News Roundup for August 24, 2018

August 24, 2018

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J Street in the News

Jewish Insider’s Daily Kickoff: August 23, 2018, Haaretz

“[Ammar Campa-Najjar, the Democratic candidate in CA-50 running against Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter] has been endorsed by former President Barack Obama, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent an email to her supporters Tuesday calling on them to give money to Campa-Najjar. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who beat Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District, is also raising funds for Campa-Najjar. The Democratic candidate is also backed by J Street’s PAC and Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution movement.”

Rashida Tlaib’s Political Patron is Jewish — and Insists She Supports Two-State Solution, Forward

“During the campaign, the liberal Jewish political action committee J Street endorsed [Rashida Tlaib] under the understanding that Tlaib supported the two-state solution and ‘all current aid to Israel and to the Palestinian Authority,’ as her now-removed profile on the PAC’s site read. But on Aug. 13, six days after her election, she told Britain’s Channel 4 she would ‘absolutely’ vote against U.S. military aid to Israel. And she said to the progressive magazine In These Times in an interview published Tuesday that ‘it has to be one state.’…The confusion was enough for J Street to rescind its endorsement on Aug. 17 ‘after closely consulting with Rashida Tlaib’s campaign to clarify her most current views on various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’ and finding ‘a significant divergence in perspectives.’ J Street, which had never before withdrawn support of a candidate, removed Tlaib’s profile and policy positions from its website. That information, J Street spokeswoman Jessica Rosenbaum told the Forward on Monday, originally came from a submitted position paper as well as ‘an extensive interview process.’”


Top News and Analysis

Can Netanyahu’s Biggest Critic Now Work With Him to Save Israel-Diaspora Relations?, Haaretz

Anshel Pfeffer interviews Isaac Herzog, in Herzog’s first official interview as Jewish Agency Chair.

Will a flurry of diplomacy help Israel and the Palestinians?, The Economist

The Economist writes, “A deal between Israel and Hamas might bring quiet to the border. It will also leave Mr Abbas weaker, and Hamas less inclined to a real reconciliation. Mr Trump has squandered whatever goodwill he had among the Palestinians. Even allied Arab states like Jordan are angry with him. If he does unveil a peace plan, it will enjoy little support. A poll published on August 13th found that just 43% of Palestinians and Israeli Jews back a two-state solution, the lowest figure in nearly two decades (see chart). Twenty-five years after the Oslo accords, which were meant to end the conflict, it is a struggle just to stop things getting worse.”

More Ops, More Secrets, More Money: Mossad’s Supercharged Transformation, Haaretz

Chaim Levinson reports, “Two-and-a-half years have passed since Yossi Cohen was tapped to be Mossad chief. Under him, the agency has undergone a series of changes: It is enjoying increased government budgets, is employing new methods and is engaging in more operations….Technological developments are obliging espionage agencies to adopt diverse methods of operation: not only to dispatch agents to enemy countries and to recruit local sources for intelligence, but also to dupe people into serving as agents without their knowledge, to use mercenaries and to rely on new capabilities, such as cyberattacks. To avoid biometric identification, as well as to evade security cameras, espionage organizations are being compelled to make increasing use of unwitting local agents. In some cases, complex operations involving a large number of participants are carried out without the agency sending even one operative into enemy territory.”



PA forces thwarted bombing attack against IDF soldiers in West Bank: report, i24NEWS

A bombing attack against Israeli soldiers in the West Bank was thwarted this week by Palestinian Security forces, Israeli news media Ynet reported on Friday.

EU blasts settlement homes announcement as Palestinians call for sanctions, Times of Israel

The European Union slammed Israel Thursday over its advancement of plans for more than 1,000 new homes in the West Bank, saying they threaten the establishment of a “contiguous and viable” Palestinian state…Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian’s top peace negotiator, called for international sanctions on Israel over the new settlement homes.

Abbas aide: To offset embassy move, Trump must make East Jerusalem our capital, Times of Israel

The only “compensation” the US could provide to the Palestinians for its Jerusalem moves would be recognition of “the State of Palestine” with East Jerusalem as its capital, a senior diplomatic adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday.

Fatah Leader: Israel is Offering Hamas an Airport Near Eilat, Jerusalem Post

Israel has offered Hamas a seaport in Cyprus and an airport near Eilat under Israeli supervision, as well as an airline flying to Qatar, deputy chairman of the ruling Fatah faction Mahmoud al-Aloul claimed on Thursday.

Israel says Gaza gunman was Doctors Without Borders nurse, Reuters
Israel said on Thursday a Palestinian gunman killed by its forces on the Gaza Strip border this week was a nurse working for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) and that it was seeking an explanation from the international aid group.

Trying to keep nuclear deal alive, EU unveils aid to Iran, Associated Press

The European Union is announcing its first financial support package to help bolster Iran’s flagging economy, part of the bloc’s commitment to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive.

UN court hears Iran’s challenge against US sanctions, AFP

Iran’s legal challenge against renewed sanctions by the United States goes before the UN’s top court Monday, as Tehran seeks to avert painful punitive measures that could hurt its still fragile economy.


Opinion and Analysis

What Israel wants from Qatar, Al-Monitor

Akiva Eldar writes, “Israel’s recent courtship of Qatar has paved the wealthy emirate’s way to Washington, which only a year ago took a stand at Saudi Arabia’s side against the Qataris. In June, a US delegation led by Trump’s son-in-law and special envoy Jared Kushner visited Doha to ask the Qataris for financial help in rebuilding the Gaza Strip. UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov also took the trouble to fly to Doha to scrounge several hundred million dollars for humanitarian projects in Gaza and salaries for government officials there. With one hand, Israel’s government cracks down on European-funded human rights groups and pushes the US president to abrogate his country’s nuclear deal with Iran. With the other hand, it draws up an agreement with terrorist organizations funded by Iran and Qatar that will sink all prospects for real peace with the Palestinians.”

Why Uri Avnery Opposed a One-state Solution, Haaretz

Nehemia Shtrasler writes, “‘How would a single state function?” [Uri Avnery] asked. ‘Would a resident of Bil’in pay taxes like a resident of Kfar Sava? Would residents of Jenin and Netanya join together to write a constitution? Would residents of Hebron and the settlers serve in the same army?’ Avnery even expected that in a single state, the Jews would be dominant because of their economic and technological superiority, while the Palestinians would become the “hewers of wood and haulers of water” (borrowing from Alexander Hamilton), and so the occupation would continue covertly until it reached the next stage – a bloody civil war.’”