News Roundup for July 5, 2023

July 5, 2023
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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

US Jewish Orgs: Netanyahu Bears ‘Ultimate Responsibility’ for Settler ‘Pogroms’ and ‘Terrorism’, Haaretz
“Twelve US Jewish groups issued a joint statement on Monday expressing “growing anguish and horror” over the recent wave of “violent attacks by Jewish Israeli settlers against Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank.” “As leaders of the American Jewish community, we cannot and will not stand idly by,” read the statement, signed by a number of progressive organizations – including the Union for Reform Judaism, the New Israel Fund, J Street and the National Council for Jewish Women.”

Top News and Analysis

A Year of Fighting Between Israel and the Palestinians Just Escalated. Is This an Uprising?, AP
Airstrikes targeting Palestinian militants in a crowded residential area. Armored bulldozers plowing through narrow streets, crushing cars and piling up debris. Protesters burning tires. A mounting death toll. Israel’s large-scale military raid into the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank on Monday had undeniable similarities with the second Palestinian uprising of the early 2000s — a period that claimed thousands of lives. But the current fighting is also different from those intense years of violence.

Eight Injured in Tel Aviv Car Ramming and Stabbing Attack, Israeli Officials Say, CNN
Eight people were injured after a car driver rammed into pedestrians near a Tel Aviv shopping center and then got out of the vehicle to stab civilians, Israeli officials said Tuesday. The attack came as Israeli forces continued military operations in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin for a second night, a day after incursions killed at least 10 people between the ages of 16 and 23, and injured about 100 others. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, and said it was a response to Israel’s ongoing operation in Jenin.

Israeli Forces Begin Withdrawal from Jenin as Rockets Fired from Gaza, The Guardian
Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired five rockets toward Israel, the military said in the early hours of Wednesday, as its forces began to withdraw from the Palestinian city of Jenin after carrying out one of their biggest military operations in the occupied West Bank for years. The rockets from Gaza were intercepted and there were no immediate reports of casualties.


UN Mobilizes Humanitarian Aid for Residents of Jenin as Thousands Flee From Israeli Army, Haaretz
Israel’s operation in Jenin’s refugee camp entered its second day on Tuesday, as a humanitarian crisis begins to escalate for the more than 15,000 residents of the camp who live in less than half a square kilometer of space. “There are bulldozers destroying the streets, snipers are inside and on roofs of houses, drones are hitting houses and Palestinians are killed in the streets,” said Jamal Huweil, a political activist in the camp.

US Does Not Condemn Israel’s Raid in Jenin, Urges Cooperation with Palestinians, Al-Monitor
The United States government is closely following but is not condemning the ongoing Israeli military operation in the West Bank town of Jenin, which has left by Monday eight Palestinians dead. “We have seen the reports and are monitoring the situation closely. We support Israel’s security and right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups,” a statement issued by an unnamed spokesperson of the US National Security Council said.

Israelis Protest at International Airport Against Judicial Overhaul Plan, AP
Thousands of Israelis blocked traffic and snarled movement at the country’s main international airport on Monday, the latest mass demonstration over Benjamin Netanyahu’s contentious planned judicial overhaul that has divided the nation. The Netanyahu government’s push to pass several overlapping reforms to the country’s judiciary has plunged Israel into an unprecedented crisis and divided an already highly polarized country. Protesters blocked the main thoroughfare outside Ben Gurion Airport’s main terminal and demonstrated inside the arrivals hall.

Knesset Panel Advances Bill to End ‘Reasonableness’ Test for Politicians’ Decisions, The Times of Israel
A controversial bill to shield elected officials from judicial scrutiny over the “reasonableness” of their decisions could come for its first of three Knesset floor votes as early as this coming Monday, after the parliamentary committee preparing the bill approved it for the plenum on Tuesday. The Knesset’s Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee readied the bill after only five discussions, held over the past nine days, and despite criticism from experts and the opposition.

Opinion and Analysis

Netanyahu’s Attack on Jenin Shows Weakness. The Palestinians are Weak Too – and Therein Lies the Danger, The Guardian
Simon Tisdall writes, “It all seems numbingly familiar, except perhaps for terrified young families caught in the chaos. Israel’s security chiefs view Jenin as a “safe haven” for terrorists that must be eradicated. Armed Palestinians there say they are protecting communities from daily attacks by the IDF and Jewish settlers, in which hundreds have died in the past 18 months. Both have a point. Yet both cleave weakly to the same old script, repeating past mistakes, scheming fresh horrors, and forever bound together by mutual fear, intransigence, and a sorry failure to reimagine the future.”

How Israel’s Raids on Jenin Led to a Major West Bank Military Operation, The Washington Post
Ruby Mellen, Joe Snell and Eve Sampson note, “Israel launched its largest military operation in the West Bank in two decades Monday in the city of Jenin, a hub of militant activity that Israeli forces have targeted repeatedly this year. Israel’s far-right government, which came to power in December, has made it a priority to crack down on the refugee camp inside Jenin, which it says is harboring fighters who have carried out — or are planning to launch — attacks inside Israel.”

Israel’s Army Chief Is Complicit in Jewish Terror, Haaretz
Avner Gvaryahu argues, “The army has long since ceased “standing idly by.” Its complicity is a legacy Halevi received in full from his predecessor, Aviv Kochavi. The army Halevi commands today serves as an armed security force for the lawbreakers, so that they can return home safely at the end of their pogrom. In reality, the distinction between the army and the lawbreakers often no longer exists. On the ground, a hybrid organism of soldiers and pogromists has already evolved.”