News Roundup for April 22, 2019

April 22, 2019

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J Street in the News

Mike Doyle talks Israel, anti-Semitism and guns, Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle
“Doyle was invited on the J Street-sponsored tour of Israel by Nancy Bernstein, co-chair of J Street Pittsburgh […] Doyle said he ‘liked the trip because it was very balanced, we got a chance to see both sides of the coin and the region, and to see some of the challenges.’ A proponent of a two-state solution, Doyle came away from the trip ‘realizing that nobody is sure what the solution is there, but I think that some of the moves that our administration has made vis-a-vis Israel have not helped the situation in terms of a two-state solution.’”

Top News and Analysis

American Jews, Resist Netanyahu Like He’s Trump, Haaretz
Ori Nir writes, “For Jewish organizations, adopt an organized, proactive, forward leaning attitude. Some Jewish organizations will never challenge Israel’s destructive policies. But those that embrace the two-state solution must assert their concern for Israel’s future as a democracy. That means vociferous opposition to West Bank annexation and to the assault on Israeli democratic institutions and civil society. It means openly and uninhibitedly discussing and airing concerns over Israeli government policies in synagogues, community centers, and Hillels, and articulating these concerns to Israeli and American leaders and publics. Obviously, with compassion and care, but with unflinching moral fortitude.”

The world had decades to stop annexation. Just ask Palestinians, +972 Mag
Hagai El-Ad writes, “For decades on end, it was the international community that did not ‘miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity’ to make an actual difference, offering words but no action through years of feigned concern. Now, once again, concern is being expressed over ‘preserving the eventual possibility of a two-state solution.’ It is difficult to imagine framing the matter in weaker, vaguer, or more ambiguous terms.”

For Palestinian Families, ‘No Light at the End of the Tunnel’, New York Times
David M. Halbfinger and Miriam Berger write, “From his bedroom, Mr. Abu Helew, who drives a food-distribution route, sees Israeli police at the village entrance. Often he cannot pass. ‘The years before the P.A. came were better,’ he says of the Palestinian Authority, which has governed parts of the West Bank since 1995. Before that, residents were still under Israeli occupation but had more freedom of movement. He dismisses the authority as Israeli-owned, largely because of how much Palestinian security forces do, in his view, to aid Israeli control. Life is only getting worse, he said.”


Israeli Soldiers Shoot Bound, Blindfolded Palestinian Teen Trying to Flee, Haaretz
Israeli soldiers shot on Thursday a restrained Palestinian teenager they had detained for suspected stone-throwing as he was attempting to flee, although he was blindfolded and handcuffed. The suspect was kept detained at the scene even after he had been shot, however, after clashes between soldiers and Palestinians at the scene, the Palestinians evacuated the suspect to receive medical treatment.

Fatah official: Arab states pressuring us to accept ‘deal of the century’, The Jerusalem Post
“Some Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, are very interested in the deal of the century,” the official claimed. “They are using all means, including political and financial blackmail, to force the Palestinians to accept the deal of the century despite all the dangers it poses to the Palestinian cause.”

Document of the Week: Jared Kushner’s Mideast Peace Email, Foreign Policy
The fate of the region’s Palestinians had been a major sticking point in decades of Middle East peace efforts, and Kushner was hoping to take it off the table by stripping Palestinians of their refugee status. To bolster his case, he fired off this email at 7:50 a.m. on Jan. 11 to the administration’s top brass, linking to a Wall Street Journal op-ed that advocated eliminating the Palestinian refugee problem by getting rid of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which serves them, and persuading the Palestinian Authority to take charge of its population and neighboring states to absorb the Palestinians into their territory.

Israel bars hundreds of Palestinian Christians from traveling on Easter, +972 Mag
In an unprecedented decision, Israeli authorities are denying hundreds of Palestinian Christians the right to travel to Jerusalem for the holiday, while barring all movement between the West Bank and Gaza.

Iran appoints fiery general who vows to destroy Israel as new IRGC head, Times of Israel
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shuffled the top ranks of the hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Sunday, appointing the deputy chief of the hardline force as its top leader […] Salami has frequently vowed to destroy Israel and “break America.” Iran was “planning to break America, Israel, and their partners and allies. Our ground forces should cleanse the planet from the filth of their existence,” Salami said in February. The previous month, he vowed to wipe Israel off the “global political map,” and to unleash an “inferno” on the Jewish state.

Arab League pledges $100M per month to Palestinian Authority, AP
The Arab League has pledged $100 million per month to the Palestinian Authority to make up for funds withheld by Israel because of payments made to the families of Palestinian attackers and prisoners.

At Arab League, Abbas accuses Netanyahu of not ‘believing in peace’, Times of Israel
Castigating the imminent Trump proposal, Abbas complained, “I ask myself: What is left for them to present us, for us to expect or even for us to be happy with? They took Jerusalem and the occupied territories. They cancelled the refugees. They legalized the settlements. And the territories are no longer occupied. So, what remains?”

Israel razes home of Palestinian man accused of murdering Israeli teen, JTA
The family home of the Palestinian man accused of raping and murdering a teenage Israeli girl was demolished. The Israel Defense Forces on Friday razed the home of Arafat Irfaiya in Hebron. Irfaiya, 29, is accused of the violent attack on Ori Ansbacher, 19, whose body was found Feb. 7 in the Jerusalem Forest outside of the Ein Yael Living Museum, where she was working with children for her year of national service.

Opinion and Analysis

To Listen to Palestinian News Every Morning Is Torture, Haaretz
Amira Hass writes, “[A] 15-year-old boy was killed by soldiers’ gunfire at Al Bureij in Gaza and 38 were wounded […] The occupation announced construction of another 200 housing units in the settlement of Gilo, the Israeli court permitted the occupation authorities to deport/destroy/expropriate/arrest, soldiers executed a young woman, claiming that she had carried out a knife attack. And on and on. Every day, almost every newscast. Every Palestinian news channel […] They don’t even reach the people who should hear them – that is, Israeli Jews.”

Israeli election may have dimmed hopes for 2-state solution, AP
Josef Federman writes, “Tamar Hermann, an expert on Israeli public opinion at the Israel Democracy Institute, said the election results do not necessarily mean that Israelis have given up on peace. Instead, she said the issue just isn’t on people’s minds.”

Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Parties Embrace Technology and Emerge Stronger, New York Times
Isabel Kershner writes, “The most conservative ultra-Orthodox are ambivalent about the Jewish state or reject it outright because they believe it should come into being only after the arrival of the Messiah. And yet, many have pursued secular higher education over the last decade, and more men have joined the work force instead of remaining in seminaries — and on welfare. Several thousand serve in the military. The ultra-Orthodox also have created their own feisty digital media presence, with sites trading political news and gossip.”

Is Benjamin Netanyahu about to go rogue in Jerusalem? All the signs are there, The Guardian
Mark Dumper writes, “As the election posters are removed, the great concern emerging in Palestinian East Jerusalem is that Netanyahu is politically strong enough, with both a new mandate and an increasingly compliant US administration behind him, to allow him to act with greater impunity with regard to the Christian and Islamic holy sites of the city.”