J Street's News Roundup 6/18/14

June 18th, 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 Urges Cosponsorship and Passage of US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, J Street

J Street expressed its strong support for the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 and urged Senators to cosponsor the bill and work toward its quick passage.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) Is At It Again In Its Unfair Criticism of Israel, Jewish Journal

J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove wrote, “I would hope that good people who are members of [the Presbyterian Church] and who are not anti-Israel will vote against the aggressive group of anti-Israel Church members who have consistently shown their animus towards the state of Israel and the Jewish people by unfairly attacking her and her alone among all nations in the world.”

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: Livni, Herzog praise Abbas' call to free abducted teens, Haaretz

As efforts to locate and rescue three kidnapped Israeli teenagers entered their sixth day, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog praised President Abbas for calling to bring the captives home. Israel's security forces arrested 65 Palestinians overnight, 50 of whom were among the 1,027 prisoners released by Israel as part of a deal to free IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. In a bid to increase pressure on Hamas, the security cabinet decided on Tuesday to worsen the conditions of members of the organization held in Israeli prisons. In addition, the government is weighing whether to expel top Hamas officials from the West Bank to Gaza.

Gaza groups deny involvement in kidnapping of teens, Times of Israel

Representatives of several terror groups in the Gaza Strip, including Hamas, denied involvement in the kidnapping, but stressed that they support any effort to release Palestinian prisoners jailed by Israel.

Iran, world powers may start drafting nuclear accord, Al-Monitor

Iran and six world powers hope to start drafting the text of a framework for a comprehensive nuclear accord today and to complete a framework by the end of the talks within the week, Iran’s deputy foreign minister said, as negotiations intensify even amid continued gaps on elements of a final deal.

Iran digs in heels on nuclear centrifuges at Vienna talks, Reuters

Iran is reportedly refusing to significantly cut the number of centrifuges it intends to keep to produce nuclear fuel.


White House offers ‘thoughts and prayers’ for abducted teens, Times of Israel

The White House said in a statement, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of 3 Israeli teens who were kidnapped last week. May they be reunited with their sons soon.”

Rami Igra, former head of Mossad MIA unit, questions PM’s Hamas abduction claim, Jerusalem Post

The former MIA division head for the Mossad, Rami Igra, questioned Prime Minister Netanyahu’s assertion that the three Jewish teens were taken by Hamas.

Hamas will ‘pay very heavy price,’ defense minister vows, Times of Israel

Defense officials vowed to level a heavy blow at Hamas, but warned that the operation to track down the kidnapped teens was unlikely to end in the near future.

Norway cancels Palestinian Authority donor conference in wake of kidnapping, Haaretz

The Norwegian government has cancelled a conference of Palestinian Authority donor countries slated to take place in Oslo next week.

City approves 172 East Jerusalem homes, AFP

Israel gave approval Wednesday for the construction of 172 new homes in East Jerusalem.

Presbyterian Church committee advances divestment resolution, JTA

A committee of the Presbyterian Church (USA) passed a resolution endorsing divestment from three US companies that “profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.”

Opinion and Analysis

Kidnapping of West Bank Teens Points To Worse To Come, Forward

Nathan Brown writes, “The region’s leaders seem able to produce only short-term, reactive policies that expose their own political bankruptcy. In the absence of even a pretense of a peace process, episodic violence, escalating rhetoric and unilateral actions are all they have to offer.”

Gov’t plans to act against Hamas leaders and prisoners may backfire, Haaretz

According to Zvi Bar’el, “There is little logic to the exiling of [Hamas’] leadership to Gaza and the retributive measures against jailed Hamas members.”

Kidnappings put Netanyahu back on offense, Al-Monitor

Mazal Mualem contends that the kidnapping has united Israelis behind Netanyahu.

My Cousin Ruvi, Israel's New (Bi-nationalist) Pres., Partners for Progressive Israel

Lilly Rivlin expresses hope that her cousin, President-elect Rivlin, “will represent all of Israel’s citizens.”