News Roundup for November 8, 2017

November 8, 2017

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J Street in the News

Jewish millennials view Israel differently — ignore them at your peril, J Weekly

J Street’s senior regional associate for the Northwest Kyle Fradkin argues, “It’s no secret that many American Jewish institutions are driving away young American Jews with their hawkish positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the Cato poll suggests that our views on this issue are symptomatic of a broader, pro-diplomacy worldview. American Jews already tend to favor a two-state solution and diplomacy-first foreign policy, which is magnified among Jewish millennials. The Jewish establishment’s tendency to embrace more hawkish politics is going to get more controversial, not less, as my generation continues to come of age.”

Why Princeton Hillel Was Right To Disinvite Israeli Official, The Forward

Raphael Magarik argues, “The exclusion and disbandment of Breira still haunts Jewish liberals, as do similar manifestations of exclusion today. The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations still won’t accept J Street as a member organization. As a result of this kind of strong arming, we Jewish liberals feel that we’re always on the outside, always marginalized.”

Top News and Analysis

U.S. lawmakers aim to comply with Iran nuclear deal: EU, Reuters

“U.S. lawmakers signaled they plan to ensure the United States complies with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s misgivings about the pact, the European Union’s foreign policy chief said on Tuesday.”

EU foreign policy chief: Renegotiation of the Iran deal is not an option, Washington Post

Federica Mogherini argues, “President Donald Trump’s decision not to certify the Iran nuclear deal has consequences only in the U.S. — for the moment. But American lawmakers are now in a crucial position: their next moves will have a significant impact on the security of the U.S. and its allies in Europe, the Middle East and the rest of the world. One thing is clear: renegotiation is not an option. I say this out of realism and experience. It took us 12 years to agree on extremely dense and complex technical details in a process that required all outstanding issues to be tackled in parallel. Unilaterally reopening discussions on this or that paragraph is simply impossible.”

Trusted Netanyahu Adviser Caught Up in Corruption Inquiry, New York Times

David Halbfinger reports, “The police confirmed on Tuesday that Mr. Molho, the 72-year-old managing partner of one of Jerusalem’s leading law firms and chairman of the Israel Museum, had been detained for questioning in perhaps the weightiest of the investigations underway: an expanding inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the multibillion-dollar purchase of three new submarines from a German shipbuilding company. Israeli news reports, citing unnamed sources, said Mr. Molho was suspected of a conflict of interest and breach of trust.”


With Virginia, Voters Give Democrats First Big Wins of the Trump Era, New York Times

Voters delivered their first forceful rebuke of President Trump and his party on Tuesday night, with Democrats exploiting Mr. Trump’s deep unpopularity to capture the governorships in Virginia and New Jersey and make significant inroads into suburban communities that once favored the Republican Party.

Princeton Hillel cancels speech by right-wing Israeli lawmaker, so Chabad steps in, JTA

A speech by Israel’s deputy foreign minister at Princeton University went on as planned even after it was canceled by the campus Hillel, the program’s original sponsor. Tzipi Hotovely’s original talk for Monday night was canceled due to objections by the campus chapter of the Alliance of Jewish Progressives, which claimed her hawkish views violated Hillel’s own guidelines on speakers who discredit Israel.

Abbas discusses Trump’s peace plan with Saudi King, Times of Israel

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday discussed the intra-Palestinian reconciliation process and an American plan to restart Israeli-Palestinians peace talks with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh, according to the PA’s official news agency. Abbas informed the Saudi king of “the latest developments regarding the Palestinian issue and American efforts to move the peace process forward,” Wafa reported.

Israel’s Explanation for Arming Myanmar During Ethnic Cleansing Campaign: ‘Both Sides Committing War Crimes,’ Haaretz

“The two sides in the conflict are conducting war crimes” in Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis, an Israeli diplomat told six American rabbis who voiced concern about reports of Israeli arms sales to the Southeast Asian country.

In recording, John Kerry says Israeli government doesn’t want peace, Times of Israel

Former US secretary of state John Kerry blamed the Israeli government’s resistance to the establishment of a Palestinian state for harming the prospects of a peace deal, while warning Israel could face a future violent Palestinian uprising if there was no progress in peace talks.

Opinions and Analysis

The Seven Worst anti-Israel Events in the Year Since Trump’s Election, Haaretz

Bradley Burston argues, “In the short span of Trump’s taking power, Netanyahu has shattered a 70-year-long relationship with North American Jewry, a bond long seen as one of Israel’s primary strategic assets. The prime minister has ignored the counsel of top Israeli security and diplomatic officials, in order to side with Trump on such issues as undermining the Iran nuclear deal and keeping mum on a surge of anti-Semitism over the past year.”

Israel holding Gaza militants’ bodies as bargaining chips, Al-Monitor

Shlomi Eldar writes, “One Israeli security source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that no one in Israel ever considered allowing Hamas to enter the tunnel dug from Gaza to Israeli territory in order to extricate the dead and trapped Palestinians, who were engaging in an act of aggression against Israel. This is especially true since the group has held the corpses of Israeli soldiers for the past three years, just so that they can trade them, no matter how abusive this is to the families. Still, it is not at all clear that the bargaining chips both sides are holding will help speed up a deal.”

A room of our own: Building a new anti-racist space in Jerusalem, +972

Sahar Vardi writes, “I do not believe that there is a single formula for creating activism and change. I do not believe that it is so easy — nor necessarily prudent — to quantify all protest movements, made up of different people fighting for different topics, into a formula that can be rehashed. Therefore, I propose two elements essential for activism: a space for people to learn, meet others, be exposed to opinions, and formulate positions, and a space to plan and work together. Today, Jerusalem is the opposite of this kind of space. It is a hostile city, one where a gallery that hosts a left-wing lecture is in danger of being shut down. A city where sitting in a square to make signs for the upcoming demonstration will likely end in cursing and spitting, if not physical violence.”

Israeli Americans, US Jews talk what unites them, drives them apart, Times of Israel

Ron Kampeas reports, “Some also feel Adelson’s leadership has imposed on the IAC a stringent standard of support for Israel that doesn’t gibe with the more diverse and self-critical American Jewish outlook. On Sunday evening, he told the group that he had switched allegiance from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee because he preferred ‘unequivocal’ support for Israel — a reference to AIPAC’s willingness to work with with the Obama administration, which Adelson reviled.”

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