J Street News Roundup 4/18/2014

April 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.

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J Street in the News

Berkeley synagogue to host series on Israel, Middle East peace, JWeekly

The Israel Committee at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley has planned a four-part speakers series on the topic of Middle East peace. “Is Peace Possible?” will kick off Thursday, April 24 with J Street regional director (and Beth El member) Gordon Gladstone speaking on the topic of borders between Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Why All the Incivility When It Comes to Talking about Israel?, Jewish Exponent

Keith Kahn-Harris noted that a recent Philadelphia Jewish Federation-sponsored screening of an anti-J Street film is just one example of the “uncivil war” raging in the Jewish community over Israel.

Top News and Analysis

Israelis, Palestinians to hold separate talks with US envoy, Times of Israel

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are to meet separately today with US envoy Martin Indyk, after yesterday’s five-hour trilateral meeting. The talks to extend negotiations past the April 29 deadline were described as “very difficult.” They are expected to convene again next week after the Passover holiday.

Netanyahu loses majority for deal to extend talks with Palestinians, Jerusalem

Prime Minister Netanyahu has reportedly lost a majority in his cabinet for approving the deal to extend peace talks. Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch of Yisrael Beiteinu announced that he opposes extending negotiations if President Abbas does not publicly condemn Monday’s killing of an Israeli police officer in Hebron. Multiple Likud ministers are also said to be wavering over the deal. A group of Likud mayors in the West Bank have urged them to them to oppose an agreement.

US releases funds to Iran as IAEA verifies compliance with nuclear deal, Al-Monitor

The United States said that it has released the latest tranche of $450 million to Iran based on verification by the International Atomic Energy Agency this week that Iran is complying with the terms of a six month interim nuclear deal.


Iran's Rohani underscores peace, outreach at army parade, Associated Press

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underscored his moderate policies and outreach to the West in a speech Friday during a military parade on the country's National Army Day.

Ten Palestinians wounded in Hebron Prisoners Day clashes, Haaretz

Ten Palestinians were lightly injured on Thursday in Hebron by Israeli security forces during demonstrations to mark Palestinian Prisoners Day. Several dozen Palestinians gathered near an Israel Defense Forces roadblock in the city and threw stones at soldiers, who returned fire: first with tear gas and stun grenades, and then with rubber-coated bullets and bullets fired from .22 caliber rifles.

Vandals spray anti-Arab graffiti, try to set mosque door alight, Haaretz

Vandals sprayed anti-Arab graffiti and tried to set alight the door of a mosque in the northern Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm overnight Thursday.

Stranded by the Fight Over a Border’s Future, The New York Times

Over the last decade, scores of cheap apartment buildings have sprung up in several Palestinian neighborhoods like Ras Khamis, lying just within the Jerusalem city limits but isolated by the barrier that Israel has built along or through parts of the West Bank with the stated purpose of keeping out suicide bombers. The buildings went up without planning permission, safety regulations or proper infrastructure. Neglected by City Hall and the Israeli government, there are no regular municipal services or policing. Yet the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited control in parts of the West Bank, cannot operate in Ras Khamis because Israel considers itself sovereign in all parts of its capital.

Opinion and Analysis

US must redouble efforts on Mideast peace, Minneapolis Star Tribune

The Star Tribune editorial board urges, “The Obama administration should not walk away, but rather redouble its efforts on Mideast peace.”

Kerry’s reality-check time, questions that should be asked, Jerusalem Post

Rabbi Michael Cohen writes, “The stated ‘core issues’ are important and necessary for reaching an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, but there are other vital cultural, psychological and emotional dynamics percolating below the surface that would be wise to finally address.”

This Passover, We’re Standing at an Unparted Red Sea, Faith Street

“For real peace to happen, we need to accept that we are in this together. And we all need the courage to jump into unchartered waters,” says Rabbi Rachel Gartner.

Don’t let Abbas return the keys to Israel, Haaretz

The Haaretz editorial board argues that “Abbas’ demands are reasonable and will constitute a test to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s seriousness.”

T. MItchell Reviews Khalidi's 'Brokers of Deceit', Partners for Progressive Israel

In analyzing Rashid Khalidi's "Brokers of Deceit," Thomas Mitchell advises promoting the European Union as a co-equal mediator with the United States.