J Street Daily News Roundup 3/10/2014

March 10th, 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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J Street in the News

Palestinian Deal Would Strengthen Israel Against Iran, Jewish Times of South Jersey

J Street Vice President of Communications Alan Elsner argued that “ending the occupation will only make Israel stronger – physically, economically, politically, morally – and yes militarily.”

Israeli security expert speaks at J Street forum in Boca Raton, Sun-Sentinel

Former Shin Bet Director Ami Ayalon told over 200 people at a J Street-sponsored town hall in Boca Raton that for Israel to remain a Jewish democracy, now is the time to return the country to its pre-1967 borders to create a non-militarized Palestinian state. “We must leave most of the territories, not because we owe something to the Palestinians, but because we owe something to ourselves,” he said.

Time has come for American Jews to raise their voices for peace, New Haven Register

Rabbi Josh Whinston wrote, “The moment for the American Jewish community to raise its voice and cry out for peace is upon us. Israelis need to know that American Jews care deeply about the security and future of the state of Israel, and we support them in making the tough decisions required to make peace.”

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu: Peace talks require at least another year, Times of Israel

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that “a framework deal being drafted by the Americans could offer “a possible path to advance the talks,” but “it will take at least a year to see the talks through to their conclusion.” He added that “if there’s a peace [deal] that I think serves our security and national needs, I’ll bring it” and work to support its passage.

Arab envoys say no to Israel as Jewish state, Associated Press

Arab foreign ministers on Sunday rejected Israel's demands that the Palestinians recognize it as a Jewish state, saying such a move would undermine the rights of Palestinian refugees. In a resolution released at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo, the foreign ministers called the issue of Palestinian refugees an integral part of a comprehensive and just peace. It blamed Israel for the floundering of peace negotiations.

Saeb Erekat: US promised Israel will free 30 prisoners by end of March, Haaretz

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said after returning from a visit to the United States that the Palestinians received a commitment from the Americans that Israel will on March 29 release 30 Palestinian prisoners serving time in Israeli prisons, the fourth and final stage in the release of long-time prisoners who were convicted before the 1993 Oslo Accords.


Netanyahu says Israel would give up 'some settlements' for peace, Reuters

In his first Hebrew interview in months, Netanyahu Israel would give up "some settlements" in occupied Palestinian land to help secure a peace agreement but would limit as much as he could the number of enclaves removed.

Netanyahu looks to Belgium-Holland border for settlement solution, Times of Israel

Netanyahu has reportedly asked his cabinet secretary to investigate a highly complicated Dutch-Belgian border arrangement, under which citizens of one country live in enclaves within the other, as a possible precedent to enable Jewish settlers in the West Bank to remain under Israeli rule inside a future Palestinian state

Talks to help Palestinian economy open in Prague, Associated Press

Opening a two-day meeting as part of an initiative to bring billions of dollars in investments to the struggling Palestinian economy, Quartet Envoy Tony Blair said that there is enormous potential for doing business in the Palestinian Territory.

Knesset opposition to boycott votes on controversial package deal, Haaretz
The Knesset opposition announced Sunday that it will boycott this week’s votes on three controversial bills, which the ruling coalition wants to pass as a “package deal” before the Knesset recesses. The proposed laws, up for their final votes, are three of the coalition’s flagship bills – the governance law, which raises the electoral threshold to 3.25 percent; the law to draft ultra-Orthodox Jews into the military; and the law requiring that withdrawal from Israeli-held territory first be approved in a referendum.

Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian at Jordan crossing, Reuters

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian on Monday at a crossing point between Jordan and the West Bank, Israeli and Palestinian security officials said.

No Guarantee’ of Final Nuclear Deal With Iran, EU Official Says, The New York Times

In Iran, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said that there was “no guarantee” that Iran and world powers would be able to reach a final, comprehensive agreement over Iran’s nuclear program.

Opinion and Analysis

What an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Framework Might Look Like, The New York Times

Carol Giacomo notes that “the core issues have been well staked out. But Israeli and Palestinian leaders have usually not encouraged an open dialogue on the specifics. Rather, they have spent their time talking to their own communities, reinforcing maximalist demands and the perfidies of the other, not advocating areas of compromise. If there’s any chance of Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas agreeing to a framework for negotiations, that will have to change.”

Israel’s fallback plan: 'Reducing’ the occupation, Haaretz

Rabbi Eric Yoffie says, “I remain hopeful that the secretary of state will somehow extract from the uncertainties of the current diplomatic situation an agreement that will win the support of both sides. But with the deadline approaching, it is not too early for Israel to be considering her next step if agreement is not reached. And I can’t help thinking that [Former Ambassador to the US Michael] Oren, realizing how grim the prospects might be for Israel, came forward for precisely that reason. Since he was Israel’s most widely respected diplomat for a reason, let us hope that Israel’s leaders − and American Jews − are listening.”

Israeli government’s 'package deal’ hinders democracy and peace, Haaretz

According to the Haaretz editorial board, “The referendum bill, which would require a referendum on territorial compromises, is designed to shackle the peace process during this Knesset and the following ones.”

Doesn’t wash, Jerusalem Post

James Adler writes in a letter that “the false defense of ‘double standards’ is one of the core self-justifications by conservative perpetrators of injustice. It doesn’t wash. It never has.”