J Street Daily News Roundup 2/4/14

February 4th, 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

Potent Pro-Israel Group Finds Its Momentum Blunted, The New York Times

“AIPAC’s fervent push on Iran sanctions has increasingly allied it with [Prime Minister] Netanyahu and against [President] Obama. J Street, a more dovish pro-Israel group, has lobbied vigorously against the bill, underscoring divergent views within the pro-Israel lobby.”

Kerry’s carrots, Kerry’s sticks – So Much to Say, TLV1

J Street Director of Israel Programs Yael Patir argued that Secretary of State Kerry’s involvement in the peace process is motivated by his love and friendship for Israel.

Cynicism and Middle East peace, Jewish Journal

J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove wrote that “William George Jordan’s comments about the ‘cynic’ and ‘cynicism’ are particularly cogent and applicable to those within Israel and the Palestinian community who have been so hardened by fear, suffering and ideology that they cannot fathom an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and the normalization of relations between our two nations and peoples, despite the fact that contemporary history is filled with examples of reconciliation between former enemies (Germany, Japan and the West following WWII, etc.).”

Top News and Analysis

Susan Rice blasts Israel for criticizing Kerry, Haaretz

The White House overnight Monday issued a strong defense of Kerry following blistering criticism of him from senior Israeli government officials. National Security Advisor Susan Rice tweeted, “Personal attacks in Israel directed at Sec Kerry totally unfounded and unacceptable.”

Lapid: Failure to reach deal will harm every Israeli, Times of Israel

Finance Minister Yair Lapid said that every Israeli will suffer financially if a peace deal is not reached with the Palestinians.

Bennett: We will leave coalition if framework deal inconsistent with our principles, Jerusalem Post

Economics Minister Naftali Bennett said that his HaBayit HaYehudi party would leave Netanyahu's coalition in the event that the government accepts a framework deal with the Palestinians that is "not consistent with the faction's principles."

Another big blow to the Iran sanctions bill, Washington Post

Greg Sargent reports that “more than 70 House Dems — from a diverse ideological background — have now signed a new letter coming out against any new [Iran] sanctions measure.”


Netanyahu: Abbas' refusal to recognize Israel as Jewish state is 'absurd', Haaretz

Netanyahu said Monday that it is "absurd" to expect a peace deal with the Palestinians without the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Livni: Kerry defends Israel against boycotts, Times of Israel

Chief peace negotiator Tzipi Livni defended Kerry on Monday, saying, “Some of those who speak harshly against the US secretary of state would lower their eyes in embarrassment if they knew what Kerry has done to prevent these threats and these boycotts.”

Lapid: I oppose state funding for settlers' political arm, Jerusalem Post

Lapid said he opposed using state funds to support the political arm of the settlement movement, the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

Court to state: Explain refusal to alter security barrier that splits Palestinian town, Haaretz

The Supreme Court has ordered the government to explain why it refuses to alter the route of the separation barrier near the Palestinian village of Beit Jala, south of Jerusalem.

Fearful of becoming ‘Palestine,’ Jordan chimes in on peace talks, Times of Israel

Jordan will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, the Kingdom’s foreign minister declared, expressing a latent Hashemite fear of Jordan becoming the de-facto Palestinian state

Hamas political leaders nix rocket fire on Israel, Times of Israel

Hamas’s military wing reportedly moved to restart rocket attacks against Israel over the weekend, but a dispute with the political leadership of the organization prevented the plan from being carried out.

US State Department issues travel warning for Israel, Palestinian territories, Jerusalem Post

The State Department this week issued a travel advisory for Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. It is expressly forbidding employees from using public bus service in Israeli cities, while anyone wishing to conduct business in the West Bank is required to coordinate their steps with the US Consulate General in Jerusalem in order to arrange for appropriate security.

Iran FM: We may recognize Israel after Palestinian deal, Times of Israel

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif said, “After the problem with the Palestinians is resolved, the conditions that will enable recognition of the State of Israel will be established.”

Opinion and Analysis

2014: The year of John Kerry, New Yorker

“If [Kerry] overcomes the odds, the President can get involved later on, close the deal, and share the credit,” writes John Cassidy. “If the Secretary of State comes to grief, the White House can always say Kerry tried his best.”

Who will compensate Jewish refugees from Arab lands?, Al-Monitor

According to Shlomi Eldar, “Even if the Jews from Arab states, like my parents who left their home in Hilla, don’t receive a penny in compensation, international recognition of their suffering would be considered some small consolation.”

Herzog: Opposition not yet seeking alternative government, Al-Monitor

In an interview with Mazal Mualem, Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog says, “An agreement with the Palestinians must be reached, not because of the threat of boycott but because it’s an important national need for the State of Israel in order to ensure its future as a Jewish and democratic state.”

Does Netanyahu have plan for settler withdrawal?, Al-Monitor

Akiva Eldar asserts that “the reactions of the settlers and their political associates to rumors that US Secretary of State John Kerry will manage to push forward the two-state solution are reminiscent of the symptoms a junkie experiences in the first stages of withdrawal.”

A Jew in Jordan, Partners for Progressive Israel

Discussing his time living in Jordan, Jonah Shepp says, “Peace won’t come about just from more Jews and Arabs getting to know and like each other personally, but it could make the war harder to sustain.”