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.
UDP Spends Nearly $1 Million to Boost Stevens, Ups Spending in Edwards-Ivey Race to $3 Million, Jewish Insider
“UDP’s filing in the Maryland race comes on the heels of an announcement from J Street Action Fund, also on Thursday morning, that it had upped its investment in favor of Edwards and against Ivey to $600,000. A recent ad launched by J Street against Ivey attacks the attorney for “taking cash from a group supporting 109 Republicans who tried to overturn President Joe Biden’s election,” referring to AIPAC. That voice-over is paired with images of former President Donald Trump speaking at an AIPAC lectern and footage of police officers clashing with rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. J Street has previously condemned other pro-Israel groups for running ads that do not mention Israel policy. J Street spokesperson Logan Bayroff framed the group’s ads as a reaction to UDP and other groups’ efforts, telling JI that it is “incumbent” on them “to respond” and the “J Street Action Fund and our partners are responding with a range of effective and strategic tactics to defend and support our endorsed candidates.””
House Appropriations Bill Opens Door for Unesco Reentry, Jewish Insider
“J Street applauded the UNESCO provision in a press release on Thursday, arguing that the trigger provisions to cut off U.S. funding of U.N. agencies that regonize Palestine “undermine both US and Israeli interests while empowering our adversaries.” An accompanying report from the committee leadership, in which the committee provides further explanation of and instructions related to the legislation, also includes language not present in previous years’ reports condemning Israeli settler violence in the West Bank, which was supported by J Street.”
Yair Lapid Takes Over as Israel’s 14th Prime Minister, The Times of Israel
Yair Lapid officially became prime minister at the stroke of midnight between Thursday and Friday, taking office as the 14th premier in Israel’s history. Lapid’s term leading the country could be a fairly short one, as he takes over a caretaker government ahead of national elections on November 1. But the new prime minister appeared ready to make the most of a potentially brief tenure.
Blinken and Abbas Discuss Ties, Upcoming Biden Visit, Palestinian President’s Office Says, Haaretz
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas received a phone call from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday, hours before Yair Lapid formally began his tenure as Israel’s new prime minister. According to a statement from Abbas’ office, the two discussed bilateral ties and preparations for President Joe Biden’s visit next month. While Palestinian officials have little hope of any progress on a list of demands the Palestinian Authority presented to the Biden administration, the statement said the presidential visit to the region may be a starting point to promote long-term diplomatic processes.
Biden Congratulates New PM Lapid, Thanks Bennett for ‘Friendship Over the Past Year’, The Times of Israel
US President Joe Biden congratulated new Prime Minister Yair Lapid in a tweet published the minute he officially replaced Naftali Bennett as Israel’s premier at midnight between Thursday and Friday Biden also thanked Bennett for his “friendship over the past year.” The two never met before Biden became president but Bennett was hosted in the White House last August and the two met briefly on the sidelines of the COP26 climate summit in November. Their offices say they managed to build a close report over the past year.
Israel Draws Closer to NATO, Al-Monitor
Jerusalem is closely following the annual NATO summit convening this week in Madrid. The dramatic news of an agreement with Turkey for Sweden and Finland to join the alliance has far-reaching implications for the Middle East, Israel and beyond. The new Strategic Concept endorsed yesterday by NATO leaders is also likely to affect its relations with its major non-member partners such as Israel.
Biden: Visit Is Meant to Integrate Israel in the Region, The Jerusalem Post
A central objective of US President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit to the Middle East is to further integrate Israel into the region, he said on Thursday. “I am, as I said, going to Israel to meet with Israeli leaders to affirm the unbreakable bond Israel and the United States have,” Biden said, when asked about the trip during a news conference in Madrid. “And part of the purpose is — the trip to the Middle East — is to deepen Israel’s integration in the region, which I think we’re going to be able to do and which is good — good for peace and good for Israeli security.”
Pride Event in Southern Israel Draws Hundreds After Police Lift Restrictions, Haaretz
Hundreds marched through the southern community of Mitzpeh Ramon in the town’s second ever Pride Parade, days after the police have backtracked on its intention to reroute the march in response to a petition to the High Court of Justice by the event’s organizers.
After Roe: How Jewish Groups in States With Abortion Bans Are Responding, The Forward
Stewart Ain reports, “Reeling from last week’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, a synagogue in Missouri, one of nine states where abortion is now totally banned, set up a fund to help people needing to travel to terminate pregnancies. Within hours of it being established on Sunday, a woman asked for help, and members of the congregation volunteered to drive her to a clinic in neighboring Illinois…Some 83% of American Jews think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to the Pew Research Center, compared to 61% of the U.S. population overall. The largest Jewish communities are in New York and California, states that are moving to shore up abortion rights and provide services to people beyond their borders. But there are also significant Jewish populations in many of the 26 states where abortion is expected to soon be outlawed or severely restricted.”
Israel’s New Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, Played the Long Game to Power, The New York Times
Isabel Kershner writes, “Once mocked for his inexperience and perceived arrogance, Israel’s caretaker premier taught voters a lesson in political maturity and humility.”