News Roundup for July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

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

Jews like Joe Biden and want voting protections. But it’s not universal., Washington Post
Jennifer Rubin writes, “Indeed, Republicans’ cult-like reverence for a racist, xenophobic liar continued to turn off the vast majority of American Jews. While the notoriously partisan Republican Jewish Coalition claimed President Biden drew “only” 60 percent of the vote in 2020, a poll commissioned by left-wing J Street put the number at 77 percent (echoing past polling from the Pew Research Center). If the latter is more accurate, Jews are about as loyal to the Democratic Party as White evangelical Christians are to the GOP. A new poll suggests either the J Street poll was correct — or that Jews have returned in even stronger numbers to the Democratic Party.”

Daily Kickoff, Jewish Insider
The American Jewish Committee is planning to hold its annual Global Forum in person next May, and the Jewish Federations of North America will hold a hybrid General Assembly, limiting in-person participation to 500 attendees while providing virtual programming for a wider audience, both organizations informed JI. J Street plans to hold its annual national conference in person in April 2022, with a virtual option for those who cannot physically attend. “Of course we’ll be closely monitoring the guidance of the CDC and local health authorities as to the best ways to hold the conference safely,” Logan Bayroff, J Street’s vice president of communications, told JI.

Two-Way Street for Tisha B’Av | Not One or the Other but Rather a Third Choice, J Street
Rabbi Beth Janus writes, “Their world burned. Their beliefs shattered. Evil surrounded and suffocated them. People were slaughtered. The Temple crumbled. Every year on Tisha B’Av we remember this historic trauma from almost 2000 years ago. This particular year, the backdrop of our commemoration is the 11 days of violence in May that once again roiled our Holy Land. We witnessed riots, rockets, demolition and death in Israel and the Occupied Territories. For each of the over 250 people killed, including at least 68 children, the entirety of their world collapsed.”

Top News and Analysis

Israeli demolition in West Bank sparked tensions with top Democrat, Axios
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) last week called Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to protest over the demolition of a house in the West Bank owned by a Palestinian American accused of carrying out a terror attack, Israeli officials tell me. The demolition — which sparked the Biden administration’s first criticism of the new Israeli government on the Palestinian issue — took place while Meeks was leading a bipartisan delegation to Israel.

Inside Palestine with Rashid Khalidi (podcast), Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes
To understand the grinding struggle of life under occupation, the state of Palestinian politics, and the role the United States plays, we’re lucky to hear from one of the most celebrated Palestinian-American intellectuals in the world, Rashid Khalidi.

U.S. prepared to lift nearly all Iran sanctions, Zarif tells parliament, Axios
Outgoing Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in a report to parliament that the Biden administration has agreed to lift almost all U.S. sanctions on Iran to secure a mutual return to the 2015 nuclear deal. The report includes details that hadn’t been made public before now and is the most official and comprehensive Iranian account of the status of the indirect talks with the U.S.


Joint militias: How settlers and soldiers teamed up to kill four Palestinians, The Intercept
A Local Call investigation reveals how on a single day in May, Israeli settlers and soldiers cooperated in attacks that left four Palestinians dead. The unprecedented spate of joint assaults has inaugurated a new era of terror.

Israeli Army Arrests Dozens of Palestinian Students in West Bank on Suspicion of Terrorist Activity, Haaretz
The Israeli army arrested dozens of Palestinian students suspected of terror activity in the West Bank village of Thermos Aya, north of Ramallah, on Wednesday. The army says the suspects belong to a Hamas student cell at Ramallah’s Birzeit University, and that some of them “were directly involved in terrorist activities.” The university says they are concerned about the arrests and are closely following reports, calling on the international community to work toward their release.

Yesh Atid MK contracts COVID, says ‘unreasonable’ to prevent him voting, Times of Israel
A lawmaker in Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party on Wednesday tested positive for coronavirus, in a potential fresh blow to the coalition as it struggles to pass legislation with a razor-thin Knesset majority. After MK Vladimir Beliak was confirmed to have COVID-19, Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash called on the government, which holds jurisdiction over the parliament building, to prevent him from taking part in plenum votes at the Knesset.

Israeli Green Groups: New Government Promoting Environmentally Destructive Projects, Haaretz
The new cabinet is promoting plans destructive to the environment that were set in motion by previous governments, a coalition of Israel’s major green groups said Wednesday. The groups made the statement at a conference following the government’s decision to extend the life of a committee that approves construction plans in open areas, and after the presentation of a plan that would curb the authority of the Environmental Protection Ministry.

Opinion and Analysis

The Holocaust Isn’t Helping America Confront the Resurgence of Fascism, Haaretz
Noah Berlatsky writes, “America loves to talk about the Holocaust: A civic consensus that remembering the genocide in museums, memorials and schools defends our democracy against a return of bigotry and fascism. But something has gone very wrong”

If you oppose banning critical race theory, you need to also reconsider another Pa. law, Philadelphia Inquirer
Abraham Gutman writes, “Just like it’s the right of a teacher to explore racism’s role in American society, it’s the right of any business owner to engage in peaceful protest — including if the reason is to advocate for Palestinian rights. Unlike the proposed CRT ban, the BDS ban passed in bipartisan fashion and with little condemnation. Those who are rightly horrified by the current effort to ban ideas should also call for the repeal of the BDS ban.”

Hey New Israeli Government, Drop ‘Unfeasible’ From the Lexicon, Haaretz
Zvi Bar’el writes, “It turns out that political feasibility or infeasibility isn’t a permanent situation but rather a process. If with same-sex couples the infeasibility disappeared thanks to the High Court, with the peace process the government will have to build feasibility on its own. And the first thing it must do is drop the term ‘unfeasible’ from the lexicon.”