J Street Daily News Roundup 2/11/14

February 11th, 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

Obama administration enlisting Jewish groups to counter attacks on Kerry, JTA

Ron Kampeas reported that the Obama administration is pushing back hard against critics of its peace efforts, enlisting American Jewish groups to respond to personal attacks on Secretary of State Kerry. He noted that “J Street, the dovish Israel policy group, has launched a campaign of town hall meetings across the country to support a two-state solution.”

Israel's US envoy: Kerry didn't talk about boycott to pressure us, Haaretz

Israel's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, defended Secretary of State Kerry on Monday, emphasizing that Kerry does not support a boycott against Israel. “Meanwhile, former Democratic Congress member Robert Wexler, who heads the Washington-based S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, is running a campaign in the Jewish community across America in order to garner support for Kerry's deal. J Street, the pro-Israel lobby, is also undertaking its own pro-peace campaign among Jewish communities across the country.”

A moment of pluralism, Jewish Pluralist

Ayala Emmett recalled the “moment of pluralism at the J Street conference not only as a counter-narrative to the ongoing Washington strife, but as a way for a democratic Jewish discussion on Israel in which diverse views are included.”

Could We Make @BilldeBlasio Meet With J Street?, Huffington Post

Writing that “J Street is on the Washington playing field in a way that no other alternative to AIPAC is,” Robert Naiman asked, “What if we could compel [New York Mayor Bill” de Blasio to meet with J Street?”


Israeli business leader: Failure in talks will be ‘catastrophic’, Times of Israel

David Simha, head of the Israeli-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce, said failure to reach a peace agreement will have “catastrophic” results for both Israel and the Palestinians. “I want to make it very clear: in our Chamber we do not believe in ‘economic peace.’ We believe that economic relations should go parallel to the continuation of diplomatic efforts towards a solution of two states for two peoples,” he said.

Palestinian envoy to peace talks rebuffs Livni: We won't recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Jerusalem Post

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat reiterated Palestinian opposition on Monday to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

PA minister: Western Wall must be under our rule, Times of Israel

The Palestinian Authority’s Religious Affairs Minister said Jerusalem’s Western Wall must be brought under Palestinian sovereignty in any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel Air Force strikes Hamas targets in Gaza, Haaretz

Israel Air Force attacked two targets in Gaza early Tuesday, in response to weeks of sporadic rocket attacks on south-Israeli towns. The IDF blamed Hamas for "not stopping" the attacks. "The Hamas organization is the address and it carries responsibility," it said.

Iranians take to streets to celebrate 1979 revolution, AFP

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets Tuesday to mark the 35th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, buoyed by progress in nuclear talks with world powers and a modest easing of sanctions

Congressman Says Those Pushing To ‘Zero Out’ Iran’s Nuclear Program Don’t Want A Deal, Think Progress

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) said on Monday that it’s unrealistic to expect Tehran to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure and permanently cease all uranium enrichment as part of a final agreement with the U.S. and its international partners on its nuclear program.

Opinion and Analysis

The B.D.S. threat, The New York Times

“B.D.S. is a wake-up call,” writes Roger Cohen. “I oppose it because I do not trust it. That does not mean, as [Finance Minister Yair] Lapid intimated, that Israel can ignore its message.”

When squeezed, both Netanyahu and Abbas will accept Kerry’s plan, Haaretz

Aaron Magid says, “The forces pushing [Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas] to accept Kerry’s proposal are stronger than any doubts holding both leaders back. Fortunately for Kerry, both leaders’ national, and, more importantly, political interests are aligned with responding positively to Kerry. Ironically, this may be the most effective way of reaching peace - at least until the next major decision.”

Labor's Herzog demands Palestinian recognition of Israel as Jewish state, Al-Monitor

Akiva Eldar examines the question of Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state in Kerry’s framework agreement.

Hamas deploys border patrol to prevent rocket attacks on Israel, Al-Monitor

According to Shlomi Eldar, “Both sides, Israel and Hamas, are trying to find ways to communicate and maintain the status quo, which everyone finds convenient. Once again, it turned out that both sides have better ways of conveying messages other than launching another air strike or firing more rockets.”

Letter, Jerusalem Post

James Adler writes in a letter that as with Israel, “All national claimants to a firstworld, democratic status, and aspirants to that world’s political, economic and military affiliations, are held to exactly the same standards.”