News Roundup for January 13, 2022

January 13, 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.

J Street in the News

GOP Congressman Compares D.C. Vaccine Mandate to Nazism, Drawing Condemnation, The Washington Post
“A Republican member of Congress drew swift condemnation Wednesday after comparing D.C.’s upcoming vaccine mandate to Nazi Germany — marking the latest instance in which a GOP lawmaker has chosen to compare measures intended to quell a public health emergency to Nazi practices that culminated in the genocide of millions of Jews. “Comparing mandates designed to save lives to Nazi war crimes is disgusting,” the liberal Jewish advocacy group J Street tweeted Wednesday in response to Davidson’s comparison. “For this to happen once is too much. That it’s become a mainstream GOP talking point is horrifying.””

Top News and Analysis

Israel Moves to Resolve Crisis After Bedouins Protest, The Washington Post
Israel’s fragile governing coalition moved to resolve a crisis on Wednesday after Arab Bedouin staged protests against tree-planting by nationalists on disputed land in the Negev desert. The government announced a compromise in which it would complete the day’s planting and launch negotiations on Thursday. Authorities withdrew heavy machinery from the area as the tensions appeared to ease.

Trading Threats, the U.S. and Iran Inch Closer to a Nuclear Pact, The New York Times
Iran and the United States have recently engaged in a spiraling escalation of threats and warnings, even as they are progressing in diplomatic talks about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.


Palestinian American Dies of Heart Attack After Brief Detention by Israeli Troops, The New York Times
An elderly Palestinian American was found dead early Wednesday shortly after a brief detention by Israeli troops in a village in the occupied West Bank, prompting the U.S. government to call for an investigation into his death. The man, who was named by American and Palestinian officials as Omar Asad, died of a heart attack after being detained during a nighttime raid on Jiljilya, a Palestinian village near the city of Ramallah, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement.

Israel’s Top Court Reduces Penalty for Settler Who Threw Stun Grenades at Palestinian Homes, Haaretz
Israel’s Supreme Court reduced the sentence of a West Bank settler convicted of throwing stun grenades at the homes of Palestinians. The settler, whose identity cannot be made public because he was a minor at the time of the crime, had been sentenced by a district court judge to 20 months in prison, but the Supreme court reduced it on Monday to 12 months, based on a plea agreement that the defense and prosecution had reached.

IDF Issues Demolition Orders for Homes of Suspects in Deadly West Bank Shooting, Times of Israel
The Israeli military has informed the families of two alleged Palestinian terrorists that their houses in the West Bank village of Silat al-Harithiya, near Jenin, are slated for demolition.

Four Israelis Charged With Providing Intel to Iranian Agent, Haaretz
Four Israelis sent photographs and information to an Iranian operative who recruited them on social media, according to an indictment served against them, which was cleared for publication on Wednesday.

Israel PM Gambles on No Lockdown Strategy as Cases Climb, Axios
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is facing growing criticism as Israel continues to set new records for daily COVID cases, but he’s decided to try to ride out the fifth wave without new lockdowns.

Two Israeli Military Officers Killed by Friendly Fire Near West Bank Army Base, Haaretz
Two Israeli military officers were killed on Wednesday by friendly fire during a security patrol near their base in the Jordan Valley, after they were misidentified and shot by a fellow soldier.

Opinion and Analysis

Clashes in Southern Israel Are a Ticking Time Bomb for Bennett Government, Haaretz
Anshel Pfeffer writes, “The showdown between the State of Israel and local Bedouin over a tract of land in the south is just the latest chapter in an ongoing struggle – but one that could bring down Bennett’s government.”

‘In Our Teens, We Dreamed of Making Peace Between Israelis and Palestinians. Then My Friend Was Shot’, The Guardian
Roy Cohen recounts the story of his friendship with Aseel Aslih, and the way Aseel’s death impacted his view of the conflict. He reflects, “In the two decades since October 2000, the cycle of land grabs, protest, violence and trauma has only worsened. I realised that in order to live in Israeli society again, I needed to talk about Aseel, our friendship and the painful silence surrounding his death.”