News Roundup for February 4, 2020

February 4, 2020

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Top News and Analysis

The Trump-Netanyahu Alliance Is Endangering Americans and Israelis, Foreign Policy
Avner Cohen and Jason Blazakis write, “U.S. policymaking in the Middle East is beholden now to the wants of a corrupt alliance that rests on political and personal needs of the two leaders and not on well-established, bipartisan American principles involving both interests and values. A case in point: the very long-standing American objective of serving as an honest broker between the Middle Eastern parties has vanished.”

Jared Kushner does not see the brutal occupation I helped carry out, +972 Mag
Yehuda Shaul writes, “As a former soldier, I enforced two separate legal systems for Israelis and Palestinians. The Trump plan wants to make this reality permanent.”

Four Weeks From Israeli Election, Even Netanyahu’s Political Stunts Can’t Rouse Voters, Haaretz
Anshel Pfeffer writes, “Unless Likud can unearth some voters it somehow overlooked in last year’s elections or Kahol Lavan can draw soft-right voters away from Netanyahu, we are headed for another stalemate on March 2.”


Iowa Jews weigh who would be best for Israel ahead of caucus, The Jerusalem Post
“You have a lot of Jews in town that are Bernie, Biden, and Klobuchar supporters,” Chabad Rabbi Yosef Jacobson said.

Reports: Jared Kushner angers Netanyahu camp by slowing annexation moves, Washington Post
Supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have grown increasingly frustrated at White House pushback over plans to immediately annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank as envisioned in the Trump peace plan, with their ire focused on presidential adviser Jared Kushner, according to Israeli media reports.

Despite threat, Abbas suggests security ties with Israel, US still intact, Times of Israel
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appeared to hint Monday that security ties with Israel and the United States were still intact, despite having earlier announced their cessation in response to US President Donald Trump’s peace plan.

Kahol Lavan’s Bind Over a Knesset Vote on Annexation, Haaretz
If the Trump peace plan comes to a vote, Kahol Lavan leader would oppose unilateral steps at annexation that are not coordinated with the Palestinians, but there are also divisions within the party on the plan.

UN Security Council to meet with Kushner on Mideast peace plan, AFP
The United States has requested a closed door UN Security Council meeting Thursday for US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, to present the administration’s new Mideast peace plan, diplomatic sources told AFP Monday.

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation rejects Trump peace plan, Al Jazeera
The 57-member body, which held a summit on Monday to discuss the plan in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah, said in a statement that it “calls on all member states not to engage with this plan or to cooperate with the US administration in implementing it in any form”.

Hamas Encouraging Attacks to Pressure Israel Before Election, Officials Believe, Haaretz
The recent uptick in rocket fire and incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip has been approved by Hamas, Israeli defense officials believe, in an attempt to pressure Israel to make good on its promises before the next round of elections.

Netanyahu says Israel and Sudan to normalise ties soon, Al Jazeera
Israel and Sudan have agreed to move towards forging normal relations for the first time, Israeli officials said on Monday, after the leaders of the two countries met in Uganda.

Opinion and Analysis

The Day Netanyahu’s Doctrine Was Presented as a U.S. Peace Plan, Haaretz
Aluf Benn writes, “Trump is spoiling for a Palestinian surrender; the world is mum and Abbas is isolated; the scenario of a Democratic president; and how Bibi blazed in Washington. Four comments on the ‘deal of the century’.”

Jared Kushner’s incompetence is surpassed only by his arrogance, Washington Post
Max Boot writes, “Odds are the peace plan will be forgotten in a couple of weeks — but its legacy could linger if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu carries out his threat to annex the Jordan Valley and all Israeli settlements in the West Bank with Trump’s blessing.”

Trump Plan Leaves Israeli Left in Empty Street on Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Haaretz
Chemi Shalev writes, “Even though many leftists complained in real time, the absence of any discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the election campaigns that preceded both the April and September 2019 elections enabled the left to ignore the gaps and to attach itself to Gantz, at least emotionally, under the joint, unifying banner of defeating Netanyahu. Gantz’s warm embrace of Trump’s deal, with reservations that hardly qualified as nuance, upended the left’s sense of belonging.”

As the world awaits the 2020 US election, Palestinians face a darkening future, The National
James Haines-Young writes, “Whether Donald Trump wins re-election in November or not, Israel is already setting about the annexation of West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley.”

Gaza, Where Trump’s Mideast Peace Plan Goes to Die, Haaretz
Muhammad Shehada writes, “For Hamas, Trump’s ‘generous offer’ has a price tag that is unthinkable. And if Israel starts implementing the plan, the most unexpected spark could trigger a massive Palestinian response.”