News Roundup for April 20, 2023

April 19, 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

Netanyahu Offers Post of Israel’s Consul General in New York to ‘Proud Racist’ May Golan, Haaretz
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered the soon-to-be vacant position of Israeli consul general in New York to controversial Likud lawmaker May Golan. Golan, who is considered one of the most ardent supporters of Justice Minister Yariv Levin and his planned judicial coup, would take over from Asaf Zamir, who resigned last month after warning U.S. Jewish donors against the government’s attempts to overhaul the judiciary.

Israel PM Cautions Saudi Arabia about Iran after China-brokered Deal, Urges Greater U.S. Presence, CNBC
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the Saudi leadership of the dangers of reigniting ties with long-standing rival Iran following a China-brokered deal last month, while urging greater U.S. engagement in the Middle East region.

After 15 Years of Planning, Jerusalem Backtracks on Building New Palestinian Neighborhood, Haaretz
The Jerusalem municipality has retracted its support for a plan to build a new neighborhood for Palestinian residents in the northern part of the city. The neighborhood, which was planned by Palestinian landowners in the area, would have been the first in Jerusalem specifically built for Palestinian residents since 1967, when Israel gained control of East Jerusalem.


Scoop: U.S. Urges Niger to Resume Relations with Israel, Axios
Secretary of State Tony Blinken during his recent visit to Niger urged the country’s president to move toward normalizing relations with Israel, two U.S. and Israeli officials told Axios. Blinken and President Mohamed Bazoum’s discussion on Israel, which was not previously disclosed, is another sign that the Biden administration is working behind the scenes to include more Arab and Muslim-majority countries in the Abraham Accords.

Israeli Bus Comes under Fire in Northern West Bank; No Injuries, The Times of Israel
An Israeli bus driver reported coming under fire near the Tapuah Junction in the northern West Bank on Wednesday night, with medics clarifying that no one was injured in the incident. The Israel Defense Forces said it was investigating the attack. Over the past year, several buses have come under fire by Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank.

Israel Fears Sudan Unrest Could End Prospects of Peace Treaty, Axios
Israel is using its relationships with the generals leading the Sudanese military and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) group to urge them to immediately end the fighting that has left more than 270 people dead, three Israeli officials said.

Opinion and Analysis

After Years of Netanyahu, U.S.-Israel Ties Are on Life Support, Haaretz
Rabbi Eric Yoffie writes, “Netanyahu’s display of authoritarian sympathies constitutes far more than a glitch in American-Israeli relations. It has caused an earthquake, leaving a broad swath of previously sympathetic Americans rattled and confused.”

Israel Is in Need of a New Social Contract, The Jerusalem Post
Tamar Hostovsky Brandes, a constitutional and international law expert, argues for a new social contract in Israel amidst the current political turmoil.