APN's Ori Nir in Haaretz: When will the U.S. Jewish community talk peace?

How will the U.S. Jewish establishment, such as AIPAC, confront the prospect of peace for Israel when it is mired in an echo chamber of self-righteous axioms and simplistic thinking?

At the entrance to the enormous hall at the Washington Convention Center, where some 14,000 chairs were lined up for AIPAC’s conference participants, stood a television reporter holding a microphone, seeking interviewees.

"How’s it going?" I asked. “Not so good,” he replied. “I was sent to do a story on what AIPAC members have to say about prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace and nobody is willing to talk about it. All they want to talk about is Iran.”

He was right. Hard-line statements on Iran elicited long standing ovations, time after time, while hopeful comments on the possibility of peace were all but ignored. It got so bad that two prominent Israelis – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and legendary Israeli high-tech entrepreneur Yossi Vardi – had to urge the armada of pro-Israel lobbyists to applaud comments they made about peace. And when Howard Kohr, AIPAC’s executive director of eighteen years, addressed the crowd with a speech that typically sets the policy agenda for the conference, all he spoke about was Iran.

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News Nosh 03.07.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday March 07, 2014

Quote of the day:
 “May their name and memory be wiped out. Let them die, those leftists…kill them. They’re worse than Arabs!”
--A post on a racist Facebook page. Israeli Police say their hands are tied and they cannot open an incitement case against anyone without the approval of the State Prosecutor's Office.**

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News Nosh 03.06.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday March 06, 2014

Quote of the day:
"The younger generation of American Jews is much more Barack Obama than it is Netanyahu. Its world of values is the liberal world. Its perception of reality is a pacifist perception. It utterly rejects the occupation, the use of force and human rights violations."
--Peter Beinart writes that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is turning his back on the generation of US Jews who still have a deep emotional affinity to Israel, but cannot accept the settlers and the Occupation.**
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News Nosh 03.05.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday March 05, 2014

Quote of the day:
"The crowd that comes is responding positively and also the artists, to whom we send the posters for approval, they really love the idea."
-- David Saidov, artistic director of the "Yellow Submarine" music club in Jerusalem, on the Arabic added to advertising posters for performances of Jewish Israeli performers.**

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News Nosh 03.04.14

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday March 04, 2014

Quote of the day:
"Twelve years of slavery are needed in order to purchase an apartment in Israel, unless you live beyond the Green Line. It's not a movie, it's the reality." 
--Opposition leader and Labor Chairman Knesset Member Isaac Herzog called on israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "to stop lying to the public" after statistics released yesterday showed 2013 made a 10-year high in settlement construction.**

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Secretary of State John Kerry addresses AIPAC: "It is no mystery what the endgame looks like."

Kerry_AIPAC2014_320pxSecretary of State John Kerry, in one of his strongest statements for Israeli-Palestinian peace so far, tonight addressed the conservative American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and said that the United States’ most advanced technology and the Pentagon’s know-how can guarantee the security that Israel needs to make peace with the Palestinians.

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President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu Meet in the White House

Netanyahu-Obama-March-2012-largeProspects for the success of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations were downplayed by Prime Minister Netanyahu at his photo-op with President Obama following their meeting today. Here is what Netanyahu had to say about efforts to achieve peace with the Palestinians:

  • “Twenty years of peace process were marked by many Israeli steps for peace but we got suicide bombers and rockets in return.”
  • “It’s about time the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state – we have only been there for 4,000 years.”
  • “The people of Israel expect me to stand strong against pressure and for the security of Israel.”
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Foreign Policy: America Has a Plan. And, No, It Isn't One That Israel Would Like.

New poll shows that if the two-state solution collapses, U.S. public favors democracy over Jewishness.

By Shibley Telhami

Middle East leaders are beating a path to the White House's door. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with President Barack Obama on March 3, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will arrive on March 17 to discuss the U.S. administration's diplomatic effort to reach a two-state solution.

Although Secretary of State John Kerry has said that "failure is not an option" in these talks, the reality is that both Israelis and Palestinians assume that there is only a slim chance of finding a conflict-ending solution. The president himself put the odds at less than 50 percent. With the Obama administration's goal to reach a negotiated settlement set for the end of April, we could be witnessing the death of the two-state solution. A key, but often unasked, question is whether the American public even cares.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher: March 3, 2014

This week, Alpher discusses the possible dynamics of PM Netanyahu arriving to talk with President Obama in the midst of the Ukraine/Crimea crisis; the influence of the Ukraine crisis on the Middle East; what we can expect in the weeks ahead regarding the American-sponsored framework agreement and Monday's Obama-Netanyahu meeting; and Netanyahu's thinking for the "day after" failure scenario.

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Foreign Policy: Bibi Trapped

By Aaron David Miller

Why Israel's prime minister can't call the shots on Iran or the peace process.

Benjamin Netanyahu is one smart Israeli politician. This year, he will become the longest continuously serving prime minister in Israel's history. He is the only Israeli leader to win back-to-back elections. And despite his detractors' efforts to portray him as an illegitimate expression of Israeli popular desires, his staying power -- at least on security and foreign policy -- is an authentic expression of where much of the country stands in 2014.

Yet on the eve of his White House meeting with President Barack Obama on Monday, March 3, when the two leaders will discuss Iran, peace talks, and other issues, Bibi faces the prospect of being ensnared in traps that will limit his room to maneuver and undermine Israel's interests, as he defines them.

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