News Roundup 8/6/2014

August 6th, 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 Welcomes Gaza Ceasefire, J Street Blog

J Street welcomed the 72-hour cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and strongly urged all parties to observe it scrupulously and extend it into a durable cessation of hostilities.

Don't Blame Palestinians for Getting Killed, Forward

J Street Special Assistant Logan Bayroff and Mid-Atlantic Organizer Jacob Plitman--both former presidents of J Street U--urged, “If we value life and want to find a solution that propels us forward, we must acknowledge the humanity and genuinely tragic plight of the Palestinians. We must also think seriously about the context from which the latest violence emerged.”

Gaza war pushes some to the left of J Street, Haaretz

“The Israel-Hamas conflict has been good for groups at the far-left edge of American Jewish Israel-related activism, propelling some people for whom J Street is now too moderate to more radical affiliations.”

Top News and Analysis

LIVE UPDATES: Report: Israel-Hamas negotiations in Cairo resume, Haaretz

As Operation Protective Edge enters its 30th day, both Israel and the Palestinian factions in Gaza continue to abide by the 72-hour ceasefire brokered by Egypt, which was implemented at 8 am on Tuesday. The IDF withdrew its remaining forces from Gaza after the ceasefire came into effect. The IDF said it has demolished all of Hamas' known tunnels, some of which have been used to breach Israel's border and carry out attacks. Israeli and Palestinian delegations are currently in Cairo to negotiate a more permanent agreement, with Egyptian mediation. More than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed during the operation, most of them civilians. Sixty-four IDF soldiers and three Israeli civilians have been killed.

Kerry: Israel, Palestinians must solve broader issues, Times of Israel

Secretary of State Kery stressed that a ceasefire in Gaza must be the precursor to broader negotiations for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians to ensure lasting peace in the region.

Hamas funded kidnapping of 3 boys, says ringleader, Times of Israel

The funding for the West Bank attack in which Israeli students Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel were abducted and killed came from Gaza, the suspected ringleader of the cell that orchestrated the kidnapping reportedly told police after his arrest.

Iran nuclear talks likely on fringes of UN General Assembly, Reuters

Iran and six world powers may discuss a potential deal on Tehran's nuclear program on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly in September.

Netanyahu's missed diplomatic opportunities in Gaza, Haaretz

Barak Ravid reports that though “[Prime Minister Netanyahu is on a fast track toward removing the Gaza blockade… [the prime minister] and his cabinet ministers have learned nothing from past wars and campaigns.”

Dear guests, The New York Times

Thomas Friedman implores, “This is crunchtime. Either Arab and Israeli moderates collaborate and fight together, or the zealots really are going to take over this neighborhood. Please do not return to your routines.”


WSJ/NBC Poll: US Should Be Even-Handed on Israel, Palestinians, Wall Street Journal

According to a new survey, a majority of Americans believes that the US should be even-handed in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, though more people sympathize with Israel’s side.

Haaretz survey: Israelis think neither side won conflict, but approve of PM’s decisions, Haaretz

A new poll found that Israelis don’t believe Israel has achieved “victory” in Gaza, while a clear majority said that Israel should work to “bolster” President Abbas.

Israel focuses on demilitarizing Gaza at Cairo ceasefire talks, Jerusalem Post

While Hamas has a long list of demands it is presenting to the Egyptians, Israel – according to government officials – is concentrating on two main issues: preventing Hamas from rearming in the short term, and demilitarizing Gaza over the long run.

Netanyahu tried to scare off ministers to get Gaza occupation off the table, Haaretz

High-ranking Israeli ministers were recently exposed to the nightmare scenario that would result from an Israeli effort to recapture the Gaza Strip, as part of an attempt to get ministers to reject even considering such an objective, the ministers said. After the presentation by the IDF, the ministers did not hold a vote, but no one expressed support for the plan.

International Criminal Court says it can’t play role on Gaza, Associated Press

The Palestinian Authority foreign minister said Tuesday that his government intends to apply for membership at the International Criminal Court this year in hopes of holding Israel responsible for alleged violations of war crimes law. But the ICC said in a statement that it currently doesn’t have jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories.

Truce means Hamas must disarm to govern Gaza, official says, Times of Israel

Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser, director-general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, said that by agreeing to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, Hamas has temporarily renounced a part of its “terrorist identity” and relinquished its ability to carry out attacks against Israel.

Bennett: If Israel leaves West Bank, we'll have terror tunnels leading into our heartland, Jerusalem Post

Economics Minister Naftali Bennett said that relinquishing Israeli control of the West Bank would expose Israel's home front to infiltration tunnels leading into the heartland of Israel.

As fighting eases, Gaza conflict costs seen totaling $8 billion, Haaretz

The month of fighting between Israel and Hamas is likely to have cost the two sides a combined $8 billion, three-quarters of it suffered by Gaza, according to Israeli and Palestinian estimates.

As fighting halts, IDF chief promises help to rehabilitate Gaza, Times of Israel

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz promised that Israel and the IDF will do everything in their power in order to help rehabilitate the Gaza Strip and assist civilians in the Palestinian enclave.

Some Israelis Count Open Discourse and Dissent Among Gaza War Casualties, The New York Times

In Israel, open discourse and dissent appear to be among the casualties of the monthlong war in Gaza. Israeli politics have been drifting rightward for years, and many see that trend sharpening and solidifying now.

Murdered Palestinian teen's father: Burn my son's killers and destroy their homes, Haaretz

The three Israeli right-wing extremists who have been charged with kidnapping East Jerusalem teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir early last month and burning him to death should be burned to death themselves, Abu Khdeir's father, Hussein Abu Khdeir, said at a remand hearing at the Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday.

Is Another Intifada Possible in the West Bank?, The Nation

The war in Gaza has provoked both peaceful and armed resistance in the West Bank, a simmering situation over which the largely discredited PA is losing control.

Opinion and Analysis

The Fog of Diplomacy: Creating a False Picture of the Iran Nuclear Talks, National Interest

According to Gareth Porter, “Both sides [in the Iran nuclear negotiations] were making demands going well beyond what they knew they would accept in the end, hoping to make the more moderate demands more acceptable.”

Israel’s agreement on Gaza must come from Abbas, Al-Monitor

Ephraim Sneh argues that the mission of the Israeli government must be that “Abbas' way — a negotiated agreement, not violence — is the way for the Palestinian people to achieve its rights.

Empathizing w/ Gaza does NOT make me anti-Semitic, nor pro-Hamas or anti-Israel. It makes me human, Daily Kos

David Harris Gershon laments the shutdown of debate within the pro-Israel community during the operation in Gaza.

A 'targeted assassination' of international law, Haaretz

“We Israelis can blame allegations of war crimes on global anti-Semitism, or we can take a tough look on the way we have waged armed conflict over the past decade,” says Michael Sfard.

There’s nothing new under the sun: Notes to myself after Cast Lead in 2009, Times of Israel

“Sometimes the conflict seems like a house of mirrors,” writes James Adler. “Is it possible to see what is going on beneath the excruciating suffering in order to help end it?”

Israeli defense minister rejected demands to retake Gaza, Al-Monitor

Mazal Mualem examines the effect that Operation Protective Edge has had on Defense Minister Ya’alon’s political brand.