News Roundup for January 9, 2023

January 9, 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

Punitive Israeli Sanctions Against Palestinians Are Dangerous and Wrong; US Should Oppose Them, J Street
J Street is deeply concerned by the Netanyahu government’s imposition of harshly punitive sanctions against Palestinians and their leadership, in response to the Palestinian Authority’s formal request for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

New Gov’t and Far-Right Americans More Dangerous to Israel Than Radical Progressives, The Jerusalem Post
J Street Israel Director Nadav Tamir writes, “The attack on the progressive movement as anti-Israel is a cover to the march of an Israeli far-right government to destroy the Zionist vision. This new government urgently demands political practicality and unity across the liberal spectrum against those who willingly sacrifice Israel’s democratic identity in favor of Jewish supremacism. The new government and its supporters on the far-right in the US must be met with fierce resistance to secure the vision of Israel’s identity, as laid out in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.”

Top News and Analysis

Israel Revokes Palestinian FM’s Travel Permit Over UN Move, ABC News
Israel on Sunday revoked the Palestinian foreign minister’s VIP travel permit, part of a series of punitive steps against the Palestinians that Israel’s new hard-line government announced days ago. Riad Malki said in a statement that he was returning from the Brazilian president’s inauguration when he was informed that Israel rescinded his VIP travel permit, which allows top Palestinian officials to travel more easily in and out of the occupied West Bank than ordinary Palestinians. It was not clear whether the permits of other officials had been revoked as well.

Israel’s Ben-Gvir Tells Police to Remove Palestinian Flags from Public Space, Reuters
Israel’s new far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said on Sunday that he instructed police to remove Palestinian flags from public spaces. Israeli law does not outlaw Palestinian flags but police and soldiers have the right to remove them in cases where they deem there is a threat to public order.

Thousands March in Tel Aviv in Protest of Netanyahu’s Far-right Gov’t, Judicial Overhaul, Haaretz
Thousands protested in Tel Aviv on Saturday night in a first major rally against the new government and its far-right policy plans, with two marches taking place in the city. Organizers estimate that 20,000 people participated in the demonstration.


Government Intends to Pass Sweeping Judicial Overhaul by End of March, The Times of Israel
The new government intends to pass its sweeping legislative agenda for an overhaul of Israel’s legal and judicial system by the end of March. According to an official in the office of MK Simcha Rothman, chair of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, the different pieces of legislation making up the four components of the planned major reform are currently being drawn up and will be presented to the government’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation in the coming weeks.

Jewish Agency Head Vows to Fight Israeli Gov’t Plan to Curtail Immigration, Haaretz
It would be a grave mistake for the Israeli government to limit eligibility for citizenship by amending the Law of Return, Jewish Agency Chairman Doron Almog warned on Sunday. If anything, it should consider expanding the criteria so that more individuals of Jewish descent would qualify for citizenship, he added.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel Sees Palestinian Human Rights Groups as Terrorist Organizations, Haaretz
Noa Landau argues, “If the cabinet’s decision is to treat all Palestinian civil society groups as terror organizations (although it is not clear exactly what “actions” will be taken against them), this will be a major test for the human rights groups on the other side of the Green Line. We need solidarity not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because the norms and practices of such persecution never stop in the territories; they always creep into Israel itself.”

Lessons for Israelis from the Turbulent Trump Years, The Times of Israel
Yehuda Kurtzer, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, offers advice to Israelis reckoning with the formation of the most far-right government in the country’s history.