J Street News Roundup 8/20/2014

August 20th, 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

A bold voice for social justice, New York Jewish Week

“J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami called [Leonard] Fein ‘a singular voice of conscience for the Jewish people… a righteous man, a true believer in the Jewish principle of tikkun olam. Throughout his life, Leibel was unafraid to wrestle with the toughest questions facing the Jewish people and Israel.’”

American Jewish leaders fiddle while Israeli democracy burns, Haaretz

“American Jewish leaders know how to identify crimes of hate and prejudice from a million miles away, but for some reasons they go deaf, blind and mute when it comes to the same offences in Israel,” wrote Chemi Shalev. “They have gotten so used to playing Israel’s fiddle, that they can’t bring themselves to shout, ‘Fire!’ when Israeli democracy is burning down.”

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: Gaza rocket hits house in southern Israel, Haaretz

Israeli and Palestinian officials traded blame early on Wednesday for the collapse of the Cairo negotiations aiming to secure a long-term truce. Hamas claims that Israel attempted to assassinate military chief Mohammed Deif--and killed his wife and child instead; Israeli officials say the IDF had resumed strikes on Gaza in response to rocket fire. Some 50 rockets and mortar shells were fired toward Israel on Tuesday, targeting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as well as the south. The Israeli delegation to the truce talks left Cairo on Tuesday afternoon and the Palestinian delegation left Wednesday, with no deal and no announcement of an extension of the ceasefire.

Abbas due in Doha to meet Qatari emir, Hamas leader, Reuters

President Abbas will meet the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Doha on Wednesday to discuss the conflict in Gaza and aid for Palestinians.

Collapse of Gaza truce talks: a failure foretold, Haaretz

According to Barak Ravid, “The collapse of the talks is good news for Israel. [Prime Minister] Netanyahu has gotten a second chance to try and forge a diplomatic process that, even if it doesn’t stop the rocket fire, will at least garner Israel some important diplomatic achievements in the international arena. Instead of seeking an arrangement at the Egyptian intelligence headquarters in Cairo, Netanyahu, from Wednesday morning on, must direct his efforts toward the UN headquarters in New York.”

Israel's surprise assassination attempt on Deif may backfire and strengthen Hamas resolve, Haaretz

Amir Oren reports that “killing Hamas commanders and military experts has never changed the basic equation when it comes to Israel's battles” in Gaza.


Qatar ‘threatened to expel Mashaal’ if he agreed to Egypt deal, Times of Israel

Qatar reportedly threatened to expel Mashaal if Hamas agreed to the terms of the ceasefire framework put forth by Egypt.

IDF recalls 2,000 reservists as truce unravels, Times of Israel

The IDF on Wednesday recalled 2,000 reservists who had already been drafted and released during Operation Protective Edge, after Palestinian rocket fire at Israeli cities triggered renewed hostilities Tuesday night.

Washington: Hamas responsible for renewed rocket fire, Times of Israel

State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf said that the US views Hamas as responsible for the violation of the truce and is “very concerned” about the resumption of rocket attacks.

Ministers and MKs urge Netanyahu to pound Hamas, Jerusalem Post

Israeli lawmakers from across the political spectrum urged Netanyahu to retaliate against Hamas with great force.

Livni: No negotiations with Hamas, Ynet

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said, "The targeted killing of any person who deals in terror is not only legitimate but desirable in my eyes. Throughout these periods I always support the targeted killings of terror leaders." Livni emphasized that she did not believe diplomacy would be able to neutralize Hamas.

Lieberman warns of ‘war of attrition’ with Hamas, Times of Israel

Foreign Minister Lieberman said the latest ceasefire framework, which didn’t lay the groundwork for a peace deal and included no guarantees for “an unequivocal commitment by the Palestinians to keep the peace now and for all eternity,” set up Israel for a disadvantageous “war of attrition.” Lieberman criticized his own government for playing into Hamas’s hands by allowing it to set the pace of the clashes.

Knesset Ethics Committee to probe Arab lawmakers' trip to Qatar, Haaretz

The Knesset Ethics Committee will convene within the next few days to discuss the trip to Qatar last week by three Balad Knesset members and how it was funded. The lawmakers, Basel Ghattas, Jamal Zahalka and Haneen Zoabi ostensibly violated Knesset rules because they did not get permission from the committee to make the trip, nor did they report who had funded it.

PA knew nothing about Hamas West Bank network, official says, Haaretz

A Palestinian official said that Palestinian security services were surprised by a Hamas terror network in the West Bank uncovered by Israel’s Shin Bet.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel will be better off when my generation is dead, Haaretz

Bradley Burston writes, “Someday, a new generation will arise in Israel, look at what we've been doing, and say to my generation: You had your chance. You blew it. You're done.”

How Egypt prolonged the Gaza war, Foreign Policy

Michele Dunne and Nathan Brown contend that “Egypt's internal politics -- far more fraught and violent than they were during Hosni Mubarak's era -- have intruded on the attempts to reach [a ceasefire] agreement, as the military-dominated government in Cairo attempts to use the talks as part of its war against the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Equal shelter for all, Haaretz

“Israel’s government must recognize that all its citizens, the Bedouin included, have equal rights,” says the Haaretz editorial board.

Lapid tries to become a statesman, Al-Monitor

Mazal Mualem examines Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s efforts to outflank Netanyahu in the diplomatic arena.

My In-Laws Won't Stop Criticizing Israel, Forward

Harold Berman, Lisa Goldman and Scott Perlo discuss how to speak to family about the Gaza crisis.