J Street News Roundup 5/9/2014

May 9th, 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

Peace talks failure tested US Jewish groups, Haaretz

J Street U Communications Co-Chair Benjy Cannon warned that “wishing away political realities without offering a solution will further endanger the collective futures of American Jewry, Israelis and Palestinians. Through negligence and rejectionism, we must not be the ones who fulfill [Secretary of State] Kerry’s prophecy.”

Columbus’ Jewish community divided over Israel policy, Columbus Dispatch

J Street Midwest Field Organizer Timna Axel said that the film “The J Street Challenge” does not further discussion but maligns and attacks the group. “We’re happy to have real discussion about policy, about serious issues that affect the Jewish people,” she said.

Palestinian, Israeli duo bring stories of loss, visions of future to Pittsburgh, Jewish Chronicle

J Street Pittsburgh Co-Chair Nancy Bernstein said that the Parents Circle Families Forum "is planting seeds for real and sustainable peace.”

David Harris-Gershon, outside the tent, Washington Jewish Week

At a J Street-sponsored event, author David Harris Gershon discussed his book “What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife.”

J Street-backed GOP incumbent survives primary in NC, JTA

An incumbent Republican North Carolina congressman backed by J Street defeated a primary challenger who had been backed by pro-Israel conservatives.”

Referendum on the Presidents’ Conference, Baltimore Jewish Times

The Baltimore Jewish Times editorial board asked, “If the Conference of Presidents no longer fulfills [its] role, is it time to consider alternatives?”

Who will set the table?, New Jersey Jewish Standard

According to Rabbi Joel Mosbacher, “All that can come from a vote like this is that a less-powerful Conference of Presidents will represent a smaller, less diverse segment of the Jewish people.”

The J Street confrontation: Between a local squabble and a historic schism, Haaretz

Chemi Shalev noted “ the parallel lines and even mutual feedbacks stemming from the polarization of the political dialogue in Israel, America and the Jewish community. In all three, the right wing is growing increasingly militant and intolerant, using its financial might – in donation-starved Jewish organizations, for example – to get its way. They are defining the contours of acceptable support for Israel, ejecting those they deem unworthy and rejoicing in the purity of their camp.”

When Jews hate leftists for loving Israel, Haaretz

Bradley Burston argued that the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is more concerned with “boycotting Jews” than it is about Israel.

Did US State Department ignorance kill the peace process?, Haaretz

Noting that J Street and countless others have warned about the dangers of settlement expansion, Emily Hauser wrote, “If the administration’s messengers genuinely didn’t know the intentions and actions of the Netanyahu government, it indicates a careless myopia that frankly indicts the entire effort. If the people entrusted to do this work did not know that settlement expansion involves massive expropriation of land – what on earth did they know?”

Top News and Analysis

Indyk: Settlements could drive Israel into binational reality, Haaretz

In a major speech that criticized and praised Israel and the Palestinians, US Envoy Martin Indyk said that while both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas had shown flexibility in peace talks, the leaders "don't feel the pressing need to make gut-wrenching compromises." He also issued a strong condemnation of Israel's settlement activity in the West Bank, saying that it could "drive Israel into an irreversible binational reality."

Rights groups urge Abbas to let ICC prosecute war crimes committed on Palestinian territories, Haaretz

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, along with 15 other human rights NGOs, urged Abbas to promptly apply to the International Criminal Court.

US Officials: Blame Palestinians, Too, Bloomberg

“What is needed now, more than continued American leadership, is a pair of leaders who are willing to risk their political survival for the peace process,” writes Jeffrey Goldberg. “That is what US officials believe we don’t currently have.”


Rice warns against moves that would obstruct resumption of talks, Haaretz

National Security Adviser Susan Rice told Israeli and Palestinian officials that the US expects both sides will manage the current "pause" in the peace talks "in a way that reduces tensions and preserves space to pursue a two-state solution when both sides are prepared to take the decisions necessary to resume substantive negotiations.”

Tzipi Livni: Settlement activity hurt negotiations, Times of Israel

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said that “settlement construction hurt Israel, it hurts the Palestinians and it hurt the negotiations.”

Chief PA negotiator: Israel hypocritical on Palestinian reconciliation, Haaretz

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel of hypocrisy in opposing the Palestinian Authority’s reconciliation deal with Hamas.

'Lack of peace has a price' says Palestinian foreign minister, Haaretz

Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Sha'ath said the Palestinian Authority will turn to the international arena to gain recognition as a country under occupation if there is no progress in peace talks.

‘Netanyahu may postpone presidential elections’, Times of Israel

Netanyahu was reported to be behind an initiative to advance legislation aimed at postponing the run for presidential elections for up to six months. Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein would fill in for President Peres when his term expires in July.

Opinion and Analysis

Iran Needs to Get Realistic About Enrichment, National Interest

According to Robert Einhorn, “Iran can achieve its declared goals in the negotiations—the lifting of sanctions and the preservation of a civil nuclear-energy program. It may even be able to reach an agreement that supports those goals before the interim deal expires. But first, it must adopt a more realistic position on the enrichment issue.”

When Israelis Teach Their Kids To Hate, Forward

Michael Kaplan laments the double standard that “Israeli children also learn to glorify and aspire toward violence, and — surprise, surprise — no one really seems to care.”

‘Price tag’ is Israel’s anti-Semitism, Ynet

Yizhar Hess asks, “Can we condemn anti-Semitism firmly, clearly, unequivocally – as it deserves – without turning our heads towards what is taking place in our own backyard?”