J Street News Roundup 4/7/2014

April 7th, 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

In North Carolina, Jewish doves back religious conservative attacked by Israel hawks, JTA

J Street Political Director Dan Kalik said that Representative Walter Jones, not the Emergency Committee for Israel, represents “the longstanding views of mainstream Republicans going back two GOP administrations as well as American Jews who understand that a two-state solution is in Israel’s interest.”

Israeli and American Jews – The Struggle for Consensus and Current Tensions, Jewish Journal

“There are, at the very least, two truths that seem to permeate much of our two societies these days,” wrote J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove. “The first is the most consequential for the future security, Jewish and democratic character of the state of Israel; the distrust of Israelis towards Palestinians and Palestinians towards Israelis resulting in political/ideological recalcitrance of each side’s negotiating positions. The second is the growing ideological and emotional divide in the American Jewish community between left and right especially concerning the meaning of pro-Israel activism.”

The Kerry Initiative on Trial, San Diego Jewish Journal

At a February 2 Campaign town hall in San Diego, former Mossad Director Danny Yatom “identified two possible outcomes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: continue with the current situation, or separate amicably. Only one option, according to  Yatom, would result in the continued existence of a Jewish, democratic state.”

Top News and Analysis

Late-night meeting between Israelis, Palestinians ends in deadlock, Haaretz

The Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams held a meeting Sunday in Jerusalem with US envoy Martin Indyk in an attempt to find a solution to the crisis in peace talks. A US official said that the meeting was serious "and constructive and both sides requested that the United States convene another meeting today to continue the effort."

Rice leads call to scale down US role in Mideast, Haaretz

The United States is reportedly preparing for a possible reduction of its involvement in the peace process, and President Obama is expected to meet soon with Secretary of State Kerry to begin a “reevaluation” of the extent of US involvement. US officials said that National Security Adviser Susan Rice is leading the push for a change.

Opposition MKs call on Livni, Lapid to quit coalition amid failed peace talks, Jerusalem Post

In an opposition-implemented Knesset plenum on peace talks crisis, Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog called on Hatnuah and Yesh Atid to leave the government to form a center-left coalition with his Labor Party. His comments came after Foreign Minister Lieberman said that he would rather hold early elections than go back to the "grand deal" to extend peace talks by releasing Palestinian prisoners.

US expects drafting of Iran final nuclear deal to begin in May, Al-Monitor

Six world powers and Iran are reportedly on track to start drafting the text of a comprehensive Iran nuclear accord in May, with the aim of reaching a final agreement by the July 20th expiration of the six month interim deal.

Sheldon: Iran’s best friend, The New York Times

According to Tom Friedman, “Zealously pro-Israel billionaire Sheldon Adelson and Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, actually have one big thing in common. They are both trying to destroy Israel. Adelson is doing it by loving Israel to death and Khamenei by hating Israel to death.”

Why young US Jews are drifting away from Israel, Haaretz

Rabbi Eric Yoffie writes, “In these difficult times, and especially now with the Kerry initiative on life-support, [young American Jews] desperately want an Israel that appeals to their values and their highest ideals… And they are entitled to such an Israel. An Israel that simply sits in silence, hands folded, risks losing these students—and losing many others in the process. And this is a risk that the leaders and supporters of Israel must not take.”


Netanyahu: Palestinians' unilateral actions will be reciprocated by Israel, Haaretz

Prime Minister Netanyahu said at the weekly Cabinet meeting that "unilateral moves taken by the Palestinians will be met with unilateral moves by Israel… We are prepared to continue the talks, but not at any price," the prime minister said.”

Palestinian official: Fourth prisoner release would save talks from crisis, Haaretz

A Palestinian official said that “if Israel carries out the fourth prisoner release and frees the rest of the prisoners, including the Israeli prisoners, as has been agreed, it will be possible to continue the talks.”

Livni: Netanyahu, Abbas should hold direct talks, Haaretz

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni called for more direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians despite what she termed "a real crisis." She added, "We need more direct talks with the Palestinians. And between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas."

Bank of Israel chair: Economy ‘resilient’ in face of threats, Times of Israel

Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug said she was unfazed by warnings from international leaders that Israel could face repercussions if the peace process breaks down, noting that the country’s economy has survived previous political storms and this time should be no different.

Palestinians clash with IDF soldiers near Ramallah, Haaretz

Several Palestinians were wounded on Friday in clashes with IDF soldiers outside Ofer Prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israel strikes targets in Gaza after rocket attack, Times of Israel

Israeli aircraft struck targets in the Gaza Strip late Saturday night, hours after Palestinian militants fired a rocket at the coastal city of Ashkelon.

Wesleyan Jewish students announce support for Open Hillel, JTA

The Hillel-affiliated Wesleyan Jewish Community announced its “solidarity with, and support of, the Open Hillel movement.”

Opinion and Analysis

How Israel almost went to the polls over deal with Palestinians, Haaretz

Yossi Verter examines the Israeli politics surrounding the current crisis in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Like Arafat, I recognize the Jewish tie to Israel, Times of Israel

“I, too, believe that our future two states, an Israeli and a Palestinian, will be based on this acknowledgment of what we share as Jews, Muslims, and Christians,” says Munib al-Masri.

The quietly ticking time bomb on Israel’s doorstep, Haaretz

Amos Harel warns, “If Israel remains stubborn and closes the door on the talks – as right-wing cabinet ministers are demanding – it will embark on a course that could very likely result in a renewal of terrorism in Israeli cities.”