J Street Daily News Roundup 12/4/13

December 4th, 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

J Street in the News

The Iran Nuclear Agreement Analyzed: Why J Street Supports it, J Street

J Street explained its position on the interim deal with Iran, calling it a necessary and constructive first step toward the widely-shared goal of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Hillel: To Strengthen Our Community, Transcend Narrow Discourse, New Voices

Asher Mayerson wrote, “Mainstream pro-Israel organizations don’t engage young, liberal-minded Jews because they offer no avenue to put their values into action and work for peace through two states. So when AIPAC claims to support a two-state solution but does not support the necessary compromises to get there – or is silent on or even supportive of measures that harm the viability of the two-state solution – that’s not only damaging to Israel’s quest for peace but also to the American Jewish community’s growth.”

New envoy Ron Dermer presents credentials to Obama, Times of Israel

New Israeli ambassador to America Ron Dermer presented his credentials Tuesday afternoon to President Obama, officially taking over the role as the Jewish state’s top US envoy. “Dermer is believed to be behind the liberal lobby J Street’s inability to secure meetings with high-level officials during its Israel trips… Still, like other Jewish groups, J Street welcomed Dermer’s appointment.”

Top News and Analysis

US to present Israel plan for security arrangements with future Palestinian state, Haaretz

The United States has developed a plan for security arrangements in the West Bank following the establishment of a Palestinian state. Retired US Gen. John Allen, who developed the security concept, will present it during a meeting in Jerusalem on Thursday between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Secretary of State Kerry. Allen's briefing will represent the first US contribution of its own ideas on the core issues involved in a final peace arrangement since the latest round of talks began.

Israel not seeking peace to the extent it should, says former central bank chief, Haaretz

Former Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer said that Israel is not looking for peace "to the extent that it should” and that it is “divided between those who want to settle the West Bank and those who seek peace.”

Security Insiders: World Powers Struck a 'Good Deal' With Iran, National Journal

A strong majority of National Journal's National Security Insiders said the recent agreement between world powers and Iran—to limit its nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief—is a "good deal.”

EU to reconsider Palestinian aid if peace talks with Israel fail, Haaretz

A senior European Union official said Tuesday that the union may cut off financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority, if the American-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were to fail. In that event, the PA would cease to function and responsibility for the West Bank would revert to Israel.

Bibi and Barack, the Sequel, The New York Times

Tom Friedman argues that “with a little imagination and the right mix of toughness and openness on Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the Israeli prime minister and American president could turn their bitter-lemon relationship into lemonade.”


Netanyahu ally urges more cautious tone with US, Reuters

Finance Minister Yair Lapid urged the government to “lower the flames with the Americans… This confrontation isn't good and it also doesn't serve our goal.”

Ex-Palestinian Negotiator: Israeli Deal Impossible, Associated Press

Former Palestinian negotiator Mohammed Ishtayeh said that Israel wants to annex large parts of the West Bank, and major differences with Israel "block any possibility of a peace deal.”

Obama extends Jerusalem embassy waiver, JTA

President Obama suspended for another six months a law requiring the US Embassy in Israel to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Senator Says New Iran Sanctions Will Empower Hard-Liners In Tehran, Think Progress

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) said that any effort in Congress to impose new sanctions on Iran during negotiations will erode confidence with the Iranians and empower hard-liners in Tehran.

White House: Final deal could include enrichment, JTA

The White House said that it was “prepared to negotiate a strictly limited enrichment program in the end state, but only because the Iranians have indicated for the first time in a public document that they are prepared to accept rigorous monitoring and limits on level, scope, capacity, and stockpiles.”

Opinion and Analysis

Does the Iran Deal Force Americans Jews To Choose Between Dual Loyalties?, Forward

“The current impasse has greatly clarified the stark choice American Jews now face,” says Jay Michaelson. “It is not between the two flags on the bimah, the Israeli and the American. Rather, it is between a hawkish and highly-subsidized nationalist ideology, and a messy, pragmatic, and realistic one. Perhaps it is between passion and reason.”

Naftali Bennett: An ultra-nationalist who speaks fluent liberal, Haaretz

According to Sara Hirschhorn, “If the US hopes to prevail as an honest broker it must drive a wedge between the Bennettspeak that instrumentalizes American ideals and an authentic rights discourse that promotes a peaceful and just outcome to the conflict. For that, both Israelis and Palestinians could be thankful.”

Is Iran's Nuclear Deal a Model for the Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations?, Huffington Post

Ibrahim Sharqieh and Ghassan Shabaneh argue, “Despite the grim picture facing Secretary Kerry, he still has options to make the negotiations a success. Iran's nuclear deal proves that the international community is capable of working collaboratively to produce an agreement and avoid violence and isolation. Kerry should take note that the international community will support him and work with him when he decides to engage in serious negotiation with the Netanyahu government to ensure its compliance with the requirements for peace in the region.”

Justice is the Answer, Partners for Progressive Israel

Nathan Hersh recalls a meeting with Shtayyeh, who said that bringing justice to the Palestinians will require the establishment of a Palestinian state based on 1967 lines with land swaps, a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, the resettlement of refugees in agreement with Israel and “no limitations on Palestinian dignity, sovereignty or independence.”

Clarifying J Street's Position, Jewish Journal

J Street Boston Media Committee Chair Stan Fleischman writes in a letter that “an independent Israeli state living side by side with a contiguous, viable Palestinian state, based on 1967 borders with appropriate land swaps and a shared Jerusalem as capital of both nations, would strengthen Israel and help ensure its survival as a democratic Jewish state.”