News Roundup for January 17, 2023

January 17, 2023

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J Street News Roundup

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.

Top News and Analysis

Thousands in Israel Protest Netanyahu’s Plans to Limit Courts, The New York Times
Tens of thousands of Israelis on Saturday night protested in Tel Aviv against the new right-wing government’s plans to fundamentally overhaul the judicial system, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of trying to weaken the country’s democratic institutions just weeks after returning to power.

Palestinians Say Israeli Troops Kill Man in West Bank, The Washington Post
Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank on Sunday following a struggle at a military checkpoint, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, the latest death in a monthslong spiral of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. The circumstances of the shooting were in dispute. The Israeli army claimed the man tried to grab a soldier’s weapon, while witnesses and relatives said he was shot while trying to defend himself during an inspection that turned violent.


Hamas Releases Video That Appears to Show Israeli Missing Since 2014, The New York Times
Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza, released a video on Monday with footage of a man who identified himself as Avera Mengistu, an Israeli civilian held captive by the Palestinian group since 2014, issuing a direct challenge to Israel’s incoming military chief of staff and its new hard-line government.

Nations Express ‘Deep Concern’ at Israeli Punitive Measure, The Washington Post
More than 90 countries have expressed “deep concern” at Israel’s punitive measures against the Palestinian people, leadership and civil society following a U.N. request for an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice on the legality of Israeli policies in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Israel’s Netanyahu Moving Ahead on Legal Overhaul Despite Outcry, Politico
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday his government plans to charge ahead with an overhaul of the country’s judicial system, despite fierce criticism from top legal officials and protests against the changes that drew tens of thousands of people.

Netanyahu Judicial Overhaul Will Be “Fatal Blow” to Israel’s Democracy, Top Judge Says, Axios
Israeli Supreme Court President Esther Hayut warned on Thursday that the Netanyahu government’s plan to overhaul Israel’s judicial system is aimed at “crushing” the independent judiciary and, if implemented, will “deal a fatal blow” to the country’s democracy.

Opinion and Analysis

What to Know About Netanyahu’s Far-Right Government in Israel, The Washington Post
Gwen Ackerman details the new Israeli government — from who the most controversial players are, to the threats to Israeli democracy.

What’s Life Like Under Hamas? ‘Whispered in Gaza’ Offers Unique, Courageous Testimony, The Times of Israel
“In an unprecedented series of animated videos, drawn from interviews carried out by the NY-based Center for Peace Communications, ordinary Gazans tell heartwrenching stories.”

The Upside of the Occupation’s Negative Impact on Israel’s Foreign Relations, The Jerusalem Post
J Street Israel Director Nadav Tamir writes, “For all those who, like me, think that the eternal domination of the Palestinians is incompatible with our humane and Jewish values, removing the mask may actually be beneficial by exposing the obvious cost of the occupation and making it clear to all that we cannot be part of the enlightened world as an occupying people. My only hope is that the price we pay will not include bloodshed, and the dangerous weakening of Israeli society and of the magnificent Zionist project established by our grandparents and parents.”