News Roundup for April 25, 2022

April 25, 2022
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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

Aipac’s New PAC Is Now the Country’s Biggest Pro-Israel PAC, and Endorses 3/4 of Republicans Who Embraced Election Falsehoods, JTA
“The political action committee affiliated with AIPAC, the pro-Israel powerhouse lobby, has in less than six months of existence become the biggest pro-Israel PAC, delivering $6 million to 326 candidates. It is also now endorsing 109 of the 147 of the Republicans who refused to affirm President Joe Biden’s election on Jan. 6, 2021, after a deadly insurrection spurred by former President Donald Trump’s false claims that it was he who won the election…The criticism nonetheless came, spearheaded by liberal Jewish groups. “AIPAC’s support for these candidates undermines the true interests and values of millions of American Jews and pro-Israel Americans who AIPAC often claims to represent,” Laura Birnbaum, the national political director for J Street, the liberal Jewish Middle East policy group, said in a statement. “Elected officials who threaten the very future of our country should be completely beyond the pale – whatever their views on Israel.””

Jewish Organizations Are Gearing Up as Midterm Elections Nears, The Jerusalem Post
“”JStreetPAC has endorsed the leading Democratic candidates for Senate in nearly every key swing state this cycle, including Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania,” said J Street VP of Communications Logan Bayroff. “In the House, we’re focused on defending our pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy incumbents, and on supporting principled, progressive challenger candidates who back strong American diplomatic leadership to achieve a better future for both Israelis and Palestinians,” he said. “We hope to play a key role in helping to elect candidates like Andy Levin in Michigan, Donna Edwards in Maryland, Jessica Ciseros in Texas, and many more.” The group already contributed nearly $200,000 to the Levin campaign and spent over $125,000 on independent political expenditures on behalf of Cisneros.”

Top News and Analysis

Biden to Visit Israel ‘in the Coming Months,’ White House Says, The Washington Post
President Biden has accepted an invitation to visit Israel and will do so “in the coming months,” the White House said in a readout of Biden’s Sunday morning call with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. The White House said the two have developed a “strong personal bond” since Bennett visited Washington in August. Then, Biden touted the “unshakable partnership” between the United States and Israel, despite several key differences, including Bennett’s opposition to the United States potentially rejoining a nuclear deal with Iran.

Israel Strikes Southern Lebanon in Response to Rocket Fire, AP
Israeli tanks fired into southern Lebanon early Monday in response to a rocket fired from the country, the Israeli military said. In a statement, the Israeli military said the rocket landed in an open area in northern Israel early Monday, causing no damage or injuries. Shortly after, the military said it struck “the sources of the projectile launched and an infrastructure target in southern Lebanon.” It said “routine activity” in northern Israel was continuing and there were no special precautions being asked of civilians in the area.


Israeli FM Accuses Hamas of Orchestrating Jerusalem Violence, AP
Israel’s foreign minister on Sunday accused the Hamas militant group of orchestrating recent unrest at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site, responding to criticism that Israeli police used heavy-handed tactics to quell the violence.

Israel Closes Crossing to Gaza Workers After Rockets, ABC News
Israel said Saturday that it would close its border crossing to thousands of Gaza workers after a series of rockets were fired from the territory ruled by the militant Hamas group in recent days. The Palestinians denounced the move as “collective punishment” of the impoverished territory’s 2 million residents, who have lived under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade since Hamas seized power from rival Palestinian forces nearly 15 years ago.

Israeli High Court Rejects Petition to Reopen Probe Into Deadly Gaza Strike, Haaretz
Israel’s High Court of Justice denied a petition on Sunday that had sought to reopen an investigation into a 2014 Israeli attack in the Gaza Strip during the war with Hamas in which four Palestinian children from one family were killed.

Israeli Minister: Parties Trying To Keep Coalition Afloat, AP
A key partner in Israel’s governing coalition said Monday that all the factions are working to try and keep the fragile coalition afloat, less than a year after it was sworn into office. The coalition has come under threat by internal squabbles and escalating violence with the Palestinians.

Opinion and Analysis

AIPAC Endorsements Questioned, Cleveland Jewish News
J Street Cleveland Leader Richard Margolius writes, “Being a single-issue endorser should not be an excuse for endangering the democratic principles that are the foundation of the US-Israel relationship. As a J Street supporter of a pro-peace, pro-Israel, pro-two-state solution, pro-aid to Israel organization, I am proud that J Street has pledged to never endorse anti-democratic candidates.”

Who Speaks for the American Jewish Community?, New Jersey Jewish News
J Street New Jersey Leader Debbie Schlossberg notes, “For American Jews, the white nationalist rhetoric and anti-democratic claims championed by many of AIPAC’s endorsees are especially alarming. As an influential organization within many Jewish communities, you would expect AIPAC to know better than to give a stamp of legitimacy to those who threaten our shared values. Yet AIPAC seems to be comfortable with those who encouraged white supremacist and militant right-wing mobs to storm the U.S. Capitol.”