J Street News Roundup 5/13/2014

May 13th, 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

The Israel conversation we should be having, JTA

J Street Senior Vice President for Community Relations Rachel Lerner argued, “What we need instead is a conversation that is dynamic, constructive and forward thinking that asks the questions, ‘What kind of Israel do we want?’ and ‘How can we make Israel better?’ That would give our community, especially our young people, something to embrace instead of simply something to defend.”

The Truth about J Street, Jewish Journal

J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove responded to myths about J Street.

Why I Am Thinking Of Attending The J Street Conference, Times of Israel

“Why am I considering attending the J Street conference next March?” asked Rabbi Dan Ornstein. “My daughter asked me to go with her.”

Words and Deeds That Hurt at the Jewish Communal Table, Huffington Post

“Our tradition has a long history of majority and minority opinions standing side by side,” said Rabbi Yael Ridberg. “We should all be wary when that value is denied.”

Jewish Fraternity With Right Wing Ties Helped Block J Street Bid, Forward

The newest member of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations--the fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi--voted against J Street’s membership, and its executive director personally spoke against its inclusion.

Liberal Jews angry with NY mayor over secret AIPAC talk, Haaretz

Liberal Jewish organizations normally supportive of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio have been expressing anger since he spoke at a closed AIPAC event in January that did not appear on the mayor's public schedule. De Blasio held a conference call on February 2nd with J Street leaders to try and alleviate the situation.

Top News and Analysis

Kerry to Meet Palestinian Leader in First Exchange Since Peace Talks, The New York Times

Secretary of State Kerry plans to meet in London on Thursday with President Abbas, for the first time since Kerry declared a “pause” in peace talks last month. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said, “While the door remains open to a peace process, the purpose of the meeting is to discuss our ongoing relationship with the Palestinians.”

Iran and IAEA end talks, unclear if progress made, Reuters

The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran ended a three-hour meeting on Monday without announcing any new action to allay concerns about Tehran's atomic activities, leaving it unclear whether headway was achieved. The IAEA indicated after the talks that some more work was still needed for the full implementation of a series of nuclear transparency steps that Iran had agreed to take by May 15.

Nuclear Talks Will Confront Iran’s Future Capability to Enrich Uranium, The New York Times

Negotiators say they are finally confronting a crucial sticking point to a permanent agreement — the size and shape of the nuclear fuel production capability that Iran will be permitted to retain.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sentenced to 6 years in prison, Haaretz

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison on Tuesday for his conviction on two counts of bribery in the Holyland corruption case.


Rice: US stays true to cause of peace, Ynet

In Israel, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said, “Even though we have reached a pause in the negotiations, we continue to encourage the parties to work and act toward a future of peace." Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, who spoke after Rice, added, "We are eager to have peace not because somebody is telling us that we need peace," but "because it's important for the state of Israel and Israelis." He said most Israelis would support "difficult concessions" but on two conditions, "that it will be a real genuine peace and real security."

EU warns Israel over settlements, urges talks resumption, Times of Israel

The European Union on Monday urged Israelis and Palestinians to restart peace negotiations, welcoming the Fatah-Hamas unity deal that led Israel to suspend the talks last month but emphasizing that Abbas alone is authorized to negotiate on behalf of his people.

Palestinians to US, EU: Add Israeli hate crimes to terror lists, Haaretz

The Palestinian Authority asked the United States, Canada, Russia, and the European Union to declare "price tag" perpetrators and "hilltop youth" activists as terrorist organizations, and include them on those countries' list of terror groups.

Levin: No danger to coalition due to peace talks breakdown, Jerusalem Post

Coalition Chair Yariv Levin said that “a diplomatic agreement could have broken up the coalition… Under the current conditions, the chances of the coalition collapsing are very small.”

Key parties leave opening for Netanyahu to delay presidential election, Haaretz

The leaders of three coalition parties declined to say Monday whether they would support postponing the presidential election by six months, leaving an opening for Prime Minister Netanyahu to push the idea through.

Opinion and Analysis

Denial, delusion and Jewish settlements are killing the two-state solution, Haaretz

According to Chemi Shalev, “With breathtaking self-persuasion, most Israelis have convinced themselves that the physical, geographic and demographic transformation that has taken place in the West Bank as a result of four decades of Jewish settlement does not constitute a unilateral act that undermines a peace process, while Palestinian letters to international bodies such as the United Nations or the World Health Organization are irrefutable indications of bad faith. And the only possible reason for the world not to concur is that it is anti-Semitic.”

United Palestinian government may provide new opportunities for peace, Washington Post

Suggesting that Palestinian reconciliation could be a positive development, Jimmy Carter recommends that Kerry introduce a US framework for a two-state solution.

John Kerry Doomed the Israeli-Palestinian Talks by Refusing to Consider a Transition Agreement, New Republic

Ehud Yaari claims that “a transition agreement would allow Israel and the Palestinians to dramatically change the political landscape while temporarily setting aside the most difficult issues that have prevented an agreement for the past 20 years that have elapsed since the signing of the Oslo Accords.”