J Street Daily News Roundup 1/22/14

January 22nd, 2014

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.

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J Street in the News

The only 'leader’ who speaks for American Jews on Iran is Barack Obama, Haaretz

Arguing that “the only person who can legitimately claim to speak for American Jews on the subject of Iran is the very guy American Jewish ‘leaders’ oppose: Barack Obama,” Peter Beinart noted that “according to an exit poll by J Street (the only organization to ask such a question), Jewish voters preferred Obama to Romney on Iran by a margin of 58 to 26 percent.”

Top News and Analysis

Peres, Netanyahu, Livni, and Rouhani, head to Davos, Times of Israel

Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres leave today for this week’s World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. They will be joined by peace negotiator Tzipi Livni, who will fly directly from meetings in Washington with Secretary of State Kerry, who is set to arrive tomorrow. On Friday, Livni will participate in a panel discussion dedicated to the peace negotiations featuring business leaders from Break the Impasse, an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue group.

Test Iran’s intentions through diplomacy, Chicago Sun-Times

Rabbi Frederick Reeves says that “we have to test Iran, giving these negotiations everything we’ve got and exhausting every opening before turning to other options.” New sanctions legislation “and the idealized version of the world it imagines only moves us further away from a real world in which we are safer.”


After Gaza strike, defense minister warns Hamas of ‘heavy price’, Times of Israel

Hours after Israel assassinated a senior Gaza militant, Defense Minister Ya’alon warned Hamas that it would “pay a heavy price” for rocket fire on Israel. While Hamas is not seen as behind the rocket attacks, Ya’alon said Israel still held it responsible.

Peres: Palestinian recognition of Jewish state 'unnecessary', Haaretz

Peres has reportedly said privately in recent weeks that Netanyahu's insistence on recognition of a Jewish state is "unnecessary.”

Abbas rejects extending peace talks beyond nine-month timeline, Jerusalem Post

President Abbas on Tuesday rejected the idea of extending the peace talks with Israel beyond the nine-month timeline set by Kerry. Abbas said that the Palestinian leadership was pursuing its efforts to reach a peaceful solution that would lead to peace and stability in the region and “end Israeli occupation that began in 1967.”

Herzog: Bennett trying to undermine Netanyahu, seize leadership of the Right, Jerusalem Post

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog lashed out at Economics Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday, saying Bennett's assertion that economic boycotts are preferable to the creation of a Palestinian state is detached from reality.

Jewish building plans advanced in West Bank, East Jerusalem, Jerusalem Post

Building plans were advanced this week for a new visitor center in the East Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Silwan and for 381 new homes in the West Bank settlement of Givat Ze’ev.

Opinion and Analysis

Will AIPAC-Obama sanctions clash dent pro-Israel lobby’s clout?, JTA

Ron Kampeas reports that “AIPAC may soon face a tough choice: Stick out the battle over sanctions and potentially face a reputation-damaging defeat, or reach out to the White House and find a way for both sides to save face.”

Israel’s military dictatorship in the West Bank, Haaretz

“In effect, write Naomi Sheffer and Gabi Sheffer, “the army [in the West Bank] is circumventing the civil system. It sets policy and implements it without any supervision from either the civil legal authorities or the political authorities.”