News Roundup for August 6, 2021

August 6, 2021

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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

How will Deborah Lipstadt define anti-Semitism in the US?, New Statesman
How should a US envoy responsible for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism approach their role when Americans don’t even agree on what the term anti-Semitism entails? That is the challenge before Deborah Lipstadt, US president Joe Biden’s pick for the position. […] “Lipstadt is well placed to expose, confront and address the alarming rise in anti-Semitism we have witnessed both at home and around the world these past few years,” J Street, a “pro-Israel, pro-peace” nonprofit, said in a statement.

Top News and Analysis

Biden chooses Obama alum Chanan Weissman as White House liaison to the Jewish community, JTA
After months of speculation, President Joe Biden has chosen Chanan Weissman as White House liaison to the Jewish community. Weissman, 37, was President Barack Obama’s Jewish liaison in the last months of his presidency. Sources close to the White House on Thursday confirmed the choice.

Comptroller finds state failing on Bedouin and Israelis of Ethiopian origin, Times of Israel
Israelis of Ethiopian descent suffer from over-policing and discrimination, while Bedouin communities in the south live with a shocking lack of services and governance, according to a scathing report released by State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman on Wednesday. “The Bedouin population in the Negev is the poorest in Israel and suffers from a lack of infrastructure and quality education,” the report charged. “The Israeli government is responsible for increasing governance in the Negev.”

Hezbollah claims responsibility for new rocket fire into Israel, raising fears of escalation, Washington Post
A series of military exchanges between Israel and Lebanon escalated Friday when Hezbollah fired a barrage of rockets across the border from Lebanon, prompting immediate retaliatory strikes in Lebanese territory, according to the Israeli military. The escalation, which largely targeted a disputed border strip known as Shebaa Farms, added to concerns that the exchanges, limited so far, risked spilling into open conflict.


Hungary’s Orban: It’s a ‘strong challenge’ having Netanyahu, Trump out of office, Times of Israel
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban lamented that the election of new leaders in Israel and the United States are a “challenge for him,” in an interview with Fox News, broadcast Thursday. Speaking with the network’s Tucker Carlson, Orban said former US president Trump’s “America First” policy was a positive foreign policy for central Europe. “And the same for Bibi Netanyahu,” Orban said, using the ex-premier’s nickname.

Former Comptroller Warned Israel About NSO Activities Almost a Year Ago, Haaretz
Former state comptroller and retired judge Joseph Shapira warned senior Defense Ministry officials of a conflict between defense technologies and human rights, citing the NSO Group as a potential bad actor 10 months before it decided to open an investigation int the Israeli cyber firm.

State inquiry into Meron disaster summons its first witnesses, Times of Israel
The state commission of inquiry into the tragedy at Mount Meron officially summoned its first witnesses on Thursday. The commission called on six officials to appear. […] The three-member panel was established in late June, after the new government was sworn in, to investigate the deadly disaster that took place at Mount Meron on April 30. The tragedy, sparked by a crush of people along a narrow pathway at the site, left 45 people dead, making it the worst civilian disaster in Israeli history.