J Street News Roundup 7/16/2014

July 16th, 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

J Street Condemns Hamas' Rejection of Ceasefire, J Street Blog

J Street condemned Hamas' rejection of a proposed ceasefire with Israel, which the Israeli government accepted, and urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to resist pressure from hardliners in the government. It expressed hope that the United States will continue to work with the Egyptians and other regional players to bring this violence to an end as soon as possible.

Anger, frustration, disapproval and anguish, J Street Blog

J Street Israel Program Associate Sarah Groner shared her personal reflections on the current crisis.

The Tragic Irony of Air Raid Sirens at the Haaretz Conference, Times of Israel

“As sirens echo across Tel Aviv and Israel contemplates the efficacy of a ground invasion, there has never been a more important time to push for a peace agreement,” wrote J Street Communications Associate Aaron Zucker. “Nothing would deal a more crippling blow to Hamas and what it stands for.”

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: Israeli army: Three terrorists assassinated in targeted strike, Haaretz

Hamas rocket fire resumed early Wednesday morning, after a relatively quiet night in Israel's south. Since Operation Protective Edge began nine days ago, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have fired more than 1,215 rockets and mortars at Israel, reaching the length and breadth of the country, killing one Israeli and sending millions into bomb shelters. Meanwhile, Israel has launched more than 1,825 air strikes in Gaza, killing over 200 Palestinians and wounding more than 1,100--most of them civilians. Israel's security cabinet convened last night, after accepting an Egyptian cease-fire proposal which Hamas rejected.

Hamas proposes 10-year cease-fire in return for conditions being met, Jerusalem Post

Hamas has reportedly proposed a ten year end to hostilities if Israel meets its demands, which include the release of re-arrested prisoners who were let go in the Gilad Shalit deal, the opening of Gaza-Israel border crossings, and international supervision of the Gazan seaport in place of the current Israeli blockade.

Kerry, Zarif suggest Iran nuclear deal may take more time, Al-Monitor

Secretary of State Kerry said in Vienna that there has been “tangible progress" made in marathon Iran nuclear talks, but gaps remain, and he would be returning to Washington to consult with President Obama and Congress about the way forward, including the possibility of extending the talks.

Republicans eye new Iran sanctions, Al-Monitor

Reacting to Kerry’s acknowledgment that negotiators may well need an extension, lawmakers in both the House and Senate began to make the case for punitive action as soon as the July 20 deadline is reached. While some called for an up-or-down vote on the deal, others argued for reinstating suspended sanctions or even enacting new ones.

Keep talking to Iran, Bloomberg

The Bloomberg editorial board argues, “Talks that freeze Iran's enrichment program for now, and that could in the long term minimize the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, are surely worth few more months.”

Order vs. Disorder, Part 2, The New York Times

Thomas Friedman contends that “The only sustainable way to [stop Hamas] is by Israel partnering with moderate Palestinians in the West Bank to build a thriving state there, so Gaza Palestinians wake up every day and say to the nihilistic Hamas: ‘We want what our West Bank cousins have.’”


Israeli civilian killed by Gaza mortar fire named as Dror Khenin, 37, Haaretz

Dror Khenin, 37, became the first Israeli to die from Hamas fire on Tuesday when he succumbed to critical wounds from mortar shell shrapnel at the Gaza border.

Hawkish Danon fired for opposing Netanyahu's acceptance of Gaza truce, Haaretz

Netanyahu fired Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon on Tuesday night over the latter's publicly declared opposition to cabinet's decision to accept a cease-fire with Hamas.

Undermining PM, Lieberman calls to retake Gaza, denounces truce efforts, Times of Israel

Foreign Minister Lieberman criticized Israeli ministers for accepting the ceasefire and called on Israel to recapture Gaza, asserting that a truce would merely allow Hamas to replenish its stock and build more rockets.

Behind the scenes of the short-lived cease-fire, Haaretz

While the Egyptians hammered out a deal with Netanyahu, Hamas and most of the Israeli cabinet were kept out of the loop.

Gazans, Desiring Deep Change, Are Ambivalent on Egypt Cease-Fire Plan, The New York Times

Many Gazans say they are torn between desperately wanting an end to the current round of bombings and a growing conviction that they cannot return to the way things once were. Even Hamas’s many opponents generally support its demands that Israel release prisoners, and along with Egypt, lift border restrictions that have gutted a weak economy.

Israel's Peres defends airstrikes, Associated Press

President Peres said that the killing of Palestinian civilians by air raids on Gaza presents a moral dilemma, but argued there is scant alternative as long as the Islamic militants who rule the strip refuse to stop sustained rocket fire against Israel.

Hamas 'not the worst option' says former Mossad head, Haaretz

Former Mossad head Efraim Halevy  said that "there are worse options than Hamas," adding that Israel should negotiate with Hamas, as it has been doing for years.

New Poll: A Large Majority Of Americans Favor Making A Nuclear Deal With Iran, Think Progress

A new poll has found that a majority of Americans favors a final nuclear deal with Iran that provides sanctions relief and a limited civilian nuclear program coupled with a strict verification and monitoring component to assure that Iran does not produce nuclear weapons.

Opinion and Analysis

Gaza Public Rejects Hamas, Wants Ceasefire, Washington Institute for Near East Policy

According to David Pollock, polls show that “most Gazans oppose Hamas policies and leaders alike, and favor a ceasefire with Israel.”

Why Hamas' military wing scuttled a ceasefire with Israel, Vox

Zachary Beauchamp suggests that Hamas’ rejection of the ceasefire may come down to divisions between its military and political wings.

Jerusalem, a city ripping apart, Haaretz

“The irony is that the politicians who speak in mythic phrases about a politically unified Jerusalem seem to know very little about the actual Jerusalem, messy and beautiful, where lives zigzag across the political fault line, and to care even less about how their words have helped tear it apart,” writes Gershom Gorenberg.

Palestinian-American gets short shrift from Congress member, The Hill

Tamara Essayyad, cousin of Tariq Abu Khdeir, a US citizen who was beaten by Israeli police, makes the case that Palestinian-Americans are marginalized by the US-Israel relationship.

Israel, Let’s Not Become Europe, Where Hate Is on the Rise, Tablet

Yair Rosenberg implores, “For a Jewish state to be worthy of its name, it must embody the lessons of Jewish history and measure up to the dictates of the Jewish conscience. This is not a standard to which the world can or should hold Israel, but it is one that we Jews must always strive to uphold—especially at a time when much of the world is not granting Jews the same courtesy.”