News Roundup for August 3, 2022

August 3, 2022
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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

Rep. Andy Levin’s Defeat Is a Sad Moment for Diplomacy and Democracy, J Street
J Street released the following statement on the results of the Democratic congressional primary in Michigan’s 11th district: “We congratulate Rep. Andy Levin on a principled, hard-fought and heartfelt campaign, and congratulate his opponent Rep. Haley Stevens on her victory. All of us at J Street are deeply disappointed by the outcome, and sad that Andy will not be representing Michigan in Congress again next year. Throughout his career, Levin has proven himself a true mensch – a kind, principled and compassionate leader who fights every day for his constituents, his Jewish and democratic values, and a better world. The pro-Israel, pro-peace movement is deeply grateful to Congressman Levin for his tireless advocacy for democracy, diplomacy, the two-state solution and human rights. Faced with an onslaught of right-wing outside spending and baseless smears, he never wavered in his support for what’s right. J Street is proud of all we did to support his re-election and defend him from unfair attacks.”

AIPAC Wins Big in Michigan Primary Thanks to SuperPAC Project, Haaretz
“Rep. Haley Stevens defeated Rep. Andy Levin in the Michigan Democratic primary that had become a referendum on the internal American-Jewish conversation on Israel, how the Democratic Party handles debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the spending power of pro-Israel SuperPACs aimed at swaying elections…The two faced off in the 11th district, where AIPAC’s United Democracy Project SuperPAC has spent $4.2 million in hopes of defeating progressive Jewish candidate Levin, while J Street has spent $700,000 against Stevens over AIPAC’s support.”

Top News and Analysis

New Polls: Democrats Say Biden and Members of Congress Lean Toward Israel More Than They Do, Brookings
[M]ost Democrats who expressed an opinion said that the administration’s positions leaned toward Israel more than their own, while most Republicans said the Biden administration was leaning more toward Palestine than they were. Overall, 44% of Republicans said the administration was leaning more toward Palestine, and 9% said it was leaning more toward Israel, while 26% of Democrats said the Biden team was leaning more toward Israel, and 3% said it was leaning more toward Palestine.

Iran Ready to Conclude Nuclear Talks, Al-Monitor
In a series of tweets, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani said the country is ready for a final push to revive the nuclear deal…The Vienna negotiations on reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, have been at a standstill over a number of issues. Josep Borrell, the high representative for the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has been leading talks in Doha to get the United States and Iran to compromise on key issues.


Middle East Reactions: Al-Qaeda Leader Zawahiri Killed in US Drone Strike, Al-Monitor
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid also praised the operation that killed Zawahiri. “The world is a safer place today,” Lapid said on Twitter today. Al-Qaeda has a limited presence in the Palestinian territories A relatively small al-Qaeda affiliate known as Tawhid al-Jihad operates in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Army Blocks Roads, Stops Train Traffic Near Gaza for Second Day in a Row, Haaretz
Israeli security forces on Wednesday blocked roads and stopped rail traffic near the Gaza border for a second consecutive day, following the arrest of a senior Islamic Jihad member earlier this week. According to the Israel Defense Forces, the decision was made to prevent a retaliatory attack against civilians.

U.S. Says “Gaps” Narrowing Between Israel and Lebanon in Maritime Dispute, Axios
Israeli, Lebanese and Biden administration officials appeared upbeat about the possibility of reaching a deal on the maritime border dispute between Israel and Lebanon after another round of U.S. mediated indirect talks this week.

Israel’s Justices Hired 68 Law Clerks in Three Years. None Were Arab, Haaretz
None of the 68 law clerks employed over the past three years at the Supreme Court has been an Arab, and only two are ultra-Orthodox. Data supplied by the Judicial Authority at Haaretz’s request shows that while the composition of clerks chosen by the justices is gender-balanced – 36 women to 32 men – in other regards, it is clearly homogenous.

Opinion and Analysis

I Went to Israel for My Bat Mitzvah at the Kotel but an Angry Ultra-Orthodox Mob Tried to Stop It, The Forward
Lucia de Silva writes about her experience fighting for everyone’s right to pray at the place of their choosing, alongside the Women of the Wall.

Organize in Defense of Israel’s Democracy, Haaretz
Former Deputy Attorney General, Dina Zilber, underscores the importance of pushing back against the forces that threaten Israel’s democracy.