News Roundup for August 9, 2019

August 9, 2019

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Top News and Analysis

Yeshiva Student Found Stabbed to Death in West Bank, New York Times
A yeshiva student and aspiring soldier was found stabbed to death in the West Bank early Thursday, setting off a large-scale hunt for the assailant by the Israeli Army, which was treating the killing as a terrorist attack. […] In Israel, there were calls to expand settlement construction in retaliation for the attack. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, laying a cornerstone for 650 new homes in the Beit El settlement, vowed to “ensure our sovereignty” in the West Bank, repeating a campaign promise to annex territory that the Palestinians want as a future state. “We know that the land of Israel is acquired through suffering,” he said, alluding to Private Sorek’s killing.

White supremacists have committed at least 73 murders since Charlottesville rally, ADL says, JTA
White supremacists have committed at least 73 murders since the far-right rally two summers ago in Charlottesville, Virginia. That comes from a report released Thursday by the Anti-Defamation League that says 39 of the killings were “clearly motivated by hateful, racist ideology.”

In Israel’s Do-over Election, Zionist Parties Are Actively Courting Arab Voters, Haaretz
In his recent Arabic television interview, Gantz indicated that something fundamental had shifted in the Kahol Lavan approach to Arab voters. His party, he promised listeners, “will reach out to the Arab citizens, to the Arab Knesset members and to the Arab public in Israel” — “You are part of the State of Israel,” he reassured them, “and we are here to serve you like everybody else.” He ended the interview, conducted in Hebrew, with a symbolic gesture: thanking his host in Arabic.


Hundreds attend funeral of Israeli soldier stabbed to death, AP
Hundreds of people attended Thursday’s funeral of an 18-year-old Israeli soldier who was found dead hours earlier with stab wounds near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

At scene of terror attack, Netanyahu vows Israel will ‘settle the score’, Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday visited the scene of a suspected West Bank terror attack in which a yeshiva student was killed, vowing Israel would track down whoever was behind the deadly stabbing […] Gantz, whose centrist opposition party is considered more dovish than Netanyahu’s Likud, echoed the prime minister in vowing Israel would continue to build in the main settlement blocs.

West Bank Killing of Israeli Soldier Wasn’t Botched Kidnapping, Security Forces Believe, Haaretz
Security forces say Sorek was attacked and stabbed while walking from a square near the settlement of Efrat toward the entrance gate of Migdal oz, a distance of 200 meters [656 feet], which brings defense establishment officials to believe the killing was not part of a botched kidnapping attempt, but they have yet to unequivocally determine it.

UN, Western diplomats denounce murder of 19-year-old Israeli student, Times of Israel
Diplomats from the United Nations, European Union, United States and Britain condemned the killing of 19-year-old yeshiva student Dvir Sorek on Thursday, and offered condolences to the family.

Palestinian Authority Urges Israel to Avoid Collective Punishment for Soldier’s Murder, Haaretz
The Palestinian Authority has so far kept mum about the attack overnight Wednesday in which a 19-year-old Israeli was murdered, and a PA security official attributed this reticence to lack of knowledge about the circumstances. The official also warned Israel against imposing collective punishments on West Bank residents, citing threats by Hamas and Islamic Jihad to intensify protests.

Likud MK says Netanyahu wants Gantz in next government, but not Lapid, Times of Israel
A lawmaker from the ruling Likud party said Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hopes to include Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White alliance, in the next government, but not his deputy, Yair Lapid.

Israel’s Election Board to Hear Petition on Cameras at Polling Stations in Arab Towns, Haaretz
Hours before Israel’s Central Elections Committee was slated to hear a petition asking it to ban the use of cameras in polling stations in Arab towns, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit said Wednesday the board doesn’t yield the authority to decide on such a matter.

Opinion and Analysis

Another Radical-right Netanyahu Government Would Decimate Israel’s Ties With American Jews, Haaretz
Chemi Shalev writes, “Granting Netanyahu retroactive immunity from prosecution would not only distort democracy and violate the rule of law — it would open the floodgates for a deluge of disastrous decisions, policies and laws that would change Israel forever. Stricter Orthodox hegemony, restrictions on free expression and dissent, subjugation of the legal system and civil service as well as an all-out push for annexation of the West Bank would top the agenda.”

June 2019: Another month of routine settler violence fully backed by the military, B’Tselem
B’Tselem researchers write, “Over the course of June 2019, settlers vandalized Palestinian property in at least ten villages in the West Bank, burning some 1,800 trees and dozens of dunams (a dunam equals 1000 square meters) of grain fields, uprooting more than 700 vegetable seedlings and damaging at least 55 cars and spray painting hate graffiti on buildings. “

How I learned to stop worrying and acknowledge the Nakba, +972 Mag
Michal Talya writes, “For more than seven decades, Israelis haven’t been able to come to terms with the consequences of the Nakba. To do so, they’ll have to confront the hard truths about 1948, and shed their moral superiority.”