J Street News Roundup 8/4/2014

August 4th, 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

J Street Strongly Condemns Horrific Violation of Ceasefire, J Street Blog

J Street strongly condemned Hamas’ violation of Friday’s ceasefire, in which an attack killed three Israeli soldiers.

Polling shows Americans remain supportive of Israel in Gaza conflict, McClatchy

J Street Vice President of Communications Alan Elsner “said he believes many politically liberal Jews are weary of Israel’s bellicose stand toward Palestinians. ‘There is a viewpoint in the past few days that enough is enough,’ he said… ‘A new generation is growing up in the United States whose support for Israel is twinned by what it means to be Jewish, and what it means to support democratic values.’”

‘When genocide is permissible’: The unsettling op-ed that never was, Vice

Responding to an op-ed removed by the Times of Israel, Elsner said, “Speaking as the son of a Holocaust survivor, let me just say that genocide is never permissible.”

Israelis and Palestinians: Best Recipe For Solving The Crisis, Bumpspot

Home from the J Street mission to Israel, Jeff Pozmantier concluded, “There is no military solution. The only way we will ever get to two states for two peoples is to view the cyclical violence as a problem that can only be solved politically.”

Negotiating with the “Devil” – 4 Book Recommendations, Jewish Journal

J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove recommended four books--including one by J Street rabbinic cabinet member Rabbi Amy Eilberg--which provide “a mini-course on conflict resolution.”

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: Rockets hit south; 30 Palestinians wounded in Gaza, Haaretz

Israel entered day 28 of Operation Protective Edge on Monday, after scaling back its offensive over the weeknd. The IDF unilaterally declared a 7-hour humanitarian ceasefire late Sunday, which went into effect at 10 am. This follows the Israeli security cabinet's decision to no longer attempt to reach a truce agreement through negotiations with Hamas and the Palestinian factions in Gaza.

The IDF declared late Saturday that 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin, previously thought to be captured in Gaza, had been killed in action. Goldin's death brings the number of IDF fatalities to 64. The Palestinian death toll in the Israeli operation has passed 1,800, with more than 9,000 wounded

US, Qatar again working on alternative ceasefire, Times of Israel

The United States and Qatar have reportedly renewed their attempts to reach an understanding on a ceasefire in Gaza, even as Palestinian factions meet Egyptian officials in Cairo to forge their own proposal.

Report: Israel spied on Kerry during peace talks moderation, Haaretz

The German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that Israel eavesdropped on Secretary of State Kerry over the course of the recent nine-month peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu finally realizes: Abbas is not Hamas, Haaretz

According to Barak Ravid, “Netanyahu and many in his government came to their senses during the war in Gaza. They now have a profound understanding of the difference between Abbas and Hamas. Saturday night, Netanyahu said that when the battles are over, new diplomatic options will be open to Israel. This may be the first sign that, after the war, Netanyahu will turn to peace – and this time with greater determination and seriousness.”

Israel In Trying Times: Unity Not Uniformity, Huffington Post

Rabbi Sharon Brous argues, “Seeing the humanity in the other is not an act of disloyalty or an abdication of Jewish values. It is the deepest manifestation of Jewish values.”


Pedestrian killed in tractor terror attack in Jerusalem, Times of Israel

A tractor driven by a Palestinian man rammed into a bus in central Jerusalem early Monday afternoon, close to the “seam” between the western and eastern parts of the city. A male pedestrian approximately 30 years old was run over by the tractor as it headed toward the bus and was killed. The bus driver as well as five others were lightly hurt.

Thousands attend funeral of Lt. Hadar Goldin, Haaretz

Thousands on Sunday attended the funeral of Lt. Hadar Goldin, killed in action on Friday morning in the southern Gaza Strip.

US, UK ‘appalled’ by shelling near UNRWA school, Times of Israel

US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki delivered an unusually strong condemnation of an Israeli strike near a Gaza school being used as a shelter in Rafah, saying that the US was “appalled” by the “disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school.

US must ‘never second-guess me again’ on Hamas, Netanyahu tells Shapiro, Times of Israel

In a phone call with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, Prime Netanyahu said that the Obama administration was “not to ever second-guess me again” and that Washington should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas.

Both right and left blast Israel’s unilateral Gaza pullout, Haaretz

Knesset members on both the right and left have criticized the security cabinet’s decision to start winding down the Gaza offensive without sealing any agreements with Hamas or the international community.

Livni calls for PA control over Gaza, disarmament, Times of Israel

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni called for the replacement of the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip with that of President Abbas, and for international initiatives to disarm the Gazan terror groups.

Lieberman suggests UN take control of Gaza Strip, Haaretz

Foreign Minister Lieberman suggested that Israel and the Palestinian Authority consider transferring control of Gaza to the UN.

Sa’ar: The lesson we can learn from Gaza is not to allow a Palestinian state, Jerusalem Post

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar said that Hamas’s attack on Israel proved the danger of creating a Palestinian state.

Ex-treasury head warns of $4.3 billion loss from Gaza offensive, Haaretz

Although Finance Minister Lapid and Director General Yael Andorn have been projecting a sense of optimism over the ability of the Israeli government and the economy to absorb the expenses of the war in the Gaza Strip, Andorn’s immediate predecessor in the position, Doron Cohen, is projecting a 15-billion-shekel ($4.3 billion) loss to the economy as a result of the military operation.

Iron Dome funding passes House, heads to Obama for signature, Times of Israel

The House of Representatives voted late Friday night by a landslide majority to provide Israel with an additional $225 million in funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system.

United by Grief, Families of Slain Israeli and Palestinian Teens Divided Over Gaza, Forward

A month after the murders of four teenagers — three Israeli and one Palestinian — their families are struggling to process their grief and are responding in different ways to the regional conflagration ignited by their childrens’ deaths.

Muslims riot on Temple Mount, JTA

Hundreds of Muslims wearing masks rioted on the Temple Mount on Monday.

In Jerusalem, nationalistic violence claims more Arab victims, Times of Israel

“Even when the war in Gaza ends, our internal war will continue,’ says one Jerusalem Palestinian.

Amid war, Israeli-Palestinian students talk peace in DC, AFP

When 10 young Israelis and Palestinians came to Washington in June to talk, listen and learn from one another, the outbreak of war back home was never on the program. On Friday they bid farewell on the steps of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, having stuck together through a seven-week bridge-building internship overshadowed by the conflict in Gaza.

Opinion and Analysis

Hamas’ chances, London Review of Books

Examining the events that led to the latest conflict in Gaza, Nathan Thrall writes, “The obvious solution is to let the new Palestinian government return to Gaza and reconstruct it. Israel can claim it is weakening Hamas by strengthening its enemies. Hamas can claim it won the recognition of the new government and a significant lifting of the blockade. This solution would of course have been available to Israel, the US, Egypt and the PA in the weeks and months before the war began, before so many lives were shattered.”

Boiling point in the West Bank, Foreign Policy

David Kenner asks, “With Gaza in flames, can Mahmoud Abbas keep a lid on a smoldering West Bank?”

An honest voice in Israel, New Yorker

Philip Gourevitch notes that Amos “Oz’s interview is not only one of the most sober reckonings of Israel’s current position that you can find, his insistence that Israel and Palestine really could do vastly better by each other also makes it one of the most optimistic.”

There'll be more Gazas without a two-state solution, Haaretz

Stephen Robert warns, “Until a two state solution becomes possible, we should anticipate the worst.”

How this war ends, The New York Times

“Unless Hamas or Israel totally defeats the other — unlikely — it is hard for me to see how either side will get out of this war the lasting gains they want without conceding something politically,” contends Thomas Friedman. “Israel will have to negotiate in earnest about a withdrawal from the West Bank, and Hamas will have to serve in a Palestinian unity government and forgo violence. I can tell you 17 reasons that this won’t happen. I just can’t think of one other stable way out.”

Why Americans see Israel the way they do, The New York Times

Roger Cohen laments that “the way members of Congress have been falling over one another to demonstrate more vociferous support for Israel is a measure of a political climate not conducive to nuance. This hardly serves America’s interests, which lie in a now infinitely distant peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and will require balanced American mediation.”

Do Palestinians really exist?, Daily Beast

Palestinians are “not all terrorists, we’re not ‘cockroaches,’ and we’re certainly not an ‘invented’ people,” says Dean Obeidallah.

Where is our compassion?, Forward

Dov Waxman urges, “As human beings and Jews, we should never let our support for Israel harden our hearts to the suffering of others.”

In defense of Zionism, Wall Street Journal

“Deriving its energy from a people that refuses to disappear and its ethos from historically tested ideas, the Zionist project will thrive,” predicts Michael Oren.