News Roundup for February 6, 2018

February 6, 2018

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J Street in the News

The Destruction Of Susya Would Spell Disaster For Israel, The Forward

Zachary Spitz writes, “[A]s the Trump administration has refused to support the two-state solution or to publicly criticize settlement expansion, the Israeli right has felt emboldened to pursue demolitions and evictions of Palestinian communities across Area C of the West Bank, starting with Susya. By implicitly giving a green light to the demolitions in Susya, the Trump administration is putting Israeli’s future as a democratic homeland, along with Palestinian communities, at risk. Pro-Israel, pro-peace, anti-occupation Americans cannot stand idly by as more families are displaced from their homes. Nor can they remain silent as the Israeli right moves to make the occupation permanent and create a “one-state nightmare” of endless conflict

Top News and Analysis

Palestinian stabs Israeli father of 4 to death in West Bank, JTA

“An Israeli father of four was fatally stabbed in the West Bank settlement of Ariel. Israeli security forces are searching the area for the Palestinian assailant in the Monday afternoon attack, the Israel Defense Forces spokesman said. An IDF officer who identified the attacker began to pursue him in his vehicle and hit him, but the attacker still was able to flee, according to the IDF. The attacker’s backpack was found on the scene containing a change of clothes and his identification card, as well as personal items. Hebrew-language media later reported that the attacker, Ais Abed El-Hakim, 19, is an Israeli citizen and resident of Jaffa, the son of an Israeli mother from Haifa and a Palestinian father from Nablus.”

I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It’s Happening Again, The New York Times

Lawrence Wilkerson writes, “As I look back at our lock-step march toward war with Iraq, I realize that it didn’t seem to matter to us that we used shoddy or cherry-picked intelligence; that it was unrealistic to argue that the war would ‘pay for itself,’ rather than cost trillions of dollars; that we might be hopelessly naïve in thinking that the war would lead to democracy instead of pushing the region into a downward spiral. The sole purpose of our actions was to sell the American people on the case for war with Iraq. Polls show that we did. Mr. Trump and his team are trying to do it again. If we’re not careful, they’ll succeed.”

Israel to Legalize Settlement Outpost Deep in West Bank, The New York Times

Israel on Sunday said it plans to legalize an isolated West Bank outpost in response to the murder of one of its residents in a shooting attack last month. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his weekly Cabinet meeting that his government will legalize Havat Gilad to ‘allow the continuing of normal life there. Whoever thought that through the reprehensible murder of a resident of Havat Gilad, a father of six, that our spirit can be broken and we can be weakened, is making a bitter mistake,’ Netanyahu said.


UN Chief: Consensus for 2-State Israel-Palestinian Solution ‘Could Be Eroding,’ Voice of America

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday the global consensus for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel “could be eroding,” even as the humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza worsens and might make the Palestinian enclave “unlivable by 2020.”

Conservative New Jersey Senator Will Resume Top Democratic Foreign Policy Post, Buzzfeed News

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has given his blessing for Sen. Bob Menendez, one of Congress’s most conservative Democrats on foreign policy issues, to return to his previous job as the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Hill aides tell BuzzFeed News.

Israel Starts Issuing Deportation Notices to African Asylum Seekers, Haaretz

The Population, Immigration and Border Authority will begin issuing deportation notices on Sunday to asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan who are not held in the Holot detention facility.

Palestinians blast Trump’s ‘Zionist American’ peace envoy, Times of Israel

A series of statements made by US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt in the past few days has outraged the Palestinians, who are calling him a “Zionist” who has endorsed extremist Israeli positions.

Lebanese military tells IDF border wall violates its sovereign territory, Times of Israel

Lebanese military officials told their Israeli counterparts during face-to-face talks Monday that a border wall the IDF is constructing along the boundary between the two countries violates Lebanon’s sovereign territory.

Opinions and Analysis

The Risk of War in Gaza, Haaretz

The Haaretz Editorial Board writes, “If a military confrontation in Gaza erupts, it will be impossible to accept the excuse that Hamas alone is responsible for it. The government must immediately initiate a major change in its policy, to allow the construction of factories, to grant many more work permits to Gaza residents, to permit foreign investment and to broaden export permits. Otherwise, it will be directly responsible indeed for the next war.”

Jewish Leaders: You Fought For The Right To Boycott — Now Let People Use It, The Forward

Elias Newman argues, “Forget for a second whether you’re ideologically for or against boycotting Israel. Jewish leaders are not obligated to support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against the Jewish state, but they do have to respect the constitutional protections allowing Americans to boycott without fear of retribution from the government. Especially if these same Jewish leaders are still using Civil Rights history to gain legitimacy with young audiences.”