News Roundup for December 8, 2021

December 8, 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.

Top News and Analysis

No evidence Iran has decided to weaponize nuclear program, CIA chief says, The Times of Israel
The head of the Central Intelligence Agency said Monday that the United States does not have evidence that Iran has made a decision to weaponize its nuclear program.

Israeli Demolition Orders for Palestinians in West Bank’s Area C Hit Five-year Record, Haaretz
797 demolition orders were issued by Israel last year, the Civil Administration said, while less than 1 percent of Palestinian requests for construction permits in Area C were granted between 2016 and 2020.


Israeli minister advances Israeli-Palestinian airport near Jerusalem, Al-Monitor
Instead of plans for a new Jewish neighborhood across the Green Line, Meretz Minister Esawi Frej proposes to rebuild the Atarot Airport so that it serves both Israelis and Palestinians.

Netanyahu Tried Stealing State Funds ‘Dozens of Times,’ Says Ex-aide in Corruption Trial, Haaretz
Benjamin Netanyahu pursued ‘legally problematic’ avenues to avoid paying for things, ex-media advisor Nir Hefetz says at the former prime minister’s corruption trial.

Israel strikes Syrian port used by Iran, Al-Monitor
At 1:23 a.m. local time, the Israeli military fired several missiles at a shipping yard at the Latakia port on Syria’s Mediterranean coast. The strikes caused a fire at the port, but it was extinguished by first responders.

Israeli Woman Stabbed in East Jerusalem; Palestinian Minor Arrested, Haaretz
An Israeli woman was wounded Wednesday in a stabbing attack in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Opinion and Analysis

Why Israel Must Change Its Approach to Iran, Bloomberg
Major General Isaac Ben Israel, who served as advisor to former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and is currently co-chair of Israel’s National Artificial Intelligence Initiative, argues that it’s too late to stop Iran by force, and that Israel must work with the U.S. to revise the nuclear deal.

‘I thought I was a free man’: the engineer fighting Texas’s ban on boycotting Israel, The Guardian
The story of Rasmy Hassouna, a Palestinian American, who is suing the State of Texas over a provision that bans him or his company from protesting Israel or its products.

Occupation routine, central Hebron: Soldiers attack Palestinians on street and accuse them of assault, B’Tselem
B’Tselem’s field researchers in Hebron, Manal al-Ja’bari and Musa Abu Hashhash, collected testimonies from residents about violence by Israeli security forces and settlers.

The danger of Israeli panic over Iran – analysis, The Jerusalem Post
J Street Israel Director Nadav Tamir discusses previous mistakes in Israeli strategy surrounding the JCPOA, and expresses concern that the new Israeli government has recently started sounding very much like the preceding ones.

What Connects the Palestinians Behind the Latest Wave of Attacks Against Israelis, Haaretz
“According to an investigation by security officials, the five terrorists who carried out the latest batch of attacks did not know one another, but the cases have a common denominator to some extent. Each incident, as far as is known at this point, was planned and carried out by individuals rather than the work of an organization.”