News Roundup for August 15, 2019

August 15, 2019

Receive the roundup in your inbox every morning!

J Street in the News

Jewish Organizations Urge US to Meet Refugee Resettlement Goal, Jewish Exponent
“The same day that mass U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids took place across the country — 167 Jewish organizations nationwide sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. ‘On behalf of the 167 undersigned national, state and local Jewish organizations and institutions below, we write to express our shared grave concern about recent reports that the administration is considering resettling zero refugees in the United States in FY2020,’ the letter begins.”

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu appears poised to block Omar, Tlaib from entering Israel ahead of a planned weekend visit, Washington Post
A forthcoming trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) may be blocked by Israel in its current proposed format, a senior Israeli government official told The Washington Post on Thursday […] President Trump, who maintains a close relationship with Netanyahu, was reportedly disappointed in Israel’s announcement that it would permit Tlaib and Omar to visit. 

Sanders proposes leveraging aid for Israel, The Hill
White House hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) proposed at a town hall Tuesday leveraging billions of dollars in aid to Israel to push the country to change some of its policies. “The goal of the United States has got to be is to bring people in the region together, the Palestinians and the Israelis, to create a kind of workable peace which works for both parties, not just one,” Sanders said Tuesday in New Hampshire. “The United States government gives a whole lot of money to Israel, and I think we can leverage that money to end some of the racism that we have recently seen in Israel.”

Three Basic Scenarios for Israel’s Upcoming Election: Sweet Dreams, King Lieberman and Your Worst Nightmare, Haaretz
Chemi Shalev writes, “It takes a swing of only five Knesset seats to save Netanyahu from prosecution and undermine Israeli democracy – or vice versa.”


Israel May Backtrack on Allowing Omar, Tlaib to Enter Over BDS Endorsement, Haaretz
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may decide to bar Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the country for a visit they are expected to begin on Saturday, Israeli officials told Haaretz. The officials said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held consultations on Wednesday with the country’s foreign minister, interior minister, National Security Council chief and attorney general, but has yet to decide. 

Report: Israel to bar US Congress members Omar, Tlaib from visiting, Times of Israel
The planned visit of the two controversial freshman lawmakers has made headlines in recent days after it was reported that US President Donald Trump was disappointed by Israel’s decision not to bar them from coming. Israel’s laws allow border authorities to turn away supporters of the anti-Israel boycott movement.

Trump endorses man who openly avows white nationalism, collects Nazi relics and called Sandy Hook ‘a hoax’, The Independent
Donald Trump has endorsed the political ambitions of ex-Arizona Diamondbacks baseball star Curt Schilling, an outspoken conservative and Breitbart podcast host known for espousing conspiracy theories and white nationalist rhetoric and collecting Nazi memorabilia.

Israel bracing for likely Omar, Tlaib visit to flashpoint Temple Mount, Times of Israel
Israeli officials are preparing for the likelihood that US congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib may seek to visit the flashpoint Temple Mount in Jerusalem during their visit to the country next week, Channel 13 reported Wednesday.

Mahmoud Abbas snubs visiting Republicans, JTA
Abbas dropped out of a scheduled meeting in Ramallah with the delegation of 31 Republicans, according to Jewish Insider, leaving the lawmakers to meet with PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat and Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.

Palestinians deny Abbas snubbed visiting Republican delegation, Times of Israel
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did not snub a visiting delegation of Republican members of Congress, Fatah spokesman Osama Qawasma said on Wednesday, noting that they were informed five days ahead of time that he could not meet them.

Mahmoud Abbas caught up in Israeli election row as comments distorted, The National
During the meeting, Mr Abbas said he had requested meetings several times with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but his Israeli counterpart had refused. Mr Abbas also expressed hope that the next Israeli government, to be elected in September, will be more open to meeting. Tuesday evening, Mr Netanyahu tweeted out a story from the Jerusalem Post, a local English newspaper, with the headline, “Abbas expresses hope Netanyahu will be defeated in election,” declaring the piece gave voters another reason to vote for his Likud party. Ms Rothman’s spokesperson said that Mr Abbas did not say this. Mr Abbas did not endorse a party or candidate, local journalists briefed on the meeting reported.

Knesset panel narrowly okays election run by Otzma Yehudit as Labor rep vanishes, Times of Israel
A bid to disqualify the Kahanist party fell short after the Labor leader’s brother-in-law disappeared during vote, leaving the committee tied 15-15. Other parties on the left accused Labor of betrayal.

Opinion and Analysis

How the once-fringe Jewish Temple Movement is going mainstream, +972 Mag
Yonathan Mizrachi writes, “The Jewish Temple Movement has for years tried to change the status quo in one of the most contested holy sites in the world. Now the most mainstream figures on the Israeli right are finally listening.”

Israel’s New Iron Lady Wants Women to Sit in the Back of the Bus. She Should Be the First, Haaretz
Zehava Galon writes, “‘Segregation is not exclusion,’ she said, bringing to mind the South African explanation that apartheid meant ‘separate development.’ Does she want women to sit in the back? That’s fine, but she should be the first.”

What is “White Nationalism”?, The Economist
The surge in terrorist attacks by white nationalists includes, this year, the massacres in Christchurch (51 dead) and El Paso (22 dead). Often the killers cite fears of white “replacement” and draw inspiration from other, similar atrocities, especially Anders Breivik’s slaughter in 2011 of 77 people in Oslo and a nearby island. But what is white nationalism, and where did it come from?