J Street News Roundup 8/26/2014

August 26th, 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

Moving beyond despair to peace, Times of Israel

Recounting their experiences on J Street’s recent mission to Israel, Chicago J Streeters Richard Goldwasser, Mark Zivin, Flora Lazar and Sam Kramer wrote, “We’ve gotten a glimpse of the human cost of continued enmity. And it is the steep price of death and mourning, of wounded soldiers and civilians, and of the suffering of families we will never know that informs the urgent need to move beyond our despair and to restart the long and hard path toward peace.”

Remembering Leibel Fein, Jerusalem Post

Michael Felsen remembered Leibel Fein and his contributions to the American Jewish life.

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: Southern Israel under heavy fire from Gaza, Haaretz

Israelis awoke Tuesday to a massive rocket barrage, after a relatively quiet night. Two rockets were intercepted over Ashdod on Monday night and one exploded in open ground shortly before 9 pm. Shortly after, two rockets were fired into northern Israel from Lebanon, one landing in an open area close to Kiryat Shemona. Israel responded to the rockets with artillery fire into southern Lebanon. The Israel Air Force continued its strikes on Gaza, reportedly killing six Palestinians since midnight. On the diplomatic front, the United States is said to be preparing a resolution for the United Nations Security Council, aimed at achieving a lasting ceasefire in Gaza. Reports also emerged that Hamas and Islamic Jihad representatives had accepted the latest Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire.

Abbas Is Seen as Ready to Seek Pact on His Own, The New York Times

President Abbas plans to present an initiative Tuesday to the Palestinian leadership that would bypass American-brokered negotiations with Israel to produce a Palestinian state. Instead he will call for an international conference or United Nations resolution demanding a deadline to end Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory. As leverage, Abbas would finally join the International Criminal Court and other institutions where he has long threatened to pursue Israeli violations.

Top US general in Israel for post-ceasefire talks, Times of Israel

Retired US general John Allen is expected to meet with Israeli officials Tuesday to discuss the possible renewal of peace talks with the Palestinians once the Gaza operation ends.

Iran says 'completing' nuclear steps agreed with IAEA, Reuters

A senior Iranian official said that Iran is "in the process" of completing measures on transparency in its nuclear research that were agreed with the International Atomic Energy Agency, suggesting Tehran had at least partly met a Monday deadline for cooperation.


Massive drop in support for Netanyahu — poll, Times of Israel

A poll released Monday evening showed a massive drop in the Israeli public’s opinion of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s performance, as well as dissatisfaction with the way the government is handling the needs of southern communities battered by rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

Gaza attacks trigger Israeli exodus from border, Associated Press

Hundreds of Israelis left their homes along the border with Gaza on Monday, reflecting growing frustration over the war with Hamas and the Palestinian mortar fire raining down on their communities. Tens of thousands of Israelis have fled the area in nearly two months of fighting, which has turned the communities into virtual ghost towns.

Steinitz slams Abbas, says he is launching 'diplomatic rockets' at Israel, Jerusalem Post

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz accused Abbas of playing a "double game" and that while Hamas was launching rockets at Israel, Abbas was launching "diplomatic rockets" in the form of threats to turn to the United Nations.

PA security questions Salam Fayyad's aid NGO over campaign to help Gazans, Haaretz

Palestinian security officials recently questioned two employees at a nonprofit organization headed by former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, in what some regard as an effort to exert political pressure on Fayyad after his organization launched a campaign to help needy Gazans.

Diffuse Hamas structure complicates Gaza peace efforts, Reuters

Hamas’ diffuse structure and complex lines of communication have created confusion over whether it is responsible for staging some attacks on Israeli targets or not.

Hamas says it downed Israeli drone, Times of Israel

Hamas claimed on Monday that the group downed and captured an Israeli drone that was operating in the skies over the Gaza Strip.

Human Rights Watch: Hamas must stop extrajudicial execution of collaborators, Haaretz

Human Rights Watch condemned Hamas for executing dozens of alleged collaborators.

Opinion and Analysis

Meshal gaining strength at expense of targeted Gaza leaders, Haaretz

“The consent of the head of Hamas’ political bureau appears to be the last obstacle on the way to declaring a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip,” reports Amos Harel.

Gaza: The American Jewish community's Vietnam, Haaretz

Joanne Feinberg Goldstein laments, “There is little space for Jews such as myself, who are deeply committed to Israel and its right to defend itself - yet abhor some of its actions and its disrespect of the US and President Obama. We navigate our way through the crisis and try to maintain our morality, our passion for Israel, our sorrow for all those killed on both sides, and our continued hope for peace.”

Israel’s other war: Moral attrition, Times of Israel

Naomi Chazan argues that “The war against racism and intolerance must be conducted with at least as much determination as that guiding the military engagement.”

War of attrition pointless in Gaza, Al-Monitor

According to Akiva Eldar, “With Meshal getting closer to Abbas, whose signature appears prominently on the Oslo Accord, and with the urgent need to lift the siege on Gaza and rebuild it, there are new opportunities at hand to end this war of attrition.”

Despite reconciliation, Abbas in no position to negotiate for Hamas, Al-Monitor

Shlomi Eldar explores how both Israel and Hamas are sabotaging Abbas’s authority.  

Not the end of liberal Zionism, Haaretz

Michael Gross says that “American liberal Zionists need to stop handwringing over internal Israeli politics and concentrate on lobbying the US political system - where their influence is crucial and irreplaceable.”

Can a dark-horse duo save Israel? The Huldai-Diskin rumor, Haaretz

Bradley Burston suggests the possibility of a new center-right coalition led by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.

8-Point Guide to Criticizing Israel Productively, Forward

Abraham Gutman offers advice for constructive criticism during the Gaza crisis.

The war against racism and intolerance must be conducted with at least as much determination as that guiding the military engagement, Concord Monitor

Shirley Sauvageau writes in a letter that “The [New Hampshire] Republican Party should apologize for smearing J Street and its numerous American Jewish supporters.”