J Street Daily News Roundup 3/26/14

March 26th, 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


Philadelphia Feud Erupts Over Federation Embrace of Anti-J Street Film, Forward

An upcoming screening of an anti-J Street film has sparked an angry debate within the Philadelphia community, the nation’s fourth largest, and has brought to the surface accusations against the Jewish federation’s leadership and its decision-making process.



J Streetophobia, and the US Jewish right's hatred for American Jews, Haaretz

According to Bradley Burston, “What was meant to be a fair but pointed indictment of J Street becomes instead a remarkable expose of the odd-man-out bitterness and the burning, bully pulpit venom of marquee personalities in the American Jewish right.”



What's really happening at Hillel, Jewish Journal

Rabbi Bruce Warshal wrote, “In great sadness I resigned from my local Hillel board because I can no longer bear the personal frustration of seeing my local Hillel fall so short of its full potential — and I'm afraid that under the National Hillel guidelines it will never fulfill that potential. But I wish it well.”


Top News and Analysis


Kerry, Abbas to meet in Amman to discuss framework deal, Haaretz

Secretary of State Kerry will visit Amman today to meet with President Abbas in another attempt to convince the Palestinian president to accept an American framework for extending Israeli-Palestinian talks, which are currently slated to end in late April. Kerry is also expected to speak with Prime Minister Netanyahu, either by phone or by video conference.



Arab League backs refusal to recognize Jewish state, Times of Israel

At the Arab League summit in Kuwait, Arab leaders fully backed a Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.


News


US denies plans to free Pollard for peace, Haaretz

Washington denied an Israeli radio report Wednesday that the Obama administration was planning to free Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a life sentence for spying on the United States for Israel, as a way of revving up stalled peace talks.



Bennett: Abbas is a more extreme version of the 1999 model of Assad, Jerusalem Post

Economics Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday slammed the Arab League and compared Abbas to former Syrian president Hafez Assad.



Women are the key to Mideast peace, Ynet

Except for a handful of women, the majority of people leading diplomatic efforts to reach peace since the time of the Oslo Accords have been men. However, a string of unofficial grassroots projects led by women are intended to change that, with Arab and Jewish women meeting on a regular basis in the hopes of feminizing the process.



IDF opens fire on suspected Gaza smuggling boats, Haaretz

The Israel Defense Force fired at two suspected smuggling boats off the Gaza coast early Wednesday. The two ships were spotted sailing in the direction of Egypt, and upon their return to Gaza, the army opened fire.


Opinion and Analysis


Israeli defense minister closes debate on US security plan, Al-Monitor

Ben Caspit reports that Defense Minister Ya’alon has ignored the advice of Israel’s security establishment and rejected the US security plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.



It’s the occupation, stupid, American Prospect

Emily Hauser argues, “If my people are truly interested in putting a stop to BDS, they had better start investing their energy in ending the occupation.”



A Jewish nation-state is for Israelis with identity anxiety, Haaretz

Zvi Bar’el says that Netanyahu’s “demand for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state threatens Israeli identity, for it’s becoming more and more constricted within the confines of a Jewish nationalist identity, one that won’t let any Israeli forget what it is to be Jewish.”



The quiet rise of the Israeli center, Times of Israel

Yossi Klein Halevi writes that an Israeli “centrist has two nightmares about Israel’s future. The first is that there won’t be a Palestinian state. The second is that there will be.”



Some reflections on Israel, New Jersey Jewish Standard

Recalling a recent trip to Israel and the West Bank, Rabbi Richard Hammerman asks, “an Israeli and Palestinian cousins, the children of Abraham and the children of Ishmael, cross the seas which divide and separate them? Can they each have their own houses, welcome each other into their homes, and be good neighbors and become like family?”