News Roundup for June 14, 2022

June 14, 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.

Top News and Analysis

Yamina MK Nir Orbach Quits Coalition; PM Admits It Could Collapse ‘in a Week or Two’, The Times of Israel
Yamina MK Nir Orbach announced Monday that he was no longer part of the coalition, again dropping the ruling bloc to minority status in the Knesset with just 59 seats, and prompting Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to acknowledge that his government may be on the way out.

Biden Heading Next Month to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West Bank, The Washington Post
During a four-day trip — from July 13 to 16 — Biden is planning to visit Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia, according to White House officials who for the first time formally confirmed an itinerary that has been debated for weeks within the administration. It will mark Biden’s first trip to Israel as president and will come nearly 50 years after he first visited the country as a young senator. He also plans to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, a meeting likely to occur in Bethlehem during a stop in the West Bank.


12 Palestinians Arrested in West Bank Raid by Israeli Forces, The Jerusalem Post
12 Palestinians suspected of conducting terror activities were arrested by IDF, Border Police and Shin Bet forces during a Sunday night raid across the West Bank. Israeli security forces made the arrests during widescale raids in several Palestinian cities and towns.

European Union Working to Forge Gas and Power Ties With Israel, Time
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi met Israeli officials on Tuesday, seeking to forge stronger energy ties with the Middle Eastern country and reduce their reliance on Russian fossil fuels.

Israeli Lawmaker Chided for Wishing Palestinians ‘Disappear’, AP
An Israeli legislator came under fire on Tuesday for saying that if he could push a button to make all Palestinians disappear, he would. Deputy Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana made the remarks to high school students in a West Bank settlement.

US Envoy Talks With Lebanese on Border Dispute With Israel, The Washington Post
The U.S. envoy mediating between Lebanon and Israel over their disputed maritime border met Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Tuesday in Beirut for talks on ways of reaching a solution amid rising tensions along the tense boundary.

Army Stands by as Settlers Attack Activists in Masafer Yatta, +972 Mag
A settler smashed an activist’s car and returned safely to his outpost, after soldiers violently dispersed a protest against Palestinian expulsion.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel’s Unlikely Breakthrough, Foreign Affairs
Dahlia Scheindlin writes, “When it came to power a year ago, the coalition promised to show Israelis that a different, cooperative, and respectful kind of governance was possible. It set out to put Israel back on track where the budget and other domestic policy priorities had been neglected. The members of the government also acknowledged that they had no agreement on the toughest issue–the Israeli-Palestinian conflict–and agreed to set those aside. To a considerable extent, the coalition has achieved the first two aims, though its failure on the third–the Israeli-Palestinian conflict–could trigger its downfall.”

Israel’s Policy Toward Iran Is Failing by ‘a Thousand Cuts.’ Here’s Why., Atlantic Council
Danny Citrinowicz argues, “The bottom line is that Israel is piling up tactical successes while its Iran strategy is failing. There is a growing gap between the statements of senior Israeli officials and the reality on the ground. It is necessary to adopt a balanced policy that considers the state of the Iranian nuclear program before it’s too late. Israeli officials need to remember that pushing Iran into a corner and changing the equation of deterrence between the countries could lead to a sharp response from Tehran that could end in a regional confrontation.”

An Unsettled Matter in Biden’s Middle East, Politico
“For months, Nahal Toosi has been privately and publicly asking Biden administration figures to lay out their official position on the legality of Israel’s settlement construction…At best, we’ve been handed irrelevant talking points. Usually, we’re just ignored. Sometimes, U.S. diplomats appear startled by the question. “I have no update for you on that particular topic,” one said when Toosi raised it during an on-the-record press call. Today, a senior State Department official offered, once again, the standard talking points of the administration: that it’s focused on improving conditions for both Palestinians and Israelis and that it opposes measures that exacerbate tensions, including settlement expansion. “We’ve been focused on making practical, tangible advances on the ground in support of a two-state solution,” the official said. The lack of clarity about the Biden team’s views on the legality of settlements underscores, first, that Trump aides were savvy in making many of their moves toward the Israelis and Palestinians hard to switch back.”