News Roundup for December 27, 2022

December 27, 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.

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Top News and Analysis

Israeli Air Force Veterans Say Incoming Government a Danger, The Washington Post
Over 1,000 senior Israeli air force veterans, including a former Israeli chief of staff, on Monday urged the country’s top legal officials to stand tough against the incoming government. In a letter to the chief of Israel’s Supreme Court and other top officials, they said the alliance of religious and ultranationalist parties threatens Israel’s future. The letter was delivered days before the new government is to take office.

Likud Source Says ‘Discrimination Law’ Won’t Pass, but Will Stay in Coalition Agreements, Haaretz
The new government’s efforts to amend the anti-discrimination law and allow businesses to refuse services on the basis of religious beliefs are unlikely to succeed, according to a Likud source close to the coalition negotiations. The source, who requested to remain anonymous, said that the odds of such an amendment passing are “minuscule.” However, the party source added that Likud will not reopen its agreements with United Torah Judaism and Religious Zionism to remove the promise due to time constraints.


Haim Drukman, Leader of Israeli Settler Movement, Dies at 90, AP
Haim Drukman, a prominent rabbi who was one of the founders of Israel’s settlement movement, has died. He was 90. Drukman was a leading figure in the religious Zionist movement in Israel, and a major proponent of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula after Israel captured those territories in the 1967 Mideast war.

Israeli Politician Suggests Doctors Could Refuse To Treat Gay Patients, The Guardian
A suggestion by one of Benjamin Netanyahu’s incoming ministers that Israeli doctors should be allowed to refuse treatment to LGBTQ patients on religious grounds has heightened fears that the new government poses an unprecedented threat to gay rights.

Netanyahu Rebukes Far-Right Ally for Anti-LGBTQ Comments, AP
Designated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a rare rebuke of his new coalition allies on Sunday for saying they would advance laws allowing discrimination against LGBTQ people, pledging there would be no harm to their rights by his upcoming government.

U.S. Jewish Leaders Warn Israeli Officials Over Incoming Right-Wing Government, Axios
Several U.S. Jewish leaders during a meeting with Israeli officials earlier this month warned that racist and extremist moves by the new Israeli government could seriously hamper support for Israel among Jews in the U.S.

Knesset Votes to Give Far-right Leaders Unprecedented Authority in West Bank, Haaretz
The Knesset approved on Tuesday amendments to the Basic Law on the Government which would allow for two ministers to serve in one government office. The legislation paves the way for Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich to appoint a minister in the Defense Ministry who will oversee the West Bank, including responsibility over the civil administration and coordination of government operations there, as agreed between him and incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Opinion and Analysis

Netanyahu’s Dangerous Concessions Will Have Consequences for Israel’s Defense, Haaretz
Amos Harel writes, ‘From conscription to the Civil Administration, from immunity for Israeli soldiers to picking the chief military rabbi, Netanyahu is yielding to the extreme demands of his partners on the right.”

A Christmas Tree Brings Life to a Destroyed Palestinian Village, The New York Times
Raja Abdulrahim reports, “For former residents of Iqrit, where Israeli forces leveled everything but the church in 1951, religious rituals bind them to a place from which they were expelled.”

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