News Roundup for January 14, 2022

January 14, 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

J Street Proud to Join Pro-Democracy Groups in Call for Congressional Action on Voting Rights, J Street
As a proud advocate for the liberal, democratic values held by the large majority of American Jews, J Street is committed to doing all we can to defend and promote democracy, both in Israel/Palestine and here at home. As part of that work, it is critical that we fight back against draconian laws that decrease access to the ballot in many states across the US.

Jewish voters in Detroit gear up for Stevens vs. Levin, Jewish Insider
“The split has already gone national: bipartisan Pro-Israel America endorsed Stevens in mid-2021, long before the state’s congressional map had been redrawn, and left-leaning J Street endorsed Levin in early January after they both declared their candidacy in the 11th…“Time and again, Rep. Levin has proven himself to be a passionate, thoughtful and dedicated champion for the policies and beliefs that truly matter to J Street and our supporters,” J Street spokesperson Logan Bayroff told JI. “He embodies what it looks like to combine love for Israel with concern for its future and a commitment to core Jewish values of peace, justice and equality. There’s simply no question that Rep. Levin deserves the endorsement and support of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement.””

Top News and Analysis

Thirteen Arrested as Clashes in Southern Israel Over JNF Tree-planting Resume, Haaretz
Thirteen protesters were arrested Thursday after clashes in southern Israel resumed for the fourth day in a row, with hundreds of protesters demonstrating against the Jewish National Fund’s tree-planting in Bedouin communities in the Negev.


State Department Seeking Answers in Death of Palestinian American Found Dead After Being Detained in Israeli Raid, The Hill
State Department officials are calling for a “thorough investigation” after a Palestinian American man was found dead Wednesday following detainment by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank

Israel’s New Secret Document Still Fails to Tie Palestinian NGOs to ‘Terrorism’, +972 Mag
+972 and Local Call have obtained a new report sent to European diplomats in a fresh attempt to link Palestinian civil society groups to terrorism. The document, which is full of unsubstantiated claims, has left Europe’s leaders unconvinced.

White House Slams Trump’s Iran Pullout as Prospects to Save Nuclear Deal Dim, Politico
The White House sought Wednesday to reframe the Washington debate about the Iran nuclear deal, asserting that former President Donald Trump’s decision to quit the agreement is what has led to an Iran on the verge of an atom bomb.

US: Only ‘a Few Weeks Left’ to Save Iran Nuclear Deal, We’re Eyeing ‘Other Options’, Times of Israel
There are only “a few weeks left” to save the Iran nuclear deal, and the United States is ready to look at “other options” if negotiations fail, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday.

Opinion and Analysis

Instead of Planting Trees, the Jewish National Fund’s Negev Project Starts a Fire, Haaretz
Haaretz’s Editorial Board argues, “Only the naive can believe that planting the trees near the Bedouin villages Mulada and Sawa area was meant to celebrate Tu Bishvat (Jewish Arbor Day) or to improve the ecological fabric of the Negev. In reality this is clearly a political initiative that boasts the title “Protection of State Land” – in other words, a defense against a Bedouin land grab and a display of “governance” toward them.”

Gaza’s Race Against Climate Breakdown, +972 Mag
Khalil Abu Yahia, Natasha Westheimer and Mor Gilboa analyze the impact of climate change in Gaza, writing “Ever-worsening shortages of water and electricity. Catastrophic flooding in dense urban areas. Food insecurity exacerbated by drastic temperature increases, reduction in overall rainfall, and the long-term impact of toxic chemicals. This is the bleak near-future that awaits the Gaza Strip, a climate change hotspot within a hotspot that is being denied both its basic humanitarian needs, and the capacity and resources to prepare for and minimize the impacts of climate breakdown. Yet tackling both these issues requires taking steps under nearly two decades of an unrelenting land, air, and sea blockade imposed by both Egypt and Israel — and repeated bombardments by the latter are also exacerbating environmental devastation in the strip, further undermining Gaza’s ability to prepare for the unfolding climate crisis.”