States has kept its views to itself, and is not acting as a mediator but rather as a passive observer, giving the impression that the Israelis can do as they wish without any constraints, especially when it comes to building in the settlements.
President Abbas warned that the linkage Israel has created between freeing Palestinian prisoners and approving construction in the settlements is liable to blow up the peace talks. At a meeting with senior members of his Fatah party in Ramallah, Abbas said there has been no progress in negotiations with Israel and that tensions could increase in the near future. The Palestinian president also questioned Israel's assertion that it must retain control of the Jordan Valley under any agreement for security reasons, saying the real issue is the money earned by Israeli agricultural enterprises in the Jordan Valley. “It’s an economic issue," he said, "not a security one.”
Netanyahu: I want Abbas to give his own Bar-Ilan speech, Jerusalem Post
Netanyahu said he wants Abbas to show the seriousness of his intentions by making his own Bar-Ilan speech, calling for a two state solution. The prime minister stressed that such a speech is important to him because, much like his own speech at Bar-Ilan University, it is not an easy speech to make. "I have made real efforts, painful efforts, I gave the Bar-Ilan speech, which wasn't easy to do as a Likud leader in front of a religious university," he said.
Israeli negotiators reportedly at odds over Jerusalem, Times of Israel
Israel’s negotiating team in peace talks with the Palestinians is reportedly facing an internal disagreement on the issue of Jerusalem, with chief negotiator MK Tzipi Livni demonstrating a more flexible approach than that of lawyer Yitzhak Molcho, the special envoy appointed by Netanyahu. Livni and Molcho don’t always present a united front during the negotiations, leading to confusion on the Palestinian side as to Israel’s official position.
Poll: 54% of Palestinians support two-state solution, Jerusalem Post
A new poll of Palestinians by the Arab World For Research & Development found 54% in support of a two-state solution.
Politicians remember Rabin on Facebook, Times of Israel
Israelis marked the 18th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination Monday night, and politicians took to social media to share their memories of the late prime minister, who signed a peace deal with Jordan and negotiated the Oslo Accords. Notably absent from the list of those remembering Rabin on Facebook were members of Israel’s right-wing parties, Likud members among them.
Arab and right-wing Jewish MKs clashed during a Knesset Interior Committee hearing on arrangements for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.
UN nuclear agency chief Yukiya Amano is expected to visit Tehran on , Iranian state television said , a possible sign of progress in a long-stalled investigation into suspected nuclear arms research by Tehran.
Former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy said, “I come away from this with a sense of possibility, by no means a certainty, that there might be an opening, in which one can turn around the thorniest problem of all: the deep-seated rejection of Israel by the current regime in Iran.”
Defense Secretary Hagel said that Netanyahu's threats to strike Iran's nuclear sites – coupled with pressure from economic sanctions – pushed the Islamic Republic to engage seriously in talks with the West.
Opinion and Analysis
Mazal Mualem examines the political implications of a verdict on the Avigdor Lieberman trial.
Doves in Israel’s security network?, Mideast Matrix
Brent Sasley asks, “Is there something about being a member of [Israel’s] security network that makes one a dove?”
Goliath deconstructed, Partners for Progressive Israel
Paul Scham suggests that Max Blumenthal’s “Goliath” and Dan Senor’s “Start-Up Nation” be read together.