News Roundup for August 17, 2018

August 17, 2018

Receive the roundup in your inbox every morning!

J Street in the News

Left-Wing U.S. Jewish Groups Petition to Question MKs on Nation-State Law, Jerusalem Post

“Several prominent US left-wing Jewish organizations have issued an online petition calling on people to pledge to ask any MK who backed the Nation-State Law speaking in the US to explain their backing for the legislation. The petition has been issued by the T’ruah organization, the New Israel Fund, J Street and others and asserts that the law ‘disenfranchises Israel’s minorities,’ discriminates against non-Orthodox Jews, makes Israel an illiberal democracy and that there was no threat to the Jewish character of the state justifying the legislation.”

From Two States to One: Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib Shifts Position on Israel, Haaretz

“Palestinian-American congressional nominee Rashida Tlaib’s radically shifting positions on key issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has sparked concern in J Street, the ‘pro-Israel, pro-peace’ organization that endorsed her candidacy….In response, J Street’s Senior Vice President of Public Engagement Jessica Rosenblum told Haaretz the organization is ‘currently seeking clarification from Rashida Tlaib’s campaign regarding her recent comments on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.’ The organization’s biggest concern involves Tlaib’s apparent withdrawal of support for a negotiated two-state solution for the conflict. Throughout the vetting process, during which J Street decides which candidates to support, Rosenblum said, ‘we are clear and unequivocal with all the candidates who we consider for endorsement what our core principles and commitments are. We only endorse candidates who have affirmed support for them.’ According to Rosenblum, ‘support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’ was the most important considerations in the group agreeing to offer its endorsement.”

Top News and Analysis

US Ambassador tells Israeli MK ‘no reason to evacuate settlements’ in peace deal, Times of Israel

Jacob Magid reports, “In a meeting with several settler leaders Wednesday, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that he saw ‘no reason to evacuate settlements’ in a peace deal, a Likud lawmaker said. MK Yehudah Glick, who organized the sit-down with Har Hebron Regional Council chairman Yochai Damari, recounted the statement to the Times of Israel and said that the ambassador was ‘very explicit’ in his remark regarding Israeli communities in the West Bank.”

How Israeli Right-wing Thinkers Envision the Annexation of the West Bank, Haaretz

Carolina Landsmann writes, “The ‘sovereignty dialogue’ is gaining pace in Israel, so now is the time to examine what the proponents of sovereignty mean when they talk about it. [The co-chairs of the pro-settler organization Women in Green, Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover] told me who they think the major players are, so I set out to discover what they’re anguishing over and which issues bother them – legally, economically and morally – and what they argue about among themselves.”


Shin Bet head said to warn cabinet Gaza truce without PA will strengthen Hamas, Times of Israel

The head of the Shin Bet security agency has warned cabinet ministers that excluding the Palestinian Authority from a long-term ceasefire deal between Israel and the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip will send a message that terrorism is rewarded, Israeli television reported Thursday.

After nearly a decade, Israel delivers more than 10 tons of Palestinian mail, Washington Post

Palestinian postal workers have begun the daunting task of sorting through more than 10 tons of mail that were delivered by Israel nearly a decade late.

Israeli police again question PM on corruption allegations, Associated Press

Israeli police are again questioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of their investigations into corruption allegations. Two police vehicles arrived on Friday at Netanyahu’s residence while protesters at the entrance waved a large banner reading “crime minister” and chanted slogans calling for justice.

UK playwrights condemn bombing of Gaza theatre, Guardian

Leading playwrights and directors in Britain have severely criticized the bombing of a major cultural center in the Gaza Strip by Israel’s air force, calling it a “devastating loss for the already isolated community.”

Liberman said to have met secretly with Qatari rep over Gaza, Times of Israel

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman reportedly met secretly in Cyprus two months ago with Qatar’s envoy to Gaza, to discuss the enclave’s humanitarian crisis and the return of captive Israeli civilians and fallen soldiers, held by the Hamas terror group.

Opinion and Analysis

For Palestinians in Gaza, Peter Beinart’s Detention is a Luxary. Here are our Stories., Forward

Muhammad Shehada writes, “This week, noted journalist, CNN contributor and Forward columnist Peter Beinart underwent a shocking ordeal. He was detained and interrogated at Ben Gurion Airport when trying to enter Israel, despite being Jewish and an ardent Zionist. The outrage was so swift that Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu himself called the episode a mistake in a quasi-apology. And yet, devastating as Beinart’s experience was, for many Palestinians, reaching Ben Gurion for an interrogation is an unthinkable fantasy.”

There’s a Reason the Opposition Didn’t Attend the Nation-state Protest, Haaretz

Israeli Opposition leader Tzipi Livni writes, “I believe in two states for two peoples, a program which means that each state provides a national solution for one of those two peoples. In conversations with the leadership of the Joint List, I repeatedly explained this view. But at the same time, I’ll continue to strive for Israel to provide equality to all its citizens, Jews and Arabs alike, without conceding its identity as the Jewish nation-state.”