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J Street in the News
How Obama Won the War on Iran Sanctions, National Journal
Stacy Kaper said that “the Israel lobby has succeeded in influencing Iran policy for decades, but it's currently in a state of upheaval. AIPAC has not been beating down doors canvassing Capitol Hill in a concerted campaign as it has in the past, and J Street—AIPAC's younger, rising counterweight—is making the case against sanctions.”
With all the boycott Israel talk, what is BDS?, New Republic
Marc Tracy noted, “It is telling that both APN (the sister organization of a prominent left-wing Israeli group) and J Street are American liberal Zionist organizations that support a two-state solution and oppose BDS, while the more left-wing Jewish Voice for Peace supports BDS and is officially agnostic on whether there should be two or one states.”
Hoenlein: The Iranians have been bazaaris for 2000 years; they can run rings around us, Malcolm Hoenlein said that J Street “just applied [to the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations] and we’re going through our very thorough process. I think they will tell you that they are being treated very fairly.”
Top News and Analysis
Israel said set to accept Kerry’s framework proposals, Times of Israel
Israel Channel 2 reported that Israel is set to give its wary assent to Secretary of State Kerry’s framework peace proposal as the basis for continuing talks with the Palestinian Authority through to the end of 2014.
Kerry is reportedly pressuring the sides to accept the framework before Israel’s release of the fourth, and final, group of Palestinian prisoners, scheduled for the end of March.
Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke by phone evening, hours after the latter and other senior Israeli officials spoke out against US implications that Israel would face increased boycotts should peace talks fail.
Palestinian Leader Seeks NATO Force in Future State, The New York Times
In an interview, President Abbas proposed that an American-led NATO force patrol a future Palestinian state indefinitely, with troops positioned throughout the territory, at all crossings, and within Jerusalem. “Netanyahu is the key,” said Abbas. “If he does believe in peace, everything will be easy.”
Six world powers and Iran will begin talks in Vienna on on a long-term deal for Tehran to curb parts of its nuclear program in exchange for a gradual end to sanctions, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said .
The talks, round two, The New York Times
Roger Cohen says that “nobody ever lost money betting against a Middle Eastern peace; I’ve done so myself. But Kerry has moved the ball.”
S. Daniel Abraham urges, “We should now prepare for and creatively design a strategy to sustain the [framework] agreement and take advantage of its potential.”
Kerry: Mideast peace hopes not ‘quixotic’, Times of Israel
Kerry said he was hopeful that the Israelis and Palestinians would be able to reach a peace agreement in the US-brokered talks, saying Washington’s drive for Middle East peace was not “quixotic.”
Ya’alon: Israel ‘will manage’ without a peace deal, Times of Israel
Defense Minister Ya’alon took a philosophical approach in discussing the prospects for peace with the Palestinians, expressing hope that talks would yield a deal while noting that “if not, we will manage.”
Saudi Prince praises Livni at Munich Security conference, Jerusalem Post
Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal said at the Munich Security Conference said that Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is the right person to lead Israel's negotiating team. "If only you could sit on the same stage with me and talk about it," Livni responded, hinting at a desire to upgrade reported secret ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia to more open ones.
Lapid freezes all settlement funding amid reports of misuse, Times of Israel
Finance Minister Yair Lapid imposed a freeze on all settlement funding and ordered a probe of allegations that funds had illegally been transferred from the settlements to the Settlers’ Council lobby group in recent years.
Both the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee condemned Knesset Member Moti Yogev for his remarks accusing Kerry of "anti-Semitic undertones.”
Hamas withdrew most of its forces deployed along the Gaza-Israel border, forces dedicated to preventing rocket attacks by various terror groups against Israel,
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has reportedly secured the backing of senior conservative clerics against hardliners opposed to a nuclear deal reached with major powers.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is urging Congress to resist imposing new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program , saying that "this is the time" to give diplomacy a chance to work.
Opinion and Analysis
Abbas’ NATO proposal, The New York Times
According to Thomas Friedman, “There is no perfect security in this neighborhood. There will be no deal between Israelis and Palestinians if Israel insists on a lengthy stay in the West Bank. And there will be no deal if Palestinians cannot assure the Israeli silent majority that they can truly secure any evacuated territory. We have to find some overlap between these three realities and that’s why Abbas’s NATO suggestion is worth considering.”
In the West Bank, pride has become bitterness, Washington Post
Recalling a visit with a Palestinian farmer in the West Bank, David Ignatius says, “Will the peace negotiations work amid so much mistrust and anger? I don’t know, but this quest for peace is surely still worth the effort.”
Losing the Propaganda War, The New York Times
Arguing that “international isolation is potentially more dangerous for Israel than the Iranian nuclear program,” Hirsh Goodman warns that “it’s a war Israel cannot win unless it makes peace.”
The push for peace: Don’t stop now!, Times of Israel
“We know that internal Jewish hatred and disunity is what destroyed us the last time we held sovereignty in Jerusalem, writes Joshua Levine Grater. “Let’s not let that tragic history repeat itself.”