News Roundup for January 19, 2023

January 19, 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.

J Street In the News

Israel’s Supporters Should Respect Each Other, The Times of Israel
“J Street has decided to take positions on issues about which most American Jews care deeply. These include Israeli government proposals to amend the Law of Return, to reject non-Orthodox conversions, to allow a simple majority of sixty-one Knesset members to overturn Supreme Court decisions that protect basic minority and individual rights, and to threaten the equal status of LGBTQ Israelis. These possibilities are frightening to many of us who will always love Israel and work for its security no matter what….Maybe, instead of attacking J Street, it is worth lobbying AIPAC to depart from past practice and represent the American Jewish community, not only in Washington, DC, but in Jerusalem as well.”

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Military Kills Palestinian Teacher, Militant in Raid, The Washington Post
Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian schoolteacher and a militant during a military raid in the occupied West Bank early Thursday, Palestinian officials and media said, as Israeli-Palestinian violence continued to surge. The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the dead as Jawad Bawaqna, 57, and Adham Jabarin, 28. They were shot in the Jenin refugee camp in northern West Bank.

Major Israeli Supreme Court Ruling Rocks Netanyahu’s Coalition, Axios
The Israeli Supreme Court in a 10-1 ruling revoked the appointment of Aryeh Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and a key ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as a senior minister in the government. The decision could dramatically escalate the constitutional crisis in Israel and accelerate the government’s effort to push forward its plan for weakening Israel’s judicial system.

Israel’s Judicial Standoff Deepens as Netanyahu Delays Firing Minister, The New York Times
The new right-wing Israeli government and the country’s judiciary remained locked in a standoff Thursday, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delayed upholding a Supreme Court ruling that called for the dismissal of a key government minister. If Mr. Deri does not resign in the coming days or Mr. Netanyahu does not fire him, the legal dispute will compound a wider clash between the government and the judiciary that analysts consider one of the most profound in Israeli history.


Biden Adviser Meets Netanyahu Amid Unease Over His Govt, AP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Thursday with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, the allies’ highest level in-person talks since Israel’s most right-wing government ever took power last month.

Organizers Expect Greater Turnout at Tel Aviv Protest This Weekend After Deri Ruling, The Times of Israel
A week after 80,000 people thronged the streets of Tel Aviv on Saturday night, another mass protest against the government and its policies is slated for this weekend. Smaller protests are also expected to take place in Jerusalem and Haifa and at other sites around the country. After skipping last week’s events, opposition leader Yair Lapid said Wednesday he would attend this weekend.

United Torah Judaism MK Slams High Court Calling It a ‘Putin Dictatorship’, Haaretz
Israel Eichler, a Knesset member from the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism faction, said on Thursday that the time had come for Israel’s High Court of Justice “to stop being a dictatorial government fighting against the democratic government of the people of Israel, which elected the Knesset.”

Israel and Palestinians Clash at UN Meeting As Tensions Rise, AP
Israel’s U.N. ambassador accused the Palestinians on Wednesday of stabbing a knife into any chance for reconciliation by seeking an advisory opinion from the U.N.’s highest court on Israel’s decades-old occupation — and the Palestinian U.N. envoy accused Israel’s new government of seeking to crush its people.

Opinion and Analysis

Why I’m Not Sure I’m Right, Washington Jewish Week
Rabbi Michael Rose Knopf writes, “Watching Israel being led in a direction that I believe is both antithetical to Jewish values and dangerous to its long-term survival has propelled my involvement in organizations like J Street, which expresses its loving commitment to Israel by opposing actions that it sees as harmful and advancing policies that it believes to be beneficial. I am proud to partner with others who believe that uncritical support can cause harm, and that loyalty can sometimes require opposition.”

Can Israeli Documentary Film Survive as a Haven for Criticism of the Occupation?, (+972 Mag
Noam Sheizaf argues, “[A]s the campaign to ban criticism of the occupation teaches, the true goal of the extreme right runs deeper: not only to cement its control in the political system and in all branches of government, but to establish a new political order; to take control of more land (by legalizing outposts and settlements, and displacing Palestinian communities), to deprive Palestinians of agency, outlaw their narrative and prosecute their political representation; to isolate and shame their Jewish supporters; and ultimately to criminalize any opposition to a political order of Jewish supremacy. These risks should concern liberal Jews and Palestinians alike, not in a distant future, but right now.”