News Roundup for April 17, 2023

April 17, 2023

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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.

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Judicial Reforms Still on Hold, Netanyahu Says, Politico
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he will not immediately resume controversial efforts to alter his nation’s judiciary system. “I’ve decided to take a timeout, try to get a balance between the opposing views, and there are strongly opposing views in both sides of our society,” he told host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And I hope to reach this by consensus.”

Citing ‘Deals in The Dark,’ Labor Party Quits Judicial Overhaul Talks with President, The Times of Israel
The Labor party on Sunday announced it would pull out of talks sponsored by President Isaac Herzog aimed at reaching a broad agreement over the government’s controversial judicial overhaul legislation, claiming that backroom deals were being cut without its involvement.

Israeli Police Violently Beat Several Holy Fire Worshippers Trying to Defy Capacity Limits, Haaretz
Thousands of clergy, police, diplomats and pilgrims huddled inside the church, while thousands more huddled in the surrounding alleys, where police clashed and in some cases violently beat worshipers trying to make their way through their barricades.


Palestinian Authority Blocks Registration of Legal Aid Group, AP
The Palestinian Authority has blocked the registration of a legal advocacy group representing critics and opponents detained in Palestinian prisons, the group said Friday, a move condemned as the authority’s latest effort to stifle civil society in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli Protests of Legal Overhaul Show No Signs of Slowing, ABC News
Israeli demonstrations against the government’s plan to overhaul the judiciary continued on Saturday, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to pause the contentious proposals.

Israeli Leaders Rebuff Moody’s Outlook Cut, Protests Persist, Reuters
Israel’s government on Saturday rebuffed an outlook downgrade on the country from credit ratings agency Moody’s, while tens of thousands of Israelis returned to the streets to protest against a planned overhaul of the country’s judiciary.

Opinion and Analysis

Why Is Israel Banning Bereaved Palestinians from a Memorial Day Ceremony?, Haaretz
Robi Damelin, spokesperson for the Parents Circle – Families Forum, writes, “Let us assure you, we have no desire to find fault with anyone who is a part of the family of the bereaved. Each person should be allowed to commemorate their loved one in the manner they see fit. No one can understand the desperate need we have to never let our loved ones be forgotten. We are the consequence of a political solution never being found to end the deadlock of violence.”

Hungary and Poland Provide Model for Israel’s Assault on Judiciary, The Guardian
Shaun Walker writes, “Netanyahu’s assault on the judiciary reminds many of the first steps taken by “illiberal” governments in Hungary, Poland and elsewhere. Legal experts say targeting the judiciary is the natural first step for modern would-be autocrats who want to dismantle the broader democratic framework.”