J Street News Roundup 8/25/2014

August 25th, 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

We need a re-think of Gaza, The Hill

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami urged, “It is time for the government of Israel to put forward a bold, comprehensive proposal for resolving the conflict and to propose a ceasefire while this is negotiated. In addition to seeking the agreement of Palestinian leaders, Israel should invest substantial effort in building support from Arab neighbors and the international community.”

Targeted Killing and International Law – An Israeli Expert Speaks, Jewish Journal

J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove examined Israel’s policy of targeted assassinations of terrorist leaders.

Friends of Israel, New Yorker

Connie Bruck explored how the emergence of J Street has helped to shape AIPAC’s influence in Washington.

The end of liberal Zionism, The New York Times

Antony Lerman mentioned J Street in his essay on liberal Zionism.

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: Top Hamas official denies Gaza truce imminent, Haaretz

Mixed reports emerged on Monday that a new ceasefire in Gaza is imminent. Ahead of a cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Netanyahu said the operation in Gaza would continue until its goals were reached. “I call on the inhabitants of Gaza to vacate immediately every site from which Hamas is carrying out terrorist activity. Every one of these places is a target for us,” he said.

Palestinian officials said that on Sunday, a mother and her four children were killed in an Israeli airstrike, marking the 89th Gazan family to be wiped out in Operation Protective Edge. Also on Sunday, four-year-old Daniel Tragerman, killed by a mortar shell on Friday in his Kibbutz Nahal Oz home, was laid to rest. Tragerman was the fourth Israeli civilian killed in the war; 64 soldiers have been killed. The Palestinian death toll is currently at 2,120.

Egyptian truce bid said to garner Israeli consent, Times of Israel

An Israeli defense official said that Egypt is expected to announce on Monday night an open-ended ceasefire to halt the fighting between Israel and Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas to ask UN to set timetable for Palestinian state along 1967 lines, Haaretz

President Abbas is reportedly planning to ask the United Nations to set a timetable for the end of the Israeli occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines, with its capital in East Jerusalem. Abbas would present his proposal as part of a "day after" plan following the end of the current war in the Gaza Strip. An agreement over the matter was reached in Abbas' meeting with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Hamas' political chief Khaled Meshal, in Doha on Friday.

Iran nuclear probe reaches deadline, no word yet on outcome, Reuters

A deadline for Iran to answer UN nuclear watchdog questions about suspected atomic bomb research was reached on Monday without any immediate word on whether Tehran had provided the information. Western officials have long said Iran must address the International Atomic Energy Agency’s suspicions about its work and that this would be an important boost for parallel diplomatic efforts to end a decade-old dispute over the country's nuclear program.


There's no way to completely stop rocket fire, top Israeli officer says, Haaretz

An IDF officer said that under the current circumstances, areas of Israel that are close to the border with the Gaza Strip will continue to face rockets and mortar shells fired from the territory.

European powers float idea of Gaza monitoring mechanism, Reuters

Britain, France and Germany have floated the idea of creating a monitoring and verification mechanism for any future ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to prevent future conflicts.

Israel must force Hamas ‘to raise the white flag,’ Lieberman says, Times of Israel

Foreign Minister Lieberman said, “Our strategic goal as a state must be either to defeat or force the surrender of Hamas.” He added that ultimately Israel needed to reach “a comprehensive political settlement with the Arab world.”

Opposition leader calls for elections after Hamas war ends, Times of Israel

Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog said that “the Israeli people will face a tough decision [after this conflict]... Do they see a future for the two-state solution, or not, which is why I think that after this military campaign, we must go to elections.”

Lapid says despite coalition tensions, Netanyahu government to remain intact, Jerusalem Post

Finance Minister Yair Lapid said, “I don’t see any reason to break up the government, and none of the other parties in the coalition have an interest in that either.”

Hamas: We wouldn't target civilians if we had better weapons, Haaretz

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said that Hamas was “not aware of [the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens] by this group of Hamas members in advance… But we understand people are frustrated under the occupation and the oppression, and they take all kinds of action." Meshal claimed that “if we get more precise weapons, we will only target military targets."

Israeli teens’ kidnappers evaded army, hid in cesspool after murders, Haaretz

Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisheh, the suspected kidnappers and murderers of the teens, managed to change their hiding place undetected five days after the kidnapping, despite the presence of large military forces in the area, according to an indictment presented to a military court last week.

Hamas pledges to back Palestinian bid to join ICC, Associated Press

Hamas has signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court, a step that could expose Israel — as well as Hamas — to war crimes investigations.

In the West Bank, support and condemnation of Gaza executions, Ynet

Hamas’ public executions of at least 25 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have sparked debate in the West Bank.

PA forces clash with Hamas protesters in West Bank, Times of Israel

Palestinian Authority security forces clashed with hundreds of Hamas supporters in the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday. Tear gas was used by the forces to disperse the crowd, which was advancing on an IDF checkpoint near the city.

As war rages in Gaza, West Bank routine of violence and arrests unabated, Haaretz

Over the past two months in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers and police have reportedly injured over 2,000 Palestinians.

Teenager Cites Ordeal as Captive of Israelis, The New York Times

A Palestinian teenager says that Israeli soldiers detained him for five days last month, forcing him to sleep blindfolded and handcuffed in his underwear and to search and dig for tunnels in Khuza’a, his village near Gaza’s eastern border, which was all but destroyed in the fighting.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel-Palestine, a binational state in the making, Al-Monitor

According to Uri Savir, “Officials who have the prime minister's ear today... speak of the two-state solution approach in the past tense… In the view of State Department officials, the trend toward a binational state is more possible and dangerous than ever.”

Club Med for terrorists, The New York Times

“To bring about a sustained calm, the message to Qatar should be clear,” writes Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor. “Stop financing Hamas.”

Ground op is still an option, but time is not on Israel’s side, Times of Israel

“One option [for Israel] would be yet another limited operation [in Gaza] meant to address the threat of mortar fire,” says Mitch Ginsburg.

Bibi faces challengers for prime minister position, Al-Monitor

Mazal Mualem analyzes Netanyahu’s tenuous political standing.

The difference between children, Haaretz

Gideon Levy laments that “an iron wall of denial and inhumanness protects the Israelis from the shameful work of their hands in Gaza… Something here has to rise up and scream: Enough.”

Planting Seeds of Mideast Peace in Time of War, Forward

Yardain Amron reports from the Maine-based Seeds of Peace, a peace camp for Israeli and Palestinian youth.

I am an Arab, Palestinian and citizen of Israel - I have the right to define my own identity, Haaretz

Suha Arraf argues, “The Palestinian minority in Israel has a right to cultural autonomy. We have a basic right not only to make films that reflect our cultural identity, but also to define them as such. If the State of Israel sees itself as a democratic and pluralistic state, it must allow us this liberty and stop the campaigns of incitement against Palestinian artists who succeed in breaking out beyond its borders and dare to lift their heads.”

How Israel’s right-wing camp exploits nationalism, Al-Arabiya

Yossi Mekelberg says that “unless those [in Israel] who use... venomous language, and physically attack their political rivals are brought to justice in line with the law of the country, the state sometimes inadvertently and at other times deliberately legitimizes this behavior and hence must be regarded culpable.”