J Street Daily News Roundup 2/19/2014

February 19th, 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.

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Top News and Analysis

Iran, world powers work out details of nuclear talks in Vienna, Reuters

Six world powers and Iran started a second day of talks in Vienna on Wednesday on Tehran's contested nuclear program, seeking to close a vast gap in expectations about what a final agreement should look like. Western diplomats said Tuesday's talks were "productive" and "substantive" but had led to no immediate agreements.

US asked Israel for partial settlement freeze — report, Times of Israel

The Obama administration has reportedly asked Israel to impose an unofficial settlement freeze outside of major settlements blocs if an Israeli-Palestinian framework agreement is agreed upon.


US diplomats study how to preserve Iran's dignity in nuclear talks, Los Angeles Times

US negotiators are working to shape a deal with Iran that looks like victory for both sides.

Peres: Obama accepted all our requests on defending land, JTA

President Peres praised US peace-brokering efforts at a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus in Jerusalem, saying, “President Obama and Secretary [of State] Kerry are trying to bring peace to this region. Secretary Kerry’s contribution has been incredible… This is a small country with a long history and while it is not simple, it can be done.”

Livni: Disengagement from Gaza should not be reason for no more compromise, Jerusalem Post

In a speech to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Israel needs to learn the lessons from the 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip, but not use it as a reason to say no to more compromises.

In blow to Netanyahu, court rules Likud can discuss Kerry plan, Haaretz

The Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday accepted Likud MK Danny Danon’s petition to allow Likud to discuss any issue at its convention on Wednesday, paving the way for Likud's central body to debate Kerry’s peace plan and potentially block Prime Minister Netanyahu from making controversial decisions regarding the plan.

After latest attack, minister urges: Treat 'price taggers' as terrorists, Haaretz

Anti-Arab attackers should be treated as terrorists, Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz said Wednesday, after the latest incident in a spate of vandalism in Arab areas in and around Jerusalem that police suspect is being committed by Jewish extremists.

Lawmakers ask House leadership to invite Netanyahu to speak, JTA

Close to 100 members of the House of Representatives asked the leadership to invite Netanyahu to speak when he visits next month.

Netanyahu said to seek public presidential elections, Times of Israel

Netanyahu is weighing the possibility of amending the law to allow the public to select Israel’s new president, instead of a Knesset vote in April. Peres, whose seven-year term expires in July, was quick to reject the reported initiative.

Opinion and Analysis

BDS Is Not Anti-Semitism, Forward

Emily Hauser argues that “the problem is not BDS, the problem is the thing that BDS is trying to address. The problem is the occupation. If Netanyahu, Hoenlein and all those crying wolf right now really want to see BDS go away, there’s one surefire way to do it: End the occupation.”

Open debate in Hillel means a victory for Israel. At Berkeley, for example, Haaretz

As president of Berkeley Hillel, Bradley Burston learned that “the more that Hillel opened itself up to a broader range of views, the less politicized and the more welcoming it became.”

Palestinian entrepreneur returns to build new city in West Bank, Al-Monitor

Jacky Hugi profiles Bashar al-Masri and his work to build Rawabi, the first Palestinian planned city.

Netanyahu absent from Likud politics, Al-Monitor

Mazal Mualem reports that Netanyahu is growing tired of the Likud.

My Occupation Axioms, Partners for Progressive Israel

“Ending the occupation is inevitable, and ending the occupation is impossible,” says Peter Eisenstadt. “Somewhere in between the destinies of  Israel and Palestine will be resolved.”