News Roundup for August 11, 2017

August 11, 2017

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Top News and Analysis

Former Shin Bet Director: Anti BDS Bill Hurts Israel, Forward

Ami Ayalon, Gilead Sher and Orni Petruschka write, “Those members of Congress who believe they demonstrate support for Israel by protecting it from boycotts are in fact doing a disservice to Israel through the way the bill is currently phrased. The guiding principle must be to make a clear demarcation between Israel and the occupied territories. That principle should inform the actions of any person or entity who wishes Israel to be the democratic home for the Jewish.”

The ‘Alt-right’ Plot Against McMaster, Spurred by Its Jewish Fellow Travelers, Haaretz

Dov Zakheim decries the “unholy alliance between the so-called alt-right and extreme Zionists that seeks to oust US National Security Advisor General H. R. McMaster….Until he joined the administration, Steve Bannon headed Breitbart, a source of nasty, often misleading reports that at times had anti-Semitic overtones. Mort Klein, the ZOA’s leader, has long been known as an outlier on the American Jewish spectrum, reflecting the most extreme views of the Israeli settler community and its allies in both Israel and America. One of those Israeli allies is Caroline Glick, who has articulated views similar to Klein’s. If ever there was a ménage à trois made in hell, it is this one….As it happens, McMaster is no enemy of Israel. Quite the contrary; he has long supported a strong U.S.-Israeli defense relationship. His sin is to reflect the bipartisan Washington consensus on the Middle East. He has not been a vocal proponent of abrogating the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as JCPOA, and is an advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is noteworthy that Trump, known for all his blunt statements and tweets, recently recertified American adherence to the Iran deal. In addition, Trump has voiced his support for a solution to the Middle East impasse that would result in an independent Palestinian entity. McMaster is therefore not out of step with the president, but with the ‘alt-right’ ideologues and their Jewish fellow travelers.”


Waqf says Israel didn’t damage any historic items on Temple Mount, Times of Israel

The Jerusalem Waqf said on Wednesday that when Israeli security services conducted searches on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem following a shooting attack at the site, they did not damage or steal any historical items.

Hamas Denies Existence of Plan to Relinquish Control of Gaza Amid Humanitarian Crisis, Haaretz

Hamas denied reports that its military wing has presented a plan that effectively would create a power vacuum in Gaza with the aim of pressuring the Palestinian Authority and the international community to solve the enclave’s humanitarian crisis. According to a Thursday report in the Al-Aqsa television station run by Hamas, the plan includes four points whose implementation could lead to a direct confrontation with Israel. According to the plan, Hamas would relinquish day-to-day control of civil affairs in the Gaza Strip. The police would do their routine work with the assistance of the security forces. The military wing and other factions such as Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees would be responsible for security along the border with Israel.

Safe in Jerusalem, Iranian blogger thanks Israel for ‘saving’ her, Times of Israel

Hours after she arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday, Neda Amin, an Iranian-born journalist and dissident who feared being deported to her native country, thanked the Israeli government for granting her refuge, adding that she has Jewish roots and would love to live in Israel. During a press conference at The Times of Israel’s Jerusalem offices, Amin — who blogged regularly and freelanced for The Times of Israel’s Persian site — described her anguish as she feared Turkey, where she had lived as a refugee since 2014, would deport her back to Iran.

Supreme Court reduces sentence of Palestinian teen who stabbed two Israelis, JTA

Israel’s Supreme Court reduced the prison sentence of a Palestinian teen who stabbed two Israelis in Jerusalem in 2015. The court shortened the 12-year sentence of Ahmed Mansra by 30 months, citing a positive report on his rehabilitation.

After Support Rally, Party Members Convinced Netanyahu Will Not Step Down if Indicted, Haaretz

“Many cabinet members and legislators say that if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is indicted on corruption charges he will have to resign, but  anything short of that means they will not demand his resignation and he will remain the Likud party’s unchallenged leader. Some ministers say that any indictment justifies his resignation, while others say it depends on the charges. Some ministers say that if Netanyahu is charged with breach of trust he must resign, others cite bribery.”

Survey finds 72% back investigating Netanyahu, Times of Israel

Israelis are in favor of pushing ahead with two corruption investigations into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but almost half of those surveyed said they agree with the premier when he claims he is the subject of a witch hunt aimed ousting him out of office. sraelis are in favor of pushing ahead with two corruption investigations into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but almost half of those surveyed said they agree with the premier when he claims he is the subject of a witch hunt aimed ousting him out of office.

Opinions and Analysis

Israel, PA discreetly resume security coordination, Al-Monitor

Shlomi Eldar reports, “Security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been renewed, but no official announcement was issued — nor is one expected. Al-Monitor had learned about it from Israeli defense sources who spoke on condition of anonymity….It now turns out that security coordination between the sides was restored on Aug. 4, without any formal announcement and with Palestinian security forces being sworn to secrecy about the move. The next day, Israeli troops had already detained dozens of suspects in the Jalazone and Balata refugee camps in the West Bank. Both these camps are located in West Bank Area A. Past experience indicates that Israeli soldiers coordinate their entry into these areas with Palestinian police.”

As Far as Israel’s Right-wing Is Concerned, Netanyahu Can Do No Wrong, Haaretz

Yossi Verter observes, “Right-wingers do not rush to desert leaders who (appear to) have strayed from the straight and narrow. If outgoing and incoming Labor Party leaders MK Isaac Herzog and Avi Gabbay, respectively, were to find themselves in a similar situation, involving even less serious suspicions, we would be seeing mass flight: Not a dog would remain to defend them. That’s the right’s advantage over the left, and it’s always been like that, from the period of the corruption in the Labor Alignment of the 1970s to this very day.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: Where I Stand On Israel, BDS, And The First Amendment, Forward

“We should never have to choose between supporting Israel and supporting the First Amendment. The oath I swore as a Senator was to ‘support and defend the Constitution.’ That means defending free speech, including protests I really don’t like. But it also means keeping our country safe – and an important part of that is protecting our alliance with Israel. I am proud to defend the First Amendment and support Israel, and I urge all New Yorkers to join me in fighting for both.”

The Israelis Who Take Rebuilding the Third Temple Very Seriously, Haaretz

Eran Tzidkiyahu, a guide to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, explains why Temple activists are so driven – and how their mission clashes with a fundamental part of Palestinian identity.

Fighting to Preserve the Iran Deal Is More Important than Ever, J Street

Benjy Cannon writes, “The Iran nuclear deal has been a topic of intense discussion over the last few weeks. After reluctantly re-certifying Iranian compliance a few weeks ago, reports circulated that President Trump is actively seeking ways to undermine the JCPOA. If he does so, it could spell disaster. Fortunately, pragmatic, pro-diplomacy voices are starting to hit back.”

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