News Roundup for January 27, 2022

January 27, 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

U.S. Jewish Groups Oppose ‘Misguided’ Congressional ‘Torah Values’ Caucus, Haaretz
“Leading U.S. Jewish organizations have appealed directly to the bipartisan founders of the Congressional Caucus for the Advancement of Torah Values to express their opposition, calling it a misguided effort in the fight against antisemitism. Nine organizations – ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, J Street, Partners for Progressive Israel, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, T’Ruah and The Workers Circle – urged Rep. Don Bacon, a Republican from Nebraska, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas, to disband their newly formed caucus and to consult with Jewish community leaders to find a more appropriate way to express solidarity.”

Jewish Groups, Including Reform and Reconstructionist Movements, Decry Congress’ ‘Torah Values Caucus’ as ‘Misguided’, JTA
“An array of liberal-leaning Jewish groups, including bodies of the Reform and Reconstructionist movements, have told two non-Jewish congressmen who launched a “Torah Values Caucus” that their efforts are “misguided.” “A caucus in Congress should not take on itself defining what constitutes ‘Torah Values’ in order to pursue a particular political agenda,” said the letter, initiated by Americans for Peace Now and signed by, among others, the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, J Street and ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal.”

Top News and Analysis

Palestinian American Held by Israel Died of Heart Attack, Autopsy Shows, The New York Times
A 78-year-old Palestinian American man died this month from a stress-induced heart attack brought on by injuries sustained while he was detained by Israeli soldiers, according to an autopsy report, obtained by The New York Times on Wednesday.

Settler Attacks Officer in West Bank; 22 Palestinians Arrested After Clashes With Police, Haaretz
A settler attacked an Israeli Border Police officer overnight into Thursday after police have reported that 22 Palestinians were arrested after clashes in East Jerusalem broke out.


Israel’s “Top Priority” Mission To Discredit UN Probe, Axios
Israel is planning a campaign to discredit a UN commission formed to investigate the violence in Gaza last May and the root causes of the protracted conflict in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, according to an Israeli Foreign Ministry cable seen by Axios.

Israeli Settlers Rage Through Palestinian Town, Marking the Latest ‘Nationalistically Motivated’ Attack in the Region, CNN
Israeli settlers in a convoy of cars rampaged through a Palestinian town in the West Bank near Nablus on Monday evening, marking the latest in a string of violent incidents involving settlers in recent months.

Israel Prepares To Receive Jews Fleeing Ukraine, Al-Monitor
On the backdrop of growing tensions and speculation over an imminent Russian invasion, Cabinet ministries in Jerusalem prepare for the possibility that thousands of Ukrainian Jews would want to immigrate to Israel.

Senior Human Rights Watch Official in Beirut Targeted by Israeli NSO Spyware, Haaretz
A senior official with Human Rights Watch who is based in Beirut was found to have been targeted by the infamous Israeli-made spyware Pegasus, in what Apple and Amnesty International said may have been a state-sponsored hack.

Settlers Throw Rocks at Palestinian Vehicles Near Homesh Outpost, Times of Israel
A group of Israeli settlers earlier threw rocks at Palestinian vehicles that were going through a military checkpoint near the flashpoint Homesh outpost in the northern West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces says.

Opinion and Analysis

East Jerusalem Does Need Schools. But Not on the Ruins of Palestinian Homes, +972 Mag
Orly Noy argues, “It is no secret that the Israeli state, with all of the powers at its disposal, has been waging an overt and determined war against the city’s Palestinian residents for decades. But in this instance, there is something that overshadows even the cruelty of demolishing a family’s home and throwing them out onto the street on one of the coldest nights of the year, and that is the astonishingly cynical excuse in whose name this violent act of barbarism took place: building a school on the land that was expropriated by the Jerusalem municipality. I want to ask Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon: What will children learn in this school? What values will the education system promote in a school built on the ruins of the lives of the Salhiyeh family? This is a cynical and wicked excuse, precisely because in East Jerusalem there is indeed a dire shortage of classrooms, for which the Jerusalem Municipality itself is largely responsible, due to its longstanding policy of neglect.”

Stop the Illegal Trade in Palestinian Work Permits, Haaretz
Haaretz’s Editorial Board writes, “Some 110,000 Palestinian laborers legally enter Israel to work for their living. They have no other choice. The wages for a plasterer in Israel are nearly three times higher than what someone with a master’s degree can earn in his field in the territories. Which is why Palestinian workers will do whatever it takes to obtain an Israeli work permit – including paying commissions to “machers” who illegally trade in them.”