News Roundup for December 5, 2019

December 5, 2019

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J Street in the News

Illinois Playbook, Politico
“Friday: David Axelrod, political analyst and former adviser to President Barack Obama, headlines a luncheon fundraiser for J Street.”

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu and Pompeo Seek Heightened Pressure on Iran in Wake of Violent Protests, New York Times
Protests in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to hold hastily planned talks on Wednesday, aimed at ramping up pressure on Tehran and reducing its sprawling influence in the region. But before the 90-minute meeting, the Israeli leader signaled he had other goals in mind as well: securing the Trump administration’s support for a defense treaty and, potentially, Mr. Netanyahu’s plans to annex the Jordan Valley.

Liberman: Elections unavoidable, narrow or unity government no longer an option, Times of Israel
Yisrael Beytenu party leader MK Avigdor Liberman declared that he will no longer agree to join any narrow government, and that a unity government with the two largest parties was no longer an option, a position that all but certainly condemns the country to a third round of elections within a year.

Netanyahu’s Personal Lawyer, Ex-navy Chief and Businessman Indicted in Submarine Affair, Haaretz
The State Prosecutor’s Office announced Thursday that it intends to file an indictment against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attorney and confidante, David Shimron, for money laundering in a corruption case dubbed “The Submarine Affair.”  The Prosecutor’s Office also announced that it will indict businessman Miki Ganor, who was Thyssenkrupp’s representative in Israel, for bribery. Former Israel Navy chief Eliezer Marom will also be indicted for bribery in the affair. 


UK, Germany and France rap Iran for working on nuclear-capable missiles, AP
France, Germany and the United Kingdom say “Iran’s developments of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles” go against a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on Tehran not to undertake any activity related to such missiles.

Rivlin Urges ‘Crazy’ Politicians Not to ‘Drag All Israelis Into’ Political Dead End, Haaretz
President Reuven Rivlin called Wednesday on leaders of major political parties “who have been holding long, exhausting, aimless negotiations for months” to reach their conclusion.

Illegal settlements: Israel starts constructing road in Hebron, Al Jazeera
Israeli bulldozers have started levelling some 40 hectares (approximately 99 acres) of Palestinian-owned land north of Hebron.

Labor party head says he was ‘offered the world’ to join Netanyahu-led coalition, Times of Israel
“They offered me the world and more to enter a coalition with Netanyahu. They offered us every ministry, every role and every budget that we wanted,” Peretz said in an interview with Channel 13, while declining to reveal any specifics about the offers.

After Haaretz Investigation Into Lone Soldier Suicides, Israeli Army Opens New Support Center, Haaretz
Concerned by a string of recent tragedies affecting Diaspora Jews serving in the Israel Defense Forces, the army is opening a new support center that will address the special needs of these so-called lone soldiers.

Israeli army inflated numbers of haredi Orthodox recruits, JTA
In 2017, the IDF said that 3,070 haredi soldiers were recruited, but actually there were only 1,300 enlisted, the Kan public broadcaster first reported on Wednesday.

Opinion and Analysis

Netanyahu dangles Trump card in rotation talks, Al-Monitor
Ben Caspit writes, “‘This is a historic opportunity,’ whispered one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s insiders to Al-Monitor this week. ‘You have no idea what we can wheedle from the Americans now, what a golden opportunity we face when the US is about to enter an election year — if we have a unity government headed by [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.’”

After Months of Negotiations, Gantz Believes Netanyahu Less Than Ever, Haaretz
Chemi Shalev writes, “Someone asked him whether, after all his meetings with Netanyahu over the past 70 days, Gantz now believed the prime minister more, or less, than at the outset of coalition talks.To my regret, he replied, I believe him less today.”

The Incitement in Israel That Killed Yitzhak Rabin, New York Times
Roger Cohen writes, “A new movie, ‘Incitement,’ demonstrates that Yigal Amir, the assassin, was no loner.”

She’d never seen a smartphone or heard a radio before she fled. She’s racing to catch up., Washington Post
Steve Hendrix writes, “Borovski’s race into the wider world started in 2018 when, trapped in an arranged marriage, she dialed the hotline of a ­Jerusalem-based nonprofit called Hillel and said she wanted to leave her family and her community. With Hillel’s help, she became one of a growing number of Yotzim, or “Leavers,” who have bolted from closed religious communities into a secular world they are ill-equipped to navigate.”

Incitement’ and ‘indecency’: How Palestinian dissent is repressed online, +972 Mag
Marwa Fatafta writes, “Censorship of Palestinian content by Israel, the PA, and Hamas is escalating at an unprecedented and dangerous speed.”