News Roundup for February 19, 2020

February 19, 2020

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J Street in the News

WATCH: With ‘First Jewish President’ Ad, Sanders Tries to Shift the Debate, Haaretz
“Negative ads targeting Sanders aired by the group ‘Democratic Majority for Israel’ in early primary states were attacked by the ‘pro-Israel, pro-peace’ lobby J Street.”

The Two-Way Street | Two Interpretations of Parshat Mishpatim, J Street
“In the Torah, these two narratives — one of an innate Jewish connection to the land and one that challenges it — exist side-by-side within each of our festivals. Perhaps this explains another curious feature of the holiday cycle, a shift from the particular to the universal.”

Top News and Analysis

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial to open 2 weeks after elections, JTA
There are no jury trials in Israel; a three-judge panel of the Jerusalem District Court will hear the case. The chairwoman, Rivka Friedman-Feldman, was a member of the panel in 2014 that sentenced Netanyahu’s predecessor, Ehud Olmert, to eight months in prison for bribery.

Israel to allow hundreds more Gazans to enter for work, Washington Post
Israel will provide hundreds of additional work permits for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, an Israeli defense body said Tuesday, in a new step aimed at solidifying an informal cease-fire with the Hamas militant group.


Gantz after PM’s trial date announced: How will he be able to focus on Israel?, Times of Israel
“This is a sad evening for the State of Israel and the citizens of Israel,” Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz tells a party campaign event in Rehovot.

Benjamin Netanyahu challenges Benny Gantz to debate, Jerusalem Post
A source in Blue and White called the debate challenge “political spin intended to distract the public from the announcement of a date for the start of Netanyahu’s criminal trial.”

Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport Ill-prepared for Coronavirus, Experts Warn, Haaretz
Posters that nobody reads’ provided by Health Ministry insufficient to control potential outbreak of the coronavirus, according to an Airports Authority source.

Jordan condemns Israel’s plan to bring high-speed train to Western Wall, Times of Israel
Jordan on Tuesday condemned an Israeli minister’s plan to extend the high-speed Tel Aviv-Jerusalem rail line to the Western Wall holy site in the capital’s Old City.

ICC chief prosecutor meets with prime minister of ‘Palestine’, Jerusalem Post
International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Tuesday announced she met with “Mohammad Shtayyeh, prime minister of Palestine” on the sidelines of this week’s Munich Security Conference.

After 3 days without rockets, Israel ends ‘sanctions’ on Gaza, Times of Israel
Fishing zone extended back to 15 miles, 2,000 additional travel permits to be offered to Palestinian businessmen in the Strip, despite ongoing balloon-borne explosive attacks.

Opinion and Analysis

For Kahol Lavan, All Israeli Arabs Have to Do Is Recognize They Were Wrong All Along, Haaretz
Chemi Shalev writes, “Benny Gantz made clear in interviews over the weekend that a future Kahol Lavan government will not rely in any way, shape or form on the Joint List, which garnered over 80 percent of Israeli Arab votes in the recent September 2019 elections. Gantz’s adamant position may be a tactical ploy to preserve unity in his ideologically split party and to reassure potential right-wing voters, or it may simply express his true belief.”

Profiting from loss: how business in illegal Israeli settlements continues unchecked, The National
Jonathan Cook writes, “The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, announced that 112 major companies had been identified as operating in Israeli settlements in ways that violate human rights.”