J Street News Roundup 7/7/2014

July 7th, 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

Enough, J Street Blog

In Israel, J Street U Deputy Director Sarah Turbow wrote, “Enough of all of this. It’s time to go back to work.”

Response to a Reform Rabbi Charging that I am “Valiantly Politically Correct”, Jewish Journal

J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove said that “Israel has no choice except to fight fire with fire if there is no alternative,” but Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin “knew there was no future for the state of Israel as a Jewish homeland and a democratic state if the killing did not stop.”

Presidents Conference Takes Tentative Steps to More Democratic Structure, Forward

In response to widespread criticism of its recent rejection of J Street, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is embarking on a path of reform that is expected to shift more power toward larger Jewish groups within its membership.

US Jews must save their people's honor, which Israel is putting at stake, Haaretz

Peter Beinart noted that the challenge to the American Jewish community is not “convincing [young American Jews] to question Israeli policy; they already do. The challenge is convincing them to care disproportionately about Israel at all.”

Top News and Analysis

Lieberman dissolves Likud-Beytenu Knesset partnership, Times of Israel

Foreign Minister Lieberman announced on Monday the breakup of the Knesset list his Yisrael Beitenu party shared with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party. Lieberman told reporters that recently, longstanding differences had become “essential, and no longer allow the existence of a shared framework.”

LIVE UPDATES: Seven Hamas men die in Gaza; Grad rocket strikes Be'er Sheva, Haaretz

Violent clashes continued throughout the country after six Israelis were arrested in connection to 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir's murder, which police believe has been carried out by Jewish extremists in revenge for the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens. Police said that three of the suspects have confessed to the crime. Meanwhile, Netanyahu phoned Abu Khdeir's father on Monday to promise that the attackers would be prosecuted. Overnight Sunday, Israel launched airstrikes across the Gaza Strip and nine Palestinian militants have been killed, including seven from Hamas. Gaza militants continued to fire rockets into Israel overnight, and one soldier was wounded by shrapnel Monday morning.

Iran eases demands for nuclear capacity at Vienna talks, Reuters

Western diplomats said that Iran has reduced demands for the size of its future nuclear enrichment program in talks with world powers although Western governments are urging Tehran to compromise further. The diplomats said that despite some movement from Iran it would not be easy to clinch a deal by their self-imposed deadline of July 20.

Martin Indyk Explains the Collapse of the Middle East Peace Process, Atlantic

Discussing his recent role as US Peace Envoy, Martin Indyk still argues that “there is no solution other than a two-state solution.”

The secret fruits of the peace talks, a future point of departure?, Haaretz

“Some think the still-secret framework document produced by nine months of talks might contain the basis for a future American peace plan,” reports Barak Ravid.

Lawless holy land, The New York Times

Roger Cohen warns, “This is the future. Absent a two-state peace agreement, revenge will win out over law.”


Netanyahu: Israel must show restraint in Gaza, Haaretz

Netanyahu said that Israel will do "everything possible" to restore security in the south. "We must act responsibly and with restraint” and avoid inflammatory rhetoric and brash actions.

Abbas urges Mashaal to stop Gaza escalation, Times of Israel

President Abbas spoke Saturday with the head of Hamas’s political wing, Khaled Mashaal, and asked him to take immediate steps to quell any further escalation of hostilities against Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Abbas calls for international investigation of ‘settler violence’, Times of Israel

During a meeting with UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry in Ramallah, Abbas called for an international investigation into attacks against Palestinians by Jewish settlers and Israeli security forces.

Defense minister calls for Jewish killers to be treated as terrorists, Times of Israel

Defense Minister Ya’alon condemned Abu Khdeir’s murder and said the suspects would be treated as severely as Arab terrorists. Economics Minister Naftali Bennett called the killing “terrible, immoral and anti-Jewish,” and echoed Ya’alon’s demand that the killers be prosecuted as terrorists. President Peres said, “The murder of a child is reprehensible, regardless of the religion or nationality of the child. It is our responsibility to secure life and to punish those who take it away from others.”

US Jewish groups ‘horrified’ at Jewish suspects in teen’s brutal killing, Times of Israel

Major US Jewish groups reacted with disgust to Abu Khdeir’s murder, while the State Department reiterated that it would continue to closely follow the condition of Abu Khdeir’s cousin, a 15-year-old Floridian arrested and allegedly beaten during protests Saturday.

Jewish group organizes visit with family of slain Arab teen, Times of Israel

A Jewish anti-racism group has arranged to visit Abu Khdeir’s family in East Jerusalem later on Tuesday to offer condolences. An uncle of Naftali Frankel, one of the slain Israeli teenagers, offered his condolences in a Sunday phone call to Abu Khdeir’s father.

Thousands protest ‘wave of hate’ in Tel Aviv, Times of Israel

Thousands of people marched in Israel last week to protest the “wave of hate” following a difficult week in Israel. The demonstration, organized by Peace Now, was held under the banner “Demonstration for Sanity — No to Revenge, No to Escalation.”

Mossad chief: Palestinian conflict top threat to Israel's security, not Iran, Haaretz

Mossad chief Tamir Pardo said that the biggest threat to Israel’s security is the conflict with the Palestinians and not Iran’s nuclear program.

James Baker: You can't force-feed peace to Israel or the Palestinians, Haaretz

Former Secretary of State James Baker said in an interview that the Israeli-Palestinian situation is a Catch-22, but that's no reason to give up.

IMF: Fund Palestinian unity government, Ynet

The International Monetary Fund praised the Palestinian Authority for cooperating with Israel and urged the international community to increase funding to prevent its collapse.

Settlers build 3 outposts in honor of slain teens, Times of Israel

Settlers established three new outposts in the West Bank overnight Thursday, in honor of the three murdered Israeli teenagers.

In Jerusalem neighborhood, an unlikely center of Palestinian grievance, Washington Post

As tensions rise, the delicate balance in East Jerusalem is falling apart.

Opinion and Analysis

What The US Should Learn From The Beating Of An American Citizen In Jerusalem, Think Progress

Matt Duss stresses that “as the Obama administration steps back from Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the wake of the collapse of the most recent round of talks in April, this current surge in violence should be seen as yet more evidence that the United States cannot simply feed the meter on this conflict. If left unresolved, it will continue to assert itself, unpredictably and tragically.”

The changing face of the Middle East presents new opportunities for Israeli-Palestinian peace, Haaretz

Yuval Diskin argues that “the turmoil in the area, together with the Quartet's desire to reshape the Middle East, make a regional arrangement all the more possible.”

Feels like a third intifada, but conditions are not ripe, Times of Israel

Elhanan Miller says, “A new Palestinian wave of violence is in the air, but a tired public and lack of bellicose leadership may prevent it from becoming a full-fledged uprising.”

Only Netanyahu Can Put Out the Fire, The New York Times

Shmuel Rosner urges, “Mr. Netanyahu must restrain the most hawkish members of his own cabinet and fight the extremists outside it. Because he himself is a hawkish leader who can’t be accused of bias against the right, Mr. Netanyahu is just the man for the job.”

Netanyahu and Abbas: The odd couple, Haaretz

Ari Shavit writes, “The odd couple of Netanyahu and Abbas must do everything they can to preserve their one and only achievement: stability.”

The United States should help close gaps between Israelis and Palestinians, Washington Post

Dennis Ross suggests interim steps to prevent Israeli-Palestinian tensions from escalating.