News Roundup for February 24, 2020

February 24, 2020

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J Street in the News

Has J Street become US Jewry’s Democratic kingmaker on Israel?, Times of Israel
“By Jeremy Ben-Ami’s own admission, J Street was widely viewed as radical 10 years ago. Now, the Mideast advocacy group is one of the American left’s most influential organizations — if not the most influential — when it comes to Israel.”

A strange place for AIPAC: The left of a peace plan, JTA
“J Street is lobbying against the plan, and more than a hundred Democrats wrote Trump to blast the plan as unviable in part because it lacks Palestinian input. The letter was spearheaded by two Jewish Democrats, Andy Levin of Michigan and Alan Lowenthal of California.”

When Jews Go to the Polls, Jewish Currents
“J Street has not endorsed a candidate in the primary, but it is raising $1 million to support the Democratic candidate against Trump in the general election.”

Top News and Analysis

Militants fire rockets from Gaza, and Israel targets Islamic Jihad after video shows army bulldozer dragging body of Palestinian, Washington Post
Israeli military jets targeted sites in Gaza linked to Palestinian Islamic Jihad on Sunday night, hours after militants from the group fired more than 20 rockets into Israeli territory. The exchange came after a Palestinian news agency posted graphic footage of an Israeli army bulldozer dragging the body of a Palestinian man who Israel said was part of a “terror squad,” killed as he placed an explosive device along the border fence.

How Stephen Miller Manipulates Donald Trump to Further his Immigration Obsession, New Yorker
Miller’s obsession with restricting immigration and punishing immigrants has become the defining characteristic of the Trump White House, to the extent that campaigning and governing on the issue are no longer distinguishable.


Palestinian man attempts to stab police officers in Jerusalem’s Old City, JTA
The attempted attack came a day after a Palestinian woman attempted to stab Israelis at the Armon Hanatziv promenade, lightly injuring one man.

US mapping team for West Bank annexation said en route to Israel, Times of Israel
US officials, among them the ambassador to Israel, are set to meet with three Israeli counterparts to begin work on carrying out Trump peace plan.

Israel’s fear of coronavirus spread jumps as election day approaches, Washington Post
Concerns of a widening threat from coronavirus are growing as millions of Israelis are preparing to gather at polling places for national elections next week, after reports that a group of South Koreans who had visited some of the country’s most popular religious and tourist spots tested positive for the infection.

Israel’s ‘most vulnerable’ citizens hit by political stalemate, Times of Israel
The lack of a 2020 state budget is causing fear and cutbacks at organizations, educational institutions and social services that help the country’s weakest, experts say.

Carnival in Belgium again has Jewish stereotypes in parade, AP
The Aalst Carnival parade included stereotypical depictions of Jews for the second year in a row and the Belgian government said that the anti-Semitism in the three-day festival embarrassed the nation and endangers society.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel’s Lieberman stills holds keys to future government , AP
Aron Heller writes, “The run-up to Israel’s third election in less than a year saw criminal charges filed against the prime minister, an American Mideast plan unveiled and various party mergers and machinations. Yet once again, opinion polls suggest that neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his chief challenger Benny Gantz will be able to form a coalition without Lieberman.”

Netanyahu Hoped Trump’s Plan Would Help Him Win. How Much Difference Did It Actually Make?, Haaretz
Yossi Verter writes, “Netanyahu commissioned a series of polls to find out what’s behind the apparent indifference to what was described by his people as the crowning glory of his 14 years as prime minister, the fulfillment of the dream of the nations of the world and the triumph of Zionism. The findings were like a slap in the face.”