J Street News Roundup 7/11/2014

July 11th, 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.

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J Street in the News

Remaining Senate support for PA unity erodes in face of rockets, Times of Israel

“As senators submitted a bipartisan resolution in support of Israel’s right to defend its citizens in the face of rocket attacks, [Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)] hosted Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer and Defense Attaché Major General Yaacob Ayish for a briefing on the ongoing IDF operations against terror targets in Gaza… Kaine, who is considered a progressive Democrat and is on J Street’s list of endorsed candidates, wrote in a statement after the briefing that ‘the deteriorating situation in Gaza is one of grave concern.’ ‘I support Israel’s right to defend itself against unprovoked rocket attacks launched by Hamas and other terrorist organizations,’ he continued. ‘I grieve for the Israeli and Palestinian citizens – especially the young – who live and die under constant security threats.’”

Speak Tenderly to Jerusalem, Jewish Journal

Regarding the shifting situation in Israel and Gaza, J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove wrote, “Now is not the time to rebuke. Now is the time to offer our love and support.”

The Day Before and the Day After, Times of Israel

J Street Northern New Jersey Communications Co-Chair Martin Levine urged, “In dealing with the current crisis, Israel must make choices not based only on what is effective militarily, but also on what will minimize escalation of the crisis and what will end it sooner.”

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: Hamas attempts to fire rockets at Ben-Gurion airport, Haaretz

As Operation Protective Edge entered its fourth day, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded at an Ashdod gas station, severely injuring one and wounding two others. For the first time, a missile was fired at Haifa, though no casualties were reported. Meanwhile, the IDF struck 50 targets in Gaza overnight. Twenty-six Palestinians were killed in airstrikes on Thursday, bringing the death toll to over 90 – most of them children, women and the elderly – with nearly 600 injured. Two Israeli soldiers  have been wounded, one severely, by a mortar shell that landed in Eshkol Regional Council.

Washington trying to prevent ground operation in Gaza, Haaretz

A senior US official said that Washington is trying to convince Israel to hold off on a ground operation in the Gaza Strip and let it try to arrange a cease-fire instead. In a call with Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Obama warned against "further escalation and emphasized the need for all sides to do everything they can to protect the lives of civilians and restore calm.” Over the past two days, Secretary of State Kerry has held three telephone conversations with Netanyahu and additional conversations with President Abbas and the foreign minister of Qatar, the country where the head of Hamas’ political bureau, Khaled Meshal, currently lives. In addition, Obama’s top aide for Middle Eastern affairs, Philip Gordon, held meetings on Wednesday with senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem and with Abbas in Ramallah to discuss a cease-fire.

Kerry to Join Talks on Iran as Deadline Draws Near, The New York Times

With the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear activities making halting progress at best and a deadline looming, the Obama administration announced Thursday that Kerry would fly to Vienna this weekend to assess whether a deal is possible — and perhaps to begin negotiating an extension in the talks that both sides said they had wanted to avoid.

How Israel should deal with Hamas, Telegraph

Labor MK Hilik Bar argues that a credible peace plan can weaken Hamas and other rejectionists more than airstrikes ever could.


Cabinet meeting ends without announcement on ground op, Times of Israel

A meeting of the security cabinet on Thursday evening ended without word on a possible ground operation in the Gaza Strip, although Netanyahu warned that “more stages” could be expected in Operation Protective Edge.

PA, at US request, pushes Hamas in vain to end rocket fire, Times of Israel

At the request of the US, officials from the Palestinian Authority approached Hamas to try to broker a ceasefire deal, to no avail.

Blair: Israel won’t be able to destroy Hamas, Ynet

Quartet Representative Tony Blair warned, “There won't be a destruction of Hamas... [Israel] won't destroy Hamas as a political entity… what I do know is that will only happen if it happens within the context of a way forward, particularly for the people of Gaza, that gives them some hope for the future, because in the end a political movement like that has support on the ground, and you need to shift ... take away that support."

Israel's 'Iron Dome' changes the face of battle, Associated Press

Israel's "Iron Dome" defense system has emerged as a game-changer in the current round of violence with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, shooting down dozens of incoming rockets and being credited with preventing numerous civilian casualties.

Israeli Rocket Defense System Is Failing, Expert Analysts Say, MIT Technology Review

Although it appears to hit incoming Hamas rockets, Iron Dome could be falling short of detonating the rockets’ warheads.

In Tel Aviv, business is still business — for now, Times of Israel

Rockets are flying in the direction of Tel Aviv and other areas once thought out of range of Gaza terrorists, but for now, business is still busines.

Hamas tells Gazans to ignore IDF’s call to leave border area, Times of Israel

The IDF on Thursday warned some 100,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of impending military action and called on them to leave their homes to avoid danger, but Hamas told them to stay put.

Israel Says Death Of Eight Members Of The Kaware Family Is A “Tragic Mistake”, Buzzfeed

The killing of eight members of the Kaware family, six of them children, in Gaza was a “tragic mistake,” said Israeli military officials on Thursday.

Knesset Member Walks Back On Facebook Post Calling Palestinian Kids ‘Little Snakes’, Daily Beast

HaBayit HaYehudi MK Ayelet Shaked has tried to walk back on a shared post calling Palestinian kids “little snakes.”

Opinion and Analysis

Ending the cycle, Jerusalem Post

Gershon Baskin says that “force alone will never be a proper response to human suffering.”

Gaza vs. Israel: The never-ending rematch, Haaretz

“Even if we set aside the damage and forget the dead, if we remain incurious about the impact both might have on our enemy’s will to compromise – even if all we consider is sheer efficacy – how can we look at this history and believe that repeating past failures will keep the Jewish State safe?,” asks Emily Hauser.

Empathy Is Essential to Humanity, Huffington Post

“Only a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians can eliminate this violence we have inherited from our parents,” argues Tala Haikal.

The Gaza rules, Slate

William Saletan emphasizes that “Israel has gone to great lengths to minimize civilian deaths.”

In the Jerusalem Mourning Tent For a Murdered Teen, American Prospect

Gershom Gorenberg recounts his visit to the family of Muhammad Abu-Khdeir, killed by Israeli extremists last week.


Why Jews in Israel and Diaspora Share Fate, Forward

According to the Forward editorial board, “While the gap in lived experience [between Israeli and Diaspora Jews] cannot be ignored, the belief that our fates are interwined remains as strong as ever.”

Ensuring nuclear fuel for Iran could put the country in a box, Washington Post

George Perkovich suggests a possible compromise for P5+1 negotiations with Iran.

An Open Letter To The Israelis And Palestinians, Alonben-meir.com

“You, Israelis and Palestinians of conscience, must now raise your voices and be heard loud and clear,” writes Alon Ben-Meir. “Enough is enough, no more bloodshed, no more waste of precious lives, no more tears and heartbroken mothers and fathers. The time has come for you to strive for peace as the continuation of conflict will never yield a winner but mutual death and destruction. There is no glory, no heroism, no dignity and no martyrdom in death, when peace is within your grasp.”