News Roundup for April 26, 2023

April 26, 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.

J Street In the News

J Street Celebrates and Reflects on Israel’s Milestone 75th Anniversary, J Street
On Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, J Street and the pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy movement are proud and excited to celebrate Israel’s milestone 75th anniversary. It’s also a time to reflect on the many intense challenges and threats that Israel faces, and on the work that can and must be done to overcome them.

Top News and Analysis

Biden Announces Re-election Bid, Defying Trump and History, The New York Times
President Biden formally announced on Tuesday that he would seek a second term, arguing that American democracy still faces a profound threat from former President Donald J. Trump as he set up the possibility of a climactic rematch between the two next year.

Israeli Leaders Stress National Unity While Tens of Thousands Protest at 75th Independence Day ‘Party’ in Tel Aviv, Haaretz
Israel began its 75th Independence Day celebrations on Tuesday night with an official ceremony in Jerusalem, as tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters concurrently demonstrated in Tel Aviv. The Independence Day torch-lighting ceremony was held on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl, with several politicians and Israeli dignitaries speaking.

Bereaved Families Spar in Beersheba Cemetery as Ben Gvir Speaks at Memorial Day Event, The Times of Israel
Families of fallen soldiers clashed at the Beersheba military cemetery on Tuesday, as emotions ran high with the appearance of far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir at a Memorial Day ceremony.


Eviction of West Bank Village Should Be State’s Decision, Not the High Court, Israeli Government Says, Haaretz
The Supreme Court should reject a petition demanding the eviction of residents of the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar, because the eviction involves “diplomatic and security considerations” that should be made by the Israeli government, according to a brief filed on Monday by Israel.

Ron DeSantis’ Stop in Israel Highlights Appeal to Religious Voters: Jewish and Evangelical, USA Today
The historic relationship between the U.S. and Israel will be Ron DeSantis’ main topic when he visits Jerusalem this week, but the trip also touches on the Republican Party’s appeal to two key groups. Jewish and evangelical voters.

Harry Belafonte, Singer, Civil Rights Activist Who Popularized ‘Hava Nagila’, Dies at 96, The Jerusalem Post
Barrier-smashing singer, actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, who once boasted of being “the most popular Jew in America” because of his rendition of a Hebrew classic, died Tuesday at his longtime Upper West Side home. He was 96.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel at 75: Lessons from the US Constitution, The Times of Israel
J Street member Hanoch Eiron writes, “As Bibi’s coalition acts to legislate Jewish rights over universal rights, the opposition must accept that Jewish Democracy will fail with millions of non-citizens Palestinians under occupation. And, in referencing the US Constitution as a guide for resolving its biggest political crisis, Israelis must remember the price that America paid for achieving A More Perfect Union.”

Israel’s 75th Anniversary Evokes a Jumble of Memories and Conflicting Emotions, Stimson Center
Barbara Slavin, distinguished fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington and a lecturer in international affairs at George Washington University, shares her thoughts on Israel’s 75th anniversary.

Palestinians Still Pay a Heavy Price for Israel’s Independence, Haaretz
Sami Abu Shehadeh, leader of the Balad party, writes, “Recognizing the Nakba remains a basic requirement for justice. Seventy-five years after, we Palestinians have not forgotten. It is high time that Israelis stop their efforts to hide reality. And the international community, belatedly, should face the facts and assume their responsibility too.”