News Roundup for June 15, 2023

June 15, 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 Ministry of Offending the Diaspora, Haaretz
The Haaretz editorial board argues, “Chikli’s heinous attacks on the Jewish American organization J Street and on tycoon and philanthropist George Soros are worthy of the harshest condemnation. These attacks also attest to the low level of the cabinet members of this government.”

J Street Israel CEO Visits St. Louis with Update on What’s ‘Happening on the Ground’ in Israel, St. Louis Jewish Light
J Street Israel Director Nadav Tamir sits down with the St. Louis Jewish Light to discuss protests against the judicial overhaul, American Jewish participation in Israel’s political crisis and J Street’s mission at this critical time.

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu’s Coalition Suffers Embarrassing Defeat in Israel, Axios
In one of the most dramatic days for Israel’s parliament this year, the Israeli opposition won a crucial vote when its lawmaker was elected as one of the two Knesset representatives on the committee that appoints judges. The results of the vote dealt an embarrassing defeat to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition and the supporters of the government’s plan to weaken the Supreme Court and other democratic institutions.

Hoping to Avert Nuclear Crisis, U.S. Seeks Informal Agreement With Iran, The New York Times
The Biden administration has been negotiating quietly with Iran to limit Tehran’s nuclear program and free imprisoned Americans, according to officials from three countries, in part of a larger U.S. effort to ease tensions and reduce the risk of a military confrontation with the Islamic Republic. The U.S. goal is to reach an informal, unwritten agreement, which some Iranian officials are calling a “political cease-fire.”

Washington Says It’s Asking Israel About the Death of Detained Palestinian-American, AP
The United States on Wednesday said it was seeking more information about the closure of an Israeli military investigation into the death of a 78-year-old Palestinian-American who was detained, gagged and left unconscious shortly before being pronounced dead. This comes after Israel announced on Tuesday that it would not bring criminal charges against the soldiers involved in the detention of Omar Assad.


Israel’s Knesset Vote to be Delayed as Judicial Overhaul Row Continues, The Guardian
A key vote in Israel’s Knesset related to the government’s bitterly contested judicial overhaul is set to be delayed at the behest of the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in a move that could torpedo negotiations with the opposition and galvanize the anti-legislation protest movement.

Lapid and Gantz Say No Compromise With Netanyahu Until Key Committee Convenes, Haaretz
Opposition leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid announced in a joint statement Wednesday evening that compromise talks on Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul plan will be put on hold until a key committee convenes. Lapid, leader of the opposition and Yesh Atid party, accused Netanyahu of obstructing the formation of the Judicial Appointments Committee, and effectively ending any pretense of engagement in negotiations.

Diaspora Minister Tells Huge U.S Jewish Gathering: Israel Protesters ‘Worse Than BDS’, Haaretz
Minister of Diaspora Affairs Amichai Chikli took advantage of an opportunity to address a large gathering of American Jews to incite against pro-democracy demonstrators, comparing them to activists in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement. “We are used to seeing, from time to time, in lectures, BDS activists trying to harass and to prevent Israeli speakers and Israeli leaders from speaking at conferences,” he said on Wednesday at the American Jewish Committee’s annual gathering in Tel Aviv.

Opinion and Analysis

Pro-democracy Street Protests Bring Israeli Expats in U.S. to a Fork in the Road, Haaretz
Haaretz journalist Ben Samuels writes, “While the expat community has taken an exponentially greater role in the conversation – particularly following last week’s targeting of the 16 visiting Israeli officials that led to three separate events being canceled – many questions remain concerning its place in the wider U.S.-Jewish community.”