News Roundup for June 12, 2018

June 12, 2018

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Top News and Analysis

Donald Trump’s New World Order, New Yorker

Adam Entous provides in-depth analysis on how converging actions by the Netanyahu government, the Trump administration and Gulf Arab states are creating greater turmoil and uncertainty across the Middle East, with grave implications for the region and long-term US interests.

Israel’s battle of the ex-generals, Al-Monitor

Ben Caspit writes, “The fact is that almost all the graduates of the defense apparatus over the generations — including in his first term of office in the 1990s — view Netanyahu as a danger to the future of the State of Israel and its security and hold a strong grudge against him for that. Yet somehow this does not tarnish Netanyahu’s public image. The premier has managed to overturn the truism that had prevailed in Israel for generations: that Israel’s chief of staff, Mossad chief and security services head will always prevail over the prime minister in public opinion. The current situation is the opposite. However, there will be generals that will try to challenge Netanyahu’s absolute control of the arena, and this will constitute a war that even they are not used to winning.”

The Best Model for a Nuclear Deal With North Korea? Iran., The New York Times

Tony Blinken, US Deputy Secretary of State from 2015 to 2017, writes, “If Mr. Trump were to abide by his own critique of the Iran pact, any deal with North Korea should eliminate the material, warheads and missiles it already has and, just as important, its ability to produce more — forever. That deal should be verified by an indefinite, intrusive inspections regime. And it should contend with Pyongyang’s other egregious activities, like providing weapons and technology to unsavory regimes like Bashar al-Assad’s in Syria and maintaining the world’s worst gulag state.”

A Successful Trump-Kim Summit Could Be the Prelude to War With Iran, Haaretz

Anshel Pfeffer writes, “The high-handed way in which the administration swatted away European attempts to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive is in direct contradiction to Trump’s emollience toward Kim. No diplomatic capital has been invested in Tehran’s direction. Instead, Trump is burning up every shred of political capital he may still have with America’s allies on that front.”

News

Israel approves plans for thousands of new settlement units in the West Bank, Washington Post

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved building plans for 3,736 new units in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, in what activists say is part of a new wave of construction spurred by the Trump admin­istration’s more accommodating stance.

Palestinians consider multistep plan toward two-state solution, Al-Monitor

A senior PLO official close to President Mahmoud Abbas told Al-Monitor that Abbas would like the Palestinian Authority (PA) to take civilian control over Gaza along with many of the security responsibilities, especially at the border crossing points. The official said that given the catastrophic crisis in Gaza, a first political move to stabilize the Strip is necessary. He proposed a political process similar to that of Oslo, with Gaza first again.

Iran, spurned by US, angrily watches Trump-North Korea Talks, Associated Press

For Iran, the so-called “Axis of Evil” has boiled down to a party of one, as President Donald Trump prepares for direct talks with North Korea….For those in Tehran, whether hard-liners, reformists or people simply trying to get by in Iran’s worsening economy, it’s head-spinning, especially after seeing Trump pull America out of the nuclear deal with world powers.

Palestinian teen to serve full sentence for slap, Al-Monitor

The parole board at Rimonim Prison has denied Ahed Tamimi’s early release request. The 17-year-old Palestinian girl was sent to jail for eight and a half months after slapping an Israeli soldier in her West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

Kites, balloons from Gaza spark multiple fires across southern Israel, Times of Israel

A number of fires broke out across southern Israel on Monday as a result of incendiary kites and balloons launched by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, officials said. Blazes were reported in the three main regions surrounding the Palestinian enclave: Hof Ashkelon to the north, Sha’ar Hanegev to the northwest and Eshkol to the west.

Opinion and Analysis

Bernie Sanders’ criticism of Israel is radical. And he’s taking it mainstream., Forward

Peter Beinart writes, “Not many in the media are noticing, which is understandable given the burden of keeping up with Donald Trump, but in the shadow of Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, Bernie Sanders is dramatically challenging Beltway discourse on Israel….Bernie Sanders, who now stands a better chance of becoming president than any Jew in American history, is not afraid. And, as a result, over the next two years he just might alter the American debate over Israel in ways we have not witnessed in decades.”

Silwan, a Model for Oppression, Haaretz

The Haaretz editorial board writes, “Even given the corruption and legal chicanery typical of the settlement enterprise, the case of the Silwan neighborhood’s Batan al-Hawa section stands out. In this case, the state, through the Justice Ministry’s administrator general, transferred an entire neighborhood of 700 people to right-wing group Ateret Cohanim without bothering to inform the Palestinians living in this part of Jerusalem.”

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