J Street News Roundup 8/15/2014

August 15th, 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

J Street Welcomes Israeli Initiative Against Racism, J Street Blog

J Street welcomed an initiative launched by Education Minister Shai Piron to combat the growth of racism and incitement in Israeli society with a special education program in Israeli schools in the new school year.

J Street Mourns Loss of Voice of Conscience Leonard Fein, J Street Blog

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami mourned author and activist Leonard “Leibel” Fein as a “dear friend and a singular voice of conscience for the Jewish people.”

What it Means to Be the Seed of Abraham, Jewish Journal

J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove noted that “the famous midrash from the Passover Seder is a reminder of what tradition requires of us – to refrain from celebrating when our enemies perish, and to open the heart to all human suffering whether it be in southern Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, the Congo, Sudan, or on the streets of Hollywood. The way we answer that question and the way we open our hearts to others will determine not just the nature of our Jewishness but of our humanity.”

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: Security cabinet meeting on Gaza truce ends, Haaretz

The Israeli security cabinet reconvened Friday morning after a three-hour meeting on Thursday to discuss the ongoing negotiations for a long-term truce in Gaza. The ministers were briefed on the Cairo talks, but no decisions have been made. A senior Egyptian official said that the truce being negotiated calls for Israeli recognition of a Palestinian government that includes Hamas. Meanwhile, Hamas and Islamic Jihad delegates in Cairo claimed the emerging truce carries no time limit, lifts the blockade on Gaza, and includes talks on construction of a Gazan seaport and airport within a month after the deal is signed. They said Israel asked Egyptian mediators to take its demand for the demilitarization of the Strip to the Palestinian negotiators, but the Egyptians declined. Talks are expected to restart on Sunday, and the five-day truce agreed upon Wednesday is set to expire Monday night.

Obama's message to Netanyahu: Weapons with strings attached, Haaretz

Barak Ravid reports that “the White House’s decision to delay a transfer of Hellfire missiles to Israel… shows that the Americans subsequently decided to move from talk to action in their effort to restrain Israel’s use of force in Gaza and the resultant civilian casualties.”


Opposition chief bashes government over nadir in US ties, Times of Israel

Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) said on Thursday that “politically, the Israeli government has completely taken leave of its senses… Every day sees another front opened against our friends in the world.”

Massive artillery shelling may have caused numerous civilian fatalities in Gaza, Haaretz

According to figures released by the Israeli military, the IDF fired 30,000 shells, many of them into densely populated areas, during Operation Protective Edge. Military sources admitted that since artillery fire is inaccurate, large numbers of Palestinian civilians may have been killed in these incidents.

Thousands demonstrate support for southern towns, Times of Israel

Some 10-15,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Thursday night in a show of support for the rocket-ravaged southern communities and to call for an end to the constant interruptions to their daily lives.

Ban Ki-moon meets with Jewish leaders, JTA

Leaders of several Jewish organizations met with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday to express concerns about recent actions and comments made by UN officials.

Deep in Underground Tunnels, Mohammed Deif Shapes Hamas' War With Israel, Reuters

Israeli assassination attempts may have left him badly hurt and driven him deep underground, but Mohammed Deif, the shadowy leader of Hamas’ armed wing in the Gaza Strip, has emerged as a mastermind of the war with Israel.

Opinion and Analysis

Gaza Conflict Is Just the Latest Round in a Long War, The New York Times

“Israel wants to disarm Hamas to end the attacks and indiscriminate rockets that now reach most of Israel. But how, without a permanent peace?” writes Steven Erlanger.

Gaza demilitarization won't solve Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Al-Monitor

Daniel Levy argues that “Israel is clearly justified in insisting on measures to protect its citizens from attack by rockets and tunnels from the Gaza Strip, but insisting that the territory be demilitarized now — in the absence of a wider political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — will not achieve the security Israelis have a right to expect.”

Put Gaza under a UN mandate, New Yorker

Bernard Avishai makes the case that “if the current negotiations in Cairo are going nowhere, the internationalization of Gaza’s administration may be the only way to advance them.”

We admire Netanyahu’s spiel, but nobody else buys it, Haaretz

“Why doesn’t Netanyahu sit down with his best ministers and advisors and draft our position regarding the conflict?” asks Caroline Landsmann. “It’s our turn to say what our suggested peace solution is. And if Israel’s stand is that the current situation is the best of the solutions, let’s admit that and stop deluding ourselves and the world with false hopes of a historic move.”

Stop listening to the Jewish jihadis, Haaretz

According to Anshel Pfeffer, “The only way Israel can be a true democracy with a properly functioning legal system and open media is to stop listening to these Jewish jihadis who tell us we are always right and the world is out to get us.”

Lapid sets up separate communication channel with US, Al-Monitor

Ben Caspit says that Israel “cannot afford” a crisis with the US.