News Roundup for August 31, 2022

August 31, 2022
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J Street News Roundup

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

Jews Now a 47% Minority in Israel and the Territories, Demographer Says, The Times of Israel
Jewish people make up less than 47 percent of all those living west of the Jordan River, an Israeli demographer warned Tuesday, claiming that most of the Israeli population is unaware of the democratic peril the country is sliding into by possibly becoming a ruling minority in the area. Arnon Soffer, a professor of geography at Haifa University, told Army Radio Tuesday that in addition to the Jewish and Arab populations, he reached his figures by taking into consideration the hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish people residing in Israel who are not citizens. According to Soffer, there are 7.45 million Jews and others along with 7.53 million Arab Israelis and Palestinians living in what he termed the Land of Israel, meaning Israel plus the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israel’s Netanyahu Warned in Probe of Deadly 2021 Stampede, The Washington Post
The independent commission investigating a deadly stampede at a religious festival in northern Israel last year said Tuesday that then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top officials might be found partly responsible for the disaster. The announcement could harm Netanyahu — who is already on trial for corruption — ahead of Nov. 1 elections in which he hopes to become prime minister again. Netanyahu testified last month that he was not responsible for safety measures at the site.


UN Rights Chief Accuses Israel of ‘Trying To Hide’ by Blocking Monitors’ Access, The Times of Israel
Outgoing UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet blasted Israel on Tuesday for failing to issue or renew visas for her staff to monitor the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories.

Google Employee Who Played Key Role in Protest of Contract With Israel Quits, The New York Times
A Google employee who became the most visible opponent of a company contract with the Israeli military said on Tuesday that she would resign after claiming Google had tried to retaliate against her for her activism.

Israeli Supreme Court Rejects Hunger Striker’s Petition, AP
Israel’s Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a petition for the release of a Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for nearly six months and whose lawyer says is in danger of “sudden death.”

Israeli Soldier Killed in Overnight Training Exercise, Haaretz
An IDF soldier was killed in a military training accident in the Golan Heights early Wednesday morning. An army spokesperson said that the circumstances of the incident are still being investigated.

Olympics Attack Victims’ Families Close To Deal With Germany, The Washington Post
The families of 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian attackers at the 1972 Munich Olympics are close to reaching a deal with the German government over a long-disputed compensation claim, German and Israeli media reported Wednesday.

Opinion and Analysis

Ignore Bibi’s Bluster: Israel Must Back Biden on Iran Deal, Haaretz
Former deputy Israeli national security adviser Chuck Freilich argues, “Israel can’t take on Iran alone. After the catastrophic Trump-Netanyahu exit from the nuclear deal, Israel’s leaders should park the tedious rhetoric and work urgently, and as closely as possible, with the Biden administration.”

Israel Destroyed Palestinian Village for Luxury Settlement That Was Never Built, +972 Mag
Yuval Abraham reports, “Archives reveal Golda Meir’s government expelled residents of An-Nabi Samwil in 1971 to house wealthy Israelis. The settlement was aborted, but the Palestinians remain dispossessed, meters from their original homes.”

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