News Roundup for August 10, 2018

August 10, 2018
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J Street in the News

J Street Deeply Concerned by New Escalation in Gaza, J Street

“J Street is deeply concerned by the recent escalation in Gaza, in which over 200 rockets have been indiscriminately fired into Israeli communities, prompting major IDF airstrikes throughout the Strip. According to reports, at least 11 Israelis have been wounded, while three Palestinians have died and at least 18 have been wounded.”

For Trump and Co., Few Palestinians Count as Refugees, Foreign Policy

“Dylan Williams, the senior vice president of government affairs for the liberal advocacy group J Street, countered that it is a ‘pernicious myth that the Palestinians alone are the only refugees whose status is passed along to their descendants. This was very much a fringe idea that comes from the right wing in both Israel and the United States that is fundamentally opposed to a workable two-state solution,’said Williams. ‘These people want to take the refugee status off the table in the same way the president claimed he took Jerusalem off the table by moving the U.S. embassy there.”

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Army Lifts Restrictions for Gaza Border Communities After Quiet Night, Haaretz

“All security restrictions have been withdrawn from the Gaza border communities after a situation assessment by the Israeli army, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit on Friday. Earlier on Friday, following a quiet night in the Gaza border communities, Israel’s Home Front Command issued new instructions to residents. Summer day camps have been allowed inside shelters, and the Ashkelon-Sderot train returned to regular activity. Following an escalation in hostilities between Israel and Gaza beginning on Wednesday, a foreign diplomat told Haaretz that Israel and Hamas reached a cease-fire late Thursday. According to the diplomat, the cease-fire is not part of a wider agreement being negotiated between the two parties.”

Israelis and Palestinians must unite against shared threat, CNN

Special US representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt writes, “We hope the day will come when, instead of allowing their leadership to spread conflagrations that produce nothing but death, destruction and misery, Palestinians in Gaza can join Palestinians in the West Bank to help fight fires together with Israelis. The question is: which path will the Palestinians in Gaza choose? It is time to put out the fire and choose peace.”

Israel’s Nationality Law lays ground for West Bank annexation, Al-Monitor

Ron Skolnik writes, “The new Basic Law does not explicitly mention an annexation of ‘the Land of Israel,’ and when, in its third Basic Principle, it grants the Jewish people an exclusive right to national self-determination, it does so within the context of the “State of Israel” alone.

Yet in right-wing Israel, the line between “Land” and “State” is frequently blurred and easily crossed. The 2011 Law Preventing Harm to the State of Israel by Means of Boycott, for example, legislated under a previous Netanyahu government, established a definition of the “State of Israel” that includes any “area under [Israel’s] control” — in other words, that encompasses the occupied territories beyond Israel’s recognized borders….And a proposed amendment submitted by the liberal Meretz Party that would have prevented the new law from being applied to territories beyond Israel’s current sovereign boundaries was roundly and tellingly defeated, 63 to 31.”

News

Southern mayors say Gaza truce a ‘mistake,’ call for long-term solution, Times of Israel

Leaders of Israeli cities and towns near the Gaza border on Friday criticized the government over an apparent ceasefire with Hamas and called for a long-term solution, after a two-day bout of violence saw the heaviest exchange of fire between Israel and the Gaza terrorist organization since the 2014 war. Hours after fighting grounded to a halt, local officials called on the government to secure a permanent end to rocket fire from the Palestinian coastal enclave, whether by military or diplomatic means.

Hamas urges new Gaza border protests, testing uneasy calm, i24NEWS

Hamas vowed to continue protests along the border between Gaza and Israel on Friday, testing the calm that has descended on the region after two days of fierce fighting.

Palestinian who saved Jewish kids after terror attack to be booted from Israel, Times of Israel

A Palestinian man who saved the children of a West Bank rabbi  in the aftermath of the deadly terror attack in which the father was killed, has been told he has to return to the West Bank, despite threats on his life there, Hadashot news reported Friday.

Palestinian-American is source of West Bank Pride, Associated Press

The Michigan primary victory of Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American who is expected to become the first Muslim woman to serve in the U.S. Congress, triggered an outpouring of joy in her ancestral village on Wednesday. Relatives in Beit Our al-Foqa, where Tlaib’s mother was born, greeted the news with a mixture of pride and hope that she will take on a U.S. administration widely seen as hostile to the Palestinian cause.

Firing of Palestinian prisoner affairs minister sparks anger, Al-Monitor

Political activists, families of prisoners and former prisoners have reacted angrily to the dismissal of Prisoner Affairs Minister Issa Qaraqe, who was replaced by fellow former prisoner Qadri Abu Bakr. In addition, the entire Prisoner’s Affairs Committee, which is headed by the minister, was also replaced. President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the changes in a presidential decree signed Aug. 2.

Opinion and Analysis

I’m Not the ‘Right Kind of Jew’ for Israel’s Current Government – and I’m Proud of It, Haaretz

Abby Kirschbaum writes, “Sunday night, crossing the border from Egypt to Israel, my friend Simone Zimmerman and I were detained and questioned by Israeli security services for four hours. While my experience barely scratched the surface of the kind of surveillance and interrogation to which Palestinians are subjected, it left me shaken and disturbed about the direction in which Israel, a country I have lived and worked in over the past year, and in whose future I am deeply invested, is going.”

Trump’s sanctions against Iran are a clear breach of international law, Guardian

Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo writes, “The US withdrawal from JCPOA and reimposition of its sanctions is a serious breach of its legal obligations under the UN charter, which entails its international responsibility. The international community must act in the face of this international intimidation and affront towards the international legal order.”

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