News Roundup for August 28, 2020

August 28, 2020

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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.

Top News and Analysis

Israel Police Amp Up Forces, Brace for Larger Crowds at anti-Netanyahu Protest in Jerusalem, Haaretz
Israel Police are preparing to deploy in large numbers at the protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Saturday, as organizers say they expect a far larger turn-out than in previous weeks.

‘Israel’ and ‘elites’: The Republican convention sends mixed messages to Jews, JTA
Ron Kampeas writes, “Trump at times has denounced anti-Semitism and the extreme right. But he’s also questioned the loyalties of this country’s Jewish voters, equivocated after a deadly neo-Nazi and white supremacist march in 2017, embraced unfounded conspiracy theories about billionaire philanthropist George Soros and deployed the term ‘globalist,’ a word often used to accuse Jews of having no natural loyalties. It didn’t help that one of the scheduled speakers, hours before her appearance, amplified an anti-Semitic screed on Twitter, or that another cheerfully admitted to likening abortion to the Holocaust — a comparison that Jewish groups have called a softer form of Holocaust denial. Or that a congressional nominee who has peddled anti-Semitic theories scored an invitation to Trump’s speech on Thursday night accepting the nomination.”

With over 2,000 daily virus cases, Israel’s death toll reaches 891, Times of Israel
The Health Ministry said Friday that 2,068 people tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, with 10,777 new cases found in total over the course of the week.


Israeli Border Police Clash With East Jerusalem Residents, One Officer Injured, Haaretz
Border Police clashed with Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem’s Isawiyah neighborhood on Thursday night. One police officer was injured and officers deployed tear gas, stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets against residents.

Israeli Officer Need Not Have Shot Autistic Palestinian, Commander Says, New York Times
An Israeli police officer who gunned down a Palestinian man who had autism in the Old City of Jerusalem in May defied an order to hold his fire even though the man posed no danger to anyone, his commander has told investigators, according to people briefed on the case.

Netanyahu made hundreds of thousands of shekels from overseas account — report, Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earned hundreds of thousands of shekels between 2017 and 2018 from overseas investments, according to a report Friday.

Six Rockets Launched From Gaza, Israel Strikes Hamas Targets, Haaretz
The military struck Hamas targets in Gaza on Friday morning after six rockets were launched from the enclave during the night, according to a statement. The rocket fire came after the army struck an underground facility and military post belonging to Hamas earlier in the night in response to the launching of incendiary balloons from the Strip on Thursday.

Hamas: Truce talks have failed, Israel will receive ‘messages’ within hours, Times of Israel
A source in the group was quoted by Lebanese Hezbollah-affiliated TV al-Mayadeen as saying Qatari envoy Mohammed al-Emadi had left the territory after two days in which he brought cash to the Strip and tried to broker a ceasefire amid weeks of mutual attacks. The source said the failure to reach a deal was due to Israel’s insistence on the equation of “calm in return for calm,” rather than “calm in return for an end to the blockade” of the Strip.

Opinion and Analysis

Grading Trump’s foreign policy, Responsible Statecraft
Gil Barndollar writes, “It is with Iran that Trump has come closest to foreign policy disaster and yet, paradoxically, has demonstrated prudence at the eleventh hour. Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in May 2018, exiting an agreement that had broad international support and had constrained Iranian nuclear ambitions. The “maximum pressure” policy that followed has ravaged Iran’s economy but not Iran’s proxies, who remain ascendant in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria.”

How Creeping Annexation is Strangling Hope for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, J Street
Seth Eislund writes, “For decades, creeping annexation has increased the area of West Bank land under Israeli control and prevented the prospects for Palestinian statehood under a negotiated peace agreement. It’s a project that has nothing to do with Israeli security and puts the hope for a secure, democratic homeland for the Jewish people — with clearly defined and recognized borders — further out of reach.”