J STREET GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS NEWS DIGEST | July 3, 2024

July 3, 2024

 

Government Affairs News Digest

I’m writing to share important updates from the region, as well as J Street’s statements from this past week. As a reminder, you can always find our most recent statements here.

All the best,
Hannah


Hannah Morris
She/Her
Director of Government Affairs, J Street
Cell: 832-606-1817
J Street’s Congressional Resource Page

This week on j street

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STATEMENT

POLITICIZED SUPREME COURT FRACTURES US DEMOCRACY, REINFORCES NEED TO DEFEAT TRUMP

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ISSUE BRIEF

WEST BANK ANNEXATION AND DESTABILIZATION IN THE SHADOW OF THE ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR

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What we’re reading

Israeli Generals, Low on Munitions, Want a Truce in Gaza

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The generals think that a truce would be the best way of freeing the roughly 120 Israelis still held, both dead and alive, in Gaza, according to interviews with six current and former security officials. Underequipped for further fighting after Israel’s longest war in decades, the generals also think their forces need time to recuperate in case a land war breaks out against Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia that has been locked in a low-level fight with Israel since October, multiple officials said. A truce with Hamas could also make it easier to reach a deal with Hezbollah, according to the officials, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive security matters. Hezbollah has said it will continue to strike northern Israel until Israel stops fighting in the Gaza Strip.
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Biden expected to meet Netanyahu in D.C. this month: White House official

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President Biden is expected to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he arrives in Washington, D.C., later this month to speak in front of a joint session of Congress, a White House official said… Netanyahu will come to Washington amid growing tensions between the Biden administration and the Israeli government over the war in Gaza… “President Biden has known Prime Minister Netanyahu for three decades. They will likely see each other when the prime minister is here over the course of that week,” a White House official told Axios… Netanyahu is expected to arrive in Washington in three weeks to give a speech to Congress on July 24.
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Israel announces largest West Bank land appropriation since Oslo Accords

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The amount of land declared to be state land in 2024, some 5,852 acres as of July, far outstrips any other year this century. The highest previous total was 1,181 acres in 2014. The Civil Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment. “[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [Finance Minister Bezalel] Smotrich are determined to fight against the entire world and against the interests of the people of Israel for the benefit of a handful of settlers who receive thousands of dunams [each one is a quarter acre] as if there were no political conflict to resolve, or war to end,” says Peace Now.
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At Tel Aviv confab, Israel’s embattled peace camp seeks to revive itself post-Oct. 7

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“The Time Has Come” event, held at Menora Mivtachim Arena, brought together all corners of Israel’s beleaguered left ranging from older, established groups like Peace Now to more recently founded movements such as Standing Together. Israel’s peace camp has been in sharp decline for years now, and its struggle to regain prominence in the political sphere has only become more difficult since since the start of the war on October 7, when the Hamas terror group stormed southern Israeli communities, killing some 1,200 people and taking 251 hostages, 120 of whom remain in Gaza. But after nearly nine months of war, the enduring bloc convened to reaffirm its basic premise following October 7 — only a negotiated political resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that ensures equality for both peoples can prevent another massacre.
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Israel wants local clans to run Gaza after the war. But the candidates are refusing

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Israel has been “actively looking for local tribes and families on the ground to work with them,” said Tahani Mustafa, senior Palestine analyst at the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank. “They refused.” They don’t want to get involved, in part because they fear retribution from Hamas, said Mustafa, who is in touch with some of the families and other local stakeholders in Gaza. That threat is real because – despite Israel’s war objective of destroying Hamas – the Palestinian terror group still has operatives enforcing its will on the streets of Gaza, according to six residents who spoke to Reuters.
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Palestinian Fighters in West Bank Seek to Emulate Hamas in Gaza

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Refugee camps in the northern West Bank, like the one in Tulkarm, have been hotbeds of militancy for years, well before the war in Gaza, as fighters pushed back against ever-increasing Israeli settlement activity and the failure of the peace process to produce a Palestinian state. After Oct. 7, Hamas urged Palestinians to join its uprising against Israel, a call that seems to have been heeded by some in these camps. Militants like Mr. Jaber want to push the Israelis out of the West Bank, which Israel occupied after the 1967 war, and some, like Hamas, want to push the Israelis out of the region entirely… Fatah recognizes Israel’s right to exist and cooperates with its army. But some of the militants affiliated to Fatah, part of the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades crucial to the second intifada of the early 2000s, have never respected the Palestinian Authority and its compromises with Israel and the occupation. Some have, like Mr. Jaber, simply declared their new allegiance to the more hard-line Islamist factions.
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Analysis | Fear of a Full-blown Conflict in Lebanon Looms, With Members of Israel’s Government Stoking It

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The rumors among Israelis about the imminence of an all-out war in Lebanon have been growing, without any necessary connection to events on the ground. On Sunday, four Hezbollah members were killed in Israeli attacks. On the other hand, assault drones and rockets were fired from Lebanon, with 18 Israeli soldiers wounded, one severely, in a drone attack on the Golan Heights. Yet the Israel Defense Forces and Hezbollah have recently conducted the exchange of fire between each other at a slightly lower level of intensity, for the most part, than has been the case in recent months. That, however, hasn’t really eased the concerns in Israel and in Lebanon. The continued absence of a diplomatic solution to the conflict, which began when Hezbollah fired at Israel after the Hamas massacre on the Gaza border last October, the mutual exchange of threats, the inability to delink what is occurring in Lebanon from the war in Gaza, have all heightened the anxiety about war. Accordingly, rumors, scare-mongering and idle theories freely circulate.
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