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J Street in the News
J Street expressed strong opposition to a Senate bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran while the United States and its international partners are trying to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the Iranian nuclear crisis.
JJ Goldberg noted that J Street stands alone among Jewish groups opposing the Senate bill.
“We don’t know what is being debated behind closed doors,” wrote J Street Communications and Media Assistant Aaron Zucker. “But given that [Prime Minister] Netanyahu is unlikely to advance a peace accord that does not in some way address the issue of recognition, [Secretary of State] Kerry’s rhetoric is an important sign that he’s working toward its resolution. Hopefully, he can fashion a formula that both sides can accept.”
Top News and Analysis
Iran and six world powers resumed expert-level talks in Geneva to work out how to put into practice a landmark deal obliging Tehran to curb its nuclear program in return for some relief from economic sanctions.
Senate Bill to Impose New Sanctions on Iran Spurs Veto Threat From White House, The New York Times
The Obama administration swiftly condemned the Senate bill, warning that it could derail negotiations with Iran and that President Obama would veto it if it ever came to his desk. With the Senate about to recess for the Christmas holiday, that is unlikely for the time being.
According to Amir Oren, Israel’s top military leaders believe that the country faces a “strategic opportunity” to make peace, but have remained publicly silent so as not to contradict members of the government.
Former Palestinian negotiator Muhammad Shtayyeh reiterated that the Palestinians would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Abbas: Israel sabotaging peace with West Bank killings, Times of Israel
President Abbas condemned Israeli incursions into two Palestinian cities overnight that resulted in the deaths of a Hamas operative and a Palestinian security officer.
Israelis split over threat posed by boycott calls, Associated Press
Could Israel face a mounting global boycott of the type that ended apartheid in South Africa if it fails to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians by this spring? Some liberal Israeli commentators have been sounding such warnings, and the outgoing EU envoy to the Middle East said that support in Europe for sanctioning Israel over its settlement policies could gain steam if talks collapse.
Israeli-Palestinian deal is ‘inevitable,’ says Irish envoy, Times of Israel
The Irish ambassador to Israel said that “when a [two-state] deal is reached, and inevitably there will be a deal, that really is the start of the hard work. Because then you are into an implementation phase that is going to be long and difficult.”
Surveys of Israeli fifth-grade attitudes to Arabs in 2010 and 2012 revealed growing anti-Arab extremism in the student body. The exception to that trend were students who participated in the Ya Salam program, in which students are taught spoken Arabic at school.
Opinion and Analysis
The tragic situation, The New York Times
David Brooks says the only way for Israel to escape from its “tragic situation” is “to identify and commit yourself doggedly to a humane project, and never lose sight of it, which in Israel’s case is its survival as a democracy.”
Deadline: nine months to peace deal, Haaretz
Yoel Marcus argues, “It is in our interest for the negotiations to succeed. These nine months must end in the birth of a healthy baby, not a stillborn infant.”
2014 is decision time, Jerusalem Post
“It is time, in the beginning of 2014, for Netanyahu and Abbas to make the decision based on America bridging proposals,” writes Uri Savir.
Mazal Mualem examines Netanyahu’s recent address to Likud.