News Roundup for August 5, 2019

August 5, 2019

Receive the roundup in your inbox every morning!

Top News and Analysis

Double shootings heighten fears of ‘white terrorism’ in US, AFP
Amid rising grief and a clamor for action after the shootings in Texas and Ohio, and earlier in several other cities, politicians of both parties called for the federal government to take that threat more seriously, with some Democrats accusing President Donald Trump of dangerously fanning racial tensions. “It is very clear that the loss of American life in Charleston, in San Diego, in Pittsburgh and by all appearances now in El Paso, too, is symptomatic of the effects of white nationalist terrorism,” Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said Sunday, naming the scenes of mass shootings that targeted blacks, Jews and, apparently, Hispanics.

After El Paso massacre, liberal US Jews say Trump fueling white nationalism, Times of Israel
Liberal American Jewish leaders, fuming at another mass shooting allegedly carried out by a white supremacist, took US President Donald Trump to task on Sunday, saying he had fueled xenophobia and division in the country for three years, while failing to press for stricter gun laws.

2020 Democrats lay blame on Trump’s rhetoric for shootings, AP News
At public events and on television, several candidates pointed to a need for more gun restrictions, such as universal background checks. But they directed much of their criticism at Trump, seeking to draw a link between the shootings in Dayton and El Paso that have left more than two dozen dead and months of presidential rhetoric against immigrants and people of color.


Members of Netanyahu’s Party Asked to Declare They Won’t Seek to Replace Him, Haaretz
Members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party will be required to sign a declaration stating they don’t intend to replace him ahead of September’s election and that they support him as their party leader. Senior Likud member David Bitan tweeted on Sunday that the first 40 candidates on the party’s slate signed the declaration after being asked. Bitan told Kan public radio that the names of those who refused to sign would be published.

Netanyahu alleges ‘plot’ to unseat him by Liberman, Lapid and right-wing figures, Times of Israel
Hours after Likud members unanimously signed a pledge of loyalty to him, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday night continued to insinuate that there was a plot against him within his party, which he claimed was being pushed by his rivals, Avigdor Liberman and Yair Lapid.

Lieberman Says Will Ask Netanyahu’s Party for Alternative Candidate if He Rejects Unity Government, Haaretz
Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman said Saturday that he believes Israel’s ruling party should present an alternative candidate should Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fail to form a government after the September 17 election.

In East Jerusalem, nightly raids leave Palestinian neighborhood reeling, +972 Mag
For the past six weeks, Israel has been sending paramilitary police forces to raid the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya every evening. The raids, a severe form of collective punishment, have left one young Palestinian dead and hundreds wounded.

Iran seizes Iraqi oil tanker smuggling fuel in Gulf, Reuters
Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized an Iraqi oil tanker in the Gulf which they said was smuggling fuel and detained seven crewmen, Iran’s state media reported on Sunday, in a show of power amid heightened tension with the West.

PM, Rivlin call envoy who blasted airport racial profiling, express solidarity, Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin spoke on Sunday to Israel’s Ambassador to Panama Reda Mansour, who is Druze, and expressed solidarity with him after he said security personnel at Ben Gurion Airport delayed him and his family when they found out he was from an Arab village.

Shaked Vows to Recommend Netanyahu for Prime Minister ‘At the Moment’, The Jerusalem Post
United Right leader Ayelet Shaked caveated her support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next government in an interview on Sunday, saying that her party would recommend Netanyahu because he is the leader of the right-wing bloc “at the moment.”

Opinion and Analysis

Kushner’s real purpose has little to do with a peace plan and everything to do with US domestic politics​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, The National
Hussein Ibish writes, “They are trying to shift US policy away from the baseline expectation and long-standing bipartisan consensus of a two-state outcome and create a US political climate that supports the Israeli annexation of occupied territories such as Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and repudiates Palestinian independence.”

Six Election Sideshows That Will Determine Netanyahu’s Fate, Haaretz
Anshel Pfeffer writes, “The Russian vote, Benny Gantz’s staying power and Labor’s survivability are among the issues deciding whether voters can battle Bibi fatigue.”

Netanyahu’s latest ‘political bailout plan’, Al-Monitor
Ben Caspit writes, “The real difference between the April vote and the September election is simple, yet dramatic: This time, Netanyahu will not be able to dissolve the Knesset as he did last time when the results did not allow him to form a government. Unless he wakes up on Sept. 18 with at least 61 of the 120 Knesset seats, with or without the support of Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beitenu, he is finished. The decade-long Netanyahu era will have concluded.”

Linking Up With Netanyahu Means Declaring Surrender, Haaretz
Iris Leal writes, “Annexation and the imposition of Israeli sovereignty without full civil rights in part of the West Bank, in return for immunity from prosecution, will be the foundations of the coalition agreements. And as my Haaretz colleague Ravit Hecht predicted last week, the important positions will be held by far-rightists such as Orit Strock and Moti Yogev, the representatives of the outlaws of Hebron and the visionaries of the barren hills who derive meaning by vilely harassing the local Palestinians.”