News Roundup for April 18, 2024

April 18, 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

PIN Letter to Biden: Thank You For Your Leadership and Unwavering Commitment to Israel’s Security, Progressive Israel Network
Progressive Pro-Israel groups write to President Biden: “Thank you for your continued leadership and defense of American and democratic values here at home and abroad.”

Top News and Analysis

‘We Won’t Write Blank Checks’: Biden Urges Congress to Pass Ukraine and Israel Aid, Politico
“Now is not the time to abandon our friends. The House must pass urgent national-security legislation for Ukraine and Israel, as well as desperately needed humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza,” Biden wrote in the op-ed, promising that the US would not “write blank checks,” to either country.

Netanyahu Brushes off Calls for Restraint, Saying Israel Will Decide How to Respond to Iran’s Attack, AP
Israel has vowed to respond to Iran’s unprecedented attack without saying when or how, leaving the region bracing for further escalation after months of unrest linked to the ongoing war in Gaza. Israel’s allies have been urging Israel since the attack to hold back on any response that could spiral. These calls were repeated on Wednesday during visits by the British and German foreign ministers.

Iranian President: ‘Tiniest Invasion’ by Israel Will Be Met With a Massive Response, The Times of Israel
The weekend attack, dubbed “Honest Promise” by Tehran, “brought down the glory of the Zionist regime,” Raisi said at an annual army parade near Tehran on Wednesday, in a speech addressed to the regular army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. “This operation showed that our armed forces are ready,” said the president.

More Aid Is Supposed to Be Entering the Gaza Strip. Why Isn’t It Helping?, ABC News
Israeli officials this week dropped the plan to open Erez. Instead, they say a new crossing will be built, though it is unclear when it will open. The Ashdod port, meanwhile, is not yet accepting aid shipments and Gaza aid groups report no significant increase in trucks received at their warehouses.


Speaker Johnson Moves on Foreign Aid, Possibly Triggering Vote to Oust Him, The Washington Post
The three separate bills that fund military aid for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan largely mirror the $95 billion Senate-passed national security supplemental. The House legislation turns a portion of the aid, the money sent directly to Ukraine, into a loan and is endorsed by former president Donald Trump. It also includes just over $9 billion in humanitarian aid for Gaza, the West Bank, Ukraine and other places in need, which Democrats have demanded as a condition of any support from them.

Palestinian President Rejected US Requests to Hold off on UN Membership Vote, Axios
The Palestinians currently have eight security council members expected to support them: Russia, China, Algeria, Malta, Slovenia, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and Guyana, a senior Israeli official said. The U.K. is expected to abstain. The U.S. and Israel are lobbying France, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea and Ecuador to vote against or abstain from voting so the Palestinians don’t reach nine votes, the official said.

Attack by Hezbollah Injures 14 Israeli Soldiers in Border Village, The New York Times
The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah claimed responsibility for a cross-border drone and missile attack in northern Israel on Wednesday that the Israeli military said had injured 14 soldiers, six of them severely.

Gaza’s IVF Embryos Destroyed by Israeli Strike, Reuters
As the ultra-cold liquid evaporated, the temperature inside the tanks rose, destroying more than 4,000 embryos plus 1,000 more specimens of sperm and unfertilized eggs stored at Gaza City’s Al Basma IVF centre.

UN Report Describes Physical Abuse and Dire Conditions in Israeli Detention, The New York Times
UNRWA staff gathered testimonies from more than 100 released Gazans arriving at the Kerem Shalom crossing over several months. Palestinian medics would occasionally rush freed prisoners who were injured or ill directly to area hospitals, the report said, adding that they sometimes bore “signs of trauma and ill-treatment.”

World Braces for Iran-Israel Cyberattacks Following Missile Attack, Axios
Cyberattacks tied to the Israel-Hamas conflict have already drawn in players from around the world. Politically motivated hackers have taken down emergency service applications, news sites and more throughout the conflict. Many of the groups involved are so-called hacktivist groups that researchers have tied to hackers based in Iran, Russia and elsewhere.

Iranian Commander Says Tehran Could Review ‘Nuclear Doctrine’ Amid Israeli Threats, Reuters
Iran could review its “nuclear doctrine” following Israeli threats, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Thursday, raising concerns about Tehran’s nuclear programme which it has always said was strictly for peaceful purposes.

Opinion and Analysis

Moment of Truth on Ukraine and Israel, Wall Street Journal
President Joe Biden writes, “If Congress passes military aid for Ukraine and Israel, we won’t write blank checks. We’d send military equipment from our own stockpiles, then use the money authorized by Congress to replenish those stockpiles—by buying from American suppliers. […] I’ve been clear about my concerns over the safety of civilians in Gaza amid the war with Hamas, but this aid package is focused on Israel’s long-term defensive needs to ensure it can maintain its military edge against Iran or any other adversary. Importantly, this bill has funding that will allow us to continue delivering urgent humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza as well as others who have felt the impact of conflicts around the world.”

MAGA Is Using Israel to Undermine Ukraine, Harming Them Both, The Washington Post
Josh Rogin states, “Passing the bills together doesn’t amount to “conditioning” the Israel aid — and it wouldn’t be “antisemitic” if it did. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish, not a Nazi. And Gaetz seems not to realize that the Iranians are also helping Russia attack Ukraine.”

Why Israelis Don’t Flinch When Settlers Kill Palestinians, Haaretz
Dahlia Scheindlin shares, “It’s hard to know when once-extraordinary fringe violence crosses the Rubicon into the normal. But its routinization in any society – Israelis are not exceptional – can be the most dangerous process of all.”

The Head of the Largest Christian Zionist Organization Is No Friend to Israel — He Wants an Apocalypse There, The Forward
Jay Michelson writes, “CUFI has its own, unique agenda for Israel, which has little to do with the interests of Jews, religious or secular. (Indeed, many CUFI figures have made shockingly antisemitic statements.) It wants Jews to move to Israel to hasten the End Times and bring the Second Coming of Christ.”