News Roundup for August 22, 2022

August 22, 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

Foes and Friends of Iran Deal Ready for Another D.C. Clash, Politico
“Meanwhile, J Street, the left-leaning pro-Israel group, plans to rally support to revive the agreement. Its representatives caution that they want to review the road map to the revival first, but if it’s what they expect, “we have a whole campaign ready to go,” said Dylan Williams, a senior vice president with the group. That campaign will include everything from phone-calling blitzes to ads on social media, he said. The campaign is aimed largely at moderate Democrats, some of whom did not support the agreement in 2015, and new lawmakers whose positions may not yet be clear.”

Palestinian Activist Defies Israeli Interrogation Order, ABC News
“On Sunday, some 45 Israeli and Jewish advocacy groups issued a statement in solidarity with the targeted Palestinian groups. “Defense of human rights is not terrorism,” the statement said. “We repudiate these baseless declarations and call on the international community to pressure Israel to revoke its decision.” Major Israeli human rights groups, including B’Tselem and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, as well as the liberal pro-Israel group J Street, were among the signatories.”

Top News and Analysis

Palestinian Flight Plan Shelved on Eve of First Scheduled Departure, The Guardian
A controversial plan to allow Palestinians to fly to Turkey from southern Israel’s Ramon airport has been shelved on the eve of the first scheduled departure. Israel’s airport authority announced earlier this month that Ramon in the Negev desert, near the Red Sea city of Eilat, would begin allowing Palestinians from the occupied West Bank to travel on Turkish-operated flights to Antalya and Istanbul from 22 August.

U.S. Tries To Reassure Israel Over Possible Iran Deal, Axios
The Biden administration in recent days has been seeking to reassure Israel that it hasn’t agreed to new concessions with Iran and a nuclear deal isn’t imminent, U.S. and Israeli officials told Axios. Israeli officials said they‘re not reassured. Iran gave a formal response this week to a “final” proposal from the EU, which has been mediating between the U.S. and Iran. That increased speculation that a deal could be close, and led to friction between the U.S. and Israel, which opposes a restoration of the 2015 nuclear deal.

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Nine European States Slam Israeli Raids of Palestinian NGOs, Haaretz
Nine European Union states released a joint statement on Friday condemning Israeli raids of the offices of six Palestinian civil society organizations in the West Bank. “We are deeply concerned by the raids…as part of a worrying reduction of space for civil society in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the statement issued by the foreign ministries of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden said. “These actions are not acceptable,” the foreign ministries added.

Mahmoud Abbas To Leave for Official Turkey Visit on Erdogan’s Invitation, The Jerusalem Post
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to head to Turkey on Monday for a three-day visit during which he will hold talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Abbas’s visit comes on the heels of an announcement by Israel and Turkey that they have decided to restore full diplomatic relations.

Palestinians Working in Israel Strike Over Demand for Bank Accounts, Reuters
Tens of thousands of Palestinians employed in Israel staged a one-day strike on Sunday in protest at a decision to pay their salaries into bank accounts rather than in cash. The new payment method was agreed between Palestinian and Israeli authorities looking for a more efficient and secure way to pay salaries, but workers fear that hidden fees and new taxes will cut into their wages.

Directors of Palestinian NGOs Say Shin Bet Threatened Them, Haaretz
The directors of two Palestinian civil society organizations that have been blacklisted by Israel received warnings from Israel’s Shin Bet security service on Sunday urging them to end their work with the NGOs, the directors told Haaretz.

Zionist Spirit Adds Religious Settler Amitai Porat to Slate Behind Shaked, Hendel, The Times of Israel
Amitai Porat, a former leader of the small religious kibbutz movement and the son of a founder of the settlement movement, was tapped Sunday for the third spot on the Zionist Spirit slate, joining the new faction established by Ayelet Shaked and Yoaz Hendel.

CIA unable to corroborate Israel’s ‘terror’ label for Palestinian rights groups, The Guardian
Sources say report shows CIA unable to find evidence to support Israeli claim, but finding does not prompt US rebuttal

Opinion and Analysis

Israel Should Join the International Effort to Salvage Iran Nuke Deal, Haaretz
Haaretz’s Editorial Board writes, “The opposition to the accord is puzzling, given that in any event Israel does not intend to comply with it or to see itself as being obligated by it. It should be emphasized that Israeli intelligence officials, like their U.S. and European counterparts, have long realized that the U.S. withdrawal from the deal only advanced Iran’s nuclear program, increased the quantity and the quality of the uranium it has enriched, froze international monitoring of Iran’s nuclear facilities and greatly decreased its “nuclear breakout time,” the time needed to produce sufficient weapons-grade uranium for one nuclear weapon.”

Register here for the J Street 2022 National Conference. Early bird pricing available through August 31