News Roundup for February 14, 2023

February 14, 2023

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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.

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J Street In the News

With Israeli Democracy In Crisis And Annexation In Progress, US Must Act Now, J Street
“This is not a routine moment for polite disagreement — it is a crisis that demands firm, public action. The Biden Administration and Congress must make clear that these actions will have consequences.

Israel’s Crisis Must Be Our Call To Action, J Street
J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami writes, “To be pro-Israel in 2023 means standing with the hundreds of thousands of brave Israelis taking to the streets to defend their democracy. It means fighting to preserve the values that underpin the US-Israel relationship. It means standing up against the nightmare of permanent occupation and conflict.”

Top News and Analysis

Blinken Slams Israel’s Moves to Legalize West Bank Outposts, Haaretz
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday harshly condemned the Israeli security cabinet’s steps to legalize nine West Bank outposts, construct thousands of new settlement housing units and connect outposts to water and electricity –all despite previous explicit opposition from the Biden administration.

Thousands Protest in Israel as Netanyahu Allies Push Controversial Judicial Overhaul, CBS News
Thousands of Israelis protested outside the country’s parliament on Monday ahead of a preliminary vote on a bill that would give politicians greater power over appointing judges, part of a judicial overhaul proposed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. It was the latest in a series of protests that have seen tens of thousands of Israelis take to the streets over recent weeks to demonstrate against the proposed reforms, among other things.

Palestinian Man Killed and 13 Injured in Israeli Raid in West Bank, Say Palestinian Officials, CNN
Palestinian man was killed and 13 were injured in an Israeli raid in Nablus early Monday, Palestinian health officials said, in what Israeli authorities said was an operation to arrest suspects in the fatal shooting of an Israeli soldier last year.

Policeman Killed after Being Stabbed by Palestinian, Hit by Friendly Fire, The Times of Israel
In a second attack in Jerusalem within hours, a police officer was killed in a stabbing attack at a checkpoint near the entrance of the Shuafat refugee camp on Monday evening, law enforcement officials and medics said. According to a police spokesperson, the Border Police officer and another civilian security guard boarded a bus that arrived at the checkpoint, in order to question the passengers heading into Jerusalem, in a routine inspection, when a teenage suspect pulled out a knife.


Is The Two-State Solution for Israel, Palestine Dead? Maybe. But What’s The Alternative?, The Los Angeles Times
A new poll of Israelis and Palestinians released last month found what the pollsters called disturbing trends of intolerance and hatred exacerbated by separation, collapsed diplomacy and dehumanization, with each side less willing to recognize the other.

Lapid Rejects Offer to Meet with Levin and Rothman over Judicial Reforms, The Jerusalem Post
Justice Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) and Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman MK Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionist Party) announced on Monday that they had reached out to opposition leader and Yesh Atid chair MK Yair Lapid and National Unity chair MK Benny Gantz in order to set a joint meeting at the president’s residence, “even as soon as tonight.”

Israel Said to Ban Entry to Young Palestinian Peace Activists, The Times of Israel
The Civil Administration, Israel’s governing body in the West Bank, has reportedly issued a new order banning young Palestinians from attending peace activities inside Israel. Peace organizations and NGOs were notified of the change in policy via text message, Haaretz reported Sunday.

Opinion and Analysis

J Street Bashers Back Off: AIPAC Backs America and Israel’s Most Dangerous Right-wingers, Haaretz
Paul Scham, president of Partners for Progressive Israel, writes, “Today, it is simply impossible for supporters of Israel to ignore the issue of democracy, both in Israel and in the US. AIPAC has failed in that regard. Harkening back to a time when American Jews were more united does not solve today’s issues. That means that defining “pro-Israel” cannot be franchised out to an organization that has clearly shown that democracy is not its concern. Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir must be opposed by American Jews as strongly as they oppose Donald Trump.”

The Reluctant Dissenters of Diaspora Jewry, The Times of Israel
Andrew Silow-Carroll shares excerpts of American Jewish leaders’ reactions to recent Israeli government policies.