News Roundup for October 11, 2016

October 11, 2016

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J Street in the News

J Street Saddened and Outraged by Jerusalem Terror Attack, J Street Blog

“J Street is saddened and outraged by today’s terror attack in Jerusalem. A drive-by shooting carried out by a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem has killed two Israelis and injured several more. We hope for the rapid and complete recovery of the wounded and our thoughts go out to the victims and their families, who now must cope with this terrible tragedy. We stand with all of the people of Jerusalem who deserve to live in a city of peace and coexistence, not fear and violence. It should be clear to all that this violence is unacceptable and senseless. There can be no justification for acts of terror, which accomplish nothing but sow the seeds of hatred and distrust.”

Morning Digest, Daily Kos

“[T]he progressive pro-Israel group J Street is fighting back with ads of its own in support of the agreement. The organization is spending $500,000 to run nearly identical TV spots in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that praise the deal, saying that Iran was “forced to pour concrete into its reactor and give up its uranium,” and adds that “American and Israeli security experts” say “these steps prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons.” The narrator also jabs each of the two Republican senators who’s a target of these ads (Pat Toomey and Ron Johnson) for thinking they  “know[] better—like Donald Trump.” Compared to the amount Republicans are spending on ads criticizing backers of the deal, J Street’s expenditure is small. But it’s about time that progressives started standing up for what’s right.”

Top News and Analysis

Attack by Palestinian Kills 2 Israelis in Jerusalem, The New York Times

“A Palestinian gunman made a brazen choice of location for a deadly rampage on Sunday: Driving a speeding car, he fired at civilians near a light rail stop opposite Israel’s national police headquarters, on the main road that runs between West Jerusalem and the predominantly Palestinian eastern part of the city. He then fled in the vehicle to a nearby Palestinian neighborhood, where he exchanged fire with police officers from a special counterterrorism unit who had chased him on motorbikes, according to the police. Soon afterward, a border police unit arrived and shot the gunman dead. The police identified him as a 39-year-old resident of East Jerusalem. Two Israelis were killed. The police said one was a member of its counterterrorism unit, Yosef Kirma, 29. The second was identified as Levana Malihi, 60.”

Netanyahu to Kerry: I Expect U.S. Won’t Advance UN Resolution on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Before Obama Leaves Office, Haaretz

Prime Minister Netanyahu has told Secretary of State John Kerry that Israel would expect that the administration of President Obama will not carry out a shift in policy and will not promote or support a United Nations Security Council resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian issue during the period following the US presidential election until Obama leaves office, Haaretz has learned. Netanyahu made the comments in a telephone conversation with Kerry on Saturday night. Haaretz has learned that in the portion of the call devoted to possible steps at the UN Security Council, for the most part Kerry listened, but ultimately told the prime minister that the U.S. administration has still not made any decision on the issue.

Our Misconceptions of Israel Undermine our Ability to Advocate for Peace, Huffington Post

Maya Haber argues, “Israelis sense that their American friends sit on the moral high ground, speak of the evils of the occupation and Jewish values, but are tone deaf to the economic difficulties facing them….As long as the pro-peace community chooses a language of universal human rights, the Israeli media can continue portraying us in pro-Palestinian colors. Only developing an understanding to Israelis’ daily lives will allow us to puncture their shield of suspicion and help steer them toward peace and to an end the occupation.”


Calling Palestinians ‘Animals,’ Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Vows Retribution After Shooting Attack, Haaretz

The deputy mayor of Jerusalem, Meir Turgeman, who is chairman of the planning and building board, said Monday he would “punish” the residents of East Jerusalem because of Sunday’s terror attack that left two people dead. “We have reached the moment of truth,” he said in an interview on Radio Jerusalem. “Let’s put all the cards on the table. The people in East Jerusalem want to kill us and destroy us. Why do we need to give them a new chance every day?…..We have to take responsibility here. And I am going to give an example. I took all the construction plans related to East Jerusalem off the agenda. I shelved all of the plans. They say carrots and sticks. There are no carrots left, only sticks.”

Israel closes off Palestinian territories for Yom Kippur, i24 News

Israel will close off the border crossings to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for 48 hours during Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) following Sunday’s deadly shooting attack in Jerusalem, the military said on Monday. Exceptions will be made for medical emergencies and humanitarian cases, the Israel Defense Forces’ statement said.

Israeli Solider Lightly Wounded as Forces Raid Home of Jerusalem Gunman, Haaretz

Israel Defense Force soldiers on Monday raided the East Jerusalem home of the gunman behind Sunday’s deadly shooting attack in Jerusalem that left two Israelis dead. A soldier was very lightly wounded from sharpen after some residents of the A-Ram neighborhood attacked the forces with a pipe bomb. The soldiers arrived at the house in order to map out where they will place the explosive material that will be used to demolish it.

Israel demolishes homes, water pipes, and agricultural structures in Jordan Valley, Ma’an

Israeli forces destroyed residences, agricultural structures, solar panels, and water pipes in the occupied West Bank district of Tubas, in the Jordan Valley, on Sunday morning. Bashar Bani Odeh, the head of Khirbet Atuf village council, told Ma’an that four Israeli bulldozers accompanied by 12 Israeli military jeeps raided the area of al-Ras al-Ahmar and destroyed nine structures, including structures used to care for cattle. The main water pipeline used by residents of the area was also destroyed, as were several solar panels which generate power to the local residents.

Jewish-Arab Women’s Peace Group Delivers Political Message While Avoiding Politics, Haaretz

About 40 women are participating in the two-hour hike from Katzir, a mainly Jewish town in the Wadi Ara region, to Barta’a. Roughly half of them are Women Wage Peace activists taking part in the entire 200-kilometer trek from Rosh Hanikra to Jerusalem, which began the night after Rosh Hashanah. The rest are joining them for the day. The two-week “March of Hope” is scheduled to end at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence on October 19. Joining Women Wage Peace on that final day, if all goes as planned, there will be 1,000 Palestinian women from the West Bank along with the guest of honor of the event – Liberian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee.

Settler Field School Seeks State Funding for West Bank Hiking À La the National Trail, Haaretz

The Kfar Etzion Field School in the West Bank has launched an initiative to map out a hiking trail in the occupied territories to supplement Israel’s National Trail, which runs inside the country’s internationally recognized frontiers.

Clashes erupt as 1,200 Israelis pray at Joseph’s Tomb near Nablus, Ma’an

More than a thousand Israelis escorted by Israeli forces visited Joseph’s Tomb in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Sunday night, sparking clashes with local Palestinian youth. Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from different settlements across the West Bank traveled in 24 buses and arrived to the religious site near the Balata refugee camp, where they performed religious rituals until dawn. Clashes broke out in the area, with Israeli soldiers reportedly firing tear gas and sound bombs, and Palestinian youth throwing rocks and empty bottles.

Opinion and Analysis

Who could replace Peres?, Al-Monitor

Uri Savir writes, “People are now starting to ask the obvious question: Who will succeed Peres? But the question that should be asked is not who will follow his policies — many could do this — but rather who has character and leadership traits similar to his in order to make the necessary historic decisions on a two-state solution. Peres rarely spoke about it, but there were two people in whom he saw the qualities of good strategic thinking and the possible courage for difficult decision-making: former chiefs of staff Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi. Indeed, he had talked with each of them about the possibility of joining Israeli politics.”

The crisis of Israel’s anti-occupation Left, +972

Meirav Zonszein writes, “We can’t live in a constant state of guilt. But even as we Israeli leftists are increasingly persecuted, we also have to recognize the privileges we enjoy. One of the most powerful privileges is even having the option of considering emigration. And it is precisely because of those privileges I enjoy here that I feel compelled to fight for all those who lack them. That stands true irrespective of the very personal decision of whether to stay or go.”

A year on the job, Danny Danon says he’s ‘part of running the show’ at UN, Times of Israel

Raphael Ahren interviews Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations.

Occupation denial is pushing me out of my Jewish community, +972

Jenn Pollan argues, “In the wake of the release of the Movement for Black Lives platform, the opposition of many Jewish organizations — and the silence of progressive organizations, many of whom had profoundly shaped my vision of justice — was stinging. The fervent, public opposition to Black Lives Matter was particularly stark considering how few Jewish organizations have publicly condemned Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. What I found striking about reactions to the platform was what they demonstrated about the Jewish community’s support for the occupation. The Jewish community can no longer acknowledge the full depth of black oppression in this country, fearing that if they do they might reveal how black parents instructing their children to refrain from wearing hoodies around the police is eerily similar to a Palestinian parent instructing their child to wear a cross at a checkpoint.”

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