News Roundup for June 12, 2023

June 12, 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

The Knesset Opposition is Digging its Own Grave, The Jerusalem Post
J Street’s Israel Director Nadav Tamir writes, “The public protest against the regime coup is as important as it gets, but if the opposition members fear confronting the racist bills, the result will be that while their voters are protesting out in the streets, they will assist legislation designed to perpetuate the Likud’s governance, along with its ultra-Orthodox, extremist partners.”

Top News and Analysis

Israel’s Annexation of the West Bank Has Already Begun, Foreign Affairs
Political analyst Dahlia Scheindlin and sociology professor Yael Berda write, “The transfer of authority is in fact the culmination of decades of policies that have guaranteed Israel’s hold on the Palestinian territories. But the government has now crossed a threshold that represents a momentous—and likely cataclysmic—transformation in Israel’s position with respect to international law. Israel now has no need to formally declare the annexation of the West Bank. The deed is done.”

Israel Shelves Plans for Controversial Construction That Would Effectively Cut West Bank in Two, Haaretz
Israel is shelving controversial plans for a new housing project in Area E-1 of the occupied West Bank. The plan drew international criticism since construction in this area would sever the territorial link between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank, making it almost impossible to establish a contiguous Palestinian state in the future.

When Pro-insurrection Congressmen Met Israel’s Judicial Coup Architect, Haaretz
A day after gatecrashing an Israeli Embassy event where U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris rejected his efforts to reduce the powers of the judiciary, Israeli lawmaker Simcha Rothman made a visit to Capitol Hill last Wednesday. While it was initially unclear whom he was visiting, Rothman later revealed on Facebook that he met with his counterpart, Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan.


Israeli Construction in West Bank No Bar to Peace, Netanyahu Says, Reuters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank were not an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians in an interview published Friday, testing ties between Washington and its main Middle East ally. The expansion of settlements in the West Bank has been among the most contentious issues between Israel, the Palestinians and the international community for decades.

Abbas to Visit China After Offer to Help Revive Peace Talks with Israel, The Jerusalem Post
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is expected to arrive in Beijing on Tuesday for a three-day visit, will be the first Arab leader to be hosted by China this year. The visit is seen as a sign of China’s ongoing effort to increase its influence in the Middle East at a time when the US has refocused its attention on the Indo-Pacific region and Ukraine.

IDF to Raze Home of 13-year-old Palestinian Charged for Killing Border Police Officer, The Times of Israel
The Israeli military on Friday informed the family of Muhammad Bassel Fathi Zalbani, a 13-year-old Palestinian charged with killing a Border Police officer earlier this year, that their home is slated for demolition. On February 13, Zalbani stabbed 22-year-old Staff Sgt. Asil Sawaed on a bus at a checkpoint near East Jerusalem’s Shuafat Refugee Camp.

Opinion and Analysis

In Israel, Arab Lives Don’t Matter, Haaretz
Journalist Sheren Falah Saab argues, “To Arabs in Israel, it’s clear that their lives don’t matter as much as they had wanted to believe. Their faith that the decision-makers wouldn’t abandon them after the Netanyahu government was formed has been shelved.”

The Israeli Far Right’s Man in Princeton, Jewish Currents
Dahlia Krutkovich and Sarah Rosen write, “On March 27, several dozen protesters gathered in front of the Center for Jewish Life (CJL) at Princeton University and chanted, “Shame! Shame! Shame!” The object of their outrage was a right-wing Israeli activist named Ronen Shoval, who was giving a talk at the CJL that day. In Israel, Shoval is best known as the founder and former leader of the ultra-nationalist political action group Im Tirtzu.”