J Street News Roundup 4/23/2014

April 23rd, 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

Moving forward in the Middle East: a two-state solution, Stanford Daily

Gustavo Empinotti described how the polarized environment on campus led him to J Street U.

How the Progressive D.C. Community Helped Me Defeat the Right-Wing, ‘Pro-Israel’ Silencing Machine, Tikkun

David Harris Gershon mentioned J Street’s role in setting up an event in Washington, DC to showcase his new book, “What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?”

Two Decades After Oslo, A Look at Life in Israel and Palestine, In These Times

Reflecting on a recent trip to Israel, Marilyn Katz examined the realities of the occupation and made the case for why the US cannot walk away from the conflict.

Sipping Lattes on the Edge of a Volcano, In These Times

Katz explored the daily realities of those living in the occupied territory.

Top News and Analysis

Fatah, Hamas said to agree to unity government, AFP

Palestinian officials said that an agreement was reached between the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hamas to form a national unity government in the “next five weeks.” The reconciliation talks in the Gaza Strip were scheduled to continue on Wednesday.

Minister reports progress in talks with Palestinians, Times of Israel

Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz said that significant progress was made in a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators on Tuesday evening.

Israel: Abbas' conditions for extending talks show 'he's not interested in peace', Haaretz

Israeli officials said the conditions presented by President Abbas “mean that he is not interested in peace,” adding that “a person who wants peace does not present conditions time after time that he knows Israel cannot accept.” In a press conference earlier in the day with Israeli journalists, Abbas said the renewal of talks must be based on two principles: the release of the fourth group of prisoners and the immediate discussion on the question of borders, to be conducted over a period of three months.

Lapid threatening to leave Netanyahu's coalition if peace talks end, Jerusalem Post

Finance Minister Yair Lapid said in closed conversations on Tuesday that his Yesh Atid party will leave Prime Minister Netanyahu’s governing coalition if negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians end and there is no diplomatic process taking place.


Netanyahu: Abbas must choose between Israel and Hamas, Times of Israel

Netanyahu said, “Instead of moving into peace with Israel, [Abbas is] moving into peace with Hamas… He has to choose: Does he want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel? You can have one but not the other. I hope he chooses peace; so far he hasn’t done so.”

Lieberman: No chance Bennett's party will leave coalition, Haaretz

Foreign Minister Lieberman said he does not believe the HaBayit HaYehudi party will leave the coalition if Israel releases Israeli Arab prisoners as part of a deal to extend peace talks with the Palestinians.

Likud activists pushing for Lieberman-Kahlon bond in next election, Jerusalem Post

Key Likud activists are reportedly pushing former Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon to run with his close friend Lieberman in the next general election. A poll last week found that such a joint ticket could defeat both Likud and Labor.

IDF said to accelerate demolitions in ‘violent’ settlements, Times of Israel

Defense Minister Ya’alon instructed security forces to prioritize demolishing illegal homes in Jewish settlements that have seen violent encounters between settlers and soldiers.

Opinion and Analysis

Closer, but still no deal on Iran, Washington Post

David Ignatius notes signs of progress in nuclear talks with Iran.

Temple Mount now central Israeli-Palestinian flashpoint, Al-Monitor

Ben Caspit examines the new heightened tension on the Temple Mount.

Peace talks or not, both Abbas and Hamas need the PA, Haaretz

Zvi Bar’el says Palestinian reconciliation could severely complicate relations with Israel.

Parks as Weapons? A New Strategy of the Right, Partners for Progressive Israel

Laura Wharton says, “The developing policy of seizing land in East Jerusalem for fictive parks, simply to make it unavailable for Palestinian housing, is a cynical and unjust policy that should be condemned and stopped.”

Is AIPAC Really Pro-Israel? (A Special Passover Answer), Bumpspot

Jeff Pozmantier warns that “if AIPAC continues to almost exclusively define ‘pro-Israel’ as helping Israel acquire and build advanced weapons systems and preventing Israel’s enemies from doing so, while at the same time virtually ignoring the long-term risks to Israel of operating  as a colonial power in the West Bank, then AIPAC and its supporters risk leaving Israel as an empty shell, impossible to defend or support.”