News Roundup for August 23, 2023

August 23, 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

Insider Mayor Eric Adams’ Atypical Trip to Israel, Politico
“New York City Mayor Eric Adams met Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose move to weaken judicial power has sparked months of widespread protests. […] Left-wing advocacy group J Street’s response was barbed. “We hope the mayor takes the opportunity to make clear to the prime minister that Israel’s friends in New York and around the world are aghast at his government’s assault on Israel’s democracy,” a spokesperson said.”

Withholding Opinions, NYC Mayor Meets Protest Leaders, Netanyahu and Settler Head, The Times of Israel
“Progressive Jewish lobbying organization J Street slammed the meeting with settler leader Yisrael Gantz, tweeting that “Mayor Adams said his trip would strengthen ties with Israel,” but “pledging to boost settlements threatens Israel’s democratic future and undermines its security – not to mention the impact on Palestinian rights and freedoms.” In a statement released later in the day, the group said that “it is completely tone-deaf and extremely irresponsible for the Mayor to pledge to boost settlements – which are illegal under international law – through economic cooperation with NYC.”

Top News and Analysis

As West Bank Shootings Rise, Israel’s Government Vows to Retaliate, The New York Times
The government did not elaborate on its response plans, but it has been under increasing criticism for what is seen as a security failure by both its detractors and by leaders of the West Bank Jewish settler movement, who are represented by key partners in the coalition government.


There Are “Still Ways to Travel” to Get Saudi Mega-deal, Jake Sullivan Says, Axios
Sullivan’s comments appeared to be an attempt to lower expectations after press reports suggested an agreement could be close. US officials previously told Axios that the administration wants to complete its push before the presidential election campaign consumes President Biden’s agenda.

Iran Builds Advanced Drone with Enhanced Range, Reuters
A video released on Tuesday by Iranian media displayed the drone among other military hardware, with text saying “prepare your shelters” in both Hebrew and Persian. Published on Iran’s military industry day, the video’s text reflects simmering tensions between arch foes Iran and Israel.

Israel to Probe Shooting of Unarmed Palestinian in Back, Haaretz
The Israel Police unit responsible for investigating offenses by officers has opened a probe into the circumstances surrounding the shooting and injuring of an unarmed Palestinian in the back by Border Police Monday in the village of Beita.

4 Killed, Including Mayoral Candidate, Amid Spiraling Gun Violence in Arab Community, The Times of Israel
The mass shooting came hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again called to involve the Shin Bet internal security agency in combating violent crime in Arab locales, following the killing of Tira’s municipal director a day earlier.

Opinion and Analysis

What Does the ADL Stand for Today?, The New Republic
Eric Alterman notes, “The ADL counts certain sorts of criticism of Israel, including straightforward statements of Palestinian solidarity, in its statistics on antisemitism—even if no mention is made of Jews, and even if those doing the criticizing are themselves Jews. What’s more, the group is not exactly subtle about any distinctions to be made when it comes to this most complicated of issues.”

Jewish Terrorism: Like Father, Like Son, 972
Sebastian Ben Daniel (John Brown) shares, “It is possible that had the state carried out its duty and convicted Yossi Indore for terrorism, as well as those who aided him, we would be living in a different reality today. Had the state made sure that these terrorists did not get positions as prominent rabbis and journalists, perhaps Yehiel Indore would have seen there is a price to be paid for Jewish terrorism.”

Israeli-Saudi Peace Deal [Podcast], Council on Foreign Relations
Steven A. Cook, the Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies at CFR, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss the ongoing negotiations to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.