October 29th

J Street, Now a Player, Inches Toward the Center
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Three days in October catapulted J Street from the sidelines of the Jewish community to the centerfield of major organizations. After winning, in its first national conference, the stamp of approval from the Obama administration and from many in Congress, J Street is ready to cash in on its initial success. But for J Street, the transformation from being the new kid on the block to becoming a serious player in the pro-Israel advocacy field also entails some growing pains.

UN chief calls on Israel to back Gaza reconstruction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Israel News
October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel Wednesday to back the reconstruction of Gaza, deploring conditions there nearly a year after a devastating Israeli military offensive. “Ten months after hostilities ended in Gaza, we see no progress on reconstruction or the re-opening of borders,” he said at a news conference. Ban said 4.5 billion dollars in reconstruction aid had been pledged at a donors conference in Egypt in March but “little if any of that money has been delivered.”

Driving up J Street
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Michelle Goldberg - (Opinion) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Security guards blocked the doors to several of the panels at J Street's first annual conference this week – because the rooms were so packed it would have been illegal to let any more people in. A discussion entitled "The need for a regional comprehensive approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict" was so popular that the organisers decided to repeat it. (One of the speakers, Jordanian ambassador Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein, remarked that it was the first time in decades of panel participation that he'd been asked for an encore.)

Ya'alon: I'll forgo Europe trips to allow IDF freedom
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Wednesday said he is "willing to forgo visits to European capitals and to allow the Israel Defense Forces the freedom to act." The former IDF chief of staff is one of several current and former senior Israeli officials whom pro-Palestinian groups have sought to put on trial over the assassination of senior Hamas terrorist Salah Shehadeh in July 2002. The attack also killed 14 civilians.

Fayyad talks Dayton, resistance and statehood in new magazine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Ramallah - Ma'an - US General Keith Dayton is involved in “training and only training,” and does not interfere in the security mission of the Palestinian Security Services, Prime Minister of the caretaker government Salam Fayyad commented. An interview with Fayyad ran as a feature in the Ramallah-based Palestine Studies magazine, whose latest issue was released Wednesday.

Israeli military gives settlers free rein
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Seth Freedman - (Opinion) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

During a swearing-in ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem last Thursday, two soldiers held up a banner that sparked a wave of condemnation by soldiers and civilians alike. The slogan on the banner – "Shimshon [Brigade] does not evacuate Homesh" – referred to the prospect of the soldiers being ordered to evict settlers from an illegal outpost on the site of the former Homesh settlement.

Does J Street arrival signal a split in America's Israel lobby?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Jerusalem - Since the 1950s the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has been the mainstream voice of the Jewish-American community and its efforts to strengthen support for Israel in Washington. Along comes J Street, a young upstart founded last year, in part as an answer to AIPAC – perceived by many progressive American Jews to have a clear right-wing tilt, and hardly representative of those want to see a much more aggressive push towards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

J Street fills gap in Washington map
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

On the street map of Washington DC there is a strange omission. Most streets are designated by either a number or a letter. But look as hard as you want there is no J Street. Seemingly, a hand-written capital I or J were seen as being too similar; a recipe for confusion. This exception is seen by the head of the new liberal and decidedly dovish Israeli lobby group in Washington as a useful metaphor. "Just as there is no J Street on the grid in Washington DC," says Jeremy Ben Ami, J Street's Executive Director, his organisation "is looking to fill a similar gap in the political map".

J Street student head: We're pro-Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - (Opinion) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Following controversy in some quarters of the Jewish community over the decision of the J Street U student board not to include "pro-Israel" in its messaging, J Street sent out statements this week affirming the organization's commitment to Israel. They also referred to "incorrect reports" on the decision, with student board president Sophia Manuel putting out a statement Wednesday that, "The national board of J Street U neither discussed nor voted on any action to remove the term 'pro-Israel' from our platform, policy or the way we describe ourselves at J Street U's national conference."

Rattling the Cage: Some victims we are
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Opinion) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

The kill ratio was 100-to-1 in our favor. The destruction ratio was much, much greater than that. To this day, thousands of Gazans are living in tents because we won't let them import cement to rebuild the homes we destroyed. We turned the Gaza Strip into a disaster area, a humanitarian case, and we're keeping it that way with our blockade. Meanwhile, here on the Israeli side of the border, it's hard to remember when life was so safe and secure. So let's decide: Who was the victim of Operation Cast Lead, them or us?

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