News Roundup for July 14, 2022

July 14, 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.

Top News and Analysis

Biden Expands US Security Ties With Israel as He Works to Counter Iran on Second Day of Middle East Swing, CNN
President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday signed a new joint declaration aimed at expanding the security relationship between their nations and countering efforts by Iran to destabilize the region, according to senior administration officials.

Israeli Forces Killed 60 Palestinians in Just Six Months, Haaretz
Sixty Palestinians were killed in incidents involving the Israeli security forces in the West Bank over the first six months of 2022, compared to 70 such deaths in the whole of 2021. So far, Israeli Military Police investigators have opened investigations into just over a quarter of the incidents. The number of deadly incidents was significantly lower in previous years: 19 in 2020 and 20 in 2019.



Steps Toward Saudi-Israel Normalization Expected Around Biden Visit, Axios
Steps toward normalizing relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel are expected to be announced over the weekend after President Biden meets in Jeddah with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Disagreeing With Lapid, Biden Says Diplomacy ‘the Best Way’ to Counter Iran, The Times of Israel
US President Joe Biden publicly disagrees with Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s insistence that diplomacy won’t stop Iran’s nuclear program. “I continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way,” he says. At the same time, Biden says that there is “an ironclad commitment from the United States of America to Israel’s security.”

In Israel, Biden Vows to Uphold Israel’s Security, Support Two-State Solution, Haaretz
U.S. President Joe Biden reaffirmed commitment to Israel’s security and regional cooperation after landing in the country Wednesday, saying the U.S. would partner “with Israel on the most cutting edge defenses in the world,” while continuing to work “to advance Israel’s integration in the region.”

Senate Democrats Criticize U.S. Handing of Abu Akleh Investigation, Jewish Insider
In two separate letters sent on Tuesday, Senate Democrats — including pro-Israel stalwart Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) — criticized as insufficient the Biden administration’s handling of the investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Opinion and Analysis

We, Shireen Abu Akleh’s Family, Want a Meeting With Joe Biden, Al Jazeera
Shireen Abu Akleh’s niece Lina Abu Akleh writes, “There is nothing the Biden administration can do to bring my aunt back. Biden won’t be able to revive the plans that Shireen and I had to travel to the US this summer, or restore Shireen’s tradition of playing classical Arabic music for my siblings and me on long car rides, making us guess the singer’s name. He won’t be able to return to me the person I considered not only my aunt, but my confidante, mentor, and my best friend. Nonetheless, we hope Biden will sit down with us and be willing to hear from us what we expect the US government to do to ensure that Shireen’s killer is held accountable.”

Welcome to Bethlehem, President Biden. We Need Your Help, The Forward
Human rights lawyer Allegra Pacheco explains the effects of the occupation on those living in Bethlehem, noting, “[T]o be frank, we’ve had enough of this diplomatic game — the superficial road beautification projects for a brief visit to discuss the possibility of proposed steps to restore an unsuccessful 30-year negotiation process. We’ll trade the shrubs, the paved road and a photo-op at the Church of the Nativity for ending Israeli foreign control over us.”