J Street News Roundup 5/19/2014

May 19th, 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

J Street U: A Third Of Hillel Int'l Board Should Be Students, New York Jewish Week

J Street U Portland State Co-Chair Gabriel Erbs urged Hillel International “to work with their vast and diverse student constituency to ensure that one year from now, students elected by their peers comprise one-third of the national Hillel board of directors.”

On Being Jew-Rican, A Rare Mixed Breed, Fox News

Geraldo Rivera wrote, “As someone who loves Israel, I beg you to see that organizations like J Street in DC are more reflective of the view of a majority of progressive Jews than many of the more traditional organizations that claim to speak for us.”

J Street Flap Exposes Jewish Double Standard, Huffington Post

Responding to J Street’s rejection by the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, Shai Franklin asked, “Isn't it time we started demanding more from our community bodies, and from ourselves? General statements of support for a two-state solution should no longer be accepted at face value.”

Reform Jews accuse movement’s head of ‘divisive’ leadership over J Street issue, JNS

More than 40 Reform Jews accused Union for Reform Judaism President Rabbi Rick Jacobs of “divisive” leadership over his threat to pull out of the Conference of Presidents over its rejection of J Street.

Pro-Israel: Should We Broaden The Definition? Does Caroline Glick Qualify?, Bumpspot

Jeff Pozmantier warned that “Israel needs all of the supporters it can muster. Labeling those who don’t support Israel the ‘right’ way as not truly pro-Israel discourages people who would otherwise be enthusiastic supporters as well as those who are now on the sidelines because they are afraid to enter the pro-Israel fray.”

Top News and Analysis

Next Iran nuclear talks due on June 16-20, Reuters

The next round of nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers will take place in Vienna on June 16-20, after the latest round last week resulted in little progress. The International Atomic Energy Agency will visit Tehran on Monday to discuss Iran's nuclear work.

Netanyahu: Livni did not represent Israel in meeting with Abbas, Haaretz

Prime Minister Netanyahu distanced himself from last week’s meeting in London between Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and President Abbas. A senior official said that Netanyahu clarified to Livni before the meeting that she would be "representing only herself and not the Israeli government."

Hamas official: Palestinian unity government about a week away, Haaretz

A senior Hamas official said that PLO representatives will arrive in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday to conclude negotiations over a Palestinian unity government, to be finalized within days.

Presidential elections called for June 10, Times of Israel

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein announced Monday that presidential elections would be held on June 10, a move that stymied Netanyahu’s bid to abolish the office.

Obama’s plan: Let Netanyahu and Abbas stew in their juices, Haaretz

According to Barak Ravid, “Obama does not intend to completely abandon the Israeli-Palestinian issue.” He “hopes that after a few months with no negotiations and less US involvement, both sides will understand it is in their interest to renew talks.”

The difficult path to a nuclear deal with Iran, Washington Post

The Washington Post editorial board suggests that “with Iran’s nuclear work mostly frozen, [President] Obama can afford to wait. A six-month extension of the talks provided for in the interim deal might even be in his interest.”


US denies Indyk ‘bashed’ Israel in ‘nasty tirade’ at DC hotel bar, Times of Israel

The State Department denied a report Saturday alleging that US Envoy Martin Indyk “bashed” Israel in a “tirade” during conversations with his staff and his wife at a hotel bar in Washington.

PA incitement behind soaring anti-Semitism, Netanyahu says, Times of Israel

Netanyahu said official “incitement” by the Palestinian Authority stands behind a sky-high rate of anti-Semitism in the West Bank and Gaza.

Lieberman: Israel must look beyond Abbas for peace partners, Haaretz

Foreign Minister Lieberman said that Abbas is not a partner for peace and a compromise cannot be reached with him.

Yesh Atid MK: Palestinians, Israel share blame for peace failure, Times of Israel

Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah said, “We have to say it clearly: the Palestinians are no less responsible for the failure [of the peace talks] than we are.” Shelah added that he believed negotiations would resume at some point.

Israel restricts Palestinian banking, electricity, JTA

As a response to Palestinian reconciliation, Israel has reportedly barred Palestinian banks from making shekel deposits in Israeli banks and will run Palestinian electricity at half-strength for an hour each day. In addition, Israel is withholding $116 million of Palestinian tax revenue.

Settlers lobby ministers to oppose 'quiet freeze', Jerusalem Post

Israeli settlers lobbied ministers to oppose a “quiet freeze” on the publication of tenders and advancement of plans for homes in West Bank settlements and Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.

New bill would allow Jews to pray at Temple Mount, Times of Israel

Knesset members from Likud and Labor are planning to push forward a new bill that would allow Jews to pray at the Temple Mount, a practice currently forbidden.

Opinion and Analysis

'A' Jewish State vs. 'The' Jewish State, Foreign Policy

Michael Oren and David Rothkopf debate Zionism, the loyalty of American Jews and the promise of the Promised Land.

Israel cannot wait any longer to crush price tag attacks, Haaretz

Abe Foxman writes, “The so-called ‘price tag’ attacks in Israel have gone on far too long… It is not just a matter of protecting the victims of assaults and preventing vandalism of religious sites sacred to Christians and Muslims; it is a matter of living up to the ideals of the democratic and Jewish soul of the State of Israel.”

The Quartet is waiting for Bibi, Haaretz

Akiva Eldar argues that “the ‘rampant’ construction in the settlements and the outposts embodies a violation of the Quartet’s three conditions: it leads to violent acts, sabotages the chance of establishing a viable state in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and is a blatant violation of commitments and agreements.”

In Israel during Yom HaShoah and Memorial Day, Partners for Progressive Israel

Ralph Seliger reflects over a recent visit to Israel.