News Roundup for February 17, 2022

February 17, 2022
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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.

J Street in the News

Midterm Roundup, NBC News
“More progressive groups are coming to the aid of Texas Democrat Jessica Cisneros in her tight 28th District primary race against Rep. Henry Cuellar — J Street Action Fund announced Tuesday its dropping $100,00 on digital ads in English and Spanish on her behalf.”

Top News and Analysis

U.S. Presses Israel for De-escalation in Sheikh Jarrah, Axios
The Biden administration has asked the Israeli government to take steps to avoid further escalation and restore calm in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Tensions over the potential expulsion of six Palestinian families from the neighborhood in favor of Jewish settlers helped spark the fighting in Gaza last May. The Biden administration is concerned there could be further violence in Sheikh Jarrah ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.

Iran’s Top Nuclear Negotiator Bagheri Says ‘We Are Closer Than Ever to an Agreement’, Reuters
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani said on Twitter on Wednesday that “after weeks of intensive talks, we are closer than ever to an agreement; nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, though.” France on Wednesday said a decision on salvaging Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers was just days away and it was now up to Tehran to make the political choice.

Right-wing Israeli Group Running Activities for Schoolkids on Private Palestinian Land, Haaretz
Elad, a right-wing Zionist organization, has been holding educational activities on private Palestinian farmland in East Jerusalem under the auspices of the Jerusalem Municipality. The activity is defined as a joint project between Elad and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and was made possible after Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon signed a landscaping order to develop the area of the Hinnom Valley where the farmland is located.


Arab Parties’ Fight for Political Control in Israel’s Negev Reaches Boiling Point, Haaretz
The Negev has become a battleground for the two Arab-majority slates in the Knesset – the United Arab List and the Joint List – with the conflict reaching a breaking point over the last month. The tensions run so deep that a committee of reconciliation was formed two weeks ago to address the issue.

Pelosi at Knesset: US, Israel Are Together in Fight Against Iran Terror, Nuke Threat, Times of Israel
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a ceremony at the Knesset on Wednesday that the United States and Israel are allied in the face of the threat from Iran. “We are together in the fight against terrorism posed by Iran, both in the region and also its nuclear development. The nuclear threat by Iran is a global one. It is a threat to the world,” Pelosi said.

Israeli President Booed for Condemning Death of Elderly Palestinian, Haaretz
President Isaac Herzog was booed at a memorial ceremony on Tuesday evening after invoking one of the founders of contemporary Religious-Zionism while condemning the recent death of an elderly Palestinian who died after his detention by Israeli military forces in the West Bank.

Israel PM Focuses Bahrain Visit on Building Anti-Iran Alliance, Axios
During his visit to Bahrain on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Bahraini officials discussed ways to build a regional alliance to counter Iran. Bennett’s talks with the king and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa focused almost entirely on Iran and regional tensions, Israeli officials say.

After Long Hiatus, U.S. Reform, Conservative Leaders to Meet With Israeli Prime Minister, Haaretz
For the first time in nearly five years, the U.S. leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements will sit down face to face with an Israeli prime minister.

Opinion and Analysis

When Israeli Settlers Beat a Palestinian, We Are All Responsible, Haaretz
Gideon Levy writes, “The photograph is exceptional. There are not many like it. An elderly Palestinian shepherd is sitting on the ground at the entrance to his house, his head and face bleeding, his clothing also stained with his blood, an expression of panic and helplessness on his face. Up to this point there’s nothing exceptional here. Lately almost every day Palestinian farmers are barbarically attacked by settlers – routine behavior. But look who’s sitting next to the shepherd: a female soldier in a steel helmet and blue rubber gloves. She’s bandaging his wounds. But this desperate longing for a bit of compassion and pride quickly crashed in the face of reality. That’s also a good thing. We should not have been captivated by the photograph. With all due respect to the soldier, who did simply what was called for, the victim was the handiwork of all of us, including the medic and the army in which she serves, and no military bandage will heal his wounds.”

Israeli Settler Violence Is Not Legitimate Discourse, Jerusalem Post
Douglas Bloomfield argues, “The settlers who attack Palestinian villages across the West Bank destroying crops, burning homes and beating at random, even using bear spray, are not engaging in legitimate political discourse. Like the violent mob that assaulted the US Capitol last year and tried to overthrow an election, they recognize no authority but their own. They spread hate, violence and death, and say it is done out of love of country. Of course it isn’t. It is done out of hate, fear and intolerance. They are willing to destroy their country if their demands are not met. Democracy is an impediment, not a goal.”