News Roundup for January 23, 2020

January 23, 2020

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J Street in the News

As Zionist Elections Get Underway, the Battle for Progressives’ Votes Heats Up, New York Jewish Week
“The WZC is new territory for many American Jewish progressives. In years past, the Hatikvah slate was made up of four organizations: Ameinu, Partners for Progressive Israel, Habonim Dror and Hashomer Hatzair. This year, the slate added seven partner organizations, among them J Street, National Council of Jewish Women, New Israel Fund, and T’ruah.”

Top News and Analysis

Trump: Travel ban expansion coming, nations aren’t yet final, AP
President Donald Trump said Wednesday the U.S. would soon be imposing visa restrictions on more countries — though it’s not clear yet how many nations will be affected by his expansion of the travel ban. The tentative list featured Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania, according to the officials and a person familiar with the draft proposal. But several countries are believed to have taken action or demonstrated good faith efforts to comply in order to avoid inclusion, the officials said. The steps include better border security, better sharing of identification information among nations and better travel document security, one official said. It’s not clear how many nations will wind up on the final list.

White House urging Netanyahu to refrain from annexation, to wait for plan, The Jerusalem Post
The Trump administration has urged Israel to hold back from unilaterally annexing the Jordan Valley, recommending that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wait for the US peace plan instead. Netanyahu has spoken of Jordan Valley annexation since the summer, and it has been presumed that the Trump administration would support such a move or at the very least not oppose it.

World Leaders, Gathering to Mark Holocaust, Are Urged to Fight ‘Deadly Cancer’, New York Times
Dozens of presidents, premiers and potentates descended upon the Holy City on Wednesday in an extraordinary show of collective resolve to fight anti-Semitism, and a 95-year-old Holocaust scholar warned them that such hatred threatened their countries with a “deadly cancer.”


Abbas’s office fumes at Netanyahu, Gantz for pledging Jordan Valley annexation, Times of Israel
“Such statements totally undermine the foundations of the peace process — sending the region into a dangerous new phase of conflict and instability,” Abbas’s office said, according to the official PA news site Wafa.

At Holocaust Forum, Israeli President Calls on World Leaders to Battle anti-Semitism, Haaretz
An airlift of presidents, prime ministers and royalty from around the world arrived in Israel Wednesday for the two-day World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem, marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

Prince Charles to visit Palestine amid calls for UK recognition, The National
Prince Charles is set to make a landmark trip to the occupied Palestinian territories this week amid calls for the UK to recognise the state of Palestine.

Israeli troops kill three Palestinians near Gaza fence, Al Jazeera
The Israeli army said the group threw an explosive device towards them after attempting to cross the fence from the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening.

IDF: Gazans shot dead after crossing into Israel were planning terror attack, Times of Israel
The Israel Defense Forces believes the three Palestinian teenagers who were shot dead after they crossed the Gaza security fence Tuesday evening were planning to carry out a terror attack, IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman said Wednesday.

Trump minimizes severity of head injuries in Iran attacks, AP
President Donald Trump on Wednesday minimized the severity of head injuries sustained by U.S. troops during an Iranian missile strike on an Iraqi air base as he was pressed on why he had claimed no troops were injured in the attack.

On his first day in Jerusalem, France’s Macron rips into Israeli security, Washington Post
French President Emmanuel Macron squared off against Israeli security forces on Wednesday, the first day of his official visit to Jerusalem for the World Holocaust Forum, which marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Israel’s Netanyahu apologizes for mocking rival’s ‘stutter’, AP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized Wednesday for mocking his chief political opponent stumbling over words in interviews during a campaign rally.

Netanyahu could boycott immunity deliberations at Knesset — report, Times of Israel
Members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party believe he may boycott expected Knesset hearings on his request for immunity from graft charges, according to a television report Wednesday.

Opinion and Analysis

Will political merger mania save or topple Netanyahu?, Al-Monitor
Akiva Eldar writes, “The right-wing voter, whether secular, religious or ultra-Orthodox, who believes prosecutors have indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on trumped up charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, will obviously pick up the slip of paper with the name of one of the parties comprising the right wing-ultra-Orthodox bloc (Likud, Yamina, Otzma Yehudit, Yahadut HaTorah or Shas) and stuff it into the ballot box. All of these parties are standing by the accused Netanyahu.”

This is how a U.S. president could hold Israel accountable — without Congress, +972 Mag
Alex Kane writes, “A progressive president would have many tools at their disposal to ensure American weapons and taxpayers’ money do not violate Palestinian rights.”

Netanyahu Exploits the Holocaust to Brutalize the Palestinians, Haaretz
Hagai El-Ad writes, “According to Haaretz, Israel’s prime minister intends to exploit the Fifth World Holocaust Forum – convening this week in Jerusalem to mark 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz – to call on world leaders to publicly back Israel’s self-serving position that the International Criminal Court in The Hague has no jurisdiction in the occupied Palestinian territories.”