J Street News Roundup 5/15/2014

May 15th, 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

Conference’s rejection of J Street is a mistake, Jewish Advocate (see below)

Former Congressman Barney Frank, disappointed with the Conference of Presidents vote to exclude J Street, writes, ‘J Street’s support for a two-state solution is more in tune with longstanding Israeli government policy than the views of several organizations that are already members of the group which explicitly reject that goal.’

The blindness of the veteran US Jewish Establishment, i24 News

Shlomo Shamir argues that, ‘J Street represents the prevailing opinion among most American Jews more faithfully and reliably than most member organizations of the Presidents Conference which voted against it.’

What AEPi taught me about Israel, the Conference of Presidents, and Brotherhood, Jewschool

An AEPi alumnus expresses his disappointment at the fraternity’s vote to exclude J Street from the Conference of Presidents.

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu seeks alternative diplomatic plan in light of failed peace talks, Haaretz

In Japan, Netanyahu said, ‘I don’t think that status quo is desirable...I don’t want a binational state.’ One ‘senior figure in Jerusalem’ told Haaretz that the PM has asked government and security officials to propose alternative diplomatic options.

Turkey-Israel deal reached, awaits Netanyahu’s approval, Times of Israel

Reports suggest a deal to restore full bilateral ties between Israel and Turkey to their pre-flotilla level has been reached and will be signed by Netanyahu when he returns from Japan.

Kerry and Abbas meet for the first time since peace talks collapsed, ynet

A US official said that while, ‘the door remains open to the peace process’ the meeting was focused on America’s ‘ongoing relationship with the Palestinian people.’


Israel, US to carry out joint anti-missile defense test next week, Haaretz

Chuck Hagel has arrived in Israel ahead of joint training exercises for anti-missile defenses.

EU’s Ashton, Iran’s Zarif meet on drafting terms of nuclear agreement, Haaretz

The fourth round of talks between Iran and the six world powers began on Wednesday in Vienna.

In sign of truce, Hamas evacuates Abbas’ Gaza residence, Times of Israel

Hamas forces removed desks and other items from the villa seized during their 2007 takeover of Gaza.

Hillary Clinton skeptical about Iran nuclear deal, Haaretz

Speaking at the American Jewish Committee forum, former Secretary of State Clinton said that, while skeptical about prospects for an agreement, the US and its allies ‘need to test what can be achieved.’

Opinion and Analysis

Bar the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Amos Oz, and half the Israeli cabinet from Hillel, Haaretz

Peter Beinart invites you to play a little game he’s calling, ‘Which famous Jews, past and present, could be barred from speaking at your local Hillel, based on the organization’s guidelines.’

Israel can’t erase the Nakba from history, Haaretz

Lead Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat argues that Palestinian recognition of Israel should be met by Israeli acknowledgement of the suffering that befell Palestinians in 1948.

The Riddle of Succession in the Palestinian Authority, Washington Institute

Ehud Yaari examines the ‘cloud of uncertainty’ hanging over the road to Palestinian succession.

Iranian Reality Check, New York Times

Roger Cohen expresses skepticism that an agreement with Iran will be reached by the end of July, while adamant that, ‘every diplomatic effort on both sides must now be exhausted to reach beyond immense differences and close a deal.’

Why Kerry Failed at Peace, Politico

Yossi Beilin argues that, whereas an interim approach may have been a mistake in the 1990’s, it is the best way forward today. If however, a gradual process is a non-starter, Beilin writes, ‘it will be important to publish the American vision set out for Israeli-Palestinian peace, so that this vision will become a new milestone in the region and will serve as a litmus paper to distinguish between those who are in the peace camp and those who remain in the refusal camp on both sides.’