J Street Daily News Roundup 12/11/13

December 11th, 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

The Surprisingly Practical Mahmoud Abbas, J Street

J Street Communications Assistant Aaron Zucker asked, “If [President Abbas’] positions are still news to pro-peace lawmakers like [Labor MK Omer Bar-Lev], then they need to start paying attention.”

US talk of ‘framework’ agreement roiling Palestinians, JTA

“As recently as October, Martin Indyk, the lead American peace negotiator, told J Street that an interim agreement was not in the cards. The objective, he told the liberal Israel policy group, was a final-status agreement. Yet over the weekend, addressing the annual Saban Forum in Washington, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry each suggested there would be a middle phase aimed at addressing Israel’s lingering security concerns.”

Swarthmore Hillel Breaks From Guidelines Over Ban on ‘Anti-Zionist’ Speakers, Open Zion

In her exploration of whether other college campuses can “open” Hillel as did Swarthmore, Elisheva Goldberg quoted J Street U Penn co-president Leanne Gale, who said, “I think we fictitiously believe that Hillel is run by the students for the students… In reality, Hillel is run by the money of Jewish Federations and big time alumni donors.”

Report on Al-Quds shared with public, Brandeis Justice

J Street U Brandeis co-president Eli Philip echoed a call “to resume a vibrant partnership with Al-Quds University. Engaging with narratives different than our own is often difficult, but ultimately a partnership will help both universities empower productive voices who are interested in peace and understanding.”


Iran sees progress in talks with powers on nuclear deal implementation, Reuters

Senior Iranian officials indicated on Tuesday that progress was being achieved in expert-level talks between Tehran and six world powers over the implementation of a landmark nuclear deal. But they added that the meeting, which began on Monday at the Vienna headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency, would continue for a third day on Wednesday.

Palestinians reject US proposal for 10-year IDF presence in Jordan Valley, Times of Israel

A Palestinian news agency reported that Abbas rejected the US proposal for security over its inclusion of an Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley.

Palestinians to raise prisoner release issue with international forums, Jerusalem Post

The Palestinian Authority decided Tuesday to internationalize the case of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. The government said that it decided to “raise the issue of sick prisoners held in occupation prisons, especially those suffering from serious diseases, with all international forums.”

Israeli officials: US admits Iran will get $20b from sanctions relief, Haaretz

Senior officials in the Obama administration reportedly said that the value of the economic sanctions relief to Iran could be much higher than originally thought in Washington.

After canceling on Mandela funeral, Netanyahu sends regrets to US Reform Jews too, Haaretz

Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided not to travel to San Diego to deliver the keynote address at the Biennial Meeting of the Union for Reform Judaism as scheduled.

Jerusalem Demolition Plan Could Force More Than 1,000 Arabs From Homes, Forward

A scheduled government demolition in Ras Khamis would mark the largest demolition in the city since East Jerusalem came under Israeli control in 1967.

Opinion and Analysis

Kerry, the evangelist of Israeli security and Palestinian peace, Al-Monitor

Ben Caspit reports that “after Kerry’s speech [to the Saban Forum], it was already evident that this whole thing — the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians — is here to stay. Kerry has no intention of folding or despairing. Demonstrating relentless energy, extraordinary resolve and inspiring creativity, he seems at the present time to be the only one who takes the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the ongoing Israeli occupation and the campaign to delegitimize Israel the hardest. Of all people, it is none other than he — the US secretary of state.”

Israel Should Offer Palestinians Exactly What They Want, Bloomberg

Jeffrey Goldberg suggests that if Likud lawmakers truly believe that the Palestinian Authority is not a partner for peace, it should test its seriousness by offering it everything that it asks for in negotiations.

Israelis witness Lapid change course, back peace talks, Al-Monitor

Mazal Mualem discusses a shift in Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s rhetoric regarding the peace process.

In Ramallah and Washington, John Kerry Pays Lip Service to Palestinian Security, Open Zion

Matt Surrusco asks, “How can the US peace team call itself an honest broker—one equally responsible and responsive to both parties—when Israel's security is always guaranteed and the Palestinians' security is rarely even mentioned?”

Philosophical posturing on Israel and Palestine, Jewish Currents

Reviewing, The One-State Condition: Occupation and Democracy in Israel/Palestine, Ralph Seliger says the essay’s authors “provide less a vision for a better future than wishful thinking.”