News Roundup for January 10, 2023

January 10, 2023

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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.

J Street In the News

Zvika Fogel is Saying the Quiet Part Out Loud, The Times of Israel
J Street Israel Director Nadav Tamir writes, “We are obliged to take MK Fogel at his word when he threatens our nation’s democratic identity; his proximity to power makes him a dangerous figure to underestimate. It is our duty as Israelis to preserve our democratic tradition. We must make it clear that the independence of our judiciary is not to be trifled with, and that the diplomatic resolution of occupation is of fundamental importance to our democratic future.”

Top News and Analysis

US Says Israel’s ‘Independent Institutions Crucial’ Amid Judicial Overhaul Plans, The Times of Israel
The Biden administration over the weekend appeared to offer criticism of the planned overhaul to Israel’s legal system recently announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. “As a general matter, Israel’s independent institutions are crucial to upholding the country’s thriving democracy, and our shared democratic values are at the heart of our bilateral relationship,” read a statement from the US State Department that was distributed to reporters who requested comment on the matter.

Palestinian Prime Minister Says Israel Aims to Topple the PA, AP
The Palestinian prime minister on Monday accused Israel’s new ultra-nationalist government of trying to topple the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority, and warned that a series of new Israeli sanctions could further inflame what has been a particularly deadly period of fighting.

Israel’s Dermer in D.C. for First Visit by Minister of New Government, Axios
Ron Dermer, the Israeli minister for strategic affairs, arrived in Washington on Monday for talks with senior White House and State Department officials, two Israeli officials told Axios.


Negev Forum convenes in UAE with Jordan Absent from Arab-Israeli Meeting, Al-Monitor
The steering committee of the Negev Forum established last year, bringing together Israel and Arab states, opened two days of meetings in Abu Dhabi on Monday, with the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt and the United States participating but with Jordan declining to participate in the gathering.

Netanyahu Lobbies AIPAC: Time for Israel, U.S. to Align on Iran, Haaretz
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with senior AIPAC management via video call from the Prime Minister’s Office in the Knesset on Monday to discuss strengthening Israeli and U.S. cooperation on Iran.

Opinion and Analysis

Primitive, Fanatic and Messianic: The Racist Judaism of Israel’s ‘Religious’ Government, Haaretz
Rabbi Eric Yoffe argues, “The only hope for a Jewish state that treasures Torah and is a spiritual home for the Jewish people is for Israel’s solid and sane majority to cast out its current government and replace it with another. And this cannot happen soon enough.”

Law Without Order, The Times of Israel
Former MK Naomi Chazan writes, “Without agreement on the terms of governance and a government capable of governing, there can be no democracy. Israel is now undergoing a process of democratic backpedaling which, if it persists, will lead not only to authoritarian rule, but also — even more dangerously — to its complete fragmentation. The new Netanyahu government believes that it can repeat the mistakes of the past and ignore the experience of other beleaguered regimes and still bring about different results. This is foolhardy, arrogant, and mistaken.”