News Roundup for August 11, 2023

August 11, 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 Welcomes Release of Americans from Iranian Prison, J Street
“We welcome news of the release of five wrongly held Americans from Iran’s notorious Evin prison. While they remain under house arrest as of today, we hope they will soon be able to come home to the United States and be reunited with their families.”

Top News and Analysis

Behind the Reasonableness Clause: The True Stories of Individuals Defended by Israel’s Supreme Court, Haaretz
The woman who couldn’t sit on a religious council, the Arab who couldn’t purchase a home, the asylum seeker who was jailed without trial, and the same-sex couple that couldn’t adopt. Previous court rulings show that minorities are the first to be harmed when the judiciary is weakened.

US Reaches Deal With Iran to Free Americans for Jailed Iranians and Funds, The New York Times
Five American detainees will eventually be allowed to leave Iran in exchange for Tehran gaining access to $6 billion for humanitarian purposes and the United States freeing several jailed Iranians.


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Fires Nearly All Governors in West Bank in Major Upheaval, AP
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas fired most of the governors in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, responding to long-standing demands for a political shake-up as frustration grows with the semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority.

Israel Conditionally Releases Palestinians Detained Over Deadly Israeli Settler Raid, Reuters
Israeli authorities conditionally released on Thursday a Palestinian man and three of his sons who had been detained over clashes with Jewish settlers accused of a deadly attack near a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank last week.

Defense Minister Pans Ben Gvir’s Proposed National Guard as a ‘Private Militia’, The Times of Israel
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Thursday penned a letter to National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir slamming the proposed establishment of a national guard directly under the control of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party leader.

Anti-Christian Violence in Israel Spreads from Jerusalem to Haifa, Al-Monitor
For the past three months, dozens of members of the Hassidic Breslow sect have been arriving at a 17th-century monastery in Haifa, mainly on Sundays, and holding prayers at the entrance. On at least two such occasions, the gathering ended in a brawl between the Hassidim and the Christian worshipers there to attend Sunday services.

Opinion and Analysis

Congress Wrong to Target UN Palestinian Refugee Relief Agency, The Hill
Dalal Yassine argues, “The continued targeting of UNRWA will not resolve the Palestinian refugee issue. And it will not provide Israel with a way to avoid negotiations with the Palestinians nor negate the refugees’ right of return and the international community’s obligations. Rather than adding to the grim reality of Palestinian refugees, members of Congress should devote their efforts to upholding the US’s obligations and advocate for a just and lasting solution.”

Killings, Pogroms, Expulsion: Israel Dispossesses Palestinians of Land Using Settler Violence, B’Tselem
In its latest report, human rights group B’Tselem writes, “After repeated attacks and threats by settlers and having been left with no other choice, the Bedouin community of al-Qabun, located east of Ramallah, abandoned its homes this week. Most members of the community, numbering 12 families numbering a total of 86 people, including 26 minors, have left already, and the rest are currently packing up and getting ready to follow suit.”