News Roundup for July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021

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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

Bibi continues to damage the relations with the US, Times of Israel
J Street’s Nadav Tamir writes, “When former Prime Minister Netanyahu took to social media recently with public accusations against the traditional ‘no surprise’ policy between the Lapid-Bennett government and the United States, it became even clearer that even while in opposition Netanyahu is still determined to use the Iran issue to promote himself politically — even at the cost of aiding the Iranian nuclear program, and damaging Israel’s relations with our best ally.”

Top News and Analysis

US and Iran show no move to put nuclear deal back on track, AP
The United Nations, European Union and many Security Council members urged the United States and Iran on Wednesday to quickly put the 2015 nuclear deal aimed at reining in Tehran’s nuclear program back on track, but neither side showed any sign of movement toward an agreement. During six rounds of talks in Vienna, the six countries that remain parties to the agreement — Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain and Iran — have been trying to resolve major outstanding issues on how the United States can rejoin.

Israel’s New Leaders Tilt Right With Settler Deal, Hinting at Approach, New York Times
A pair of recent decisions, both related to the most divisive issue in Israel, the Palestinian conflict, show how the government seems to have found, so far at least, a way to maneuver through a maze of sensitive issues while avoiding collapse: by tilting to the right, while giving its leftist and Arab members just enough concessions to justify staying in the alliance.

‘Illegal even under Israeli law’: US pans establishment of new Evyatar outpost, Times of Israel
The US State Department on Wednesday condemned the new West Bank outpost of Evyatar, which the Israeli government has agreed to keep intact for now despite its illegal establishment. “We believe it is critical to refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance equal measures of freedom, security and prosperity and a negotiated two-state solution. This certainly includes establishing new outposts which are illegal even under Israeli law,” a State Department spokesperson said when asked for comment on Evyatar.


Bedouin lawmaker seeks change through new Israeli government, AP
In the weeks before his Arab party made history in Israel by joining the ruling coalition, Saeed Alkhrumi says his relatives and neighbors were notified that their homes would be demolished. It was a stark illustration of the challenge ahead for the United Arab List, a small Islamist party that played a key role in forming Israel’s fragile new government and now hopes to secure gains for the Arab minority, including the impoverished Bedouin community in the south.

Meretz to vote against extending Palestinian family reunification law, Times of Israel
The coalition’s left-wing Meretz party announces it will oppose extension of the controversial Palestinian family reunification law, which blocks the automatic granting of citizenship to Palestinians who marry Israeli citizens. The law, renewed annually since 2003, is set to expire July 6. A Knesset vote is planned for July 5, but the coalition is looking increasingly unlikely to pass it.

COVID-19 Cases in Israel to Triple in 10 Days, Health Officials Predict, Haaretz
Israel’s Health Ministry said on Thursday that the country will face 600 new coronavirus cases a day within a week, and that this figure is expected to rise to 1000 in 10 days as the delta variant continues to spread across the country.

Iran conditions return to nuclear deal on US commitment to never withdraw again, Times of Israel
Iran’s envoy to the United Nations told the Security Council Wednesday that an essential condition for reviving the 2015 nuclear deal is a commitment by the US that it will never again unilaterally pull out of the agreement. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said such assurances were needed to build confidence in US and European adherence to the deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and enable the economic benefits that the deal is supposed to bring to his country.

Jewish Democrats Back Ilhan Omar Following ‘Partners in Justice’ Controversy, Haaretz
Jewish lawmakers and leaders of mainstream Jewish organizations have quickly supported Rep. Ilhan Omar’s call for solidarity between the Black and Jewish communities, as well as her acknowledgment that many of her colleagues – both Jewish and non-Jewish – deeply share her commitment to fighting injustice. Omar’s comments come one day after the latest controversy over her criticism of colleagues (some of them Jewish), whom she accused of not “engaging in seeking justice around the world.”

Opinion and Analysis

Israel’s Left-wing Ministers Are Silent, Haaretz
The Haaretz editorial board writes, “It’s unacceptable that those who presume to represent the left in the government will give up the struggle in advance and leave Defense Minister Benny Gantz and the security establishment alone at the front. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also prefers to extend a public hand in peace on his visit to the United Arab Emirates, but at the same time he is silent on Evyatar. Except for Meretz MK Mossi Raz, it’s quiet on the left. Instead of dealing with the temperature of the air-conditioning on the trains, Michaeli and her colleagues should wake up before they miss the train entirely.”

I love my Arab neighbors. Why don’t you?, Jerusalem Post
Gershon Baskin writes, “It is beyond my human ability to understand how our lawmakers and politicians can see the validity of denying citizens of a democratic country the right to freely marry and live with their spouses as full citizens within their own country. I can only imagine what the reaction of Israel would be if some other country passed laws that prevented Jewish citizens of that country from allowing them to marry freely and bring their spouses to live with them as equal citizens.”

Let Israel’s Female Politicians Speak for Ourselves, Haaretz
Former MK Stav Shaffir writes, “Since the formation of the government, its members have faced great hardship in their efforts to clean up the mess of their predecessors. Coalition chair Idit Silman of Yamina, in particular, has recently been the target of a methodical campaign of insults organized by the opposition who are taking a familiar tack: When you have nothing to say in your defense, humiliate your rival.”