News Roundup for July 29, 2022

July 28, 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

J Street CODEL to Israel, Politico
“A J Street-funded congressional delegation to Israel and Palestinian territories begins Sunday, NatSec Daily has learned. The four Democrats — House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) alongside Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.) and Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) — will visit Israeli communities along the Gaza border; Israeli settlements and Palestinian communities in the West Bank; and Yad Vashem. They’ll also hold meetings with Israeli Prime Minister YAIR LAPID, Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh and civil society and humanitarian groups.”

AIPAC’s Huge Investment in Primary Campaigns Is Paying Off — But at What Price Down the Road?, JTA
“Spending by UDP has made Israel, an issue few Americans are invested in, a front and center electoral issue in major races. AIPAC hopes to once again narrow a definition of pro-Israel that liberal groups like J Street have succeeded in expanding in the last 15 years. And, with UDP’s focus only on Democratic primaries, the super PAC appears to be proving that a single-issue group is capable of shaping a party to its preferred contours. J Street’s Bayroff said he perceived the aim of the AIPAC-affiliated PACs as narrowing pro-Israel discourse to the uncritical dimensions that flourished prior to the rise of J Street. He noted that UDP was spending millions in a Michigan race pitting two Democratic incumbents against one another because of redistricting. Pro-AIPAC groups are backing Rep. Haley Stevens and opposed the J Street-endorsed candidate, Rep. Andy Levin, a scion of a Jewish political family who is an outspoken promoter of U.S. involvement in nudging Israel and the Palestinians toward a two-state outcome. “They’re making this an extra-polarizing issue,” Bayroff said. “They seem eager to try to make this a divide.””

Top News and Analysis

Senate Democrats Propose Bill Text Linking US Assistance to Israel to Journalist’s Death, The Hill
A group of Senate Democrats are pressing for language in legislation funding the State Department that would require the administration to determine if U.S. assistance to Israel should be blocked if the administration finds Israeli forces committed human rights violations or war crimes related to the killing of an Al Jazeera journalist. The language would require the Secretary of State to submit a report to Congress detailing administration efforts to support an independent investigation into the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, the veteran Al Jazeera journalist and U.S. citizen shot and killed in May while reporting on a security raid by Israeli forces in the West Bank.

One Killed, Six Wounded in Shooting in Israeli Bedouin City, Haaretz
A man was shot to death and six others were wounded on Thursday in a shooting that followed a dispute between two families in the Bedouin city of Rahat in southern Israel. Thirty-old physical education teacher Wisam Abu Ajami was shot to death, another 30-year-old man was severely wounded, a woman aged 40 and two men aged 67 and 20 were moderately wounded, and two others were lightly wounded.


16-year-old Palestinian Killed by Israeli Gunfire in the West Bank, Ramallah Says, Haaretz
A 16-year-old boy was killed by the Israeli army in the West Bank village of al-Mughayyir on Friday, the Palestinian Health Ministry reported. Amjad Nashaat Abu Alia was evacuated to hospital after he was shot in the chest by live fire during clashes, and was pronounced dead shortly after.

Israel, US Decry Rights Monitor’s Remarks as ‘Antisemitic’, AP
Israel, the United States and Britain on Thursday criticized an expert commissioned by the U.N. human rights body to examine the situation in the Middle East, accusing him of antisemitic remarks.

Iran Ramps Up Drone Exports, Signaling Global Ambitions, The New York Times
Iran has made steady advances in the design and production of military drones in recent years, and has stepped up their transfer to militant groups across the Middle East as it seeks to shift the dynamics of battlefields from Yemen to Gaza.

Seeking New Funds, Hamas Raises Taxes in Impoverished Gaza, The Washington Post
Gaza’s Hamas rulers have imposed a slew of new taxes on imported clothes and office supplies just ahead of the new school year, sparking limited but rare protests in the impoverished coastal strip.

Opinion and Analysis

Slain Journalist’s Family Puts Spotlight on Israeli Impunity, The Washington Post
Ishaan Tharoor writes, “For Palestinians, the lack of accountability for Abu Akleh’s death is a parable for the broader injustice of the prevailing status quo — one where millions of Palestinians remain subject to Israeli military occupation, second-class citizens in their own land. They view her killing as yet another example of the impunity with which Israel can operate, and the Biden administration’s response, thus far, as yet another example of the ways with which the United States has historically shielded Israel from censure and scrutiny.”