J Street Daily News Roundup 12/23/13

December 23rd, 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

They were wrong on Iraq and now they’re wrong on Iran, J Street

Alan Elsner makes the case for opposing new sanctions on Iran.


Tossing Around the Charge of Anti-Semitism, Huffington Post

After charges of anti-Semitism were hurled at the Huffington Post for an article on the new Iran sanctions bill, Jeremy Ben-Ami responded, “We must learn to distinguish between those with whom we disagree and those who hate Jews and wish our destruction. The more we conflate the two, the more we devalue the anti-Semitism charge until it ultimately becomes stripped of meaning. We are the child crying wolf and we need to stop.”


Top News and Analysis

Arab League rejects Kerry security plan for West Bank, Times of Israel

At an emergency meeting, the Arab League’s secretary-general said that not one Israeli soldier could remain in the West Bank.

Erekat: No Direct Talks with Israel in Weeks, Times of Israel

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that for the past several weeks, the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams have been meeting separately with American officials.

Police Blame Palestinian Militants for Bus Blast, AP

A pipe bomb exploded in an Israeli bus, just moments after it was successfully evacuated.


US to suggest peace formula this month, report says, Times of Israel

The unconfirmed report is based on leaks from the Arab League meeting.

Turkey relaxing stance on Israeli compensation for Gaza flotilla victims, Haaretz

A breakthrough could lead to the full restoration of diplomatic relations.

Rocket from Gaza hits Israel; no injuries, Haaretz

A rocket from the Gaza Strip hit an open area in the South.

Israel plays down news that US spied on its prime ministers, Times of Israel

The Prime Minister’s office issued no formal response to news of American spying.

Gen. John Allen: Pushing for Middle East Peace, Ynet

Ynet profiles General Allen’s contribution to peace talks.

US offers to guard Jordan Valley, Palestinians say, Times of Israel

Palestinian sources say Secretary Kerry proposed a US force to guard the border between a Palestinian state and Jordan.

US will seek triggers to reimpose sanction on Iran, official says, Haaretz

On 60 Minutes, Susan Rice rejected the idea that sanctions, once relaxed, would be difficult to reinstate.

Q&A With Abe Foxman, Head of the Anti-Defamation League, Tablet

Abe Foxman discusses pro-Israel advocacy, peace talks and many other issues in an interview with Tablet.

Obama: “In New Iran Sanctions Push, Congress Playing ‘Politics of Trying to Look Tough’, Think Progress

President Obama, in his end-of-year press conference, said that pressure on Iran could easily be dialed up if negotiations break down. For now, however, “there is no need for new sanctions legislation.”

Hamas is alive and kicking in the West Bank - but in remote control, Haaretz

By all accounts, Hamas has been greatly weakened. But its West Bank structure is reportedly growing in strength.

Opinion and Analysis

SFSU student’s call for civility starts with ‘I feel your pain’, J Weekly

Ryan Ariel Simon calls for a more civil and open campus conversation on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Will Congress Stand Up for Academic Freedom?, Politico Magazine

Michael Oren says that Congress should crack down on the academic boycott of Israel.

The Israeli right’s hypocrisy on Jerusalem, Al-Monitor

According to Ben Caspit, politicians who have long promised to never negotiate on Jerusalem are coming to terms with the reality that it must be on the table.

Israel can give up the Jordan Valley, Haaretz

Reuven Pedatzur says that the strategic benefits of a peace deal ‘far outweigh’ the security case for demanding a continued presence in the Jordan Valley.

Recognition Redux: More Thoughts on an Israeli Demand, Partners for Progressive Israel

Paul Scham writes, “I would personally be happy, as well as surprised, if a formula could be found that would recognize the historical and national connection of both peoples to the same land, AND that would be acceptable to both Israel and the P.A… But as an analyst, I simply can't see it happening.”

Boycott of Israeli universities: A repugnant attack on academic freedom, LA Times

Wesleyan University President Michael S. Roth argues that, rather than generating important debates, academic boycotts “seek to cut them off by declaring certain academic institutions and their faculty off-limits.”

Abbas to visit Gaza?, Al Monitor

Daoud Kuttab argues that President Abbas should visit Gaza to assert his leadership of all Palestinians.