The New York Times - Roger Cohen: The B.D.S. Threat

Secretary of State John Kerry caused outrage in Israel recently when he declared: “For Israel there’s an increasing delegitimization campaign that has been building up. People are very sensitive to it. There is talk of boycotts and other kinds of things. Today’s status quo absolutely, to a certainty, I promise you 100 percent, cannot be maintained. It’s not sustainable. It’s illusionary.”

Members of the Israeli government were indignant. Israel, they declared, will not negotiate under pressure. Advice givers, stay away! But Kerry was only repeating what Israel’s own finance minister, Yair Lapid, had already said: The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (B.D.S.) movement is beginning to bite.

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A flawed but compelling narrative has taken root in the debate over SodaStream. It's the story of the politically moderate Israeli businessman building bridges to peace by providing Palestinians good employment. What could be the problem with that?

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APN CEO Debra DeLee in The Forward: Love Israel. Oppose BDS. Reject SodaStream.

As counterintuitive as it may be, when you see Scarlett Johansson’s Super Bowl ad on Sunday, promoting a product that lets you make carbonated drinks at home, try to see through bubbles and think about the future of the Middle East.

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YNet - Nahum Barnea: In the land of sin and hatred

Op-ed: Instead of whining about Palestinian incitement, ministers should discuss state of incitement in Israel

On Sunday, Israel's cabinet dedicated its weekly meeting to an important issue. Not important - critical. Yossi Kuperwasser, the director-general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, found the time to attend the meeting and even brought along a presentation. Not just a presentation - an audio-visual presentation, with both images and sounds. Thanks to the presentation, songs in Arabic were played in a cabinet meeting for the first time in history.

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Haaretz- Peter Beinart: In 2014, American Jewish leaders might lose control of the Israel debate

Washington's failure to clinch two-state deal would shift Palestinian focus to international groups and college campuses where organized Jewry holds little sway.

In the spirit of the season, let me hazard a prediction: 2014 will be the year that America's Israel debate begins to pass the organized American Jewish community by.

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Yossi Alpher: How Middle East regional dynamics affect the Israeli-Palestinian peace process

Israeli-Palestinian relations - whether they take the form of intifada, peace process or merely the "status quo" - have never developed in a vacuum. Not only have interested third parties such as the U.S., European Union and Norway been involved, but so have immediate neighbours like Egypt and Jordan. The Arab League has also been involved, usually with Saudi urging, in initiatives like the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 and the earlier 1982 Fahd plan.

More at the at the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center

Bloomberg - Jeffrey Goldberg: John Kerry Is Israel's Best Friend

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gave a passionately pro-Israel speech this past weekend at the Saban Forum in Washington. On matters concerning Israel's security, its international legitimacy and its demographic future, he showed himself to be a true friend. There are people in Israel -- there were people at the Willard Hotel, where Kerry gave the speech, in fact -- who did not consider this speech pro-Israel, but they are deluding themselves.

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Yuval Diskin Speech to Geneva Initiative 10 Year Conference - Leading the Way to Peace

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On Wednesday the 4 December the Geneva Initiative held a conference "10 Years to the Geneva Initiative: Leading the Way to Peace". Here is the text of Yuval Diskin, former Head of the ISA's speech, which received very wide media coverage

Good evening and Happy Festival of the lights,
During this important event marking ten years to the Geneva Initiative, I would like to focus on three issues.

The first: Why the "two states for two peoples" option may fade and disappear in the near future.
Second: Why it is vital to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the near future on the basis of the two states for two people option.
Third: What needs to be done to succeed in this difficult mission.

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APN's Ori Nir at Haaretz: Palestinian resistance shouldn't mean shutting out Israelis

We Israelis often complain that 'there is no one to talk to.' But for many young Palestinians, Israelis are a lost cause - and anti-normalization means there is less interaction than ever to prove this wrong.

By Ori Nir

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Peace Now's Yariv Oppenheimer in Walla: Netanyahu has no place at Mandela's funeral

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The Israeli right's eulogies for the South African freedom fighter ranged from unawareness to hypocrisy. Even if there is not full symmetry between apartheid and the occupation, Israel still stands for everything Mandela fought against

Why aren't the Netanyahus going to Nelson Mandela's funeral? The reason is surely not the high costs of the flight (after all, the budget for the couple's attendance of Thatcher's funeral was found without difficulty) nor a sudden fit of humility. Yet still, the Prime Minister is looking for any excuse to avoid standing next to the world's leaders to pay last respects to the man who fought and defeated the apartheid regime - and he knows why.

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