News Roundup for February 10, 2021

February 10, 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

‘Greene Equals Omar’: Inside the Republicans’ Phony War on Antisemitism, Haaretz
Joshua Shanes writes, “In its race to absolve Marjorie Taylor Greene and divert attention towards Ilhan Omar, the GOP is pushing a totally false comparison which whitewashes the persistent antisemitism within its own party.”

Jamie Raskin won the impeachment trial before it began, Washington Post
Jennifer Rubin writes, “Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.), the lead House manager, demolished the notion that presidents get a free pass to commit high crimes in the waning days of their terms. On its face, Raskin explained, it’s absurd to argue that ‘conduct that would be a high crime and misdemeanor in your first year as president and your second year as president and your third year as president and for the vast majority of your fourth year as president, you can suddenly do in your last few weeks in office without facing any constitutional accountability at all,’ he said, adding that it would have been the Founders’ ‘worst nightmare.’”


Independent UN expert: New ICC ruling ‘opens the door’ for justice in occupied Palestine, UN News
“This offers profound hope to those who believe that consequences, not condonation, must be the answer to the commission of grave crimes”, said Michael Lynk, the Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967. “The leading political organs of the United Nations have repeatedly failed to enforce their own significant body of resolutions on the Israeli occupation”, the UN expert said. “This ruling opens the door for credible allegations of Rome Statute crimes to finally be investigated and potentially reach the trial stage at the ICC.”

IDF demolishes home of Esther Horgen’s suspected killer in rare daytime op, Times of Israel
Israeli security forces on Wednesday conducted a rare daylight demolition of the northern West Bank home of a Palestinian man who confessed to killing Esther Horgen in a terror attack late last year, the military said.

Rejecting criticism, fringe ultra-Orthodox maintain defiance of COVID-19 rules, AP
The ultra-Orthodox community makes up about 12% of Israel’s 9.3 million people. Gilad Malach, a researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute, says ultra-Orthodox believers accounted for over a third of the country’s COVID-19 cases in 2020. Among Israelis over 65, the community’s mortality rate was three times that of the general population, he added.

Netanyahu’s Likud signs surplus vote-sharing deal with far-right party, Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party on Wednesday signed a surplus vote-sharing agreement with the far-right Religious Zionism, which includes the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit and the anti-LGBT Noam factions, ahead of next month’s Knesset elections.

‘Incitement Won’t Deter’ Prosecutor in Netanyahu Corruption Trial, Attorney General Says, Haaretz
Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit said on Wednesday that assigning a security detail to the chief prosecutor in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial is “worrying,” but added, “Incitement won’t deter us.”

Fatah and Hamas agree on terms of 1st Palestinian election in 15 years, Times of Israel
Fourteen Palestinian factions attending a summit in Cairo announced on Tuesday night that they have reached an agreement that would set the guidelines for the first Palestinian national elections in nearly 15 years.

Opinion and Analysis

The Jan. 6 images were already disturbing. The impeachment-trial video makes them terrifying., Washington Post
Margaret Sullivan writes, “Here was President Trump at his rally near the White House, lighting the fuse for the riot with a lie-filled speech about election theft and taking back the country, promising to march with the mob to the Capitol.”

Women set to make gains, but Knesset still a good ol’ boy’s club, Times of Israel
Tal Schneider writes, “Labor’s Merav Michaeli ended the female party head drought and may lead a female-majority faction, but even as some slates put women in top spots, true equality remains a mirage.”

Biden should let the ICC do its job, +972 Mag
Amjad Iraqi writes, “Palestinians cannot help but hope that the court’s involvement will help to do what the world should have done long ago: obstruct Israel’s deepening apartheid, deter another vicious Gaza war, and — dare they say it — bring some justice to the victims of state crimes.”

Repeat demolitions of Khirbet Humsah are test case for international community, B’Tselem
B’Tselem writes, “Israel demolished the Palestinian community of Khirbet Humsah for the fourth time, following twice last week and once in November 2020. These actions – carried out in the midst of a humanitarian crisis caused by the pandemic — are part of Israel’s efforts to forcibly transfer the community on spurious pretexts of military training and law enforcement.”

B’Tselem’s ‘Apartheid’ Document Can Help Achieve a Two-state Solution, Haaretz
Dmitry Shumsky writes, “For those fantasizing about a ‘binational state’ in the Greater Land of Israel, it should now be clear that even if they can imagine a ‘progressive’ – and totally unrealistic – scenario under which the Palestinians beyond the Green Line receive full Israeli citizenship, this would mean subjecting them anew to a regime ‘reminiscent of the South African regime that sought to preserve the supremacy of white citizens,’ as B’Tselem puts it. (Though the document does recognize differences between the two regimes, contrary to the claims of some of its critics.)”