J Street's News Roundup 5/22/14

May 22nd, 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 U opposes UCLA candidate pledge, J Street U

J Street U at UCLA and the J Street U National Student Board expressed its strong opposition to efforts at UCLA to pressure student candidates for elected offices not to attend trips to Israel sponsored by AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League, or Hasbara Fellowships.

Young Jews, peace process rejected in J Street vote, Jewish Chronicle

J Street U Carleton President Maddie Ulanow wrote that the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations’ rejection of J Street “damages not just the morale of young Jews, but the future of Israel itself.”

David Suissa Wrong on the Facts About J Street, Jewish Journal

J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove responded to a recent op-ed attacking J Street.

Top News and Analysis

US: It’s up to Israel, Palestinians to pick up talks, Times of Israel

State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said that Secretary of State Kerry has no immediate intention of pressuring Israel and the Palestinians into resuming the stalled peace talks, and is still determining whether there is a “way ahead” in the process.

Netanyahu threatened to fire Livni over meeting with Abbas, Haaretz

Justice Minister and chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni reportedly nearly lost her job after meeting with President Abbas in London last week. Finance Minister Yair Lapid urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to reconsider firing Livni, warning that it could bring about the government's dissolution.

UN nuclear agency says Iran agrees to address bomb probe issues, Reuters

A long-stalled UN probe into suspected atomic bomb research by Iran took a potentially important step forward this week when Tehran agreed to address questions about explosives and other activity that the West says could help it build nuclear weapons.

Iran's president says nuclear deal by July is 'likely', Associated Press

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said it was "very likely" that an agreement on curbing its nuclear program would be reached by July despite a snag in talks last week, but that the deadline might also be extended.


Iran debate shifts to the House, Al-Monitor

Representative Trent Franks, the lead sponsor of legislation allowing Congress to express its "disapproval" of a final nuclear agreement with Iran, vowed to introduce the language as a stand-alone bill after being barred from offering it as an amendment to the defense authorization bill.

Film of Palestinians’ killing likely doctored, top official says, Times of Israel

A senior Israeli defense official said footage showing two Palestinians gunned down in the West Bank last Thursday may well have been doctored. “I saw the video – the chances of fabrication are high,” the official said.

Seeking Balance on Mideast Visit, Pope Pleases Few, The New York Times

Pope Francis plans to give a strong show of support for a sovereign Palestinian state when he makes his first visit to the Holy Land this weekend, becoming the first pontiff to travel directly into the West Bank rather than passing through Israel.

Jewish extremists barred from Jerusalem for pope’s visit, Times of Israel

Israeli police issued restraining orders to several right-wing activists on Wednesday, banning them from entering parts of Jerusalem during Pope Francis’s visit.

Palestinian court gives jail term to exiled Fatah official Dahlan, Reuters

A Palestinian court sentenced exiled Abbas rival Mohammed Dahlan to two years in jail for "insulting state institutions.”

Meretz chair: Barghouti is only possible successor to Abbas, Times of Israel

Meretz leader Zehava Gal-on said, “If I properly understand the Palestinian arena, the only figure who can replace [Abbas] is [Marwan] Barghouti.”

Abbas condemns attack on Israeli journalist, Jerusalem Post

Abbas condemned a recent attack on Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff. Abbas received Issacharoff in his office and expressed his condemnation for the “regrettable assault.”

Knesset digs but settlement funding still a secret, Haaretz

The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee decided Wednesday to hold a repeat discussion of Livni’s request to apply the Freedom of Information Law to the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division. But Yisrael Beiteinu MK David Rotem, the committee chairman, said he had no intention of setting a date for the repeat discussion, which could cause the idea to be buried.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel cannot afford another lost decade, Haaretz

Ari Shavit argues that Israel is facing a “lost diplomatic decade.”

From David to Goliath, Jerusalem Post

According to Gershon Baskin, “The Palestinians have no Israeli partner for peace as long as Netanyahu is prime minister.”

Israel pushes West Bank toward economic disaster, Al-Monitor

Akiva Eldar says, “The diplomatic damage will be nothing compared to the economic implications of severing contact with the [Palestinian Authority.”

Letter, Jewish Link of Bergen County

J Street North Jersey Executive Committee Member Linda Poskanzer writes in a letter that “the real tragedy of J Street’s rejection by the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations” is that “we waste so much time pushing fellow Jews out of the tent that we lose sight of the real challenges facing our community and Israel.”

Letter, Jewish Link of Bergen County

J Street North Jersey Executive Committee Member Stuart Kaplan says that J Street “is indeed a major American Jewish organization and deserves to be represented at the Conference which would benefit from its presence.”