News Roundup for June 16, 2023

June 16, 2023

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Top News and Analysis

Israel’s Military Called the Settler Attack on this Palestinian Town a ‘Pogrom.’ Videos Show Soldiers Did Little to Stop It, CNN
A monthslong CNN investigation, based on analysis of videos from the scene, exclusive testimony from an Israeli soldier, as well as interviews with seven eyewitnesses and two Palestinian journalists, sheds new light on the actions of Israeli forces. CNN found that, not only did the forces fail to stop the riots in Huwara, they did not protect residents as settlers set fire to Palestinian homes and businesses and blocked emergency services from responding.

Having Given Up on the US, Palestinians Look to China to Mediate Peace with Israel, The Times of Israel
Fresh off brokering the restoration of ties between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia, Chinese President Xi Jinping is looking to further bolster Beijing’s image as a power player in the Middle East. Hosting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, Xi introduced another Chinese proposal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.


Israeli Diaspora Minister Denies that Insults Toward US Official were Directed at Lipstadt, The Forward
Amichai Chikli, Israel’s diaspora minister, dismissed criticism of him by a top American official as “very marginal” and coming from “a leftist.” A host on Israel’s Kan Radio asked Chikli about recent criticism from an unnamed senior official in the Biden administration. Chikli appeared to believe that the anonymous official was Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, the U.S. State Department’s special envoy for countering antisemitism, who he met with earlier this week.

Israel’s Ambassador to US on Iran Talks: ‘Diplomacy Isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing’, Haaretz
Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog said on Thursday that “diplomacy [with Iran] isn’t necessarily a bad thing” while speaking at a pro-Israel conference in Washington DC. Herzog was commenting on the recent reports of the major progress made between the U.S. and Iran on nuclear talks.

Rehovot Man Dies Month After Wife Killed by Gaza Rocket: ‘He Was Very Sad’, The Times of Israel
Sergei Avramyan, whose wife was killed when a rocket fired from Gaza hit their home in Rehovot last month, died on Thursday at age 86. Family members said that while Sergei was only lightly hurt in the rocket attack, his physical and mental condition deteriorated quickly in the weeks following his wife’s death.

Israeli, US Defense Chiefs Meet on Sidelines of NATO Meeting, Al Monitor
Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met Thursday in Brussels, on the margins of the NATO defense ministers’ meeting, to discuss Iran, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu banned Gallant from traveling to Washington for such a meeting.

Opinion and Analysis

We Jewish Students Reject Israel’s Racist, Bigoted Diaspora Minister, Haaretz
Students Avital Grinberg, Joel Rosen, Alissa Foster and Bethia Milner argue, “If we as Diaspora leaders stand against racism and bigotry in our own countries then we must also do so when it comes to Israel. Our Jewish values are universal, they do not stop at borders. Amichai Chikli does not speak for the students we have been elected to represent.”

Palestinians Fear Growing Violence as Israeli Settlements Expand, Reuters
Henriette Chacar and Ali Sawafta write, “Palestinian farmer Salim Mas’oud was home in the occupied West Bank village of Burqa when neighbors alerted him that his barn was in flames. Dozens of Jewish settlers had set the barn alight one late May afternoon, damaging the metal structure and burning hundreds of bales of hay and agricultural equipment, he said. Days later, his neighbor Mohammad al-Bazzari watched on the news as settlers cut the fence around his house, shattered windows and damaged the citrus trees in his garden.”