J Street Daily News Roundup 2/21/2014

February 21st, 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

Politely rough, TLV1 (8:36)

J Street Vice President for Communications Alan Elsner discussed the benefits of Secretary of State Kerry’s peace initiative.

Hillel should be donor-backed and student-led, Haaretz

J Street U National Student Board President Jacob Plitman warned that “until students are true partners in Jewish decision-making, they will continue to seek empowerment elsewhere.”

“The Jewish State” or “The State of the Jewish People” - A Distinction with a Significant Difference, Jewish Journal

“Designating Israel as a ‘Jewish State’ compromises Israel’s democracy, Jewish majority and Jewish character,” wrote J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove. “To call Israel ‘The State of the Jewish people,’ however, honors Israel’s Jewish diversity, preserves its Jewish majority and protects and sustains Israel’s democratic traditions.”

Kerry holds new Paris talks with Abbas, AFP

“Leading Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi told a visiting delegation from another American Jewish group that Israel was ‘wilfully sabotaging’ Kerry's efforts particularly with its continued settlement building. She argued that any peace deal must be founded in international law, and said that J Street, one group which represents the Jewish American community, had ‘the dual challenge of influencing both the US administration and the hardline and extremist Israeli government; for there to be peace and stability, we must move rapidly.’”

Top News and Analysis

Abbas' aide: No framework deal unless it includes Palestinian, Arab positions, Haaretz

Kerry and President Abbas held a second day of talks in Paris on Thursday, as the secretary continues to press for agreement on a framework for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Kerry: I'm not in the 'bad deal' business, Associated Press

Kerry said he remained "committed" and "determined" to reaching a Middle East peace deal, but said in an interview aired Thursday that he understood Israeli fears and skepticism of its outcome.

Iran's most sensitive uranium stockpile falls after nuclear deal, Reuters

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported that the size of Iran's most contested uranium stockpile has declined significantly for the first time in four years following a landmark nuclear deal with world powers in November.


Settlement freeze ‘unacceptable,’ right-wing MKs warn PM, Times of Israel

In an official letter sent to Prime Minister Netanyahu, 21 MKs from Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu and Jewish Home stressed that they would not accept any framework agreement that would prevent Israelis from expanding the Jewish presence in the West Bank.

US: Peace framework will recognize Israel as Jewish state, Times of Israel

Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro asserted on Friday that the framework deal will include Palestinian recognition of Israel as “the nation state of the Jewish people.

PA stands firm on its terms, Jerusalem Post

Palestinian spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaineh reiterated Abbas’s “firm and permanent” position regarding any agreement with Israel, saying there would be no Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital and no recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Israel mulling compensation for West Bank settlers willing to move, Haaretz

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will discuss Sunday a draft bill--proposed by Meretz MK MK Ilan Gilon--arranging “evacuation-compensation” procedures for settlers who want to leave the West Bank and move inside the internationally recognized borders of Israel.

In Israel, the ‘demographic issue’ gains resonance, Associated Press

The demographic argument for a two-state solution--emphasized as never before--is being listened to in Israel.

Largest tourism project in West Bank gets underway, Times of Israel

This week, bulldozers, funded by Palestinian company Padico Holdings, began construction work on the Gate of Jericho, the largest tourism project in the West Bank.

Jews Ask NY Mayor Bill De Blasio To 'Learn Facts About Israel and Palestine', Forward

A Jewish group has gathered hundreds of signatures for a petition asserting that AIPAC does not represent the interests of many American Jews, weeks after the mayor of New York City made controversial remarks that the pro-Israel lobbyist group would always have a friend at City Hall.

Opinion and Analysis

Dismantling the wall, Economist

Correspondents in the Economist say that Iran’s new president “has changed the mood in Iran. But he faces opposition.”

Benjamin Netanyahu Tells AIPAC To Put Its Head In a Noose, Forward

JJ Goldberg discusses Netanyahu’s recent outreach to the American Jewish community.

Hamas sinks in polls after cutting salaries to public servants, Al-Monitor

Rasha Abou Jalal examines Hamas’ financial struggles.