J Street News Roundup 8/12/2014

August 12th, 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

Liberal Jews who love Israel, get on a plane, Haaretz

J Street Rabbinic Director Rabbi Jonah Geffen urged liberal American Jews who feel helpless during this crisis to visit Israel.

Sympathy For Both Sides Does Not Betray Israel, New York Jewish Week

Recalling her time in Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense, J Street Wash U Co-Chair Ruby Ritchin wrote, “Now is the time to recognize the need for a permanent end to this madness. I urge us to recognize that this way of life is not sustainable and not acceptable, and that we must work towards an end to violence and fear for both Israelis and Palestinians, an end that will come only through negotiated political agreements.”

Criticizing Israel, Slate

In conversation with Emily Bazelon, Shmuel Rosner noted that neither J Street, nor Israel’s Labor party or Israeli novelist Amos Oz have opposed Israel’s operation in Gaza.

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: Palestinian sources: Truce may be extended 72 more hours, Haaretz

A three-day ceasefire in Gaza hit the midpoint on Tuesday as talks of a more permanent truce between Israel and the Palestinians appeared to be stalled. A senior Israeli official made clear that large gaps between the sides remain. Palestinian sources said that the ceasefire would likely be extended by another 72 hours, though if progress was not reached in the next few hours, there would be no point in extending the truce. Israeli ministers have been informed that a cabinet meeting on the truce talks, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, has been canceled.

Israel prepared to ease conditions in Gaza to reach truce, Haaretz

An Egyptian source reported that 95 percent of the problems raised in negotiations over a ceasefire have been solved. Israel is said to have agreed to expand the fishing zone off Gaza from three nautical miles to six, and then to 12 if security permits; ease passage for people from Gaza to Israel and the West Bank; significantly increase the number of trucks with various merchandise that can enter Israel from Gaza; and allow money to be brought into Gaza to pay the salaries of Hamas officials through a third country that is not Qatar or through the UN. The transfer of the funds would be monitored so it is not used to finance terror. Israel also may be willing to release Hamas prisoners in exchange for the remains of Israeli soldiers. No breakthrough is expected regarding the demilitarization of Gaza.

Lapid: Gaza aid should be tied to restored PA rule, Associated Press

Finance Minister Yair Lapid called on the international community to pull together a massive aid package for Gaza conditioned on the Palestinian Authority returning to power in place of Hamas. Lapid’s office announced he would convene an international conference on demilitarizing Gaza and returning control to the PA, with the help of Egypt, Israel, the US, the PA, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, “Gulf States” and representatives of the Quartet for Mideast Peace.


UN Names Panel to Investigate War Crimes in Gaza; Israel Slams It, The New York Times

The UN on Monday named experts to an international commission of inquiry into possible human rights violations and war crimes committed by both sides during Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip. Israel, however, dismissed the inquiry as a UN Human Rights Council "kangaroo court.”

Palestinian delegation chief: Hamas rule in Gaza is over, Times of Israel

Progress is being made in the indirect talks between Israel and Hamas in Cairo “but the gaps are still wide,” the head of the Palestinian delegation, Azzam Al-Ahmad, said Tuesday. “There’s a possibility that we’ll reach an overall full agreement, but we still have a long way to go.”

Bennett: Giving Hamas money in exchange for quiet is 'political extortion', Jerusalem Post

Israeli right-wing politicians have begun to speak out against making any concessions to Hamas.

IDF to test tunnel detection system on Gaza border, Haaretz

The Israel Defense Forces in the near future will deploy a tunnel detection system on the border of the Gaza Strip, as part of an operational experiment to examine whether a technological solution could discover the digging of tunnels.

Chief suspect in Abu Khdeir murder: We regretted the killing afterward, Haaretz

The transcript of the interrogation of Yosef Haim Ben-David, the main suspect in the July murder of Israeli Arab teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir, sheds new light on the incident that continues to stir tensions in Jerusalem.

Opinion and Analysis

Livni and Lapid should back Palestinian unity government, Al-Monitor

According to Akiva Eldar, “Lapid and [Justice Minister Tzipi] Livni should bring a proposal to the Cabinet that would simultaneously end the fighting in Gaza, shrink Hamas, boost Mahmoud Abbas as the one person who can mend the Gaza Strip and rescue the diplomatic process.”

Israel’s new lawyer: Hillary Clinton, Haaretz

Peter Beinart challenges some of Hillary Clinton’s assertions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A costly victory for Israel, Baltimore Sun

Caroline Poplin argues, “The only way to stop the rockets permanently is to negotiate a fair agreement with moderate Palestinians while there still are some, with rock-solid security guarantees from the US while they are still available.”

New Israeli vision: where Palestinians are equal and not separate, Haaretz

“Everywhere I go,” writes Nir Baram, “I hear words of despair mixed with the heartbeat of life, the recognition of defeat alongside a determination to fight this time. It is highly conceivable that a realization is crystallizing that the decisive moment has arrived, and if a substantial enough group in Israel still believes in change and is prepared to fight for it – then the time to act is now.”

How To Talk to a 10-Year-Old About Gaza, Forward

Leigh Shulman admits that “politics and partisanship fall away when I have to look into my daughter’s eyes and explain why four boys her age were killed.”

I went to peace camp in the middle of a war, Haaretz

Having just returned from a pro-peace summer camp with Israelis, Palestinians and Americans, fifteen-year-old Iddo Schejter writes, “In wartime, I learned that it if you want peace, then you have to bring people together.”

Defeating Hamas Will Not Solve Israel's Problem, Forward

“Defeating Hamas is not going to resolve Israel’s core challenge, the question of Palestinian nationalism,” warns Jeremy Pressman.

What does Israel really expect to get out of the Cairo talks?, Times of Israel

Raphael Ahren examines Israel’s strategy in the truce talks.