News Roundup for August 15, 2018

August 15, 2018

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Top News and Analysis

Israel’s nationality law knows no boundaries, Al-Monitor

Akiva Eldar writes, “The nationality law, the rotten fruit of an arrogant and shortsighted worldview based on the rules of a zero-sum game, undermines Israel’s prospects of being a state like any other, with recognized boundaries, living in peace and security with its neighbors. To accomplish this, the Israelis must return to the path of the Oslo spirit, on which all sides are guaranteed winners and which zealots from both sides have destroyed. Every day, the children of Gaza and those of the Israeli town of Sderot across the fence are paying the price of the war these zealots are mongering.”

BDS: how a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debate, Guardian

Nathan Thrall assesses the impact of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.


Israel lets food, goods back into Gaza as Egypt pushes truce, Reuters

Israel allowed commercial goods back into the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, in a sign of an easing of tensions as neighboring Egypt pursued a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian enclave’s dominant armed faction.

Prominent American author says Israel detained him for hours, Washington Post

A prominent American author and former CNN program host says he was detained by Israel at a border crossing on a recent visit. Iranian-born Reza Aslan tweeted Tuesday that he was held for hours, questioned about his politics and told to write down the names of Palestinians and journalists he knew and Palestinian organizations he supported. He says the woman who interrogated him threatened to separate him from his family.

Palestinians wary as U.N. may not open schools in time, Reuters

The United Nations agency dealing with Palestinian refugees may not be able to open schools for half a million children because it has run out of money since the United States cut its funding, U.N. officials say.

Bennett rejects potential truce deal with Hamas as ‘reward for terrorists’, Times of Israel

A key coalition ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday harshly criticized any deal for a long-term ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip, adding that ministers in his party will oppose it.

Survey suggests Palestinian radicalization driven by lack of hope, Al-Monitor

According to the latest public opinion poll of Palestinians, published Aug. 6 by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) in cooperation with the Berlin-based Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 61% oppose US peace efforts, while 80% of respondents “don’t believe [the forthcoming US peace plan] will produce anything acceptable to Palestinians.”

Deputy Attorney General asks Shin Bet to explain left-wing detentions: report, i24NEWS

Israel’s Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber says her office has been examining Shin Bet security service reports following several incidents during which Israelis and foreign civilians were detained and questioned based on ties to left-wing groups.

Police said likely to recommend bribery charges against PM in Bezeq case, Times of Israel

Police are reportedly leaning towards recommending an indictment against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on charges of bribery in the Bezeq corruption probe, known as Case 4000.


Opinion and Analysis

Peter Beinart and the Crisis of Israel’s Illiberal Zionism, Haaretz

Carlo Strenger writes, “The Netanyahu government is of course very keen to maintain Israel’s status as the ‘Middle East’s only democracy.’ But it wants to undermine the liberal aspect of democracy by defining it primarily as a system in which parliament is elected in free and fair elections – i.e., majority rule without minority rights. It is much less keen on the liberal aspects of democracy: judicial oversight of government and parliament, which the governing coalition has tried to destroy in several initiatives, and a free press that can criticize government policy.”

Was it a ‘mistake’ when Israel banned me, Bibi?, Forward

Ariel Gold writes, “I would love to believe Netanyahu’s explanation that [Peter] Beinart’s detention was a mistake, that Israel is such a free-speech loving democracy (at least for Jews only), that if Beinart attends nonviolent protests in the West Bank, he will still be allowed entry. I would love to believe that my denial of entry was also a mistake and I should again try to enter Israel, where I might voice my opinions ‘freely and robustly.’ Unfortunately, I know better. Israel has never hidden that it is not an open society for all. Certainly it is not an open society for those who live under occupation without basic human rights. What is now being revealed is that it is not even an open society for Jews. No trite statement from Netanyahu can hide that.”