News Roundup for July 27, 2021

July 28, 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

The J Street Community Mourns the Terrible Loss and Celebrates the Amazing Life of Ilya Braverman, Z’’L, J Street
“On Sunday, July 25, 2021, the J Street family suffered the terrible loss of one our most beloved, talented and respected members and leaders, National Political Director Ilya Braverman. It’s simply impossible to overstate just how special, how important and how appreciated Ilya was as a person and as a colleague. In his over seven years at J Street, he worked his way from an initial position as a development assistant to his later roles as a critical member of J Street’s political team and ultimately as the team’s leader. In that time, he consistently showed the passion, dedication, brilliance and kindness that made him so well-liked, admired and valued.”

Ben & Jerry’s board chair says ‘I am not anti-Semitic’ as Unilever disavows BDS movement, JTA
“On Tuesday, a coalition of Israeli progressives took out a full-page ad in Haaretz, a left-leaning newspaper, to thank Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the Jewish founders of the eponymous ice cream company. […] The ad comes on the heels of a letter signed by seven left-wing American Jewish groups, including J Street, the New Israel Fund and the liberal rabbinic organization T’ruah urging governors not to penalize Ben & Jerry’s or Unilever for the settlement boycott.”

Top News and Analysis

Swastika found etched into State Department elevator, Axios
A swastika was found on Monday etched into the wall of a State Department elevator near the office of its special envoy to monitor and combat anti-semitism, according to a person familiar with the discovery and a picture obtained by Axios. The defacement raises troubling questions about security inside the nation’s foreign policy nerve center, and the potential for antisemitism within an outward-facing element of the United States government.

Countdown to the airstrike: the moment Israeli forces hit al-Jalaa tower, Gaza (multimedia), The Guardian
First comes the warning call – then the race to evacuate. Residents of a Gaza apartment block recall the frantic minutes before their homes to were turned to rubble

Scoop: Israel launches maximum pressure campaign against Ben & Jerry’s, Axios
The Israeli government has formed a special task force to pressure Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and its parent company Unilever to reverse their decision to boycott Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli officials tell me. The Israeli government is concerned the move by Ben & Jerry’s will encourage other international companies to take similar steps to differentiate between Israel and the West Bank settlements. A classified Foreign Ministry cable, seen by Axios, makes clear the government wants to send a message.


Israel Begins Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine for At-Risk Children Under 12 as Delta Cases Surge, Wall Street Journal
Israel authorized the use of Pfizer Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine for vulnerable children between five and 11 years old, as cases of the highly contagious Delta variant rise sharply. Israeli officials said young children should be given the shot if they have a high likelihood of serious illness or death from Covid-19 because of underlying conditions such as severe obesity, chronic lung disease, immunosuppression or heart failure.

Palestinian killed by Israeli troops in West Bank, AP
Palestinian health officials said a man was shot and killed on Tuesday by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli military said the man approached troops wielding an iron bar. Shadi Omar, 41, was shot near the town of Beita, where residents have held weeks of protests against an unauthorized Israeli settlement outpost.

Bloomberg doesn’t disclose potential conflict in op-ed promoting Israel arms deal, Responsible Statecraft
Last Friday, Bloomberg published an op-ed by former U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross, making the evergreen Iran hawk argument that now is the time to provide Israel with the GBU-57 “mountain buster” bomb and the aircraft to carry the ordinance, the B-2 bomber. […] Ross and Bloomberg neglected to disclose that the former diplomat may have a financial conflict of interest in advocating for the export of these specific weapons to destroy Iranian nuclear sites: Ross is a senior adviser at WestExec Advisers, a firm whose client list includes Boeing, the manufacturer of the GBU-57 bomb and the B-2 bomber.

Iran’s supreme leader criticizes US as nuclear talks stalled, AP
Iran’s supreme leader on Wednesday called the U.S. “stubborn” in stalled nuclear talks in Vienna for discussing Tehran’s missiles and regional influence, likely signaling challenges ahead in efforts to revive its tattered atomic accord with world powers. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks come as his hard-line protege, President-elect Ebrahim Raisi, is posed to be sworn in next week as the head of the country’s civilian government.

PA admits fault for activist’s death — then continues assaults on critics, +972 Magazine
The Palestinian Authority has taken responsibility for Nizar Banat’s killing, but its crackdown has only escalated since, in some cases amounting to torture.

Hill Republicans make push for UNRWA reforms with new bill, Jewish Insider
Congressional Republicans are pushing to reform or cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) — the U.N. agency tasked with providing aid to Palestinians — after the Biden administration restored funding cut by former President Donald Trump to the often-criticized body.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel Is Ignoring the Trumpist Elephant in the Room – and It’s a Dangerously Flawed Approach, Haaretz
Alon Pinkas writes, “Contrary to conventional wisdom, the problem Israel may be facing in the long run is arguably not from ultra-liberal groups supporting Democrats, but from the Trumpist base in the Republican Party”

How does reconciliation start in Israeli Palestinian conflict?, Jerusalem Post
Iyad Muhsen Aldajani writes, “I have a dream that the sons of former Israeli soldiers and the sons of Palestinians who suffered for years in Israeli prisons sit down at the table of a brotherhood of nations. I have a dream that the granddaughter of an Israeli who barely survived a bomb attack in Tel Aviv and the granddaughter of a Palestinian who barely survived a shooting in his West Bank hometown say of each other: She is my best friend and I can rely on her more than on anybody else in this world. This is because we have so much in common.”

The State That Cried Antisemitism, Haaretz
B. Michael writes, “Israel is currently the world’s largest antisemitism accelerator. That’s mainly due to its own evil, its actions and its policies, but also due to its having the chutzpah to declare itself the state of the “Jewish people” as a whole.”