News Roundup for August 13, 2018

August 13, 2018

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J Street in the News

Donald Trump’s Envoy for Middle East Peace tells Israelis a Two-State Solution is ‘Just a Slogan’, Newsweek

“We should take seriously those comments because they suggest any proposal this administration puts forward is going to stray from the long-held bipartisan consensus in support for a two-state solution,’ Dylan Williams, the chief lobbyist for J Street, a Washington-based non-profit, told Newsweek. ‘It’s not a slogan, it’s the only way for Israel to remain Jewish and democratic. We’re very concerned that any plan they [Kushner and Greenblatt] put forward is likely to be a sham, a sham that is designed to elicit a Palestinian ‘no,” Williams added.”

Top News and Analysis

Tens of Thousands Gather in Tel Aviv for Nation-state Law Protest Led by Israeli Arabs, Haaretz

Bar Peleg and Jack Khoury report, “Tens of thousands of demonstrators protesting the nation-state law gathered in Tel Aviv Saturday night in the wake of last week’s mass march, which drew tens of thousands of Israelis to protest in solidarity with the country’s Druze community….Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter to comment on the ongoing rally. In response to protesters waving Palestinian flags, Netanyahu wrote on his official handle:

‘There is no better testimony for the necessity of the nation-state law. We will continue to wave the Israeli flag proudly and sing the anthem (Hatikva) with even greater pride.’ The premier attached a video from the protest showing protesters hoisting Palestinian flags in the crowd.”

Netanyahu Wakes Up Middle Israel, American Prospect

Gershom Gorenberg writes, “For much of Middle Israel, the occupation has vanished from sight. The West Bank is not across a sea, as Algeria was from France, or across the world, as India was from Britain. But if you act like it is, you can get on with life more easily. The Nation-State Law shows there’s no point in putting the occupation out of mind. Netanyahu’s project isn’t just holding onto occupied territory. It’s creating a different country within the borders of Israel. That’s what’s at stake.”

From Charlottesville to Nation-state Bill, Trump and Netanyahu Fiddle as the Fabric of Society Burns, Haaretz

Chemi Shalev writes, “There was something symbolic, after all, in the concurrence of the first anniversary of the Charlottesville riots and the convulsions that have gripped Israel over the past few weeks, after the passage of the nation-state law. The two events are unrelated and incomparable, of course, except in the ways that they are. Both mark eerily similar lines in the sand that draw new demarcations of a national divide. In the U.S., it’s the majority of white people against minorities and those who would defend them. In Israel, it’s the majority of Jewish people against minorities and those who would defend them.”


Security cabinet huddles over Gaza Strip violence, ceasefire with Hamas, Times of Israel

The top-level security cabinet met on Sunday to discuss the ongoing Gaza Strip violence and the military options available, hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear that Israel wants a full ceasefire and nothing less.

EU: Gaza, Israel ‘dangerously close’ to new conflict, i24NEWS

The escalation of violence in recent days has brought Gaza and Israel dangerously close to yet more conflict, the European Union said in a statement on Friday.

Israeli defense minister says more Gaza violence inevitable, AFP

Another round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip is inevitable, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday, despite attempts to reach a long-term truce.

Gaza fishing boats challenging Israeli blockade draw navy fire, Reuters

A group of Palestinian fishing boats that sailed off the shore of Gaza to challenge an Israeli naval blockade of the coastal enclave drew warning shots from the Israeli navy on Saturday, the boats’ organizers said.

Poll: new low in Israeli-Palestinian support for 2 states, Associated Press

A new poll says support for a two-state solution among Israeli Jews and Palestinians is at a two-decade low. The joint poll conducted by Tel Aviv University and The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research determined that just 43 percent of Israelis and Palestinians support a vision of peace that would create a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Palestinian medic killed, 170 injured in Gaza border protests, i24NEWS

Some 9,000 Palestinians demonstrators gathered at five different locations along the Gaza Strip border on Friday, Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) said, marking 20th consecutive Friday’s of protests….The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said paramedic Abdullah al-Qatiti was killed during the clashes.

Opinion and Analysis

Jewish, or Democratic? The True Aim of Israel’s ‘Nation-State’ Law, World Politics Review

Avner Inbar writes, “The nation-state law, instead, is meant to ensure much more than self-determination. Its true aim is hegemony: a formal distinction between the civic status of Jews, as full members of the body politic, and non-Jews, as junior citizens—structurally subordinate to the sovereignty of Jews. The law itself translates this distorted reasoning into relatively mild legal provisions. But it is extremely naïve to believe that the law is really intended to correct an inadvertent imbalance in Israel’s past constitutional revolution, rather than to usher in a new one.”

Jared Kushner’s Assault on Mideast Peace, Bloomberg

Hussein Ibish writes, “In his emails about the UN relief agency, [Jared] Kushner mused, ‘Sometimes you have to strategically risk breaking things.’ He’s done that brilliantly, smashing both U.S. credibility and any hope for lasting peace into as many shards of glass as a window in southern Israel or an apartment in Gaza City.