News Roundup for August 25, 2023

August 25, 2023
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J Street In the News

Major US Jewish Groups Urge US Lawmakers to Back Resolution Supporting Israeli Democracy, Haaretz
Seventeen leading US Jewish organizations, including J Street, are urging members of Congress to support a resolution affirming Israel’s pro-democracy protest movement and condemning the far-right Netanyahu coalition’s judicial overhaul. The number of co-sponsors for the House resolution has more than tripled since its introduction last month to 43 House Democrats.

Top News and Analysis

AIPAC is Stifling Debate on Israel, Barak Charges in Pro-democracy Event, The Jerusalem Post
Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak accused AIPAC of stifling debate regarding Israel, and urged American Jews to oppose the judicial reform plan, explaining that “you have a moral commitment to stand behind the protests.”

‘We’re Shattered and Fed Up’: The Youth on the Frontlines of Israel’s Protests, +972
“This salient presence of youth raises important questions about how so many Israelis who were born and raised almost exclusively under Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule ended up taking such mass direct action — exposing themselves to the risk of arrest and police violence in the process.”


US Urges Accountability in Shooting of Apparently Unarmed Palestinian in West Bank, The Times of Israel
The US on Thursday called for a probe into an incident in which a seemingly unarmed Palestinian was shot in the back as he retreated from Israeli forces, an incident captured on video.

Israeli High Court Okays Razing Home of 13-year-old Palestinian Who Stabbed Police Officer, Haaretz
The justices in favor of the demolition argue that destroying the boy’s home would deter the parents of future would-be attackers. Justice Uzi Vogelman, in a minority opinion, opposed the demolition due to the boy’s young age.

4 Arab Israelis Arrested for Hezbollah Ties, Smuggling Iranian Explosives, Al-Monitor
Four Arab Israelis were arrested last month on suspicion of smuggling into the country munitions they received from Hezbollah, Israel’s Shin Bet security agency announced Thursday.

Smotrich Meets Head of Arab Mayors Committee Over Frozen Development Funds, The Times of Israel
The finance minister reiterated that he will not release the NIS 200 million ($53 million) he froze without tighter oversight, and sparred with Mudar Younes, mayor of Wadi Ar’ara, over his claims the money will reach crime groups.

Opinion and Analysis

The Turmusaya Pogrom: Settlers and Soldiers Attacked Residents. A Special Police Force Killed a Palestinian Youth, B’Tselem
In its latest report, B’Tselem writes, “On Wednesday, 21 June 2023, at approximately 1:30pm, hundreds of settlers – some of them masked and armed with guns, pistols, metal rods, and Molotov cocktails – entered the village of Turmusaya in the district of Ramallah escorted by soldiers. The settlers entered the northeastern neighborhood of the village, attacked 30 houses and set fire to 10 of them, nine of which completely burned.”

Can US-Iran Prisoner Deal Build Trust for Broader Talks?, Al-Monitor
Elizabeth Hagedorn notes, “The Biden administration has long maintained that its efforts to free the prisoners were separate from diplomacy aimed at salvaging the original nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). But analysts say the detainee deal, if successful, could enhance the prospects for cooperation on Iran’s nuclear program, which the Iranians have steadily expanded since former President Donald Trump quit the JCPOA in 2018.”