News Roundup for June 23, 2022

June 23, 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.

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J Street in the News

Could New York City Lose Its Last Remaining Jewish Congressman?, The New York Times
“Three decades ago, Jewish lawmakers made up roughly half of New York City’s House delegation. Now there is one: Jerrold Nadler, who faces a tough primary battle…J Street, the pro-Israel lobby that tries to act as a liberal counterweight to AIPAC, plans to raise as much as six figures to support Mr. Nadler.”

What You Need to Know About the Collapse of Israel’s Coalition Government, J Street
Adina Vogel Ayalon, J Street Chief of Staff, writes, “As Israelis prepare for yet another protracted election campaign — and as Joe Biden prepares for his first trip to the region as president — J Street will continue to press for clear, confident principled American leadership to stand up for Israel’s democratic future, protect Palestinian rights and ensure a free, equal and peaceful future for all.”

The Settlement Enterprise and the Demise of Israel’s Post-Netanyahu Government, J Street
J Street introduces a new series called “Shushan Street,” where Dr. Debra Shushan, J Street’s first-ever Director of Policy, will be sharing her expertise and insights with policymakers, Members of Congress and their staffs, supporters of the pro-Israel pro-peace movement, and the broader public.

Top News and Analysis

Appeals Court Upholds Arkansas’ Israel Boycott Pledge Law, The Washington Post
A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld Arkansas’ law requiring state contractors to pledge not to boycott Israel, finding the restriction is not an unconstitutional violation of free speech. The full 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a 2-1 decision last year by a three-judge panel of the court that found the requirement to be unconstitutional. The Arkansas Times had sued to block the law, which requires contractors with the state to reduce their fees by 20% if they don’t sign the pledge.

U.S. Working On Normalization “Road Map” for Saudi Arabia and Israel, Axios
The White House has been working on a “road map for normalization” between Israel and Saudi Arabia ahead of President Biden’s visit to the Middle East next month, according to four U.S. sources briefed on the issue. The trip could show that the Biden administration has continued to help foster progress on the warming of relations between Israel and the Arab world after the Trump administration brokered the Abraham Accords, which led to normalization agreements between Israel and four Arab countries.


Biden’s Balancing Act in Israel, Axios
The Israeli government’s collapse will force President Biden to navigate a sensitive balancing act during his upcoming visit to Israel, which will take place three months before early elections.

Hezbollah’s Nasrallah Meets Hamas Chief Haniyeh in Beirut to Discuss anti-Israel Alliance, Haaretz
Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah met with Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh in Beirut on Thursday, their first meeting in one year, Hezbollah’s Al-Manar news channel reported.

Lapid Accuses Far-Right MK of Pushing Racist, Anti-democratic Agenda, The Times of Israel
As Israel braces for elections, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Wednesday traded barbs with a far-right lawmaker who he accused of pushing a racist and anti-democratic message.

Israeli, U.S. Conducted Joint Exercise Simulating Escalation on Northern Border, Haaretz
Israel and the United States held a joint military exercise over the past week to assess the readiness of both countries to cope with security challenges, particularly a military escalation on Israel’s northern front.

Opinion and Analysis

Why Is Israel Always Holding Elections?, LA Times
Joseph Krauss writes, “After barely 12 months in office, the leaders of Israel’s broad-based but severely weakened coalition government threw in the towel this week, saying they would dissolve parliament and hold new elections — the fifth in 3½ years. Why does this keep happening? The simplest answer is that Israel is deeply — and almost evenly — divided over whether Benjamin Netanyahu should be prime minister. But it’s also because Israel’s political system consists of an ideologically diverse array of parties that have to form alliances — and sometimes break them — to get what they want.”

‘The Land Beyond the Road Is Forbidden’: Israeli Settler Shepherds Displace Palestinians, The Guardian
Bethan McKernan explains, “There are 77 Israeli farms and shepherding outposts across the West Bank, part of an explosion in settlement growth in recent years.”