News Roundup for January 5, 2023

January 5, 2023

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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

J Street and What It Really Means To Be Pro-Israel, The Times of Israel
J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami responds to a recent piece attacking the organization, writing, “The overwhelming majority of Jewish Americans agree with the positions that J Street takes. But too often those who disagree with us simply attack our pro-Israel bona fides rather than addressing the core issues at stake.”

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen Should Meet with J Street Israel CEO, The Jerusalem Post
Avi Gil, former director-general of the Foreign Ministry, writes, “Cohen must consult with people who are deeply familiar with the nuances of the American scene and the Jewish community. A meeting with Nadav Tamir, executive director of J Street Israel, would be an important test of the seriousness of Cohen’s efforts. J Street supporters, largely voters of the Democratic Party, have great influence in the Biden administration, in Congress, and in public opinion.”

Top News and Analysis

Justice Minister Unveils Plan to Shackle The High Court, Overhaul Israel’s Judiciary, The Times of Israel
Justice Minister Yariv Levin on Wednesday announced a wide-ranging and highly controversial overhaul of Israel’s judicial and legal system which, if enacted, would amount to arguably the most drastic changes ever to Israel’s system of government. The changes set out by Levin during a press conference at the Knesset would severely limit the authority of the High Court of Justice, give the government control over the judicial selection committee, and significantly limit the authority of government legal advisers.

Lapid to Head to US to Speak to Jewish Orgs Heads about New Gov’t, The Jerusalem Post
Opposition chairman Yair Lapid is expected to embark to the US next week in order to speak with heads of Jewish organizations about the new government, according to reports in the Israeli media. According to the reports, Lapid is expected to take a personal vacation in Paris this weekend and afterward, fly to the US in order to initiate meetings with heads of major Jewish organizations. Lapid reportedly framed the visit as an opportunity to support the Jewish organizations, many of them very critical and worried about the new Israeli government.

An Israeli Far-Right Leader’s Al-Aqsa Visit Sparks Outrage and Calls for U.N. Meeting, Reuters
Israel is lobbying against calls to hold an urgent session of the United Nations Security Council, following a controversial visit by Israel’s far-right national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, to a sensitive holy site in Jerusalem.


How Hady Amr Represents Biden to the Palestinians, Jewish Insider
As the first U.S. special representative for Palestinian affairs, Hady Amr talked to Jewish Insider about his hope of improving life for the Palestinians and helping keep the peace in the region.

U.S. Sets Red Line on Illegal West Bank Outpost, Setting Up Clash With Netanyahu, Haaretz
The United States on Wednesday set an indisputable red line on the illegal West Bank outpost of Homesh, setting up a potential clash with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right coalition that could spark conflict within the nascent Israeli government.

Opinion and Analysis

Don’t Normalize Israel’s Extremist Government, or Its American Apologists, Haaretz
Hadar Susskind, President and CEO of Americans for Peace, writes, “If you care about Israel and its future as a liberal democracy, if you care about peace and a better future for Israelis and Palestinians alike, you must resist the efforts to normalize this government.”

A Government That Uses Torah as a Spade to Dig with, The Times of Israel
Rabbi Michael Marmur of Rabbis for Human Rights says, “The assault on decency being perpetrated by the new government is not a matter of party politics. It speaks to the essence of the project of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”