J Street News Roundup 7/24/2014

July 24th, 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

A Rabbi's Thoughts From Israel: The Disgusting Irony of the Current Crisis, J Street Blog

In Israel, J Street Rabbinic Director Rabbi Jonah Geffen wrote, “The most striking element of this entire situation is the utter brutality of it all. The destruction of human bodies, torn apart by the machines of war. The wailing of the survivors as the reality of their loss becomes apparent. It is all so very human, so real. Real people are suffering, not simply images on screens. Real people who laughed and loved, who thought, who wrote, who ate and drank. Our work is to never, ever, lose sight of that humanity.”

Gordis Rant on J Street Patently False, Times of Israel

J Street Vice President of Communications Alan Elsner responded to falsehoods in Daniel Gordis’ recent piece about J Street.

What British Jews really think about the Gaza conflict, Guardian

Keith Kahn-Harris noted that the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” Yachad “occupies similar territory to J Street in the US.”

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: From Cairo, Kerry pressing Qatar and Turkey to win Hamas backing for truce, Haaretz

Israel entered the 17th day of its operation in the Gaza Strip on Thursday after a night of calm on the Israeli side, with only one rocket fired overnight at border towns. The rocket fire resumed over the course of the morning, with mass barrages fired at the south and at Tel Aviv and its northern environs. The Israel Defense Forces struck 35 targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, killing 23 Palestinians. bringing the Palestinian death toll to 736. The Israeli death toll stands at 32 soldiers and three civilians.

Secretary of State Kerry returned to Cairo late Wednesday to continue cease-fire negotiations, after a lightning visit to Israel, where his meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas failed to yield a breakthrough. The UN human rights council in Geneva decided Wednesday to form an international commission of inquiry for alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza. Meanwhile, the US Federal Aviation Administration early Thursday lifted the ban it placed on all US flights to and from Israel.    

Hope in the Abattoir, The New York Times

“Nobody is going away,” says Roger Cohen. “The peoples of the Holy Land are condemned to each other. Without that realization, any truce, even any demilitarization of Gaza, will only be a way station to the next round of slaughter. That’s the likely but not inevitable scenario. Impossible things do happen.”

Israel’s best weapon against Hamas: Giving the Palestinians hope, Haaretz

Peter Beinart argues, “Israel’s best long-term strategy against Palestinian violence is Palestinian hope. Unfortunately, as effective as Benjamin Netanyahu has been at destroying Palestinian rockets, he’s been even more effective at destroying that.”

Humans of Gaza, Humans of Tel Aviv, Haaretz

Josie Glausiusz writes that she does not “want my children to grow up to kill or be killed in a senseless war that has no end.”


US seeks longer-term exit strategy for Gaza war, Al-Monitor

As Kerry shuttled through the Middle East to discuss how to bring an end to the war in Gaza, US officials voiced support for a longer-term plan, beyond a cease-fire, to exit the cycle of conflict between Israel and Hamas, the third in just six years.

In defiant speech, Mashaal denies ceasefire close, Times of Israel

In a defiant appearance broadcast live from Qatar, Hamas’s political leader Khaled Mashaal said Wednesday evening that his Islamist movement would not agree to an interim ceasefire in Gaza followed by negotiations on its demands, as proposed by Abbas.

Rockets found at UN Gaza school ‘have gone missing’, Associated Press

The UN secretary-general said he was “alarmed” to hear that rockets were placed in a UN-run school in Gaza and now “have gone missing,” and he demanded a full review of such incidents.

US senators push for end to Hamas threat in ceasefire, Associated Press

US Senate lawmakers insisted on Wednesday that any viable cease-fire between Israel and Hamas militants must eliminate the threat posed by Hamas rockets and tunnels.

Obama administration presses for $225M addition to Iron Dome funding, JTA

The Obama administration asked Congress to fast-track Israel’s request for an additional $225 million for the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Israelis call out racists, those who want soldiers dead, Times of Israel

In what seems to be a full-fledged online battle between opposing ideologues, social media activists on all sides of the political spectrum have engaged in a fierce, unprecedented campaign aimed at publicly exposing internet users who have voiced what they deem to be hateful, racist or inflammatory comments online.

Opinion and Analysis

Self-Defense or Atrocities in Gaza?, The New York Times

Ami Ayalon, Daniel Levy, George Bisharat, Amos Guiora, Ghada Ageel, Elizabeth Tsurkov and Gershon Baskin examine whether “Israel’s actions [are] appropriate and necessary self-defense in the face of an enemy that won’t be peaceful, or… immoral and out of proportion to any threat?”

This Is Your Brain on War: A Dispatch From Jerusalem, American Prospect

Gershom Gorenberg argues, “If all-too-human blindness to alternatives has led us into this tragedy, the proper response isn't despair. It's to look for better options, for diplomatic opportunities, that are being ignored right now.”

Worried, weakened Abbas shows Hamas some love, Times of Israel

Avi Issacharoff discusses Abbas’ weakened position amid the crisis in Gaza.

Is the American media biased in favor of Israel?, Vox.com

“American public opinion toward Israel is a complicated phenomenon with many drivers, and it is possible that media coverage plays into it, but it seems far likelier that… preexisting ‘pro-Israel’ attitudes among American public opinion are nudging media coverage in the same direction,” writes Max Fisher.

Obsessing About Gaza, Ignoring Syria (And Most Everything Else), Atlantic

Jeffrey Goldberg explores why the Gaza war is drawing so much media attention.

Hamas is destroying Gaza, Slate

William Saletan says that Hamas is “trading Palestinian blood for political ambitions it foolishly expects to achieve through war.”

The US should push for the disarming of Hamas in Gaza-Israel cease-fire, Washington Post

According to the Washington Post editorial board, “Any political accord should come after a cease-fire and be negotiated with the Palestinian leadership of Mahmoud Abbas. It should link opening of the borders and other economic concessions to the return to Gaza of the security forces of the Palestinian Authority, the disarmament of Hamas and elections for a new government.”

Anti-Semitism has no place in Palestine advocacy, +972

Yasmeen Serhan stresses that “acts of violence simply have no place in Palestinian advocacy.”