News Roundup for June 14, 2023

June 14, 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

Israel’s Diaspora Minister ‘Doesn’t Understand Jewish Diaspora,’ Senior U.S. Official Says, Haaretz
“A senior official of the Biden administration attacked Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli on Wednesday, saying that he “does not understand the American Jewish Diaspora.” Earlier this week, Chikli called J Street a “hostile organization” that was funded by George Soros, whom the minister called “one of the greatest haters of Israel in our times.” The U.S. official warned that there would be consequences for Chikli’s statements.”

U.S. Antisemitism Envoy Met Israeli Minister Who Called J Street a ‘Hostile Organization’, Haaretz
Deborah Lipstadt, the Biden administration’s special envoy to combat antisemitism, met this week with an Israeli minister who justified Elon Musk’s attacks against George Soros and called J Steet a “hostile organization.” Her meeting with Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli took place during a three-day visit to Israel, which focused on the American Jewish Committee’s conference in Tel Aviv.

J Street Welcomes Plan To Return United States To Full UNESCO Membership, J Street
J Street applauds the Biden Administration’s agreement with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officials to return the United States to its status as a full voting member of the multilateral body.

Top News and Analysis

One Civilian, Four Israeli Soldiers Wounded in Shooting Attack in West Bank, Haaretz
One Israeli and four Israel Defense Forces soldiers were wounded during a shooting near the northern West Bank settlement of Mevo Dotan on Tuesday afternoon. The shooters opened fire from their car at an Israeli civilian’s vehicle, then also shot a military vehicle with IDF soldiers inside.

Israelis Kill Palestinian in Raid on West Bank Refugee Camp, Reuters
Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man during a raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday that set off a gunfight with armed fighters, witnesses and the Palestinian health ministry said. Israeli forces surrounded the house of a wanted fighter in the Balata refugee camp in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, triggering clashes with armed Palestinians, residents said.

Trump Indictment: Israeli Intelligence Fears Ex-president Compromised Top Secret Intel, Haaretz
Top brass in the Israeli defense establishment are concerned that secret documents seized from former U.S. President Donald Trump include material whose exposure has damaged Israel’s security. Last week Trump was indicted for allegedly having more than 300 classified documents in his possession without permission or authority.


Bowing to Pressure, AJC Top Brass Will Meet With Leaders of Israeli Protest Movement, Haaretz
Bowing to mounting pressure from the anti-government protest movement in Israel, leaders of the American Jewish Committee have agreed to meet privately on Wednesday with its representatives. A spokesman for the organization confirmed in a statement to Haaretz that a meeting with about a dozen leaders of the protest movement had been scheduled at the last minute, noting that this represented “another opportunity to hear important Israeli voices.”

Bibi Says US and Iran Held Indirect Talks on “Mini Agreement”, Axios
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset foreign relations and security committee that the Biden administration has held indirect talks with Iran on a “mini agreement” or “an understanding” related to Iran’s nuclear program, according to five lawmakers who attended the meeting. The Biden administration has not yet publicly confirmed that it recently held indirect talks with Iran in Oman, as Axios previously reported.

Opinion and Analysis

Why Israel’s Government Is Attacking Its Public-Broadcasting System, The New Yorker
New Yorker staff writer Nicholas Lemann argues, “The defense of democracy, never more necessary than now, must include not just protecting specific institutions under threat, like Kan, but also a broad understanding of just how complicated, how essential, and how fragile true democracy is. Elections are where the fight begins, but they can’t be where it ends.”

As Iran Emerges From Isolation, Israel Is Feeling Cornered, Bloomberg
Ethan Bronner and Henry Meyer of Bloomberg write, “Early this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a mock wartime meeting of his security cabinet in a bunker. Communities in northern Israel are preparing shelters for a long-term conflict. And the military is working overtime on a new laser system to intercept rockets. Their focus is Iran and its nuclear ambitions.”

‘Patriarchal and Biased’: Israeli Women Fear Loss of Rights in Legal Overhaul, The Guardian
Journalist Claire Porter Robbins writes, “For months, the massive protests that have taken place in Israel have rallied groups across the country on issues surrounding the supreme court and judicial independence. Amid the uproar and media attention, however, Israeli feminist groups say a crucial element of the far right’s judicial overhaul package has been lost in the noise, and as a result women’s legal rights are more at stake than they have been in years.”