News Roundup for August 22, 2023

August 22, 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 Devastated by Recent Terror Attacks and Ongoing Escalation, J Street
“J Street is devastated by the two deadly terror attacks against Israeli civilians in the West Bank over the past 48 hours. […] Our hearts are with the victims and their families as we hope for the speedy recovery of the injured. We hope the perpetrators of both appalling attacks are apprehended swiftly and brought to justice. Horrific acts of violence and terror, and threats of more attacks, bring only misery and pain and do nothing to advance shared hopes for a just, free and equal future.”

Top News and Analysis

West Bank Terror Is on the Rise, and Israel’s Far-right Government Is Only Making the Situation Worse, Haaretz
Amos Harel writes, “While until recently, some 80 percent of attackers in the West Bank hailed from its northern region, the Nablus and Jenin areas, now there are signs that terrorism is spreading to other areas, like Tul Karm and Hebron in the center and southern regions. Revenge attacks by Jewish terrorists only intensify the mounting tensions. And the fact that there are cabinet ministers and members of Knesset from the coalition who openly encourage such acts only adds fuel to the fire.”

17-year-old Palestinian Killed During Israeli Military Raid in Northern West Bank, AP
The Israeli military conducted an arrest raid before dawn in the town of Zababdeh south of Jenin, local medics said. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that 17-year-old Othman Abu Kharj was fatally shot in the head. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group claimed Abu Kharj as a fighter.


After Attacks, Smotrich Said Rushing Through Plan to Expand West Bank Settlements, The Times of Israel
The far-right minister is reportedly advancing a plan to legalize 155 outposts throughout the West Bank, capitalizing on his control of both the Finance Ministry as well as settlement affairs within the Defense Ministry. He also plans to allocate $180 million to settlements and outposts.

Unarmed Palestinian Shot in the Back During Israeli Security Operation in the West Bank, Haaretz
In a video recording the shooting, the victim can be seen walking down the street as he is shot in the back, despite being unarmed. The Palestinian Health Ministry said the man was taken to a hospital in Nablus, where he has been listed as being in critical condition.

Arab Towns in Israel Strike in Protest at Funding Freeze, Reuters
Arab local councils in Israel held a strike on Monday in protest at the finance minister’s freeze earlier this month on hundreds of millions of shekels to their municipalities, a decision that has prompted accusations of racism.

US Supportive of Saudis Appointing Envoy to Palestinians, The Times of Israel
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield acknowledges Saudi Arabia’s recent appointment of a non-resident consul general in Jerusalem. “We stand ready to be supportive of any and all efforts that will bring us closer to a two-state solution,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel’s Democracy Protests: What Happens Next?, The Conversation
Political scientist and Israel scholar Dov Waxman says, “Over time, I expect this government will introduce more anti-democratic legislation, maybe not focused on the judiciary but basically following the authoritarian playbook where gradually the institutions and gatekeepers of Israeli democracy are increasingly weakened and undermined. Israel within the Green Line – the de facto border with the occupied territories – would become a hollowed-out democracy. More and more liberal Israelis, the secular ones, may just emigrate.”

Palestinians Who Lost Their Homes in Israeli Assaults on Gaza Strip Talk About Hardships, B’Tselem
In its latest report, B’Tselem writes, “These two rounds of fighting are part of Israel’s years-long policy of striking the densely-populated Gaza Strip from the air. Thousands of Palestinians have been killed, thousands more have been injured, tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of people have been left homeless after losing their entire world in one moment. B’Tselem field researchers collected testimonies from residents of the Gaza Strip whose homes were damaged in Israeli strikes in the past year.”

How Americans View Israel, Netanyahu and US-Israel Relations in 5 Charts, Pew Research
Shradha Dinesh and Laura Silver note, “Americans have generally positive views of Israel and its people. But their views of Israel’s government and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are more mixed, according to recent Pew Research Center surveys. The 2023 survey took place in March amid protests over Netanyahu’s proposed judicial overhaul, but fieldwork was completed before that legislation was passed in July.”