News Roundup for August 24, 2023

August 24, 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

I Was Involved with AIPAC for 35 Years. Their Latest Move Convinced Me to Join J Street, The Forward
Rabbi Marc Israel writes, “The letter I received from AIPAC this month correctly stated that we should not “stand idly by” threats to the American-Israel alliance coming under the guise of groups claiming to be “pro-Israel.” I agree. This is why I joined J Street and its Rabbinic Cabinet.”

Israel’s Pro-Democracy Spokesperson Has a Message for Pro-Israel Americans, J Street
“Josh Drill, the International Spokesperson for Israel’s pro-democracy protest movement, has never been one to mince words – and he has a blunt message for some “pro-Israel” groups in the United States. “If you’re not opposing what Netanyahu’s doing, then you’re on his side,” he tells J Street in an interview from Tel Aviv.”

Top News and Analysis

Israel’s Ben-Gvir: ‘My Right to Life Is More Important Than Arabs’ Freedom of Movement’, Haaretz
In an interview with Channel 12 News, far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said that “my right, the right of my wife and my children to move around Judea and Samaria is more important than freedom of movement for the Arabs. The right to life comes before freedom of movement.”

3 Palestinian Villages Emptied Out This Summer. Residents Blame Settler Attacks, AP
The exodus from al-Qabun, a small Bedouin village northeast of the city of Ramallah that numbered 89 people before the evacuation, represents the third case over four months in which a Palestinian community emptied out, according to data from UN monitors. Residents blame mounting settler violence.


US Alarmed by Israeli Demolition of Palestinian School in West Bank, The Times of Israel
“Demolitions and the displacement of Palestinians from their communities exacerbate tensions and threaten the two-state solution,” the US Office of Palestinian Affairs said. Israel demolished the school, which was funded by the European Union, last week on the grounds that it was built without the necessary permits.

Israel’s Druze Community on Strike After Quadruple Homicide, Al-Monitor
Israel’s Druze community went on strike Wednesday after the murder of four Druze men on Tuesday. The four were shot in the northern Druze town of Abu Snan, bringing the number of Arab Israelis killed since the beginning of the year to 158.

Palestinian Factions Fear Israeli Assassinations After Security Cabinet Meeting, The Jerusalem Post
Palestinian factions raised their level of alert in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon on Wednesday and warned Israel against conducting targeted assassinations a day after the Prime Minister’s Office said the security cabinet had decided to “attack terrorists and those dispatching them.”

Netanyahu Says Shin Bet Will Help Fight Arab Crime Related to Local Elections, The Times of Israel
A ministerial panel established to address rampant violent crime in Arab towns has tasked the Shin Bet security service with assisting police operations in combatting some crime in the Arab community.

Opinion and Analysis

How AIPAC Can Rescue What’s Left of Its Influence and Credibility, Haaretz
Former AIPAC employee Ken Toltz writes, “After remaining a committed activist and supporter for decades, and moving to Israel four years ago, I too have come out publicly against political strategies and tactics employed by AIPAC. They are antithetical to the values instilled in me as to how American Jews should support Israel politically in Washington.”

The Situation in Israel Is Worse Than You Think. Time to Do Something, Newsweek
Dan Perry argues, “Previously inconceivable outcomes, from a civil war to a partition into radically different Jewish states, become plausible. If the overhaul should somehow irreversibly prevail, you can say goodbye to the current version of Israel: the millions who will abandon the country will include almost all the people who account for the current industry, prosperity, innovation, and security—not to mention the military.”