News Roundup for December 19, 2022

December 19, 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

Israel Deports French-Palestinian Lawyer, Accusing Him of ‘Terrorist Activity’ in Case Israeli Group Calls ‘Gross Violation of Basic Rights’, CNN
Israel deported a French-Palestinian lawyer it accused of organizing, inciting and planning “terrorist attacks” to France early Sunday morning, Israeli authorities said, in a case that an Israeli human rights organization called a “gross violation of basic rights.” Salah Hamouri’s Israeli residency was revoked two weeks ago based on accusations by Israel he was active in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), according to Israel’s interior ministry. The PFLP is designated by the European Union and the United States as a terrorist organization.

Trump Omits Dinner With White Nationalist in Speech to Jews, AP
Speaking at a conference of Orthodox Jews on Friday, Donald Trump did not address a widely criticized private meal he shared last month with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist and a rapper who has spewed antisemitic conspiracies. The former president told the audience he was “the best ally you’ve ever had.” Over and over, Trump heaped praise on the Jewish people and highlighted his support for Israel as he addressed the annual President’s Conference of Torah Umesorah at his National Doral club in Miami. He alleged Congress was “almost anti-Israel” and said without evidence that some Democrats in Washington “hate Israel with a passion.”


Mass Funeral in Gaza Draws Tears, Rare Criticism of Hamas, AP
Thousands of people on Sunday joined the funerals of eight young Palestinian men who drowned off the coast of Tunisia nearly two months ago as they tried to sail to new lives in Europe. The drownings have reverberated across Gaza, drawing attention to the dire conditions in the territory after a 15-year Israeli-Egyptian blockade but also prompting some rare public criticism of the ruling Hamas militant group.

Ben-Gvir Softens Plans for Neutering Israel Police, but Gatekeepers Push Back, Haaretz
Itamar Ben-Gvir, the far-right lawmaker slated to become security minister in Israel’s incoming government, submitted on Monday a softer version of a bill that would give him more authority over police. However, even this version has received significant pushback, with legal experts saying it doesn’t properly balance police independence and the authority of the minister.

In Hanukkah Message to World Jewry, Herzog Welcomes ‘Tough Questions’ About Election, The Times of Israel
President Isaac Herzog issued a greeting to world Jewry on Monday, the first day of Hanukkah, saying he welcomed the “earnest voices” and “tough questions” being asked about the incoming government.

Netanyahu’s Extremist Allies, Settlements and Pride Parades: U.S. Ambassador on Israel’s Radical New Coalition, Haaretz
Tom Nides says that the incoming PM has a ‘very good’ relationship with Biden, that the U.S. will oppose legalization of outposts and changing the Temple Mount status-quo, and reiterated that the U.S. will continue to ‘have Israel’s back… we need to keep people calm and judge this government on its actions.’

Opinion and Analysis

The Ideal of Democracy in a Jewish State Is in Jeopardy, The New York Times
The New York Times Editorial Board writes, “America’s support for Israel reflects our two countries’ respect for democratic ideals. President Biden and Mr. Netanyahu should do everything they can to reaffirm that commitment.”

Facing Blackouts and Iranian-Made Drones, Ukrainian Jews Urge Israel To Help, The Washington Post
Jeff Stein, John Hudson and Kostiantyn Khudov report, “Israel’s position is ever more painful for some Ukrainian Jews as they prepare to celebrate Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, in intermittent darkness due to the blackouts brought on by Russia’s recurring airstrikes, which have knocked out the heat in the main sanctuary of the synagogue David attends in Kyiv.”