J Street Daily News Roundup 12/20/13

December 20th, 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

Our last roundup of the year will be on Tuesday, December 24.

Happy holidays and we will see you in 2014!

J Street in the News

J Street Strongly Opposes Introduction of Senate Iran Sanctions Bill, J Street

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.

Jewish Groups Back New Sanctions, Senators Split, Forward

JJ Goldberg noted that J Street stands alone among Jewish groups opposing the Senate bill.

A breakthrough on mutual recognition? Read carefully, J Street

“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, six world powers resume expert talks on nuclear deal, Reuters

Iran and six world powers resumed expert-level talks in Geneva on Thursday 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.

When it comes to setting Israel's borders, little is about security, Haaretz

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.


We refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, says ex-Palestinian negotiator, Haaretz

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 Wednesday 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 Thursday 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.”

Spoken Arabic studies counter anti-Arab prejudice among Israeli students, Haaretz

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.

Netanyahu delivers hard-line speech at Likud convention, Al-Monitor

Mazal Mualem examines Netanyahu’s recent address to Likud.