J Street Daily News Roundup 4/1/14

April 1st, 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


Republicans and Democrats are reversing roles on Israel, New Republic

According to John Judis, “The rise of J Street and the emergence of CAP as an advocate for the peace process are part of a larger shift among liberal Democrats. It can be seen, for instance, in widespread Democratic support for the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran, which the Israeli government has protested. J Street and CAP’s stands are certainly not anti-Israel. But they are opposed to the policies of Israel’s current government. By contrast, Republicans—including, it seems, the presidential supplicants at Adelson’s Venetian Hotel last weekend—are now headed in exactly the opposite direction. Polarization over economic and social policy has already crippled the parties; polarization over the peace process could have the same result.”



Pro-Israel group: Christie apology 'unpresidential', The Hill

“Pro-Israel advocacy group J Street is pouncing on Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), after he apologized for describing the West Bank as ‘occupied territories.’”



CAMPAIGN OVERNIGHT, The Hill

“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got snared in controversy when he described the West Bank as ‘occupied territories’ to the Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring leadership meeting over the weekend in Las Vegas. He apologized for the comments, but now faces backlash from pro-Israel advocacy group J Street, which told him not to ‘kowtow’ to extremists by apologizing.”



Israeli to visit Columbus to discuss peace efforts, Columbus Dispatch

Former Minister Yossi Beilin, “who has spent decades working toward peace in the Middle East, [visited] Columbus on Tuesday for a rally organized by the American pro-Israel group J Street to promote a two-state agreement.”



Civility marks J Street forum, Jewish Journal

A 2 Campaign event at a synagogue in Florida discussed the core issues of borders and Jerusalem.


Top News and Analysis


Senior Israeli official: Deal on settlement freeze for Pollard's release nearly sealed, Haaretz

Secretary of State Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu sealed most of the details of the deal to extend peace talks in their meeting on Tuesday morning, and are awaiting a response from the Palestinians. The proposed deal reportedly states: 1) The Palestinians will agree to extend the negotiations by a year – into 2015 – and avoid unilateral moves at the UN; 2) The US will release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard before the Passover holiday; 3) Israel will release the fourth group of Palestinian prisoners which will include 14 Israeli Arab prisoners; 4) Israel will release another 400 Palestinian prisoners "without blood on their hands" who are about to finish their sentences; Israel will choose which prisoners will be released and they will include women and minors; 5) Israel will freeze most of the construction in the settlements, with the exception of East Jerusalem and would halt government tenders, marketing of lands and planning.


News


Former US negotiator proposes ways to reach Iran nuclear deal, Al-Monitor

Former nuclear negotiator Robert Einhorn said that Iran and six world powers can reach a comprehensive nuclear deal by agreeing on Iran’s practical needs for enrichment, which are limited in the near term; as well as on technical modifications that could be made to the Arak reactor and turning the Fordo enrichment site into a research and development facility.



Israeli minister Ariel: Pollard wouldn't want to be freed for Palestinian prisoners, Reuters

Housing Minister Uri Ariel said he would oppose any such accord that would see Pollard go free in exchange for the release of more Palestinian prisoners, adding that Pollard himself was against being part of a prisoner exchange.



Jordan’s Abdullah: Chance for peace deal won’t be repeated, Times of Israel

In a meeting with Israeli Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog, Jordanian King Abdullah called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to stick with negotiations Monday, saying the chance for peace would not come again. Herzog emphasized the support of opposition parties, including his own Labor party, for US-brokered peace talks.



'America is Nazi Germany' spray-painted on monastery in central Israel, Haaretz

A number of vandals spray-painted anti-American and anti-Christian slogans on the walls of a monastery and slashed the tires of four cars near Beit Shemesh overnight Monday.

Among the slogans written on the monastery walls were: "America is Nazi Germany," "Price tag," "Jesus is a monkey," and "Mary is a cow."


Opinion and Analysis


The Line to Kiss Sheldon Adelson’s Boots, The New York Times

“It’s hard to imagine a political spectacle more loathsome than the parade of Republican presidential candidates who spent the last few days bowing and scraping before the mighty bank account of the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson,” says David Firestone.



Netanyahu weighs collapse of peace talks, Al-Monitor

Mazal Mualem suggests that Netanyahu can only extend peace talks for so long without having to reshape his coalition.



T. Mitchell Picks Lock on Khalidi's 'Iron Cage', Partners for Progressive Israel

Thomas Mitchell analyzes Rashid Khalidi's “The Iron Cage.”