News Roundup for July 13, 2022

July 13, 2022
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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

Battles Over Israel Policy Wreck Democratic Primaries, The Washington Post
“Two pro-Israel outside groups have poured more than $21 million into ads and mailers backing candidates in Democratic primaries for more than a dozen House seats, most of them in safe Democratic districts. They’re doing battle in several races with a new super PAC started by J Street, a progressive group that supports Israel but has been critical of its occupation of the Palestinian territories.”

Liberal Pro-Israel Group J Street Launches $700K Ad Campaign To Boost Levin in Primary, The Detroit News
“J Street Action Fund said Tuesday it’s spending $700,000 on a TV ad campaign in the district to boost Levin of Bloomfield Township three weeks out from the Aug. 2 primary. J Street spokesman Logan Bayroff said the $700,000 campaign is the Action Fund’s largest single expenditure in a race yet this election cycle behind the Democratic primary in Maryland’s 4th District. J Street decided to get involved in the Michigan contest in response to large spending in the 11th by the United Democracy Project, a super political action committee affiliated with AIPAC that’s misrepresenting Levin as anti-Israel, Bayroff said. “We wish that this race hadn’t been turned into this ridiculous litmus test about Israel,” Brayoff said. “But we’re not going to leave strong, principled Democrats who are friends and allies of J Street and our movement undefended when they’re facing this kind of onslaught of right-wing money.””

Politico Playbook: Primary Colors, Politico
“J Street is jumping into the member-on-member Democratic primary between Michigan Reps. Andy Levin and Haley Stevens with a $700,000 TV ad buy on Levin’s behalf, as the race becomes “one of the key battlegrounds in the party’s evolving rift over Israel,” CNN’s Gregory Krieg reports. The group says the expenditure comes in response to Stevens’ ad support from an AIPAC-affiliated super PAC.”

J Street Action Fund Launches $700,000 Independent Expenditure Campaign in MI-11’s Levin-Stevens Primary, J Street
“J Street Action Fund, the independent expenditure arm of the leading pro-Israel, pro-peace group J Street, announced today a major $700,000 TV ad campaign in Michigan-11’s highly competitive Democratic primary between Reps. Andy Levin and Haley Stevens. The group’s ads highlight Stevens’ reliance on millions of dollars in support from the right-wing group AIPAC and its GOP megadonor-funded SuperPAC.”

Top News and Analysis

Biden Heads to Israel, Kicking off First Middle East Trip as President, NBC News
President Joe Biden will arrive in Israel Wednesday for his first trip to the Middle East as president looking to show support for that nation amid low expectations that his visit will lead to any fundamental shift in the growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. While most presidents have centered their visits to Israel around trying to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there are no indications from Biden administration officials that there are plans to do anything more than reaffirm Biden’s support for a two-state solution.

Senate Democrats Criticize Biden Administration’s Probe Of Palestinian Journalist’s Death, Forbes
A group of Democratic senators criticized a U.S.-led review of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s death, arguing the probe — which didn’t definitively conclude who killed Abu Akleh but said it was likely an Israeli soldier — “hardly constitutes an independent investigation,” amid scrutiny of a shooting that amplified Israel-Palestine tensions.


Nine EU States Reject Israeli ‘Terrorist’ Designation for Palestinian NGOs, Reuters
Nine European Union states said on Tuesday they would continue working with the six Palestinian civil society groups that Israel designated terrorist associations last year, citing a lack of evidence for that claim.

Ahead of Biden Visit, Israel Delays Hearing on Construction in East Jerusalem, The Times of Israel
Israel will delay a meeting to advance housing projects for both Jewish and Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem that was scheduled to take place days after US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel.

Israel to Train Arab Teachers to Work in Hebrew-speaking Schools, Haaretz
The Education Ministry will train Arab teachers with the goal of integrating them in Jewish schools for the coming school year starting in September. The training programs are partly an attempt to overcome the shortage of teachers in non-religious Hebrew-speaking state schools – and also to provide a respite for the high unemployment rate of Arab teachers.

Nitzan Horowitz to Step Down as Meretz Head, The Jerusalem Post
Meretz head Nitzan Horowitz will not run for the chairmanship of his party in the upcoming primaries, paving the way for current MK Yair Golan to head Meretz. Health Minister Horowitz, who led Meretz in the second, third and fourth elections in the current cycle that began in 2019, said he will remain on the faction list for the upcoming Knesset election on November 1.

Opinion and Analysis

Former Security-Diplomatic Chiefs Speak on Biden’s Visit, The Jerusalem Post
Members of Commanders for Israel’s Security Matan Vilnai, Ami Ayalon, Nimrod Novik and Tamir Pardo write, “As elsewhere in a world riddled by conflicts, when it comes to taking the lead in carving a better future, the US is indispensable.”

Five Decades, Ten Visits: Biden’s Unique History With Israel, Haaretz
Allison Kaplan Sommer reflects, “U.S. President Joe Biden is a self-declared Zionist with a genuine love of Israel. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t experienced some rocky moments with Israeli leaders during his 50 years in politics.”