J Street News Roundup 8/11/2014

August 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.

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Please email newsroundup@jstreet.org

J Street in the News

Difficult Questions and Hard Truths, J Street Blog

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami wrote, “Even when the guns of war fall silent, the occupation continues, and the underlying conflict remains unresolved. Our work for peace – rooted in the two-state solution – must move forward with ever greater urgency.”

Are millennials turning away from Israel?, The Hill

J Street U Director Ira Stup noted that “young Americans have grown up with Israel as an incredible superpower in the region, and with occupation and intifada… Young Americans often have a vision of Israel vis-a-vis Palestine that is more in line with what is going on now.”

Rebooting After a Ceasefire, Jewish Journal

J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove urged, “Israel and moderate Palestinians need to reboot after a ceasefire is attained, and get back to the negotiating table with the support of the United States, the Arab League and the Quartet.”

Report from Our Summer Intern in Israel, Partners for Progressive Israel

In Israel, J Street U Wesleyan Co-Chair Emily Greenspan said, “As much as I hate the bloodshed and the ignorance that is tearing apart the land I love, I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else this summer.”

Why the Israel lobby's grip on US politics may be waning, Al Jazeera America

Zaid Jilani mentioned J Street in his examination of pro-Israel lobbying in the US.

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: Israeli delegation arrives in Cairo for truce talks, Haaretz

A 72-hour ceasefire agreed upon by Israel and Hamas took effect at midnight Sunday night, while an Israeli delegation arrived in Cairo to continue indirect negotiations for a more permanent truce with Palestinian factions. Israel had previously announced it would not negotiate under fire. The head of the Palestinian delegation, Azzam Ahmed, said Sunday that unless Israel agreed to return to the talks without preconditions, the delegation would leave Cairo. Israel struck more than 25 targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday and some 60 the day before. Rocket fire from Gaza toward Israeli communities persisted until minutes before the ceasefire began.

Obama on the world, The New York Times

President Obama tells Thomas Friedman, “In some ways, [Prime Minister Netanyahu] is too strong [and] in some ways [President Abbas] is too weak to bring them together and make the kinds of bold decisions that Sadat or Begin or Rabin were willing to make. It’s going to require leadership among both the Palestinians and the Israelis to look beyond tomorrow… And that’s the hardest thing for politicians to do is to take the long view on things.”

Hillary Clinton: 'Failure' to Help Syrian Rebels Led to the Rise of ISIS, Atlantic

In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, Hillary Clinton backed Israel’s right to defend itself, criticized the international community for its “uncalled for and unfair” response to the Gaza crisis, and discussed her involvement in past peace negotiations.

Peace in the Mideast will come only with international help, Washington Post

“The current Israeli and Palestinian leadership may not see a way out, but I refuse to see endless conflict as a fait accompli,” says Daniel Kurtzer. “There is a pathway forward that could translate the fighting in Gaza into something meaningful and positive. Lasting peace demands a creative, multipronged approach."

Will the Voices of Conscience Be Heard?, The New York Times

Roger Cohen writes, “It will take immense courage now for Israelis who wrestle with their consciences to raise their voices for a two-state peace — and just as much for Palestinians to engage in open self-criticism of disastrous choices. The next time hundreds of thousands of Israelis take to the streets for cheap housing, they should draw a connection between that demand and the billions spent on the occupation. An Israeli zealot killed Yitzhak Rabin. He cannot be allowed to kill Rabin’s last endeavor.”


West Bank gunman shot dead in standoff with Israeli border police, Haaretz

A Palestinian gunman was killed on Monday morning in a standoff with Israeli forces at his home near Nablus, in the West Bank.

Livni presents plan to end conflict with Hamas, restart talks with PA, Times of Israel

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni presented Netanyahu on Friday with a diplomatic proposal to end the fighting in Gaza while restarting peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.

'Hamas should focus on independence, not ports', Haaretz

Conflicting reports came in from Cairo of a Palestinian draft agreement to be presented to Israel late Saturday. A Palestinian official said that as part of the agreement, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority would take control of the Rafah Crossing. Hamas' demand of opening a sea port in Gaza would be postponed and deferred to the PA, which would in turn negotiate the matter with Israel. Meanwhile, a senior Palestinian official criticized Hamas for setting conditions for a ceasefire - such as a sea port or an airport – instead of insisting on a formula that would lead to a Palestinian state.

Palestinians threaten Israel with war crimes trials, Times of Israel

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki again threatened to bring Israelis before the International Court of Justice for alleged war crimes.

Netanyahu, defense chief call for patience in Gaza op, Times of Israel

Netanyahu declared Sunday that the IDF operation against Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza would continue, and said Israelis should not expect a quick conclusion to the fighting.

Israeli ministers complain of being left in the dark over truce talks, Haaretz

Few cabinet ministers were consulted before the new ceasefire was agreed to.

Israel may need to retake parts of Gaza, ex-security adviser says, Times of Israel

Former Israeli national security advisor Yaakov Amidror said that Abbas is too weak to regain control over Gaza, leaving Israel with the option of either recapturing part of the Strip or learning to live with a low-level war of attrition.

Palestinian sources: Teens’ killing planned, funded by Hamas, Times of Israel

The brother of a Palestinian man arrested as the ringleader of a terror cell that kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teens in June, suspected of funding the attack, has fostered deep Hamas ties since being deported to Gaza, Palestinian security sources said.

Hamas said to obtain cash for salaries in Gaza, Times of Israel

Hamas has reportedly managed to bring millions of dollars into the Gaza Strip to pay the salaries of thousands of workers.

11-year-old boy killed in West Bank, Palestinians say, AFP

An 11-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli troops in the southern West Bank on Sunday. It followed two consecutive days of clashes in the area between Israeli troops and Palestinians protesting against Israel’s ongoing operation in the Gaza Strip.

Ten to face charges in assault of East Jerusalem Arabs, Haaretz

Ten Israeli suspects, including three minors, are to be indicted Monday in the July 25 beating of two young Palestinian men in Jerusalem.

Violent incidents against Jews in East Jerusalem double since Abu Khdeir murder, Haaretz

Jews living in the Arab areas of East Jerusalem have faced a sharp increase in violence since the murder of Arab teen Muhammad Abu Khdeir of Jerusalem’s Shoafat neighborhood about six weeks ago.

Jordan’s king slams Israel for Gaza assault, ignores Hamas, Times of Israel

In an interview in which he made no mention of Hamas, Jordan’s King Abdullah II urged the world to hold Israel accountable for what he termed a bloody, devastating “wide-scale assault.”

Thousands rally for Hamas in Jordan, Reuters

More than 15,000 Muslim Brotherhood supporters gathered at a pro-Hamas rally in Jordan's capital on Friday, with many chanting "death to Israel" and urging the militant Palestinian group to step up rocket salvos against Israeli towns and cities.

Opinion and Analysis

What Israel Must Do Now, Slate

Gershon Baskin proposes that Israel can weaken Hamas by teaming up with the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and other regional powers.

Regional cooperation could be ray of hope for Israelis, Haaretz

“Moderate Arab nations and Israel have a common enemy: radical Islam. Our politicians must finally take the Arab League’s 2002 peace initiative seriously and combat the threat together,” says Carlo Strenger.

In Palestine, resistance more popular than negotiations, Al-Monitor

According to Uri Savir, while Palestinian leaders in the West Bank are concerned about the radicalizing effect that the Gaza crisis has had on the Palestinian public, they may see a way forward for a “transitory agreement” with Israel.

Fear, fatalism or support: Why isn’t Gaza revolting against Hamas?, Times of Israel

Elhanan Miller reports that “experts are divided on whether fear of Hamas, anger at Israel, or the lack of alternatives is keeping Gazans quiescent.”

Hamas could have chosen peace. Instead, it made Gaza suffer, Washington Post

Dennis Ross contends that “diplomacy after this recent conflict must foster tangible changes on the ground, not promise a vision that is unachievable.

Diplomacy Is Primary, New York Jewish Week

J Street New York City Co-Chair Talia Benamy writes in a letter that “by engaging in sincere diplomacy that promotes and supports moderate
 Palestinian factions, Israel can at least attempt to help pave the way toward
 peace, and it can try to avoid the need for more war.”

How To Filter News Updates On Operation Protective Edge (And How To Avoid Having To Name Another War), Bumpspot

Jeff Pozmantier warns that “while Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other allied militant groups can’t defeat Israel militarily and Israel is fully capable of continuing to manage their threats, Israel’s future is far less bright if it tries to survive and thrive as a fortress nation.”