J Street Daily News Roundup 12/5/13

December 5th, 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.

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J Street in the News

A shift in the conversation, Daily Pennsylvanian

J Street U Penn Co-Chair Akiva Sanders wrote that “if we, on our college campuses in America — far from the fear of attacks and the constraint of occupation — are content to settle for polarized finger-pointing instead of constructive and respectful discussion, there will be no way to end this conflict.”

Top News and Analysis

Kerry: Some progress made in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Haaretz

Following a meeting in Jerusalem with Secretary of State Kerry, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel is ready for an historic peace with the Palestinians based on two states for two people, adding that Israel must have the ability to defend itself independently. Kerry said, “we are making some progress" in the talks. "We have always known that this is a difficult, complicated road," he said. Kerry said he offered Netanyahu “thoughts” about addressing Israel’s security concerns, but did not elaborate. Kerry will meet with Netanyahu twice more before he leaves tomorrow, as well as with President Abbas in Ramallah.

Ex-Shin Bet chief: Conflict with Palestinians riskier for Israel than nuclear Iran, Haaretz

Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin harshly criticized Israeli government policies regarding the Palestinians and stated that "the ramifications of failed negotiations are far graver for Israel’s future than the Iranian nuclear program." Diskin said, “I would like to know that our home here has clear borders, and that we’re putting the sanctity of people before the sanctity of land. I want a homeland that does not require the occupation of another people in order to maintain itself."

Yes, TNR, There Really is an American Jewish Cocoon, Open Zion

Peter Beinart criticizes “the American Jewish mainstream’s self-defeating refusal to educate American Jews about the Palestinian experience.”


First Israeli cabinet minister visits Turkey since 2010, Reuters

Environmental Affairs Minister Amir Peretz flew to Istanbul on Wednesday for a four-day UN-sponsored conference, becoming the first Israeli cabinet minister to visit Turkey since ties ruptured in 2010.

Amman said to back Israeli demands on Jordan Valley, Times of Israel

Israel is reportedly coordinating with Jordan to drive home the message this week to the Americans — especially Kerry — that keeping the IDF on the Jordan River is crucial to regional stability.

Israel agreed to absorb 200,000 refugees, ex-Fatah leader says, Times of Israel

Former Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan said that during the Camp David negotiations in 2000, Israel offered to absorb 200,000 Palestinian refugees.

Iran's ability to enrich uranium troubles US lawmakers, Reuters

US lawmakers in the House of Representatives said on Wednesday they are concerned about Iran's ability to continue enriching uranium under the interim agreement on Tehran's disputed nuclear program, an issue they are likely to press as global powers attempt to reach a final agreement.

Opinion and Analysis

Paradigm of partnership, Jerusalem Post

Gershon Baskin argues that Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation must continue to be nurtured to prepare for a day when full freedom of movement can exist in a two-state solution.

What the Prawer Plan Says About Israel's Character, Open Zion

“In its Declaration of Independence,” writes Emily Hauser, Israel’s “founders appealed to Arab residents to ‘participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.’ Most Jews around the world want to believe that these words represent Israel’s character. But if Prawer is implemented, we’ll be forced to admit that the current government of Israel sees the country quite differently.”

Words Are Battleground in Holy Land, Forward

Renee Ghert-Zand notes that “understanding the ever-changing facts on the ground in Israel and the Palestinian Authority (note that I did not write “Territories”) is a major headache for anyone. But for a reporter, there is the added challenge of trying to use neutral language to report those facts in a conflict where loaded language can be a powerful weapon in the arsenals of both sides.”

Academic hypocrisy, Forward

The Forward editorial board calls the “the decision by the National Council of the American Studies Association to support a boycott of Israeli academic institutions… hypocritical and short-sighted.”