J Street Daily News Roundup 1/27/14

January 27th, 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.

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Please email newsroundup@jstreet.org

J Street in the News

Reflection on the Passing of Former Cabinet Minister Shulamit Aloni, J Street

Remembering former Minister Shulamit Aloni, Director of Israel Programs Yael Patir wrote, “As we say goodbye to this great woman, I want to thank her for making Israel a better place, for breaking ground for a new generation and a personal thanks for giving us the courage to fight for what we believe in.”

“For Zion’s Sake, We Will Not Be Silent” –  Rabbis and Cantors Speak Out, Jewish Journal

J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove discussed a recent petition calling upon rabbis and cantors to speak out in favor of Secretary of State Kerry’s peace initiative.

The peace process: Plan A guys and Plan B guys, Times of Israel

Reviewing Ari Shavit’s “My Promised Land,” J Street North Jersey Executive Committee Member Martin Levine said, “Let those of us who want peace keep talking, keep thinking, keep acting until peace is achieved.”

Harry Reid earns an assist on Iran, Los Angeles Times

Doyle McManus noted that regarding Iran sanctions legislation, “there has also been a wave of messages [to Senate offices] from another traditional Democratic constituency: antiwar voters and donors mobilized by organizations including MoveOn.org and J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group that casts itself as a dovish alternative to AIPAC.”

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu: Bennett undermining Israeli efforts to expose 'real face' of Palestinian Authority, Haaretz

The Prime Minister's Office sharply condemned Economics Minister Naftali Bennett for "reckless national endangerment that harms efforts to expose the real face of the Palestinian Authority just to grab headlines," for his unprecedented attack against Prime Minister Netanyahu's suggestion that Israelis could live under Palestinian rule. Three Likud deputy ministers – Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin, Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely and Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon also issued angry protests at Netanyahu.

Palestinians: Yes to Jews, no to settlers in our state, Times of Israel

A senior Palestinian official said that the Palestinian refusal to accept Israeli settlers in their future state does not stem from anti-Jewish sentiment, and members of all religions would have the right to apply for Palestinian citizenship. But the Palestinian state could not accept “ex-territorial Jewish enclaves” where residents maintained their Israeli citizenship status, the official said.

Bennett blasts Netanyahu for 'dangerous' and 'irrational' ideas, Haaretz

On Monday, a group of leading Israeli and Palestinian businesspeople called Breaking the Impasse will launch a public campaign aimed at encouraging the prime minister to move the peace process forward. The group’s campaign will include newspaper ads and billboards with the slogan “A strong state signs an agreement. Bibi, only you can do it!”

Kerry to present Israeli-Palestinian framework deal 'within weeks', Haaretz

Kerry said Friday that he intends to present the framework agreement setting out the principles for resolution of the core issues within a few weeks. In his address to the World Economic Forum, the secretary of state warned that if talks fail, “for Israel, the demographic dynamic will make it impossible to preserve its future as a democratic Jewish state,” adding, “today’s status quo cannot last forever.” The head of the PLO negotiating team, Saeb Erekat and the head of the Palestinian general intelligence, Majid Faraj, will go to Washington this week for meetings with Kerry and his staff.

Unrealistic demands could derail Iran nuclear talks, Albuquerque Journal

Arguing that new Iran sanctions “would nullify all of the progress we have made in curbing Iran’s nuclear program,” Rabbi Arthur Flicker urges, “Let us give the president and our allies the tools they need to make a deal, and thus avoid putting our children and our neighbors’ children in harm’s way again.”

Bill could scuttle Iran deal, Baltimore Sun

According to Sanford Gottlieb and Daryl Kimball, though supporters of the Senate bill “may have good intentions, this is not the time to move forward with new sanctions legislation. Maryland's Congressional representatives should support — not blow up — the promising diplomatic process to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”


Half of Knesset in Poland for Holocaust memorial, Times of Israel

The largest ever delegation of Israeli lawmakers to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Polish site Monday.

Livni to Lapid: Don't provide tax breaks for 35 isolated settlements, Haaretz

In a weekly cabinet meeting, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni urged Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid to oppose new tax breaks for Israeli settlements in the West Bank, arguing that it would only encourage the movement to boycott Israel.

Livni lambastes Abbas’s ‘unacceptable positions’, Times of Israel

Livni lashed out at President Abbas in an interview on Saturday, saying in an uncharacteristic critique that if he stuck to his “unacceptable positions” the Palestinians would suffer the consequences. Livni also expressed hope that Israel and the Palestinians would be able to reach an agreement in the three remaining months of peace talks.

Israel: 1,000 tons of cement can enter Gaza, Jerusalem Post

Defense Minister Ya’alon said that building material earmarked for a limited number of United Nations projects and storm renovation in the private sector can now enter the Gaza Strip.

In response to critics, Scarlett Johansson says she supports two-state solution, Haaretz

Actress Scarlett Johansson, who has been the subject of criticism in recent weeks since becoming a brand ambassador for SodaStream said, “I am happy that light is being shed on this issue in hopes that a greater number of voices will contribute to the conversation of a peaceful two state solution in the near future."

Opinion and Analysis

A new, improved Jordanian option, Haaretz

Reuven Pedatzur explores Jordan’s role in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Should Israel unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank?, CNN

“There is a reason why even those who urge consideration of a unilateral withdrawal always say it is not the best option,” writes Frida Ghitis. “A peace deal and the establishment of a Palestinian state by mutual agreement offers the only possibility of lasting peace. And even that route presents enormous political and strategic challenges. A unilateral move is at best a very questionable last resort.”