News Roundup for January 24, 2023

January 24, 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

Biden’s Passivity Is a Big Problem for Israeli Democracy, Haaretz
Amir Tibon writes, “Israel is a society that doesn’t understand understatement. “Discussing” is an ambiguous word, as is “raising concerns” about something. Things need to be said clearly in order to get people’s attention here.”

Extreme Israeli Group Takes Root in US With Fundraising Bid, AP
An Israeli group raising funds for Jewish extremists convicted in some of the country’s most notorious hate crimes is collecting tax-exempt donations from Americans, according to findings by The Associated Press and the Israeli investigative platform Shomrim. The records in the case suggest that Israel’s far right is gaining a new foothold in the United States. The amount of money raised through a U.S. nonprofit is not known. But the AP and Shomrim have documented the money trail from New Jersey to imprisoned Israeli radicals who include Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin and people convicted in deadly attacks on Palestinians.


Top pro-Israel Democrat Warns Netanyahu Government ‘Mistakes’ Could Erode U.S. Support, Haaretz
Rep. Brad Sherman, one of Israel’s strongest supporters in Congress, has a pointed warning for Netanyahu’s government, its plans to undermine the judiciary and its far-right ministers.

US and Israel Launch Largest Military Exercise Ever Despite Concerns Over Netanyahu’s Government, CNN
The US and Israel launched their largest joint military exercise ever on Monday, sending a clear signal to Iran and underscoring the strength of their alliance despite concerns over the composition of the new Israeli government which includes ultra-nationalist and ultra-religious parties.

Zionist Group Uses US Anti-Terrorism Laws To Sue Palestinian Activists, The Guardian
One of the world’s oldest Zionist organisations with close ties to the Israeli government, the Jewish National Fund (JNF), is using American anti-terrorism laws to sue a major Palestinian rights group in the US over its support for the international boycott movement.

Netanyahu Gov’t’s Plan to Weaken Judiciary Threatens Israel’s Int’l Standing, Report Warns, Haaretz
Deterioration of democracy due to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government, political polarization and the weakening of Israeli society’s resilience pose some of the greatest short-term strategic threats to Israel, an assessment by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) has found.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel Preventing Palestinians From Flying Their Flag Is Hypocritical , The Jerusalem Post
J Street Israel Director Nadav Tamir writes, “But the same Israel that encourages Jews around the world to wave its flag in parades, synagogues and Jewish community houses is waging a war of attrition with another flag, the national flag of the Palestinian Arab minority within it. The same country that so wants to see its flag proudly raised by Jews around the world rips the Palestinian flag from the hands of its Palestinian Arab citizens and declares it as a non-grata flag in its territory…The perception that the Palestinian flag is contrary to the Israeli identity originates from the desire to eliminate the Palestinian people and their identity. It is no coincidence that those on the Right waging a flag war are the same leaders who refuse to recognize the Palestinians’ right to a state.”

‘Farha’ Film on Netflix Brings Palestinian Lens to a Broad Audience, The Washington Post
Claire Healy reports, “The film tells the coming-of-age story of a Palestinian girl amid the violent tumult of 1948, the year Israel declared independence.”