News Roundup for December 14, 2021

December 14, 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

Nothingburger’: Jewish Republicans Defend Trump After Bibi Comments, Haaretz
“It’s a real shame for Israelis and Palestinians that so many key decisions about their future have been made by leaders as petty, vindictive and deluded as Trump and Netanyahu,” J Street Vice President of Communications Logan Bayroff said. “While it’s unsurprising that Trump would ultimately turn on his partner – and acknowledge the obvious truth that Netanyahu never had serious interest in compromising for peace – it doesn’t change the fact that his administration went out of its way to reward the rejectionist Israeli right and to punish the Palestinian people.”

Top News and Analysis

Israeli airstrikes in Syria targeted chemical weapons facilities, officials say, The Washington Post
Just after midnight on June 8, Israeli warplanes streaked across the country’s northern frontier for a highly unusual airstrike deep inside Syrian territory. The jets fired missiles at three military targets near the cities of Damascus and Homs, killing seven soldiers, including a colonel described in local news accounts as a “hero martyr” and an engineer who worked at a top-secret Syrian military lab.

Trump: Netanyahu ‘never wanted peace’ with Palestinians, The Hill
Former President Trump said in an interview published on Monday that he believes former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu never had any desire to establish peace with the Palestinians during his 12-year term in power.


As Bennett ends UAE visit, his office says crown prince accepted invite to Israel, The Times of Israel
Abu Dhabi’s powerful Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has accepted Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s invitation to visit Israel, his office said Monday, as the latter wrapped up the first-ever trip by an Israeli premier to the United Arab Emirates.

Israel’s Yesh Atid party opens branches in Arab towns, Al-Monitor
The Yesh Atid party, which is the largest partner in the coalition, opened an office in the Arab town of Mi’ilya Dec. 9. Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov, Deputy Minister for Public Security Yoav Segalovitz, Knesset member Inbar Bezek and the coordinator of the local office, Mazen Abed, all participated in the ceremony.

‘Cruel and Immoral’: 20 MKs Call on Shaked to Stop Deportation of Thai Mother and Israeli Child, Haaretz
Twenty Knesset members on Monday called on Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked to stop the deportation of a Thai national and her seven-year-old Israeli daughter.

Israel’s Bennett strives to increase Jewish population in Golan Heights, Al-Monitor
Trying to appeal to his right-wing electoral base, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett advances plans for increased Jewish settlement in the Golan Heights.

Israeli Minister Prompts Backlash After Vowing Action Against Settler Violence, Haaretz
Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev caused a political storm on Monday after he told a top U.S. official that Israel views settler violence “”severely”” and that it is taking steps to tackle the phenomenon.

Opinion and Analysis

Book Review: Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World’s Most Contested City, The Washington Post
Jane Eisner reviews Andrew Lawler’s new book, “Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World’s Most Contested City,” a sweeping tale of archaeological exploits and their cultural and political consequences told with a historian’s penchant for detail and a journalist’s flair for narration.

A Palestinian Medic Rushed Toward a Hurt Protester. An Israeli Cop Shot Him at Close Range, Haaretz
“Palestinian paramedics are often attacked by Israeli soldiers, who prevent them from fulfilling their duty during clashes. Mohammed Omar was beaten and arrested in 2018 – a year when three of his colleagues were shot to death in Gaza protests. Recently he too was hit by live fire…Omar recalls now that he had trouble breathing after he was hit. Surprisingly, the bullet did not enter his body, only struck his chest on the outside. Usually rubber-coated bullets fired from point-blank range penetrate the body. Omar thinks that the medical equipment he was carrying in his vest blocked the bullet’s penetration. But he felt a wave of panic, sure that he had been seriously injured. A Red Crescent team rushed over to him, put an oxygen mask over his face and evacuated him to the Ramallah hospital, where he underwent several hours of examinations and was then sent home. Omar suffered no serious wounds, only chest pains where the bullet had struck, which lasted for several days. That same week, he resumed his volunteer work.”

Because Trump left the nuclear deal, we might have to learn to live with a nuclear Iran, The Washington Post
Max Boot writes, “The Biden administration should keep trying to peacefully stop the Iranian nuclear program, but that might no longer be possible because of Trump’s catastrophic decision to leave the accord. And if those efforts fail? Well, we have lived with nukes in the hands of other vile and abhorrent regimes, such as the Soviet Union/Russia, North Korea and China. If we have to, we could learn to live with a nuclear Iran, too.”