News Roundup for June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024
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.

Top News and Analysis

The UN Security Council Endorses US Cease-Fire Plan to End the War in Gaza, NPR
After a 14 to 0 vote on Monday, with Russia abstaining, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the council is sending a clear message to the Palestinian militant group Hamas. “This resolution sent a very clear, strong, unified message to Hamas that they accept the cease-fire deal that we put on the table and end this war immediately,” she told NPR’s All Things Considered on Monday. “Accept the deal, release the hostages, more aid will flow to Palestinians, and the cease-fire will continue as long as negotiations will continue.”

Death Toll From Israeli Hostage Rescue Adds to Legal Scrutiny of Gaza War, The Washington Post
Hamas’s tactics do not excuse Israel from legal culpability, according to experts in international law, which requires militaries to take all possible precautions to prevent civilian harm. The principle of proportionality prohibits armies from inflicting civilian casualties that are excessive in relation to the direct military advantage anticipated at the time of the strike. “The fact that your adversary is breaking international humanitarian law does not change your obligations,” said Adil Haque, a law professor at Rutgers Law School.

Blinken Pushes Israel on Postwar Gaza Plans as Pressure Mounts on Hamas to Accept Cease-Fire Plan, AP
The militant group still has not formally responded to the proposal it received 10 days ago. Blinken again urged Hamas to accept it, saying it has wide international support and Israel has accepted it, though Netanyahu has expressed skepticism. “I know that there are those who are pessimistic about the prospects,” Blinken told reporters before leaving Cairo for Israel on the trip that also will take him to Jordan and Qatar. “That’s understandable. Hamas continues to show extraordinary cynicism in its actions, a disinterest not only in the well-being and security of Israelis but also Palestinians.”

‘Bring Them Home’ Means Different Things to Israelis and American Jews, JTA
The two rallies and competing messages demonstrate a divide between many American Jews and Israelis, both marching under the banner of “free the hostages.” In Israel, many if not most advocates for the hostages have been vocal in criticizing their government and calling for a ceasefire; in the United States, Jewish groups and individuals have been invoking the hostages either in apolitical gestures of solidarity, or to defend the aims of the war.


Hamas Says It Accepts UN-Backed Gaza Truce Plan, US Cites ‘Hopeful Sign’, Reuters
Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri, who is based outside Gaza, said it accepted the ceasefire resolution and was ready to negotiate over the details. It was up to Washington to ensure that Israel abides by it, he added. Blinken said the Hamas statement was “a hopeful sign” but definitive word was still needed from the Hamas leadership inside Israeli-besieged Gaza. “That’s what counts, and that’s what we don’t have yet.”

Israel’s Parliament Revives Bill on Drafting Ultra-Orthodox Men Into Military, The New York Times
If the Supreme Court can be persuaded that Mr. Netanyahu’s government is making a serious effort to address the issue, the justices may give the Knesset time to pass a law. If not, the court may decide to order immediate action, and that could lead to a crisis for Mr. Netanyahu, whose coalition relies on the support of the ultra-Orthodox.

Sinwar Tells Hamas Officials That Gaza Civilians Killed Are ‘Necessary Sacrifices’, Haaretz
In written correspondence revealed by the Wall Street Journal, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar told Hamas officials in Qatar that “things went out of control” on October 7′ and that the deaths of civilians in Gaza would “infuse life into the veins of this nation.” The correspondence also shows that Sinwar was convinced that Israel had much more to lose in the war than Hamas did.

On the Israel-Lebanon Border, a War Is Unfolding in Slow Motion, The Washington Post
U.S. negotiators are trying to head off an escalation, but Israel is under growing domestic pressure to halt the Hezbollah launches and allow more than 60,000 displaced civilians to return to their homes after eight months of living in hotels and shelters around the country. A poll Friday by the Hebrew-language daily Maariv found that 62 percent of Israelis support the idea of a decisive attack on Hezbollah.

Pentagon Says Israel Did Not Use Gaza Pier in Hostage Operation, Reuters
Pentagon spokesperson Major General Patrick Ryder pushed back “on some of the inaccurate social media allegations,” stressing that the pier was not used during the Israeli military operation on Saturday to rescue four hostages held by Hamas. Ryder acknowledged that there were Israeli helicopter operations “near” the pier.

Four Troops Killed in Booby-Trapped Building as Fighting Rages in Rafah, Central Gaza, The Times of Israel
Their deaths brought the number of troops killed during Israel’s ground offensive against Hamas in Gaza and amid operations along the border to 300. The toll includes a police officer killed on Saturday during an operation to rescue four hostages.

UN Will Declare That Both Israel and Hamas Are Violating Children’s Rights in Armed Conflict, ABC News
The inclusion of Israel will likely just put more of a global spotlight on the country’s conduct of the war in Gaza and increase already high tensions in its relationship with the global body. The preface of last year’s UN report says it lists parties engaged in “the killing and maiming of children, rape and other forms of sexual violence perpetrated against children, attacks on schools, hospitals and protected persons.”

Still Favored, Biden to Lose Support From US Jews in November Election, Survey Shows, Haaretz
The survey found that 7 percent of Jewish-Americans – a figure described by the commissioning organization as “shocking” – have considered moving to another country since October 7 because of rising antisemitism. A significant share of Jewish-Americans, according to the survey, feel more connected both to Israel and to their Jewish identity since the Hamas attack. Among the younger generation, however, that is not the case.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel’s ‘War Cabinet’ Just Fell Apart. What Happens Now?, Vox
Zack Beauchamp writes, “To make a truly meaningful change, Gantz and his allies in the opposition would need to persuade five Knesset members to leave the current governing coalition and vote to call new elections. It’s possible that could happen, but there are no guarantees. Were the government to fall, it would be a really big deal. It’s arguably the most plausible scenario by which the war could end. And we’re definitely somewhat closer to that reality than we were with Gantz in government.”

Antisemitism and the Fight for Democracy [Video], Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Spitalnick and Stacy Burdett
Listen to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Spitalnick of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and Stacy Burdett in conversation about antisemitism and the fight for democracy.

Will the Real Opposition Stand Up: Is Anyone Trying to Save Israel From Netanyahu, Endless War and Isolation?, Haaretz
Dahlia Scheindlin shares, “The defense minister has done a strange dance to act defiant while being complicit. He has said nothing about leaving the government. He has not managed to convince any fellow members of Likud or Netanyahu’s cabinet to leave the government. He told an important truth about what permanent military grip over Gaza means for Israel (“bloodshed and many victims,” and an all-consuming military sinkhole), but he is an architect of Israel’s wartime policies too. If he takes no action to stop the government, his words of warning mean little.”

Relationships, Not Laws, Dismantle Antisemitism, The Star-Ledger
Rabbi Elliott Tepperman, co-chair of J Street’s Rabbinic and Cantorial Cabinet, writes, “Laws proscribing language are counterproductive, even when born of righteous indignation or well-founded fear. They impede the open conversations we need to create trust and understanding. The Jewish community needs partners in the fight against antisemitism, and partners who support a just, sustainable peace for Israelis and Palestinians. Trust cannot be legislated. It can only ever be earned, through discourse, some of which will be hard to hear.”