News Roundup for February 7, 2020

February 7, 2020

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J Street in the News

Do students support Trump’s Israel-Palestine peace plan?, The Johns Hopkins News-Letter
“‘The peace plan is not a peace plan at all. It didn’t consult Palestinians, it was very one-sided and it completely endangered the future of a two-state solution by giving a green light for annexation,’ said Senior Emily Sklar, co-chair of J Street U.”

Top News and Analysis

Violence Surges in Wake of Trump’s Mideast Plan, New York Times
At least three Palestinians were killed during clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank on Wednesday and Thursday, and an Israeli soldier was seriously wounded in a car ramming in Jerusalem overnight, in a surge of violence following the release of the long-awaited — and highly contentious — American plan for Middle East peace.

Bernie Sanders: Being Jewish is 1 of 2 factors that shaped my outlook, JTA
“At a very early age, even before my political thoughts were developed, I was aware of the horrible things that human beings can do to other people in the name of racism or white nationalism, or in this case Nazism,” said Sanders, who also recalled seeing Holocaust survivors in his Brooklyn neighborhood with numbers tattooed on their arms, and a recent visit to his father’s hometown in Poland, where locals took him and his brother to a site where Nazis committed a mass murder of Jews. Much of Sanders’ extended family perished in the Holocaust.

Warren says she’ll skip AIPAC, New York Times
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts made the pledge after she was asked not to attend by a questioner at a town hall event who said she had first knocked on doors for Ms. Warren during the candidate’s 2012 Senate bid. “I’m an American Jew and terrified by the unholy alliance that Aipac is forming with Islamaphobes and anti-Semites and white nationalists,” the woman said, adding she was grateful Ms. Warren was among the Democrats to skip the conference last year. “And no Democrat should legitimize that kind of bigotry by attending their annual policy conference.” Ms. Warren did not respond to the characterization of Aipac but answered the question with a quick “yeah” and a wave.


Kushner slams planned Olmert-Abbas meet as ‘almost pathetic’, Times of Israel
US President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace envoy Jared Kushner on Thursday derided an upcoming press conference with former prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas — in which they plan to condemn the Trump peace plan — as “almost pathetic” and coming from a place of envy that the two had failed to solidify a final accord.

Israeli forces kill 4 Palestinians in a day as tensions heighten, Al Jazeera
The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire over the past 24 hours has risen to at least four, with dozens of others wounded amid heightened tensions in separate areas of the occupied West Bank.

Russia says Israel used civilian plane as a shield during alleged Syria strikes, Times of Israel
Russia on Friday said Israel used a Russian civilian plane as a shield during strikes it carried out on several targets near Damascus a day earlier.

Israeli Soldier Lightly Wounded in West Bank Shooting, a Third Attack in Hours, Haaretz
An Israeli soldier was lightly wounded in a shooting attack near the West Bank settlement of Dolev on Thursday afternoon, the third attack against Israelis in one day, prompting Israel’s security agencies to bolster forces throughout the country and the West Bank.

Israeli forces on high alert ahead of Friday prayers at Temple Mount, Times of Israel
Israeli security forces were on high alert Friday in Jerusalem, with thousands of extra police officers being deployed to the Old City ahead of the Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

Anger at Trump plan could mobilize Arab voters in Israel, AP
Inside Israel, outrage over the plan could once again mobilize Arab voters ahead of elections next month, potentially denying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu another term and throwing the implementation of the Trump plan — already a long shot — into greater doubt.

Scholars urge transparency to restore Yad Vashem credibility after Putin fiasco, Times of Israel
Yad Vashem apologized Monday for “inaccuracies” and “partial” facts presented at the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem, after being criticized for overly emphasizing Russia’s role in ending the war and avoiding information Moscow finds unpalatable.

Clean energy, dirty dealing: Syrian Druze resist greenwashing of Golan occupation, +972 Mag
An Israeli wind farm slated for construction on Syrian Druze agricultural land in the occupied Golan Heights has met with profound resistance from residents.

Opinion and Analysis

Gaza Flare-up: What’s Keeping Israel From a Military Op, Haaretz
Amos Harel writes, “With less than a month to election, the Israeli government knows a military op with Hamas in Gaza could bring more harm than good. But the Israeli public is kept in the dark.”

Trump’s foreign policy is all politics, no policy, Washington Post
Josh Rogin writes, “Foreign policy wasn’t exactly a major theme of the president’s annual speech to Congress. The few issues he mentioned were carefully tailored to his reelection campaign. The problem is, Trump is running on successes that aren’t actually successes and mostly ignoring the failures. What’s more, he doesn’t seem to have plans for what to do next.”

Boris Johnson Bows to Trump on the Middle East, Foreign Policy
Azriel Bermant writes, “Eager to curry favor and win a new trade deal, the British leader seems ready to follow the United States’ lead on the Israelis and Palestinians.”

In 2020 America, Hitler Is Winning, Haaretz
Bradley Burston writes, “Donald Trump is not Hitler, but his words and actions encourage and embolden those who yearn for an Adolf of their own.”