News Roundup for July 25, 2022

July 25, 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

Under Attack by AIPAC, Jewish Congressman Turns to Progressive Allies, The Forward
“Andy Levin, a two-term Jewish congressman from Detroit, is getting help from his progressive allies as he pushes back against an aggressive campaign by pro-Israel groups. Levin is competing with Rep. Haley Stevens in a rare incumbent-vs.-incumbent Democratic primary to represent Michigan’s redrawn 11th Congressional District…Levin said he’s “super concerned” about AIPAC’s money having an impact on the election. Last week, AIPAC scored a victory in a Democratic primary in Maryland, helping defeat former Congresswoman Donna Edwards with a $6 million ad buy. J Street recently announced a $700,000 investment to boost Levin. ”

Battles Over Israel Divide Democratic Primaries, Politico
“The top issues driving Democratic voters right now include rising prices, abortion rights, gun violence and threats to democracy. But the top spender in Democratic primaries is singularly focused on Israel — and fights over the issue are rending the party in district after district. The latest one is a deep-blue slice of suburban Detroit, where the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC, is showering Michigan’s 11th District with ads boosting Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.). Spending through the group’s super PAC has topped $22 million across nine safe-seat Democratic primaries so far, paying for slashing negative ads against a number of largely progressive candidates…The super PAC’s funding has also drawn scrutiny: Former Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), lost a primary in which AIPAC spent more than $4 million against her, described the spending as “Republican donors meddling in Democratic primaries.” Indeed, the biggest contributors to United Democracy Project include some of the biggest GOP megadonors, such as hedge funder Paul Singer and Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, along with Democratic backers such as media mogul Haim Saban. This line of attack is being used against Stevens in a TV ad, paid for by J Street, a liberal pro-Israel advocacy group that has often battled with AIPAC and is backing Levin in Michigan. “Haley Stevens is taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from a group that’s supporting Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election,” the ad’s narrator says, including footage of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.”

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Forces Kill 2 Palestinians in West Bank Gun Battle, NPR
Israeli troops and special forces on an arrest mission exchanged fire with Palestinians barricaded in a house in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, Israeli police said. The local rescue service said two Palestinians were killed. Israeli police said a number of armed Palestinians were killed during the hours-long battle deep inside the city of Nablus, without specifying. Police said no Israeli forces were wounded. The Palestinian Red Crescent said the two men were killed in clashes with the military in Nablus and identified them as Aboud Sobh, 29, and Muhammad Al-Azizi, 22. The rescue service said 19 Palestinians were wounded, including two critically.

Israel Arrests Nine Palestinians Suspected of Recruiting Hamas Members in East Jerusalem, Haaretz
Israeli police and the Shin Bet arrested nine people suspected of attempting to recruit Palestinians from East Jerusalem to Hamas’ ranks, the agencies revealed on Monday. An investigation revealed that the suspects were in continuous contact with Hamas members living abroad, who directed and financed the operation.


Documents Reveal Advanced AI Tools Google Is Selling to Israel, The Intercept
Google employees, who have been kept in the dark about the “Nimbus” AI project, have concerns about Israeli human rights abuses.

Israel’s Initial Monkeypox Vaccine Rollout to Focus On HIV-positive and At-risk Men, The Times of Israel
An initial shipment of several thousand doses of monkeypox vaccine is slated to arrive in Israel this week, with shots expected to be rolled out by the weekend to those considered most as risk of contracting the virus.

Iran Says It Dismantled Group With Ties to Israel’s Mossad, AP
Iran claimed on Saturday that its intelligence agents dismantled a group linked to the Israeli spy agency Mossad, which had allegedly planned terror operations inside Iran.

‘Climate Crisis Will Lead to Increase in Unstoppable Massive Wildfires in Israel’, Haaretz
The climate crisis is expected to cause an increase in massive wildfires in Israel, particularly in populated areas, which will constitute “immediate danger to life and property,” according to a special climate crisis committee of the Israel Fire and Rescue Services. The frequency and intensity of the fires may cause the collapse of the firefighting system, which will be unable to cope, warns the committee.

Opinion and Analysis

How the Cyberwar Between Iran and Israel Has Intensified, The Washington Post
Gil Baram writes, “Israel and Iran have shifted from traditional covertness and ambiguity to an increasingly public forum. Considering what has unfolded over the past two years, it appears the international community does not view these types of cyber-intrusions as crossing a certain threshold of violating international law, as no other country has addressed them. And the objectives of these cyberattacks have shifted from mostly defense targets to disruptions of critical infrastructure and civilian life. The greater the public exposure to these cyberattacks, the greater the risk that they could extend beyond cyberspace and influence other areas of this conflict, too.”

While We Were Cracking Down on Ben & Jerry’s , NJ Jewish News
J Street New Jersey Leader Mark Lurinsky argues, “It’s long past time that our elected officials take the existential threat to the Jewish people of white supremacy as seriously as they take the boycotts of Israel, which make little to no dent in the country’s success. Both here in New Jersey, and on Capitol Hill, making Ben & Jerry’s a whipping boy in the propaganda war, while refusing to do anything to prevent organized white supremacist antisemitic violence, only hurts our communities further.”