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J Street in the News
Surely we can talk, New York Jewish Week
“You can’t win a debate by walking out,” wrote J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami. “You can only lose.”
92nd St. Y broadcast gets stormy as irate panelist walks out, Jewish Chronicle
As John Podhoretz left the stage of a debate at New York’s 92nd Street Y, “Forward Editor-in-Chief Jane Eisner — the moderator — and the remaining two panelists, AJC Executive Director David Harris and J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami were momentarily stunned — until Ben-Ami broke the silence. ‘This is the state of dialogue in the American Jewish community,’ he said.”
A good read for winter break?, J Street
J Street Director of Education and Programs Sarah Beller recommended winter reading on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Gatekeepers stirs debate at Montclair shul, New Jersey Jewish News
At a screening of The Gatekeepers, “J Street’s New York regional field organizer, Amy Levin, urged audience members to support Secretary of State John Kerry’s diplomatic efforts in the region. ‘There’s tons you can do. Show your members of Congress that there is a constituency in the American-Jewish community that supports a two-state solution.’”
The hunger that Open Zion fed, Open Zion
Emily Hauser noted that “when Peter [Beinart] arrived at the 2011 J Street conference, the reception was rock-star-esque. The gratitude these Jews felt that someone (not just any someone, but someone with a broad audience, someone with a mainstream platform) had said what they’d been feeling for years was palpable, an almost living, breathing thing. That gratitude breathed hope into people who had lost it.”
Top News and Analysis
Palestinians ready to extend talks with Israel, Associated Press
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinians are ready to extend current peace talks with Israel beyond an April deadline if a detailed framework agreement is in place by then.
President Abbas sent President Obama a document last week in which he set out the Palestinian positions on all the core issues in negotiations with Israel. Abbas also outlined his reservations and concerns about ideas he has heard from Secretary of State Kerry on security arrangements in the West Bank and other issues. Abbas hopes that the document he sent to Obama will influence U.S. positions, especially ahead of presentation of the “framework agreement” which Kerry, Indyk and their people are working on, at the end of January.
Kerry, Indyk and several other senior American officials have all urged Prime Minister Netanyahu and other Israeli officials to exercise maximum restraint in announcing new settlement construction, lest the measure undermine the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian talks.
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez and Senators Chuck Schumer and Mark Kirk have begun circulating a draft of a new Iran sanctions bill which defies the Obama administration's repeated requests for Congress to hold off on any new legislation that could imperil last month's interim nuclear pact with Iran while talks continue towards a comprehensive final deal.
Now’s No Time for New Iran Sanctions, Politico
Senators Barbara Boxer and Carl Levin argue, “we shouldn’t pass legislation now that would endanger negotiations that most people and countries want to succeed. Such congressional action now could bolster the efforts of Iran’s militants to kill the deal.”
Israeli forces killed one Palestinian and wounded four others in clashes that erupted during a special arrest operation in the West Bank city of Jenin.
President Peres told visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that Israel faces not only grave threats but also great opportunities, adding that peace is Israel’s greatest desire, and “Iran is the greatest problem.”
Israel’s top Roman Catholic cleric said that “the Israeli-Palestinian talks resumed in late July, after three years of interruption, but the efforts are hampered by the continuous building of Israeli settlements… As long as this problem is not resolved, the people of our region will suffer.”
Most right-wing lawmakers skipped a vote on a bill that would require two-thirds of the Knesset’s approval before the government could negotiate on Jerusalem’s status. The bill, proposed by United Torah Judaism MK Ya’acov Litzman, was voted down with 12 MKs in favor and 51 opposed.
A Native American studies association is the third US academic body this year to recommend its members boycott Israeli universities.
Representatives of the prime minister succeeded in delaying a Likud vote that could end the party’s partnership with Yisrael Beiteinu.
Abbas's elite guard unit surrounded parliament in Ramallah to protect a legislator from being attacked by another senior official.
AP-GfK poll: Obama int'l ratings top domestic ones, Associated Press
A new poll found that 60 percent of Americans say they approve of the interim deal with Iran.
Iran FM: We can resume 20% enrichment within a day, Times of Israel
Iran’s foreign minister said that his country could immediately resume enriching uranium to 20 percent should Western powers fail to uphold their end of the interim nuclear deal inked last month in Geneva.
Opinion and Analysis
Akiva Eldar discusses a secret 2010 poll which found that Israeli settlers would be most willing to withdraw from the West Bank if Palestinians recognized “Israel as the state of the Jewish people.”
Carlo Strenger urges the Palestinian leadership, “precisely because I want Israel to end the historical catastrophe of the occupation and for you to live in freedom and dignity, I call upon you to realize that there will be no agreement without far-reaching security measures in Israel’s favor.”
According to Ari Shavit, “For millions of American Jews, Israel is an impressive yet somewhat incomprehensible and sometimes embarrassing relative, who makes it very difficult for those who so want to embrace and take pride in him… But for Israel to continue to fulfill the role it is supposed to fulfill in the lives of young Jewish Americans, Israel must change.”
A close neighbor, Jerusalem Post
Gershon Baskin figures Gaza into the two-state equation.
Shlomi Eldar reports on emerging “secret arrangements [between Israel and Hamas] that no one would have thought possible.”