J Street's News Roundup 6/17/14

June 17th, 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 Condemns Kidnapping of Teens as Act of Terrorism, J Street

J Street condemned in the strongest terms the kidnapping of three teenagers last week in the occupied West Bank, and further condemned those responsible for this act of terrorism.

My Speech to the Presbyterians, J Street

At the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly in Detroit, J Street Senior Vice President for Community Relations Rachel Lerner urged Presbyterian commissioners to vote against resolutions supporting divestment of church funds from companies doing business in the occupied territory and calling for the Church to reconsider its support of a two-state solution.

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: Netanyahu meets parents of kidnapped Israeli teens, Haaretz

Israel's security cabinet met Tuesday morning to discuss the kidnapping of three Israeli teens and the military operation that has since been launched against Hamas in the West Bank. Before the meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke with the families of the kidnapped teens who assembled at the family home of abducted teen Naftali Frenkel, in Nof Ayalon. Overnight Monday, the Israeli army conducted a large-scale operation in the West Bank, arresting 41 Palestinians. Meanwhile, the Israeli Air Force struck four sites throughout the Gaza Strip in response to rocketfire. There were no reports of casualties.

PA taking steps to halt reconciliation with Hamas, Times of Israel

The Palestinian Authority has reportedly stopped taking steps in the reconciliation process with Hamas which was to have led to a Palestinian unity government. Following statements made Monday by a senior Palestinian official who said that if it was proved that Hamas was behind the kidnappings the PA would reevaluate the unity pact, the Palestinian government convened on Tuesday and decided that they would continue to refrain from paying the salaries of former Hamas government officials, some 40,000 in number.

Iran, six powers seek to salvage momentum for nuclear deal, Reuters

Iran and six world powers re-launched talks on Tuesday to rescue prospects for a deal on Tehran's nuclear activity by a July deadline. With time running short if an extension of the nuclear talks is to be avoided, negotiators face huge challenges to bridge gaps in positions over the future scope of Iran's nuclear program in less than five weeks.

In diplomatic breakthrough, UK to re-open Iran embassy, Reuters

Britain plans to reopen its embassy in Iran, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday, saying it would soon establish a small initial presence in Tehran two and a half years after a mob ransacked its embassy there. The announcement comes after the United States said it could launch air strikes and act jointly with Iran to shore up the Iraqi government after a rampage by Sunni Islamist insurgents across Iraq that has scrambled alliances in the Middle East.


Netanyahu: Returning kidnapped teens ‘will take time’, Times of Israel

Netanyahu said on Monday that “we are in the middle of a complicated operation and we need to be prepared [for the fact] that it will take time.”

MK assailed for saying kidnappers not terrorists, Times of Israel

Israeli politicians from the right and center roundly slammed Balad MK Hanin Zoabi, some even calling for her to be removed from her post and prosecuted, after she said on Tuesday that the Palestinian kidnappers of three Israeli teens were “not terrorists.”

Bennett threatens Hamas in West Bank with 'ticket to hell', Jerusalem Post

Economics Minister Naftali Bennett threatened members of Hamas on Tuesday morning, saying, "We're turning the membership card for Hamas into a ticket to hell.”

PA calls for international pressure on Israel, AFP

Prime Minister Hamdallah called on the international community to intervene on behalf of the Palestinians in the West Bank as Israel conducts massive security sweeps in search of three kidnapped teenagers.

Lapid and Lew to meet in Jerusalem, Times of Israel

Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew is scheduled to meet with Finance Minister Yair Lapid in Jerusalem this week to discuss economic cooperation between the two countries.

Opinion and Analysis

In bid for Palestinian street, Hamas gambles all, Times of Israel

According to Avi Issacharoff, Abbas’ condemnation of Thursday’s kidnapping shows that he “has come to realize that the recently inked unity pact with Hamas ended at the moment of the abduction.”

Netanyahu wrong to blame Abbas for kidnapping, Al-Monitor

Akiva Eldar laments that “the kidnappers from the Etzion settlement bloc, just like the unarmed Palestinian youth from Bitunya who was killed by live Israeli ammunition May 15, are the victims of helpless leaders… Only a peace agreement based on a solution of two free states can avert the next tragedies.”

Israelis Kidnapped in the West Bank: Implications, Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Neri Zilber examines how the West Bank kidnapping is testing Palestinian reconciliation.

US may face more tough choices if PA holds elections, JTA

Ron Kampeas asks, “Is the new Palestinian government kosher under US law?”

The end of 'both sides', Vox.com

Max Fisher argues that “the occupation is now the primary driver of the Israel-Palestine conflict, it is illegal under international law, and it is a cause of tremendous human suffering. And for what?”