News Roundup for July 10, 2023

July 10, 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.

Top News and Analysis

Biden Calls Out ‘Most Extreme’ Israeli Government for Fueling Tensions With Palestinians, Haaretz
US President Joe Biden on Sunday slammed members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right coalition for exacerbating tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, calling it “one of the most extreme” governments he has seen in his decades in politics. Biden also said that an Israel-Saudi normalization deal is “a long way off.”

Palestinians, Facing Political Stagnation, Despair After Israeli Raid, The New York Times
After two days of violence left 12 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier dead, the Israelis pulled out on Wednesday, leaving behind damaged homes, broken infrastructure and renewed rage at Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. But it was mixed with frustration with the Palestinians’ own leaders for their failure to chart a better future for their people, much less to protect them.


Protests Across Israel Ahead of Vote on Judicial Overhaul Bill Vote, CNN
Large crowds of protesters across Israel have come out in the 27th consecutive week of demonstrations against the government’s judicial overhaul plans. Organizers say protesters are out in force and estimate 365,000 people have come out in cities around the country, with 180,000 people in the streets of central Tel Aviv alone. The protests come just before the bill to lessen judicial oversight of the executive and legislative branches will get its first reading in the Knesset, the national legislature, on Monday.

Israeli Government Tells High Court It Plans to Legalize West Bank Outpost of Homesh, Haaretz
The Israeli government notified the country’s High Court on Friday that it plans to legalize the West Bank outpost of Homesh. The state gave its position as part of a discussion on a petition filed by the Palestinian landowners to evacuate Homesh claiming that construction at the location is illegal and that settlers are blocking them from accessing their land. Homesh was one of the four West Bank settlements dismantled in 2005 as Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, and has become a symbol for the settler movement.

Security Cabinet Votes in Favor of Steps to ‘Prevent PA’s Collapse’, The Times of Israel
Ministers in the high-level security cabinet voted in favor of a series of measures aimed at bolstering the Palestinian Authority on Sunday, though they included steps that have remained unimplemented in the past, and it was unclear whether they would be translated into significant action. The far-right’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich abstained and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir voted against, having vowed to oppose the measures.

Israeli Security Chiefs Helpless as Government Ignores Settler Violence, Al-Monitor
Israeli security chiefs are increasingly concerned over the uptick in Jewish attacks and violence against West Bank Palestinians being ignored and even tacitly accepted by Israel’s political leadership. The phenomenon has expanded to the point that leading progressive Jewish groups in the United States issued on Monday a joint statement, expressing “growing anguish and horror” over the recent wave of violent attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians, and urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop “excusing” and “protecting” the perpetrators.

The UN Refuses to Retract its Condemnation of Israel Over the Jenin Military Operation, AP
Israel’s United Nations ambassador called on Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to retract his condemnation of the country for its excessive use of force in its largest military operation in two decades targeting a refugee camp in the West Bank. UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said the secretary-general conveyed his views on Thursday “and he stands by those views.” Guterre said the operation left over 100 civilians injured, uprooted thousands of residents, damaged schools and hospitals, and disrupted water and electricity networks.

Opinion and Analysis

4 Inconvenient Realities of Israel’s Jenin Operation, Foreign Policy
Aaron David Miller notes, “Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant portrayed the operation as a tactical success and said its objectives had been “fully achieved.” […] Yet beneath the rhetoric and confiscated weapons inventory lies a more complex reality. Even before the Jenin incursion—and now certainly after—Israelis and Palestinians remain trapped in a volatile, bloody cul-de-sac with little prospect of a way out. Several inconvenient truths guarantee it.”

Netanyahu Leads Israel Into the Abyss, The Times of Israel
David Horovitz argues, “One man could have averted the national tragedy that has been unfolding these past six months — the man who initiated it, Benjamin Netanyahu. But he has an agenda, too: maintaining power — with whoever will support him, and evidently, as we are about to see, at almost any cost to our miraculous, riven and essential country.”

Settler Violence in the West Bank: Why is it Surging & Who Can Stop It?, J Street
Eliza Schloss writes, “While settler violence has been an ongoing, near-daily threat for some Palestinians for many years, a significant escalation in attacks has occurred under Prime Minister Netanyahu’s far-right, pro-settler government. Israeli human rights groups say the campaigns of harassment and intimidation against Palestinian families are fueled by the goals of pushing Palestinians out of their homes, claiming more land for Israeli settlements and solidifying permanent, undemocratic Israeli control over Palestinian territory.”