News Roundup for April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024
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J Street works to promote an open, honest and rigorous conversation about Israel. The opinions reflected in articles posted in the News Roundup do not necessarily reflect J Street’s positions, and their posting does not constitute an endorsement from J Street.

J Street In the News

J Street Condemns Iran’s Retaliatory Attack on Israel, Urges De-escalation, J Street
We need cooler heads to prevail. We need to find an offramp. We also need to turn down the burner on the entire region by bringing the fighting in Gaza to an end and getting hostages out and aid relief in.

Top News and Analysis

Iran Launches Unprecedented Retaliatory Strikes on Israel in Major Escalation of Widening Conflict, CNN
More than 300 projectiles – including around 170 drones and over 120 ballistic missiles – were fired toward Israel in an immense aerial attack overnight, but “99%” of them were intercepted by Israel’s aerial defense systems and its “partners,” according to the Israeli military.

US Helps Israel Shoot Down ‘Nearly All’ Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Pledges Support, AP
The Pentagon reported that Austin had spoken twice with his Israeli counterpart to praise the “extraordinary defensive measures and strong cooperation undertaken to defeat this Iranian attack against Israel” and again stated clearly that “Israel could count on full U.S. support to defend Israel against any future attacks by Iran and its regional proxies.”

Hamas Rejects Israel’s Ceasefire Response, Sticks to Main Demands, Reuters
Hamas said on Saturday it was ready to conclude a prisoners-for-hostages swap deal with Israel that would see the release of 133 hostages still believed to be held in Gaza in return for hundreds of Palestinians jailed in Israel.


Biden Told Bibi U.S. Won’t Support an Israeli Counterattack on Iran, Axios
Biden told Netanyahu the joint defensive efforts by Israel, the U.S. and other countries in the region led to the failure of the Iranian attack, according to the White House official. You got a win. Take the win, Biden told Netanyahu, according to the official. The official said that when Biden told Netanyahu that the U.S. will not participate in any offensive operations against Iran and will not support such operations, Netanyahu said he understood.

Hamas Offers Phased Release of Israeli Hostages after Six-Week Gaza Cease-Fire, Haaretz
The first stage will take six weeks, where the Israel Defense Forces will cease hostilities, withdraw from urban centers to the perimeter of the Gaza Strip, and allow displaced Gazans to return to the north… In the second stage, prisoner exchanges will begin only after the IDF withdraws to Israeli territory… Captured IDF soldiers, men of conscription age and bodies will be released in the third stage.

West Bank Sees Biggest Settler Rampage since War in Gaza Began as Israeli Teen’s Body Is Found, AP
Israel’s Channel 13 TV reported that Achimair’s body was discovered by a drone. The broadcaster said he was not shot but did not elaborate… The Israeli human rights group Yesh Din in a statement said at least 10 villages in the West Bank were attacked by Israeli settlers, with homes and vehicles damaged.

Israeli Military Calling up Reservists for More Gaza Operations, Reuters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to evacuate civilians from Rafah before any incursion aimed at crushing Hamas battalions there, but that has done little to quell international concern over the planned assault.

A 7-Year-Old Girl Is the Lone Serious Casualty of Iran’s Barrage, The New York Times
While Israel suffered little in the way of significant damage overnight, this one family was dealt a devastating blow. Amina al-Hasoni, 7, was clinging to life — the sole serious casualty of the Iranian barrage. And were it not for systemic inequities in Israel, her relatives said, maybe she, too, could have been spared.

Israeli War Cabinet to Meet Again to Consider Response to Iran’s Attack, The Guardian
Statements from Gallant and Gantz on Sunday afternoon, in the aftermath of the successful interception of more than 300 missiles and drones fired directly from Iranian territory for the first time, suggested a direct Israeli response to Tehran was not imminently on the cards.

Biden Officials Worry That Israeli Response to Iran’s Attack May Trigger Wider War, NBC News
President Joe Biden has privately expressed concern that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to drag Washington into a broader conflict, according to three people familiar with his comments.

Opinion and Analysis

My Students Rioted after I said, ‘I stand with Israel.’ Here’s how We Came Together After., USA Today
New York Teacher Karen Marder recounts how after she attended an October 7 vigil, some of her students called for a riot to target her. She says “I had a choice to transfer to a different school. I stayed to use the experience to connect, to listen, learn, debunk misinformation and combat intolerance. The day I returned to school, a Muslim friend (a fellow teacher) and I met with students. I answered their questions and shared my feelings. I repeated the hurtful, threatening and untrue things that students had said during the riot and on social media − helping them connect with my humanity, and their own. Many of my students hugged me and apologized for what had occurred.”

The Middle East Is on the Precipice of the Wider War No One Wants, The Washington Post
David Ignatius writes, “Iran has to respond, but it will be contained,” is how one source described the Iranian messages that have been sent through diplomatic channels. But U.S. officials worry that these reassurances might not be reliable — and that once direct conflict begins, it could move in unpredictable and dangerous ways.

I Believe in Another Israel – One Not Defined by Benjamin Netanyahu and His Cronies, The Guardian
MK Naama Lazimi states, “extremists can’t be the ones designing the future of the Middle East. On both sides there are good people who yearn for a different reality – one defined by prosperity and security, not strife.

Biden’s ‘Don’t’ Message Is Now Directed at Israel, Haaretz
Alon Pinkas argues that “While the United States sees geopolitical common denominators between the war in Gaza and the Iran-Israel exchange of pleasantries, it does not treat them along similar policy parameters.”

An Expanded Introduction Following the Iranian Attack on Israel on Motzei Shabbat, April 13, Rabbi John Rosove
J Street Rabbinic and Cantorial Cabinet Co-Chair Rabbi John Rosove writes, “Hopefully, our Seders this year will give us an opportunity to reflect about the meaning of October 7, the Israel-Hamas war, the Iranian attack against Israel on April 13, the dramatic rise in antisemitism, anti-Zionism, and anti-Israel sentiment in our country and around the world, the right of our people to defend ourselves and live securely in our Homeland, and the right of the Palestinian people to live securely in their Homeland too”

Military Aid to Israel Cannot Be Unconditional, The New York Times
The New York Times editorial board writes “The United States commitment to Israel — including $3.8 billion a year in military aid, the largest outlay of American foreign aid to any one country in the world — is a reflection of the exceptionally close and enduring relationship between the two countries. A bond of trust, however, must prevail between donors and recipients of lethal arms from the United States, which supplies arms according to formal conditions that reflect American values and the obligations of international law.”