J Street's News Roundup 6/27/14

June 27th, 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 Congratulates President Peres on Congressional Gold Medal, J Street

J Street wishes President Peres the warmest of congratulations on being awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, a fitting tribute to a statesman who has devoted his career to defending the State of Israel, striving for peace and upholding the US-Israel alliance.

New Poll of Palestinians is a Warning of Consequences of Peace Deadlock, J Street

Citing a new poll of Palestinians, J Street Vice President of Communications Alan Elsner warned that “without a diplomatic process that offers hope for an end to the occupation and the establishment of an independent state, Palestinian backing for a two-state solution may continue to ebb.”

True Friends Do Not Stab Each Other In The Back - Presbyterian Church (USA), Jewish Journal

“A battle for the soul of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is raging,” said J Street Rabbinic Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove, “and the good guys are losing.”

No, Presbyterian Divestment Is Not Anti-Semitic, Forward

Elisheva Goldberg noted that “Jews — from J Street and Jane Eisner to Rick Jacobs, the ADL and the Wiesenthal Center — have every right to oppose Presbyterian divestment, and they should certainly call out anti-Semitism when it rears its head. But I don’t think that’s what this vote was about.”

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu to Abbas: Break up unity pact with Hamas, Times of Israel

Prime Minister Netanyahu urged President Abbas Thursday to dismantle the Hamas-Fatah unity government at once, after Israel published the names of two Hamas members who are believed to have carried out the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank two weeks ago. The two alleged abductors, Amer Abu Aysha and Marwan Kawasme, both known Hamas members, have been missing from their homes in Hebron’s Hares neighborhood ever since the kidnapping took place, and are still at large. The suspected kidnappers attended prayer services regularly at the same mosque, Israeli officials said.

Peres to Congress: Wars can be waged alone - peace calls for collective effort, Haaretz

In his final address to Congress as Israel's president on Thursday, Shimon Peres thanked the US for its friendship and support and urged the Americans to continue working with Israel to reach peace, eradicate terrorism and eliminate poverty.

World powers plan strategy to rescue Iran nuclear deal, Reuters

Senior diplomats from six world powers met in Brussels on Thursday to search for ways to resuscitate negotiations with Iran over its contested nuclear program, with less than four weeks left until a late-July deadline to strike an accord.

The two peoples of the Holy Land, Haaretz

Bradley Burston argues that “the real divide is not between Israelis and Palestinians, but between those who fear peace and those who hate it.”

Shimon Peres, Israel’s dreamer and doer, Washington Post

“At a farewell dinner for Israeli President Shimon Peres in Washington on Wednesday night, several of the American guests appeared to approach him with tears in their eyes,” writes David Ignatius. “This emotional display was a sign of Peres’s personal impact on the US-Israel relationship and the way his departure marks the passing of an era.”


Abbas: PA committed to locating abducted teens, Times of Israel

Abbas declared Thursday that his administration was prepared to take any action necessary to assist in locating the the Israeli teenagers. He added that he was optimistic over the possibility of resuming peace negotiations with Israel in the near future.

IDF arrests 9 Palestinians in overnight operations in West Bank, Jerusalem Post

Security forces arrested nine Palestinian suspects overnight and searched 49 sites as part the operation to locate the three youths. A senior security source said the IDF will continue operating in full force during Ramadan.

Three Palestinians hurt in Nablus, Times of Israel

Three Palestinians were injured Friday in riots against IDF in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus.

A mother’s plea for ‘prayer, positive energy, whatever it takes’ to find kidnapped teens, Times of Israel

In an interview, Rachel Frankel, mother of kidnapped Naftali Frankel, expressed hope that the boys will be brought home soon.

Spain, Italy warn citizens against doing business with settlements, Haaretz

The Spanish and Italian governments issued a warning to their citizens on Friday against doing business with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, in East Jerusalem, and in the Golan Heights.

Israeli coalition member: HaBayit HaYehudi has same goals as Hamas, Haaretz

HaT’nuah MK Amram Mitzna called on Netanyahu to expel Economics Minister Naftali Bennett from the security cabinet, after he called Abbas a "mega-terrorist."

Opinion and Analysis

Bibi and the lost boys, Foreign Policy

Amos Harel asks, “Can Netanyahu find Israel's three kidnapped teenagers without destroying his own government and tearing the West Bank apart?”

Congress shouldn’t cut aid to the Palestinian Authority, Haaretz

According to Brian Reeves, “By voting to reduce aid to the PA, Congressional representatives jeopardize Abbas’ legitimacy, Israeli security and future prospects for peace.”

Israel's addiction to military force, its only response in times of crisis, Haaretz

Emily Hauser argues that “successive Israeli governments have proven – again and again and again – that they are incapable of militarily eliminating the threat posed by forces hostile to Israel’s citizens. Will the country’s leaders begin to ask different questions, and seek different answers?”

Presbyterian vote against Israel goes down wrong path, JWeekly

Doug Huneke and Patermulder say that they “deeply regret the overture that was passed on June 20, not just because it was a divestment action, but also because the subtly contradictory content was intended to placate rather than to foster mutual efforts toward a just peace: Presbyterian words did not complement their action.”