News Roundup for August 20, 2018

August 20, 2018

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J Street in the News

J Street Withdrew its Endorsement of Rashida Tlaib. Here’s What it Means., Forward

On Friday, the pro-Israel, pro-peace lobbying group J Street took an unprecedented step: It rescinded its endorsement of Rashida Tlaib after she declared herself a supporter of a one state solution to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

As pro-Palestinian pols win primaries, US Jews ask if it’s ‘a wave or a ripple’, Times of Israel

“The Middle East advocacy group J Street withdrew its endorsement of Tlaib on Friday afternoon, citing her opposition to a two-state outcome between Israelis and Palestinians. ‘While we have long championed the value of a wide range of voices in the discussion of the conflict and related issues, we cannot endorse candidates who come to the conclusion that they can no longer publicly express unequivocal support for a two-state solution,’ the organization said.”

J Street Will Not Endorse Candidates Who Do Not Endorse a Two-State Solution, J Street

“After closely consulting with Rashida Tlaib’s campaign to clarify her most current views on various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we have come to the unfortunate conclusion that a significant divergence in perspectives requires JStreetPAC to withdraw our endorsement of her candidacy. JStreetPAC was created to demonstrate the wellspring of political support that exists for candidates who take pro-Israel, pro-peace positions, including support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While we have long championed the value of a wide range of voices in discussion of the conflict and related issues, we cannot endorse candidates who conclude that they can no longer publicly express unequivocal support for a two-state solution and other core principles to which our organization is dedicated.”


Top News and Analysis

Israeli questioning of US Jews at border exposes deeper rift, Associated Press

Josef Federman writes, “In recent weeks, [several] vocal critics of Israeli policies have been detained and questioned about their political views when entering the country. Among them was Peter Beinart, a journalist, TV commentator and university professor who is well known in Jewish circles. Beinart warned ‘there is no question’ American Jews are growing ever more distant from Israel. ‘The depth of animosity and alienation has grown dramatically,’ he said, predicting that Israelis will be ‘shocked’ by how critical of Israeli policies Democratic presidential candidates in 2020 will be and how much support they will get from young American Jews. ‘When you think about how liberal American Jews think about Donald Trump, that’s the way they feel about Netanyahu,” he said. “That’s the emerging demographic majority in the United States.’”

Israel’s Threat Against Iran: How Netanyahu and Barak Stoked a War Scare to Pressure the U.S., Haaretz

Amos Harel reports, “Focusing on the years 2011–2012, [Professor of International Relations Dr. Daniel Sobelman] surveyed Israeli efforts to persuade the United States that it was seriously considering a unilateral assault, intending to lead Washington to take a harsher stand against Iran, and in so doing serve Israel’s interests. Did Israel really plan to attack Iran? Sobelman, like journalists and researchers who have examined this question in the past (and some were themselves involved in it), did not reach an unequivocal conclusion. But some of his interlocutors conceded that preparations were serious and that the United States conducted extensive surveillance of Israel to determine its intentions.”



Netanyahu and Bolton discussions focus on Iran nuclear program, Reuters

White House national security adviser John Bolton arrived in Israel on Sunday on the first leg of an overseas trip, and met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with Iran the focus of talks.

Israeli troops come under fire along Gaza border; no injuries, Times of Israel

An IDF patrol came under fire by a Palestinian gunman in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday morning, the army said. The troops returned fire and hit the gunman.

Fatah Delegation to Enter Talks With Gaza Factions Next Week in Egypt, Haaretz

A Fatah delegation will leave for the Egyptian capital of Cairo next week to take part in talks with Gaza’s factions, including Hamas, a Fatah official close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told Haaretz Monday.

Abbas warns ‘no separate state in Gaza’, popular resistance key to statehood, i24NEWS

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas stressed that nothing short of one state would be acceptable as he spoke Saturday at the final meeting of the 29th session of the Palestinian Central Council.

Trump said one-state solution would lead to Israeli PM named Mohammed, Axios

President Trump told King Abdullah of Jordan that a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might lead in a few years to someone named Mohammed becoming prime minister of Israel, according to several sources briefed on the meeting.

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif says US addicted to sanctions, CNN

The United States is addicted to applying sanctions on Iran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Sunday in an exclusive interview from Tehran.

Israeli Arab Who Tried to Stab Jerusalem Policeman Shot to Death, Haaretz

An Israeli Arab man who was suspected of trying to stab a Jerusalem policeman was shot to death in Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter on Friday afternoon, Israeli police said.

Israeli troops kill two Palestinians in Gaza border protests: medics, Reuters

Israeli troops killed two Palestinians and wounded scores of other taking part in weekly Gaza border protests on Friday, medics said, as Egyptian mediators tried to clinch a truce deal that would calm the impoverished enclave.

Rightist group demands local politicians disclose ties to New Israel Fund, Times of Israel

Ahead of October elections to Israel’s local authorities, a right-wing organization is demanding that candidates disclose their ties to the New Israel Fund.


Opinion and Analysis

Naftali Bennett’s Gaza Warmongering, Haaretz

The Haaretz editorial board writes, “It’s true that a cease-fire is no substitute for a peace agreement, and it’s not clear how long such an understanding, if and when it is reached, will actually last. But when we’re talking about a national conflict that cannot be solved through political means in the foreseeable future, even temporary quiet would be an achievement, as proven by the period of calm that lasted for four years after the 2014 Gaza war, which also ended with an ‘arrangement.’”

Nationality Law leads some Druze to re-evaluate identity, Al-Monitor

Wilson Fache writes, “The [Nation-State Law’s] passage has prompted widespread criticism among the country’s minorities, the opposition and the diaspora. For these who oppose it, the problem is not so much what it states — many recognize the right of Israeli Jews, the majority, to define the country as their nation-state — but rather what it fails to proclaim: the equality of all Israeli citizens.”