News Roundup for January 4, 2022

January 4, 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

Wisconsin Treasurer Forges Middle Path in Senate Bid, Jewish Insider
Laura Birnbaum, national political director for J Street, the left-leaning Israel advocacy group, said Godlewski “is a rare example” of a statewide elected official “who is extremely knowledgeable about foreign policy.” J Street has endorsed Godlewski in the primary, along with Barnes, Lasry and Nelson.

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Navy Helicopter Crashes, Two Pilots Dead; Third Crew Member Rescued at Sea, Haaretz
Two Israel Air Force pilots were killed Monday night in a helicopter crash off Haifa’s coast in Israel’s north.

Israel, in U.S. visa talks, eyes easing access for Palestinian-Americans, Reuters
Israel is prepared to permit Palestinian-American dual nationals to transit its territory as part of an emerging U.S. visa waiver deal for its citizens, a top Israeli official said on Tuesday.


Gantz, ‘Disappointed’ by Criticism of Abbas Meeting, Vows to Meet PA Chief Again, The Times of Israel
Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Monday pushed back against criticism of his recent meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, vowing to continue meeting with the PA leader. “I heard the criticism and again say, it’s the one who sends soldiers into battle who’s responsible for doing everything to prevent it,” Gantz said during a faction meeting of his Blue and White party.

Israeli Newspaper Hacked on Anniversary of Iranian General’s Killing by U.S., NBC News
Yemen’s Houthi rebels seized an Emirati-flagged ship in the Red Sea, officials said Monday, the latest sign of Mideast tensions as hackers targeted a major Israeli newspaper’s website to mark America’s 2020 killing of an Iranian general.

Rockets fired from Gaza, Al-Monitor
Two rockets were fired the morning of Jan. 1 from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. The rockets exploded over the Mediterranean Sea, with no injuries or material damages registered. One detonated not far off the coast of Tel Aviv; the other exploded further away at sea. Since the rockets were far from urban centers, IDF Spokesperson Unit said, “According to protocol, no sirens were sounded and no interception took place.” After several weeks of relative quiet, Israel now suspects that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or both are trying to escalate pressure on Israel and on Egypt.

Lapid Won’t Rule Out Meeting Abbas, but Says No Reason to Do So Right Now, The Times of Israel
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Monday that he would have no problem meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas if the political conditions justified such talks.

Opinion and Analysis

What My Son Is Learning About Being Palestinian in the Jewish State, +972 Mag
Ayat Abou Shmeiss writes, “At three Mahmoud realized that Jewish children are given preference, at 13 he understood Arabic was inferior, at 17 he knew he could not live in security. Now he’s 18, and my heart trembles whenever he leaves the house.”

Gantz, Now’s Your Chance, Haaretz
Zehava Galon argues to Defense Minister Benny Gantz, “In order to keep the two-state solution alive, you must…[d]eal with settler violence with an iron hand. Too often Israel Defense Forces soldiers have stood aside or even actively participated in this violence. You must declare that the spirit of the commander has changed, and that the IDF will no longer protest weakly that “Violence against the security forces is criminal behavior” – but will arrest the criminals and demand that they be prosecuted. Make it clear to your soldiers that they can detain settlers, and that the army has an obligation to protect Palestinians and their property.”

What Ben & Jerry’s and the West Bank have to do with Chicago’s economy, Crain’s Chicago Business
J Street leaders Marilyn Katz, Bill Singer and Jim Klutznick make the argument against a 2015 Illinois law that penalizes companies that “boycott Israel.”