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J Street is the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans who want Israel to be secure, democratic and the national home of the Jewish people. Working in American politics and the Jewish community, we advocate policies that advance shared US and Israeli interests as well as Jewish and democratic values, leading to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Today's News Roundup

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Outpost bill passes Knesset hurdle in first reading, Haaretz

“The Knesset voted on Monday in support of a bill to legalize unauthorized West Bank outposts in the West Bank in first reading. The legislation passed 58 to 51. MK Benny Begin (Likud), a member of the ruling coalition, opposed the bill. If approved in three Knesset readings, the bill would legalize the presence of Israelis on privately owned Palestinian land. The legislation will not however apply to the illegal outpost of Amona, slated for evacuation by December 25 under a court order….Speaking on behalf of the opposition, lawmaker Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) said that, ‘A real leader would look Amona residents in the eye and tell the truth – that Israel is a lawful state, and that it is sad, but they must leave [their homes].’ ‘What is left from the Herut Movement (the Likud’s predecessor) and Menachem Begin is only Benny Begin,’ she said. ‘Today Netanyahu and his friends are kicking Begin together with integrity and legitimize theft.’”

Israeli settlers see new champion in President Trump, USA Today

“Yoni Binyamin lives on a windy, contentious hilltop slated for demolition, but she is convinced her community will not only remain but also continue to grow after Donald Trumpbecomes U.S. president….One reason for settlers’ faith in Trump: His Israeli adviser, Jason Greenblatt, who served in the Israeli army guarding a West Bank settlement, told Israel Army Radio that the president-elect does not view settlement activity ‘as an obstacle to peace.’ In another hopeful sign for settlers, Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, who might become a Middle East envoy, is a director of a family foundation that made tens of thousands in charitable donations to West Bank settlements in recent years, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Monday….Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett said that ‘less pressure from Trump’ would usher in the end of the ‘era of the Palestinian state’ and an opportunity for Israel to annex the West Bank. Less than a week after the U.S. election, Bennett championed a bill in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, that would retroactively legalize more than 100 unauthorized outposts scattered through the West Bank. The bill, revised to allow the court-ordered demolition of Amona, gained initial approval in the Knesset this week  but has to go through more steps before becoming law.”

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