J Street News Roundup 5/8/2014

May 8th, 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

Israel-PA peace process: Keep calm and carry on, Jewish Journal

J Street board member Richard Goldwasser argued that “as they enter this ‘pause,’ both sides can lay the foundations to make future negotiations more successful. By keeping the peace and with a US framework leading the way, next time can and must be different.”

Are You Confused about the Cause of the Breakdown of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations?, Jewish Journal

“Before throwing up our hands and giving up, we who love Israel need to remind ourselves that there is no solution except a two-states for two peoples agreement that ends all claims, because that is the only way Israel can remain a democracy, Jewish and secure,” said J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove. “We need to remember, as well, that time is working against Israel.”

J Street's Rejection Is a Scandal, New Republic

Calling J Street’s rejection from the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations “a disgrace,” Leon Wieseltier wrote, “Even the man who denies that I am his brother is my brother. That does not make me a fool. It makes me a Jew.”

Establishment’s rebuff highlights J Street’s success in changing Jewish America, Haaretz

Peter Beinart wrote that J Street “will have to adapt to the collapse of the peace process, but it has already sparked a more open and honest American debate about Israel.”

Jewish Charities’ Lack of Tolerance Maligns All Nonprofits, Chronicle of Philanthropy

Pablo Eisenberg argued, “The rejection of J Street flies in the face of what all nonprofits stand for, but it is also hard to avoid pointing to the irony and hypocrisy of major Jewish organizations rejecting discussion and debate within their own ranks after the long history of discrimination against Jews and their views. Israel has survived because it became a democracy, tolerating divergent views and criticism from within.”

Shunning J Street, and ignoring the people, New Jersey Jewish News

Yehuda Kurtzer said that “Israel — like every other aspect of Jewish life today — is competing in the marketplace of ideas for American Jews. American Jews privilege their autonomy, and those who want to stay involved in Jewish life — especially younger Jews — are seeking honesty and authenticity from their leadership.”

Jewish Americans ask: What does it mean to be ‘pro-Israel’?, Religion News Service

“In response, the head of the congregational arm of the Reform movement, representing more American Jews than any other, threatened to pull out of the conference because it “no longer serves its vital purpose of providing a collective voice for the entire American Jewish pro-Israel community.”

Neoconservative Group Fails In Effort To Oust Anti-War House Republican, Think Progress

Ben Armbruster noted that “[J Street-backed Congressman Walter Jones’] victory also marks another loss in the long series of political defeats for [the Emergency Committee for Israel].”

Top News and Analysis

Erekat: Netanyahu kept Peres from meeting Abbas, Haaretz

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Prime Minister Netanyahu prevented President Peres from traveling to Jordan in 2011 to finalize a peace deal reached secretly with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu, after meeting Rice: Israel fears 'bad deal' on Iran, Haaretz

In a meeting with Netanyahu on Wednesday, National Security Advisor Susan Rice stressed that  diplomacy is the best way to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran, six powers hold 'useful' nuclear talks; agreement elusive, Reuters

Iran and six world powers held more "useful" talks on Tehran's nuclear program, both sides said, although a Western diplomat said they were still struggling to overcome deep disagreements on the future of Iranian atomic capabilities. Their remarks came after two days of expert-level talks in New York on a long-term accord meant to be reached by a July 20 deadline.

IAEA team tours Iran uranium mine, agrees on monitoring reactor, Reuters

International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors reportedly visited a uranium mine in Iran and reached agreement on how to monitor a planned reactor.


Most Israelis support peace talks freeze, poll shows, Times of Israel

A new poll of Israelis found that a majority supports Israel’s suspension of peace talks over the Palestinian reconciliation agreement, but still supports talks in general. A plurality said that the suspension was bad for Israel in the short and long-term.

Lawmakers hold emergency meeting on ‘price tag’ attacks, Times of Israel

Senior government lawmakers convened an emergency meeting on the recent spate of “price tag” vandalism on Wednesday afternoon.

Security sources: 100 followers of racist rabbi are behind hate crimes, Haaretz

According to security officials, close to 100 people have been involved in the recent wave of hate crimes, and base their acts on ideas of the extremist rabbi Yitzchak Ginzburg.

Amr Moussa urges Hamas: If you want a state, recognize Israel, Haaretz

Egypt's former foreign minister and Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa urged Hamas to recognize Israel if it hopes to establish a Palestinian state.

Israeli President Peres to visit White House in June, Reuters

Peres will visit the White House June 25th, the White House said on Wednesday.

Rouhani vows victory over Iran's hawks as nuclear deadline nears, Reuters

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Wednesday to win the battle with hardliners who are against his policy of detente, as the nuclear talks that they oppose enter a critical phase.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel must not surrender to settler bullying and violence, Haaretz

“The ongoing failure of the law-enforcement authorities to stop the so-called "price tag" attacks and to prosecute young settlers for attacking Christian and Muslim houses of worship is raising the specter that these actions, shameful to the Jewish people, are leading to a war of religions that could quickly spread,” says David Landau.

Abbas’ generous offer to Israel, +972

Noam Sheizaf laments that “the Israeli leadership chose to pass on… an opportunity to achieve regional and international legitimacy for its military and political achievements in the last century.”

Peres says Netanyahu 'stopped' peace talks in 2011, Al-Monitor

Examining President Peres’ claim of backchannels with Abbas, Mazal Mualem contends, “Even in the midst of the current political turmoil, it is worth remembering that Netanyahu was the person elected to lead the country during these years, and that any decision he made to avoid some agreement or other was both democratic and legitimate.”