News Roundup for February 3, 2022

February 3, 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.

Top News and Analysis

Israel Upholds Use of Surveillance Technology on Protesters, AP News
Israel’s attorney general has upheld the Shin Bet security agency’s use of mobile-phone tracking technology to monitor and threaten Palestinian protesters at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site last year.

Lapid Warns Bennett: Legalizing Settlement Can Harm Israel-U.S. Ties, Haaretz
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has warned that legalizing Evyatar could harm Israel’s relations with the American government and lead to a harsh response from the international community, following outgoing Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s approval of the settlement’s reestablishment in his final days in office.


Blinken Pressed Israel Over Palestinian American Man’s Death, Axios
U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken raised concerns with Israel over the death of Omar Assad, a 78-year-old Palestinian American who died after Israeli soldiers detained him in the occupied West Bank last month.

Israel Offered Aid to Lebanon Army Multiple Times, Gantz Says, Haaretz
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Wednesday that Israel has offered the Lebanese army aid multiple times.

Iran Says Conditions Present for ‘Win-Win’ Agreement With US, Al-Monitor
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani spoke Feb. 1 at a session of the parliament’s powerful National Security and Foreign Policy Commission at which he answered questions about the status of the nuclear negotiations in Vienna.

Texas Law Barring Israel Boycotts on the Ropes, Again, Axios
A state law barring public contractors from boycotting Israel — previously challenged by a Pflugerville school speech pathologist — appears unenforceable.

Gantz Lands in Bahrain to Sign Security Agreements, in First Official Visit, The Times of Israel
Defense Minister Benny Gantz landed in the Bahraini capital on Wednesday afternoon in his first official visit to the island kingdom. He is set to sign security agreements with his Bahrainai counterpart as the two nations look to further solidify their ties.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel’s Army Chief Failed the Test, Haaretz
Haaretz’s Editorial Board writes, “The limp response by Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to the results of the inquiry into the death of Omar Abdalmajeed As’ad, 80, sends soldiers and officers the warped message that what happened was unpleasant, but that’s no big deal. The bottom line is mild punishment wrapped in empty rhetoric…Kochavi chose not to dismantle the battalion because he feared the response of right-wing organizations. He thereby failed an important test of leadership and enabled the next act of abuse.”

A Jewish Teacher Criticized Israel. She Was Fired., The New York Times
Liam Stack tells the story of Jessie Sander, who was fired from her job at a synagogue after a blog post she wrote criticizing Israel was found.