J Street News Roundup 5/7/2014

May 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

Conference Of Presidents Out Of Touch, New York Jewish Week

J Street NYC Co-Chair Talia Benamy warned that if right-wing Jewish organizations don’t recognize J Street’s place in the tent, “today's younger Jews will leave them behind, and they will be left in a place where they have no voice at all.”

'Broken' Presidents Conference Faces Powerful Rebellion After J Street Debacle, Forward

“In a May 6 conference call, leaders from a number of groups, including the Reform movement, stated their desire to overhaul the Presidents Conference in order to make it more representative of the American Jewish community. The conversation, which participants described as private, was a first step at what is shaping into a concerted effort to translate widespread frustration following the rejection of J Street into a drive to reform the Presidents Conference from within.”

If Jewish Organizations Want to Secure the Jewish Future, They Need to Stop Alienating It, New Voices

Derek Kwait wrote, “Leaders of Jewish organizations—if you really want to secure the Jewish future, stop turning so much of it away with small-minded rhetoric.”

In Light of Divestment, a Call for Accountability, Wesleyan Argus

J Street U Wesleyan members Becca Caspar-Johnson and Maya Berkman said that “we must all take responsibility as Americans for the broken politics within our own government, and redouble our efforts to change them. With that work, we can lead the US to be a serious partner for peace.”

To Stand With Israel, Give Aid to the Palestinian Authority, Roll Call

Anthony Wolf noted that “not only does J Street oppose [Senator Rand Paul’s bill to cut aid to the Palestinians], but so does AIPAC. And Elliott Abrams.”

Top News and Analysis

Peres: Netanyahu torpedoed peace deal 3 years ago, Times of Israel

President Peres said Tuesday that Prime Minister Netanyahu torpedoed a peace deal reached covertly in 2011 with President Abbas.

Israel to US and EU: Palestinians deceived Kerry, Haaretz

National Security Advisor Joseph Cohen charged that even while the Palestinians were talking with Washington about the possibility of extending the peace talks, they were actually planning to derail them, and had been planning to do so even before Abbas met with President Obama on March 17.

The Bitter Truth about the Settlements, American Prospect

Matthew Duss asks, “having now said publicly that the Netanyahu government’s addiction to settlements is the primary obstacle to achieving a stated US interest—a two-state solution—what is the US willing to do about it?”

Israel’s Independence Day, and it’s future, New Yorker

According to Bernard Avishai, “The risk for the future is not that the Green Line separating Israel from the West Bank will disappear, and the Israeli majority—and hence Israeli democracy—will be compromised. The risk is that the forces of ‘settlement’ are winning.”


Obama expresses commitment to two-state solution on Israel's Independence Day, Jerusalem Post

Obama sent his "warmest wishes" to the Israeli people as Israel celebrated 66 years of independence, pledging to work with Israel "to support a two-state solution to the decades-old conflict" with the Palestinian people.

Israel transfers Palestinian funds as threat of sanctions wanes, Reuters

Palestinian public sector workers received their salaries on Tuesday, in a sign that Israel had backed down from a threat to impose sanctions on the Palestinian Authority.

Lieberman: Arab Israeli Nakba protesters are traitors, Times of Israel

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman denounced as a “fifth column” thousands of Arab Israelis who joined a demonstration calling for a right of return for Palestinian refugees. Around 10,000 protesters, many waving Palestinian flags, took part in a rally in northern Israel to remember 530 villages from which some 760,000 people fled or were expelled following the creation of Israel in 1948.

Wave of ‘price tag’ attacks continues in north, Times of Israel

Responding to the wave of hate-fueled vandalism, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said she planned to convene a meeting Wednesday with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch on the issue of “price tag” attacks, vowing that violence against “the army and the military” would be dealt with “harshly and severely.”

Iran on agenda for White House aide talks in Israel, Reuters

National Security Adviser Susan Rice will travel to Israel on Wednesday and Thursday for meetings with Israeli officials in which nuclear talks with Iran will be on the agenda.

Opinion and Analysis

United, the Palestinians have endorsed 1967 borders for peace. Will Israel?, Haaretz

Munib al Masri says that “the new technocratic government that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will form over the coming weeks will abide by all the terms of the Oslo Accords and the Middle East Quartet. It will be as well a government willing to use the Arab peace initiative as a framework for a negotiated peace agreement that, once signed, will offer the Israelis full diplomatic and commercial relations with fifty-seven Arab and Islamic states.”

Without ceding power, still strong incentives for Israel to negotiate, Boston Globe

Andrew Oram writes in a letter that J Street does not support “the withdrawal of military or economic support for Israel by the US government. We note that Israeli businesses have called on their government to make peace because it’s good for business and that the population is war-weary and doesn’t like being occupiers.”