News Roundup for July 10, 2020

July 10, 2020

Receive the roundup in your inbox every morning!


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

Sen. Susan Collins is facing a major challenge in Maine. The state’s Jewish voters may be one reason why., JTA
“The progressive J Street PAC is working to spend $300,000 to support Gideon as part of a massive push to elect Democratic senators. “Without winning those [seats] you’ve really got a hard path to transforming the Senate — which is one of our top electoral priorities besides defeating Donald Trump by electing Joe Biden — transforming the Senate to make sure that we have a pro-Israel, pro-peace majority,” Ilya Braverman, J Street’s national political director, told me.”

Progressive pro-Israel groups back Senate amendment to ban US aid on annexation, Times of Israel
“Eight member organizations of the Progressive Israel Network, an umbrella association of 10 liberal Zionist groups, argued that the measure would ensure American assistance is directed toward Israel’s security and not a deleterious action that would harm the prospects of peace. “All those who value human rights and Israeli democracy, support a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and want to see an end to decades of occupation should agree that it would be unacceptable for US tax dollars to help foot the bill for an act as extreme and destructive as unilateral annexation,” they said in a statement. The signatories included the liberal Middle East advocacy groups J Street, the New Israel Fund, Americans for Peace Now, the rabbinic group T’ruah, and others.”

Top News and Analysis

West Bank annexation is not a solution, EU
European Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell writes, “Annexation would constitute a violation of international law; it will cause real damage to the prospects for a two-state solution; it would also negatively influence regional stability, our relations with Israel, the relations between Israel and Arab states and, potentially, the security of Israel. Any violation of international law, particularly when involving the annexation of territories, also has implications for the whole rules-based international order, affecting other conflict zones […] We cannot and will not recognize changes to the pre-1967 borders that are not agreed by both parties to the conflict.”

France urges Netanyahu not to annex parts of West Bank, AP
The two leaders spoke by phone Thursday, and Macron’s office said in a statement Friday that he told Netanyahu “to abstain from taking any measure to annex Palestinian territories.” Macron also reiterated France’s commitment to Israel’s security and determination to work to calm tensions in the region.

Lockdowns go into effect in neighborhoods of 5 cities as virus surges, Times of Israel
Lockdowns came into effect at 1 p.m. on Friday in neighborhoods in five towns and cities hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, a day after cabinet ministers approved the measure as the number of new cases in Israel continued to surge. Parts of Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Lod, Ramle and Kiryat Malachi became “restricted zones” for seven days. The restrictions will be lifted at 8 a.m. on July 17.


Israelis angry at Netanyahu over new outbreak, economic pain, AP
With an unprecedented new surge in coronavirus cases battering Israel’s economy, one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest confidants was dispatched to a TV studio recently to calm the nerves of a jittery nation. Instead, he dismissed expressions of some of the public’s economic pain as “BS.”

Major Explosion Rocks Iran Again, the 3rd Blast in 3 Weeks, New York Times
An explosion rocked western Tehran early Friday, state media reported, causing widespread power failures in two residential areas and unnerving Iranians awakened for the third consecutive week by an early-morning blast.

Israeli troops kill Palestinian accused of hurling firebombs, AP
Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank who they said was throwing firebombs at a guard post, but who Palestinian officials say was merely strolling through his village. The army said troops fired at two Palestinians who were throwing Molotov cocktails at the guard post late Thursday near the village of Kifl Haris, in the Salfit governorate.

Far-right extremists injure 2 Border Police cops in flashpoint West Bank outpost, Times of Israel
Two Border Police officers were mildly injured in clashes with a group of ultra-nationalist “hilltop youth” settlers at a flashpoint outpost in the northern West Bank early Friday morning.

Annexation Puts EU-Israel Cooperation at Risk, EU Foreign Policy Chief Says, Haaretz
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell reiterated the regional institution’s rejection of the prospect of Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank on Wednesday, saying it could put the relationship between the EU and Israel in jeopardy. 

Cars in Palestinian town vandalized, tagged in apparent hate crime, Times of Israel
Palestinians in the northern West Bank village of Luban a-Sharqiya woke up Thursday morning to discover their town had been targeted in an apparent hate attack, with 17 vehicles vandalized and a bus daubed with Hebrew graffiti.

Opinion and Analysis

Yes, It’s Israeli Apartheid. Even Without Annexation, Haaretz
Michael Sfard writes, “In recent months, I have studied the issue in depth and, in a legal opinion I authored for the Yesh Din rights group, I came to a disheartening conclusion on this term’s relevancy for describing the type of control wielded by Israel in the West Bank. Yes, even without annexation.”