J Street News Roundup 8/14/2014

August 14th, 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

Cuomo, Visiting Israel, Joins Growing US List, The New York Times

“Two weeks ago, J Street, which was established as a more liberal alternative to Aipac, sent an ‘emergency mission’ of 15 members of its executive board, including student leaders, to show support to Israel ‘and all victims who are suffering from this horrible crisis.’”

Fox News First, Fox News

“[The New Hampshire Republican Party is calling on] Senator Jeanne Shaheen [D-NH] and Representatives Carol Shea-Porter [D-NH] and Ann Kuster [D-NH] to return thousands of dollars in contributions received from a liberal, self-described pro-Israeli advocacy group and political action committee that has been labeled ‘radical’ by conservatives and ‘well-respected’ by a top state Democrat.”

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: Palestinian delegation leaves Cairo for internal consultations, Haaretz

The Israeli army struck targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire, after the parties agreed to extend the temporary ceasefire for another five days. Israeli and Hamas officials disputed who had broken the calm. To coordinate the Palestinian stance around a final ceasefire draft, Fatah representatives will return to Ramallah to consult with President Abbas, while Islamic Jihad representatives will meet with their leader in Beirut and Hamas representatives will meet with Khaled Meshal in Doha. The Israeli security cabinet will meet to discuss ceasefire negotiations later this afternoon.

Israeli official confirms US nixed arms sale; PM blamed for icy ties, Times of Israel

A senior Israeli official confirmed that the US had suspended a shipment of Hellfire missiles to Israel amid worsening ties over fighting in Gaza. The White House and State Department were said to have been angered by a transfer of arms to Israel and had ordered greater oversight into future sales. The accounts sparked an internal debate between Israeli politicians.

Signs of fascism in Israel reached new peak during Gaza op, says renowned scholar, Haaretz

Israel Prize laureate and renowned scholar Zeev Sternhell said he fears the collapse of Israeli democracy, and compares the current atmosphere with that of 1940s’ France. He warned that the time we have left to reverse this frightening trend is running out.

A Plea for Empathy and Moderation in the Middle East, Atlantic

“Ultimately, Palestinians and Israelis both want their children to live in peace and enjoy the kind of normal life that can only be achieved by peace,” writes Mohammad Dajani Daoudi. “This is the direction leaders should take—to lead us from conflict to peace, from despair to hope, and from intolerance to reconciliation.”


Israeli source says Hamas's Mashaal torpedoing long-term truce, Jerusalem Post

Israeli diplomatic sources said that Mashaal has been the central force preventing a long-term truce between Israel and the Palestinians.

Palestinians blast ‘terrible’ Israeli ceasefire proposal, Times of Israel

Palestinian negotiators in Cairo called the Israeli proposal for a permanent agreement “terrible,” claiming that that Israel conditioned the expansion of activity in its border crossings with the Gaza Strip on a detailed agreement with the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas, and has refused to provide a timetable for their opening. The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt is reportedly not mentioned in the Israeli paper, nor is payment of Hamas employee salaries.

Ministers fume over lack of updates from PM, Times of Israel

Israeli ministers expressed outrage Wednesday night for not being updated on the extension of the Gaza truce by five days until some time after the new truce came into effect.

Peres: Gaza rockets make future West Bank pullout harder to justify, Haaretz

Former President Peres expressed concern that the Hamas rocket fire from Gaza has made it difficult to justify a similar withdrawal from the West Bank.

Steinitz: No gov't will make diplomatic concessions to Palestinians without Gaza demilitarization, Jerusalem Post

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said that no Israeli government will consider any concessions or a peace settlement unless the Gaza Strip is demilitarized.

Israeli army's Gaza inquiry meant to head off calls for war crimes probe, Haaretz

The IDF is investigating dozens of exceptional cases, mostly incidents in which Palestinian civilians were killed, that occurred during the hostilities in Gaza. Besides drawing conclusions and clarifying whether some decision-making was negligent, the quick investigative process, which was launched early in the current round of fighting, was meant to help head off demands for an international inquiry into claims that Israel committed war crimes.

B’Tselem loses Supreme Court bid to broadcast names of children killed in Gaza, Haaretz

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by the NGO B’Tselem against the Israel Broadcast Authority’s decision not to approve a broadcast of the names of Palestinian children killed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. The justices decided that the broadcast in question is of a political nature, and goes beyond providing information free of context.

Jewish groups accuse UN chief of being one-sided, Associated Press

Leaders of Jewish organizations on Wednesday accused UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of being one-sided in his handling of the crisis in Gaza.

US jury set to hear terror finance case against bank, Associated Press

American victims of suicide bombings in the Middle East have gone to federal court to demand that a Jordan-based bank be held liable for the bloodshed.

Opinion and Analysis

The 11 biggest myths about Israel-Palestine, Vox

Max Fisher debunks misconceptions about the nature of the conflict.

Hamas may not return to the talks at all, Times of Israel

Avi Issacharoff reports, “The likelihood of a re-escalation is certainly as realistic as the likelihood of an agreement, if not more so. Hamas is under siege in Cairo, not just in Gaza, by three hostile players — Israel, the PA and Egypt. It may well decide not to return to the Cairo talks at all.”

Without Hamas, Israelis and Palestinians can find peace, Al-Monitor

Shlomi Eldar contends that only the Palestinians, not Israel, can truly defeat Hamas.

Prime Minister ‘stand-in-place’ Netanyahu, Jerusalem Post

Gershon Baskin laments that “while Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates all have common cause in combating Islamic fundamentalist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, Israel refuses to take any initiative that could merge these interests into a plan that could lead to a regional security and stability pact and perhaps even peace. The reason is because the price that Israel must pay for that to happen is to end its occupation of Palestine and arrive at a comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians that will grant them freedom and independence. This is beyond Netanyahu’s abilities.”

Time for Obama to justify his Nobel Peace Prize, Al-Monitor

Akiva Eldar argues that in the last two years of his term, “[President] Obama will have one last opportunity to justify the Nobel Peace Prize that he was awarded. That will be just the right time to apply bipartisan pressure on him within the United States to advance a two-state solution.”

Israeli Media Blaming Kerry Reflects the Tortured Logic That Started the War in the First Place, Huffington Post

Bernard Avishai castigates the Israeli media for previously attacking Secretary of State Kerry for proposing the same resolution of the Gaza crisis that Israeli leaders are now pursuing.

How America lost the Middle East, Vox

According to Zachary Beauchamp, America’s waning influence in the MIddle East means that it can no longer resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, only manage it.