News Roundup for August 29, 2023

August 29, 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

The Illusions About the Occupation are Shattering, The Times of Israel
J Street Israel Director Nadav Tamir argues, “For 56 years, the State of Israel has defended its ability to maintain long-term control of another people, on the basis of two illusions: the illusion of a free Supreme Court, and the double illusion of political negotiations and the temporariness of the occupation.”

Top News and Analysis

Uproar Over Libya-Israel Meeting Shows Challenges for Normalization, The Washington Post
“Protests in Libya show how volatile the issue of relations with Israel is among the public in many Arab countries, even as a new generation of leaders in the Gulf and North Africa have been willing to improve relations to take advantage of Israel’s economic, technological and security assets. But they have forged the ties in spite of enduring levels of anger in the Arab world over Israel’s decades-long occupation of the West Bank.”

US Protests Israel’s Exposure of Secret Meeting Between Israeli-Libyan Foreign Ministers, Axios
The Biden administration this weekend protested to the Israeli government over the Israeli foreign minister’s decision to reveal a recent secret meeting he held with his Libyan counterpart.


Smotrich: Israel Won’t Agree to Any ‘Gestures’ Toward Palestinians for Saudi Deal, Haaretz
Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said Monday morning that despite being willing to reach a breakthrough in normalization talks with Saudi Arabia, Israel will not agree to any pro-Palestinian “gestures” in exchange for a future agreement.

Palestinian Delegation to Visit Saudi Arabia to Raise its Demands in Any Israel Deal, The Times of Israel
Israel’s Channel 13 says Ramallah is changing track, seeking to be involved in potential normalization this time as opposed to boycotting such processes in the past.

Syria Says Israeli Attack Puts Aleppo Airport Out of Service, Reuters
Two regional intelligence sources said the attack targeted an underground munitions depot run by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps within the compound of Nairab military airport next to Aleppo airport.

Anti-Overhaul Protesters Rally Outside UN as Gallant Meets with Secretary-General, The Times of Israel
The anti-overhaul protesters, led by the ex-pat activist group UnXeptable, have hounded Israeli officials during visits to the region throughout the year, and demonstrated outside Gallant’s hotel early Monday morning.

Opinion and Analysis

Palestinian Fears Grow Amid Rising Israeli Settler Attacks, BBC
Yolande Knell writes, “Huge investment is planned to expand settlements and improve their infrastructure, cementing a Jewish presence in the West Bank and changing the landscape. With their own leaders too weak to effect a serious change in course and a sense that settlers enjoy impunity, Palestinian anger and resentment is growing. The ongoing developments only look set to deepen bitter hostilities.”

The Democratic Crisis Has Started. What Should Israel’s Security Chiefs Do?, Haaretz
Yuval Diskin, former head of the Shin Bet, and Eli Bahar, former legal adviser to the Shin Bet, argue, “Even greater than before, the security chiefs have a duty to scrutinize every government directive, to ensure that the instructions they receive are lawful and conform with democratic values. They must also consult with their legal advisers and the attorney general whenever there is any doubt.”

What the Actors Strike Can Learn from Israeli Protest Movement, The Forward
Actor and activist Joshua Malina notes, “The actors and writers in the United States face issues that we deem existential to our employment; Israelis face a threat to their existence as citizens of a democracy. And we on the picket lines in America can take a few lessons from the resolve and tenacity of those protesting in the streets of Israel.”