News Roundup 8/5/2014

August 5th, 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

A voice of hope?, J Street Blog

Drawing from her background as a rabbi, new Midwest Regional Director Alison Abrams asked, “How do I convince people to have hope? The answer: I don’t. I let people vent, cry, scream, withdraw… and then I remind them that I, and J Street, will continue pursuing the necessary dream of a sustainable peace because despair is a luxury we cannot afford.”

Morning News Edition, i24 News (1:17:40)

Israel Director Yael Patir argued that there is no military solution to the crisis in Gaza, and that this is well understood by Israel’s opposition parties.

Meeting with MKs during the J Street Mission, J Street Blog

In Israel on the J Street delegation, J Street Chicago head Mark Zivin shared the growing concern among center-left Israeli lawmakers that dehumanization of Palestinians “is taking Israel further and further away from what most of us consider to be our Jewish values.”

What a Difference Two Months Makes, J Street Blog

Also in Israel with J Street, Flora Lazar noted the toll that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to exact on both sides.

Interest in Israel: The Money in Politics On Gaza, Center for Responsive Politics

Marsha Shapiro mentioned J Street’s role in her examination of pro-Israel lobbying.

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: Truce holding across Israel-Gaza border, Haaretz

Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza began an Egyptian-proposed 72-hour ceasefire at 8 am on Tuesday, the 29th day of Operation Protective Edge. Rockets were fired from Gaza at southern and central Israel, as well as into the West Bank, until the very last minute before the lull began. An Israeli delegation is expected to leave for Cairo in the next few days to negotiate a more permanent agreement, with Egyptian mediation. A Palestinian delegation, including members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, is already in Cairo. The IDF continued its mass withdrawal of forces from Gaza and said it has demolished the last of Hamas' known tunnels, some of which have been used to breach Israel's border and carry out attacks.

On Monday, two terrorist attacks were carried out within hours in Jerusalem. One man was killed and five were wounded when a digger was used to flip over a bus. Several hours later, a gunman opened fire at a hitchhiking station, wounding a 20-year-old soldier. Sixty-four soldiers and three Israeli civilians have been killed since fighting began on July 8. More than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed, most of them civilians.

Erekat urges Palestinian factions to sign request for ICC membership, Haaretz

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat is urging the PLO and the various Palestinian factions to sign a document supporting Palestine as a member of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki will visit the Court in the Netherlands on Tuesday.

US Diplomacy on Gaza Has Little Sway on Israel, The New York Times

The Israeli government has largely dismissed diplomatic efforts by the United States to end the violence in Gaza, leaving American officials to seethe on the sidelines about what they regard as disrespectful treatment.

On Operation Protective Edge, justice, law and victory, Jerusalem Post

Ami Ayalon warns, “In the absence of a diplomatic track telling the story of two states for two peoples, we will not win the war, even if we are victorious in battles.”

Start with Gaza, The New York Times

“Without two states Israel will lurch from one self-inflicted wound to the next, growing ever angrier with its neighbors and a restive world from which it feels alienated,” writes Roger Cohen. “[Prime Minister] Netanyahu has fought Palestinian statehood all his life. But it is the only way out of his labyrinth.”

Time for Netanyahu to make peace in Gaza, Washington Post

David Ignatius argues that a unilateral end to the Gaza operation without a ceasefire agreement is “a recipe for future conflict.”


Suspected terror attack: Palestinian stabs guard at Ma'aleh Adumim, flees scene, Jerusalem Post

An Israeli guard was moderately injured when he was stabbed by a Palestinian man at the entrance to Ma'aleh Adumim.

Masked rioters attack police near Temple Mount, Times of Israel

Dozens of masked Palestinian protesters hurled stones, Molotov cocktails, and firecrackers at police officers near the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, before being pushed back into the Al-Aqsa mosque by security forces who were rushed to the area. Five policemen were injured during the riots, and 12 protesters were arrested.

Lieberman slams plan to involve Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza, Haaretz

Foreign Minister Lieberman is reportedly opposed to integrating President Abbas into any arrangement in the Gaza Strip following the ceasefire.

Knesset member: Retake Gaza, put civilians in ‘tent camps’, Times of Israel

Likud MK Moshe Feiglin called for Israel to reconquer the Gaza Strip and for the military to set up tent encampments for Gaza civilians near the Sinai border, “until relevant emigration destinations are determined.”

Israel, Palestinians prepare for Gaza war crimes probe, Associated Press

Human rights defenders are accusing Israel and Hamas of violating the rules of war, pointing to what they say appear to be indiscriminate or deliberate attacks on civilians.

Under Hamas fire, Israel keeps humanitarian aid to Gaza flowing, Haaretz

Two planeloads of humanitarian aid are expected to land in Israel in the coming days, en route to the Gaza Strip.

Injured Gazans untreated due to ambulance shortage, Haaretz

Hospitals in East Jerusalem and the West Bank have been unable to receive injured patients from the Gaza Strip due to a severe shortage of ambulances.

Spain halts weapons sales to Israel, Times of Israel

Spain temporarily halted all arms sales to Israel in the wake of the IDF’s operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The move will be reviewed in September, and is considered to be largely symbolic.

Study: Haaretz the only news bridge between warring sides, Haaretz is the only news site that bridges between the global pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian camps in an increasingly polarized online world, according to a new study of how news is shared on social networks.

Opinion and Analysis

Eight Days in Gaza: A Wartime Diary, The New York Times

Atef Abu Saif chronicles life and death in Gaza.

What Would You Do If Hamas Attacked You?, Atlantic

Peter Beinart notes that “Americans who want Israelis to challenge their country’s blockade and military campaign in Gaza because Gazans are suffering are asking Israelis to live up to a standard we rarely meet ourselves.”

We must battle hatred on all fronts, Haaretz

Rabbi Rick Jacobs writes, “Even - and especially – in these most troubling times when we need to defend our people and our land, all the while burying so many, we must distance ourselves from the inertia of hatred and express the moral expansiveness of our wise and demanding tradition.”

Can Netanyahu pluck peace from the rubble of Gaza?, Haaretz

Matthew Kalman suggests that the crisis in Gaza could “present Israel with the best conditions to make peace with the Palestinians since the death of Yasser Arafat, with strong regional backing from the moderate Arab world.”

Does Netanyahu's political future depend on Hamas?, Al-Monitor

According to Mazal Mualem, “A fresh new diplomatic approach could reshuffle the deck and position Netanyahu in the political center.”

New alliances for a 2015 Middle East peace conference?, Al-Monitor

Uri Savir offers recommendations for the day after the Gaza war.

The Kerry-Qatar Ceasefire Document: What it Says About American Strategy in the Middle East, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies

Jonathan Rynhold writes that the spat over Kerry’s ceasefire document “suggests an inability to discern between situations which require a conciliatory approach and those which require assertiveness.”