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.
5 winners and 4 losers from the historic treaty between Israel and the UAE, JTA
“J Street, the largest liberal Zionist organization, said in a statement that the pact is ‘just the latest evidence that dialogue and diplomacy, rather than unilateral action and belligerence, are the route to long-term security.’”
Jewish groups welcome historic deal with UAE as pathway to peace, The Jerusalem Post
“The left-wing advocacy group J Street, on the other hand, welcomed announcements that Israel is suspending its plans for sovereignty in the West Bank, seeing that move as part of wider normalization. ‘Clarification will be needed that this is not simply a short-term suspension of a disastrous idea, and the United States and the international community should be demanding that Israel commit permanently not to proceed with any unilateral annexation,’ the group said in a statement.”
Progressive Jewish Groups, Palestinians Call Out UAE Normalizing Ties With Israel: ‘Nothing to Do With Peace’, Newsweek
“‘J Street welcomes today’s announcement that Israel is suspending plans to annex parts of the West Bank and that the United Arab Emirates and Israel are taking steps to establish more normalized ties,’ J Street, a nonprofit liberal advocacy group that works for a peaceful resolution to Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab tensions, told Newsweek.”
Some Jewish groups denounce Israel-UAE deal as ‘nothing to celebrate’, Middle East Eye
“J-Street added although annexation was “apparently off the table”, “de facto annexation continues every day unabated” — “Those who seek a real and lasting peace and security for Israel and its neighbours must continue to advocate for an end to occupation, settlement expansion and ongoing violations of the rights of the Palestinian people – even if the threat of formal annexation is halted.””
How the world reacted to UAE, Israel normalising diplomatic ties, Al Jazeera
“The left-wing advocacy group J Street welcomed announcements that Israel is suspending plans to annex parts of the West Bank and that the UAE and Israel are taking steps to establish more normalised ties. ‘The agreement between Israel and the UAE to move toward fully normalized ties is also welcome news for all who wish to see a stable and prosperous Israel living in peace and security alongside all of its regional neighbours,’ the statement read. ‘It is just the latest evidence that dialogue and diplomacy, rather than unilateral action and belligerence, are the route to long-term security.’”
J Street Welcomes Agreement to Suspend De Jure Annexation Plans, Normalize Israel-UAE Ties, J Street
This decision by Prime Minister Netanyahu signals a major retreat from repeated threats to carry out de jure annexation, and indicates that efforts to oppose annexation — in Israel, the US and around the world — have achieved significant success. Annexation would be disastrous for Israeli security and democracy and for Palestinian rights. Clarification will be needed that this is not simply a short-term suspension of a disastrous idea, and the United States and the international community should be demanding that Israel commit permanently not to proceed with any unilateral annexation […] Finally, while it is good that de jure unilateral annexation is apparently off the table for the immediate future, the harmful reality is that creeping, de facto annexation continues every day unabated. Those who seek a real and lasting peace and security for Israel and its neighbors must continue to advocate for an end to occupation, settlement expansion and ongoing violations of the rights of the Palestinian people – even if the threat of formal annexation is halted.
Netanyahu Drops Troubled Annexation Plan for Diplomatic Gain, New York Times
For the past 16 months, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel had doggedly pursued a right-wing dream that he saw as securing his legacy: annexing West Bank territory that the Palestinians counted on for a future state, potentially dealing a death blow to a two-state solution. On Thursday, with his annexation plan already running aground, Mr. Netanyahu abruptly walked away from it. Instead, he exulted in a potential legacy achievement of an entirely different character — one that, unlike annexation, could only improve Israel’s ties with the West and much of the Arab world. The announcement in Washington that the United Arab Emirates had agreed to a “full normalization of relations” with Israel in exchange for Mr. Netanyahu’s agreement to “suspend” his annexation push amounted to a breathtaking turnabout for the veteran Israeli premier.
Netanyahu says West Bank annexation plans still ‘on the table’, Al Jazeera
A joint statement issued by the three nations said “Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty” over the occupied West Bank areas. However, in a television address after US President Donald Trump’s announcement of the deal, Netanyahu said he had only agreed to “delay” the annexation, and that he would “never give up our rights to our land”. “There is no change to my plan to extend sovereignty, our sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, in full coordination with the United States,” Netanyahu said in Jerusalem, using the biblical name for the occupied West Bank.
Around-the-halls: Experts analyze the normalization of Israel-UAE ties, Brookings
Brookings experts write, “The UAE-Israeli-U.S. deal allows everyone to climb down: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can avoid the terrible mistake of annexation while claiming he got something big for it (he did!). The UAE can claim it prevented annexation from happening — from UAE Ambassador Yousef Otaiba’s Hebrew-language op-ed warning of the move, to the big carrot of diplomatic normalization. Trump gets to avoid the annexation he himself sanctioned, and all the complications it could have produced, while showing a big win for two of his favorite allies.”
Behind the scenes: How the Israel-UAE deal came together, Axios
Talks had been ongoing for more than a year, but they gained new urgency ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s July 1 deadline to move ahead on West Bank annexations.
Trump: West Bank annexation ‘off the table’, Christianity part of UAE deal, The Jerusalem Post
US Ambassador to the US David Friedman clarified that the word which had been chosen to describe the situation was “suspended” and that word had been chosen “very carefully” because it means a temporary halt. Sovereignty, Friedman said was “off the table” not but not “off the table permanently.”
Palestinians Slam ‘Betrayal’ by UAE in Deal With Israel: ‘Reward of the Occupation’s Crimes’, Haaretz
The announcement on Thursday of normalization of ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates drew harsh responses from Palestinian officials and organizations, with senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi accusing the crown prince of “selling out” her people and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas convening an emergency meeting of Palestinian leaders ahead of a statement.
Israel-UAE deal condemned by Palestinians, cheered by Egypt and Bahrain, Washington Post
An announcement Thursday by the United Arab Emirates that it was pursuing formal ties with Israel was condemned by Palestinians as a betrayal by a putative Arab ally and a crushing setback to their national aspirations.
Iran says UAE-Israel deal a ‘stab in the back’ to Muslims, AP
Iran and Turkey lashed out at their regional rival the United Arab Emirates on Friday over its decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel, accusing it of betraying the Palestinian cause, even as much of the international community welcomed the move.
Israel is ‘fragile, flammable,’ freshman MK warns in speech watched by millions, Times of Israel
Israeli society is fractured and fragile, and threatened from within by those who would spread “malignant hate” between its many tribes and communities. So argues one of the most wildly viral videos to ever cross the collective consciousness of Hebrew-speaking Israelis, urging in response “to seal an alliance of moderates with all those who understand the challenge of living together.”
‘Sad, disappointed, worried’: Madison Cawthorn’s visit to Hitler’s vacation home alarms his NC district’s Jews, JTA
The Republican candidate, Madison Cawthorn, is running to represent western North Carolina in Congress. In a 2017 Instagram post from the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s vacation home that was one of the last battlegrounds of World War II, Cawthorn referred to Hitler as “the Fuhrer” and said the spot was on his “bucket list,” in addition to calling Hitler a “supreme evil.”
From Mossad overtures to frenetic US diplomacy: How UAE deal reportedly happened, Times of Israel
The director of the Mossad spy agency visited the United Arab Emirates several times to broker the historic accord to normalize ties between the UAE and Israel, and was Jerusalem’s point man for arranging the agreement, according to reports on Thursday.
Israel Blocks Qatari Aid to Gaza in Response to Incendiary Balloons, Haaretz
A number of human and civil rights NGOs are demanding that Israel lift the blockade, claiming the measures are too harsh, especially in view of the coronavirus crisis. The organizations – the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, B’Tselem, Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights, Gisha, Ir Amim, Zazim and HaMoked, maintained that Israel’s moves are “another cynical move of continuous collective punishment, intended deliberately to hurt the Gaza Strip’s two million residents.”
Normalization Deal Between Israel and the UAE Signals a Shift in the Region, Foreign Policy
Neri Zilber writes, “The agreement requires Israel to put West Bank annexation on hold, but Netanyahu says it’s temporary.”
What Kamala Harris would mean for a Biden administration’s foreign policy, Responsible Statecraft
Joe Cirincione writes, “Like Biden, Harris slammed Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the U.N. Security Council approved Iran anti-nuclear accord — or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — and pledged that she would rejoin the agreement while seeking ‘negotiations with Iran to extend and supplement some of the nuclear deal’s existing provisions’ and address regional disputes.”
Upending traditional views on peacemaking, Israel-UAE deal truly heralds new era, Times of Israel
Raphael Ahren writes, “Netanyahu proves wrong all those who argued normalization with Arab world is impossible without a solution to the Palestinian conflict — without giving anything tangible in return.”
America’s Armed, Antisemitic Far Right Is Prepping to Defend Trump in November, Haaretz
Alexander Reid Ross writes, “Over the last few months, there has been a worrying change in the tactics and tenor of recent far right entryism, provocateurism and deliberate conflict. From being a panoply of disorganized and marginal micro-groups, there is a new spirit of organization, tactical experience and militarized violence, and it is a reasonable assumption that that ‘upgrade’ is being led by the increasing involvement and profile of counterinsurgency veterans, former CIA contractors, and law enforcement officers in the anti-protest far right. “
Could the UAE deal save Netanyahu from a disillusioned Israeli right?, Times of Israel
Haviv Rettig Gur writes, “If it polls well, the normalization agreement between the Gulf state and Israel may push a polarizing prime minister onto a new political trajectory.”