J Street Daily News Roundup 1/3/2014

January 3rd, 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

Kerry is serious about peace. Is Netanyahu?, Washington Jewish Week (see below)

According to J Street Vice President of Communications Alan Elsner, Prime Minister Netanyahu “surely knows that we are approaching a historic turning point. We should pray that he has the courage and wisdom to rise to the moment.”

Netanyahu’s moment of truth, Jewish Journal

J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove wrote, “Netanyahu has wanted to be regarded as the Israeli Winston Churchill. This is his opportunity to be so regarded. I pray that he takes it and rises to be the world-class diplomat par excellence that Israel, the Jewish people and the western world badly need him to be.”

With four months to go...where are the American Jewish voices?, Detroit Jewish News

J Street Ann Arbor member Toby Citrin urged American Jews “to move beyond the general principle of peace to understanding and supporting the real and painful compromises that will be necessary to reach a two-state deal.”

Hillel’s 'loyalty test’ puts the kibosh on left-wing Israel events, critics say, Haaretz

J Street U Director Ira Stup, J Street U National Student Board President Jacob Plitman and J Street U Penn co-president Leanne Gale shared their thoughts on Hillel’s Israel guidelines.

Top News and Analysis

Kerry: Netanyahu and Abbas will have to make difficult choices in coming weeks, Haaretz

Secretary of State Kerry arrived in Israel on Thursday as part of an intensive dialogue trip aimed at drafting a "framework agreement" with Israel and the Palestinians to determine the principles for a solution to the core issues of a permanent arrangement. Kerry, who met first with Netanyahu in Jerusalem, told reporters at the start of the meeting that the sides would have to make some difficult choices over the next few weeks. "We know what the issues are and the parameters," he added. "The time is soon arriving when leaders will have to make tough decisions. In the weeks ahead both sides will have to make tough choices." During his meetings with Netanyahu and President Abbas over the next three days, Kerry said, he planned "to work with both sides to narrow differences on a framework that will set guidelines for negotiations."

Netanyahu reaching point of no return, Haaretz

Barak Ravid says that “with enormous effort and almost unprecedented determination,” Kerry is bringing the Netanyahu and Abbas to a point where “they can only move forward. Even if they try to dig in to the ground, their fate is sealed.”

The danger of new Iran sanctions, National Interest

Colin Kahl warns, “The threat of additional sanctions, at this critical juncture, could derail negotiations toward a peaceful solution.”


Lieberman praises Kerry's peace efforts, warns of day after deal, Haaretz

In a meeting on Friday morning with Kerry, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that he greatly appreciates the great efforts the US is investing in brokering a solution to the conflict and promoting calm in the region. "Continued dialogue with the Palestinians is of great importance," Lieberman told Kerry.

Jordanian PM: Israel’s annexation of Jordan Valley contradicts peace agreement, Jerusalem Post

Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said that the Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley would be contrary to the peace agreement signed between the two countries in 1994.

We’ll ignore a ‘worthless’ framework deal, says PLO, Jerusalem Post

PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo said that the only way to achieve a breakthrough is by drawing full borders between a Palestinian state and Israel, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines. He called for a timetable for a full Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territory.

Israeli forces arrest 13 Palestinians, Israeli behind bus bombing near TA, Haaretz

The Shin Bet security service has arrested 13 Palestinian militants and an Israeli Bedouin suspected of involvement in the bombing of a bus from Tel Aviv to Bat Yam two weeks ago, including the perpetrator himself.

Hamas leader says no to new war with Israel, Times of Israel

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that Hamas is not interested in waging a new war or engaging in another round of violence with Israel and is prepared to sort out its differences with Fatah.

IAF strikes Gaza in response to rocket fire, Times of Israel

Israeli jets bombed targets in the northern Gaza Strip Thursday night, hours after a rocket launched from Gaza landed in the Negev Regional Council. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Opinion and Analysis

John Kerry’s Mideast peace bid may yet bear some fruit, Washington Post

Jackson Diehl says Kerry “is pursuing a tactically wiser course than President Obama did in his first term.”

John Kerry and America to the rescue – but is it too late?, Telegraph

The Middle East “has what it was awaiting for decades: a Secretary of State prepared to do whatever he can to solve its problems,” suggests David Blair. “But the region has prepared a terrible revenge: the moment America is finally serious about bringing peace could be the moment it no longer has the power to do so.”

The Jewish state in question, New Yorker

Bernard Avishai considers what it means for Israel to demand recognition as a Jewish state.

Just like his predecessors, Kerry finds trouble crossing the Jordan, Times of Israel

Avi Issacharoff examines the dispute over the Jordan Valley.

Israel's march of folly to the Jordan Valley, Al-Monitor

Akiva Eldar asks, “How many of the ministers who voted to annex the Jordan Valley are aware that they are opening a Pandora's box that could entangle Israel in international law and create a crisis in its ties with Jordan?... Do these politicians, whose main interest in annexation has to do with annexing the votes of their party members, really care about the absurd notion of the ‘good of the state’?”

Jewish National Fund's Iconic Blue Box Sends One-State Israel Message, Forward

Josh Nathan-Kazis notes that “the Jewish National Fund’s iconic little blue donation boxes [continues to present] on their tin sides a dream of a Jewish state that [spans], uninterrupted, from the Jordan Valley to the Mediterranean Sea.”