J Street Daily News Roundup 3/18/2014

March 18th, 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

The wisdom of a former Shin Bet chief, Jewish Currents

J Street Vice President of Communications Alan Elsner wrote, “When someone like [former Shin Bet Director] Ami Ayalon tells us we need peace, we should listen.”

N.J. Hillel Hosts 1-Stater. Relax, She's Right-Winger, Forward

JJ Goldberg noted that Hillel at Rutgers University is hosting Israeli one-stater Caroline Glick, who opposes a two-state solution and is fiercely critical of J Street.

Challenging “The J Street Challenge” (or, Why I Didn’t Go To AIPAC This Year), New Voices

Amram Altzman said that “if we expect [the Palestinians] to accept the reality of our existence, we must be ready to understand the real reasons behind their hatred… It is organizations like J Street and other liberal Zionist organizations, which have begun to take this on, and that work must continue.”

For one American Jew, charity in Israel takes a different form, Haaretz

Judy Maltz interviewed J Street San Diego supporter Robert Price.

Top News and Analysis

Obama to Abbas: Peace with Israel will require risks, Haaretz

President Obama met with President Abbas at the White House on Monday to discuss the peace process between the Palestinians and Israel. In a statement before the meeting, Obama said that everyone understands what the outlines of a peace deal would look like, adding that reaching an agreement would be very challenging. "We're going to have to take some tough political decisions and risks if we are able to move it forward and I hope we will see progress in the coming days and weeks,” he said.

Survey: 30 percent of settlers outside blocs would evacuate without peace deal, JTA

A new survey by Blue White Future found that nearly 30 percent of the Israeli residents in West Bank settlements outside the major blocs would evacuate for compensation even if there were no peace deal with the Palestinians. Nearly 50 percent would voluntarily evacuate after an agreement, while 40 percent would not.

Iran, six powers seek nuclear progress in shadow of Ukraine crisis, Reuters

Iran and six world powers will try to make headway toward resolving their nuclear dispute in talks that started in Vienna on Tuesday.


PA official: We’ll consider Jewish state issue at end of talks, Times of Israel

Senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said that Palestinians would be open to discussions about recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, but only at the end of peace talks.

'Abbas to tell Obama: Israel must free Barghouti, Sa'adat for peace talks to continue', Jerusalem Post

One report said that at the White House, Abbas would demand that Israel halt all construction in West Bank settlements as well as release high-profile Palestinian leaders who were convicted of terrorism, among them Marwan Barghouti and Ahmed Sa’adat, as a condition to continue peace talks.

Palestinians rally in support of Abbas, Ynet

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets on Monday to show their support for Abbas during his White House meeting.

Ashton: EU opposes Israel boycotts, Haaretz

The European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Monday that the EU opposes boycotts against Israel and reiterated that the EU will offer Israel and the Palestinians "unprecedented" support measures if they agree on a peace deal.

Peres calls King Abdullah to apologize for judge's death, Haaretz

President Peres called King Abdullah of Jordan by phone on Monday to express regret over the incident at Allenby border crossing in which Raed Zueter, a Jordanian magistrate of Palestinian descent, was shot to death by Israeli soldiers. Peres had already sent a letter of condolence to the king over the incident last week.

Poll: 95% of Israelis believe racism is a problem, Haaretz

According to a new survey, some 95 percent of Israelis believe racism is a problem in Israeli society.

Israel's defense chief says US projecting weakness, Reuters

Defense Minister Yaalon accused the United States of projecting weakness internationally and said Israel could not rely on its main ally to take the lead in confronting Iran over its nuclear program.

Opinion and Analysis

Obama Must Be Blunt With Abbas, Too, Bloomberg

Jeffrey Goldberg says that “Obama should also make it clear to Abbas, as he has to [Prime Minister] Netanyahu, that there will be consequences if Abbas cannot bring himself to offer [Secretary of State] Kerry at least a provisional, tentative yes.”

Obama’s objective: Avert Israeli-Palestinian meltdown in midst of crisis in Ukraine, Haaretz

According to Chemi Shalev, amid the ongoing crisis with Russia, Obama is seeking to prevent Israeli-Palestinian peace talks from completely breaking down.

Minister's Temple Mount visits provoke Palestinians, Al-Monitor

Mazal Mualem chronicles efforts by Housing Minister Uri Ariel to sabotage peace talks.

Only One Way To Change Hillel: Leave, Forward

Jay Michaelson argues that the only way that Jewish organizations will start to listen to their critics is if members start to leave.