News Roundup for June 25, 2024

June 25, 2024

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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

An End to the Conflict Is Possible, The Times of Israel
J Street Israel Executive Director Nadav Tamir writes, “The establishment of the Palestinian state is a clear Zionist interest. If we do not end the occupation, the occupation will end us. There is an international consensus on the need to establish a demilitarized Palestinian state as the national home of the Palestinian people alongside Israel as the national home of the Jewish people. The only opponents are Iran, Hamas, and the Netanyahu government.”

President Biden Must Make Clear That the Netanyahu Government’s Stealth Annexation Is Wholly Unacceptable, J Street
“President Biden must make clear publicly that annexation by stealth is wholly unacceptable, contrary to Israel’s own interests, and will be met with meaningful consequences. Such moves constitute a direct violation of international law and risk further destabilization and violence in the West Bank and beyond.”

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu Says He’s Committed to Hostage-Ceasefire Deal After Casting Doubt, Axios
Members of the Israeli hostage negotiations team and Biden administration officials were stunned by Netanyahu’s remarks and tried to understand why he made them, Israeli and U.S. officials told Axios. One Israeli official said Netanyahu’s remarks caused “serious damage” to the efforts to reach a deal because they sent the message to Hamas that Israel doesn’t intend to implement all of it. A Netanyahu aide said the prime minister’s comments were “a gaffe” and that Netanyahu admitted last night that a clarification was in order.

Experts Say Gaza Is at ‘High Risk’ of Famine Despite Increased Aid to the North, AP
The report by the leading international authority on the severity of hunger crises said nearly everyone in Gaza is struggling to get enough food and that more than 495,000 people, or greater than a fifth of the population of 2.3 million, are expected to experience the highest level of starvation in the coming months.

Netanyahu Scrambles to Contain Backlash to Comments on Ceasefire Deal as Hostage Families Release New Video, CNN
The Hostage and Missing Families Forum called Netanyahu’s comments to Channel 14 “an unprecedented national failure and a failure to meet the goals of the war.” Opposition figure Gadi Eisenkot – who resigned from Israel’s war cabinet a week before Netanyahu disbanded it – also slammed Netanyahu, saying “there are soldiers who are fighting now because they have war goals to return the hostages.” On Monday, US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said the US opposes continued military operations in Gaza. “That’s just a recipe for continued conflict, continued instability and continued insecurity for Israel,” he told a press briefing.


Israel’s High Court Orders the Army to Draft Ultra-Orthodox Men, Rattling Netanyahu’s Government, AP
In the current environment, Netanyahu could have a hard time delaying the matter any further or passing laws to restore the exemptions. During arguments, government lawyers told the court that forcing ultra-Orthodox men to enlist would “tear Israeli society apart.”

Blinken Emphasized to Israel’s Gallant the Need for Post-war Gaza Plan, Reuters
“He (Blinken) updated Minister Gallant on ongoing diplomatic efforts to advance security, governance, and reconstruction in Gaza during a post-conflict period and emphasized the importance of that work to Israel’s security,” a State Department statement following the meeting said.

Hostage Families Release Hamas Video Showing 3 Sons’ Abduction Into Gaza Under Fire, The Times of Israel
“The harsh video is a serious indictment of the neglect that has been going on for 262 days,” said the Hostages Forum in a statement. “Hersh, Eliya and Or were kidnapped alive and so they have to return, today. Every day that passes endangers the abductees and may torpedo the ability to bring them home.”

Number of Children Missing, Separated From Families in Gaza May Be as High as 21,000: Report, ABC News
“Children who are missing but living are vulnerable, face grave protection risks and must be found. They must be protected and reunited with their families,” said Save the Children’s Regional Director for the Middle East Jeremy Stoner. “For the children who have been killed, their deaths must be formally marked, their families informed, burial rites respected, and accountability sought.”

Fights Break Out During Dueling Protests in Pico-Robertson, CBS News
It reportedly began when pro-Palestinian supporters gathered outside of the Abas Torah synagogue and attempted to block the entrance, where they were promptly met by pro-Israel demonstrators. SkyCal flew overhead as the protests escalated into violence at times, with people throwing kicks and punches as the large group of people moved through the streets in the area.

Trump Made Vile Joke About ‘Nazi Ovens’ In Front Of Jewish Execs: Ex-Trump Org VP, HuffPost
On Sunday, Barbara Res told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi how she witnessed Donald Trump joke that a new hire from Germany “remembers the ovens” which were used at Nazi extermination camps during the Holocaust.

Thousands of Iran-Backed Fighters Offer to Join Hezbollah in Its Fight Against Israel, ABC News
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech Wednesday that militant leaders from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and other countries have previously offered to send tens of thousands of fighters to help Hezbollah, but he said the group already has more than 100,000 fighters.

Top US General Warns ‘Harder for Us’ to Assist Israel in Confrontation With Hezbollah, Haaretz
Unlike the support the U.S. provided against Iran’s April attack on Israel, Joint Chiefs Chairman General C.Q. Brown warned that America will be limited in its ability to help Israel against escalated attacks by Hezbollah, which he said would likely involve Iran.

Opinion and Analysis

4 Scenarios for Next Phase in Gaza War, With ‘Intense’ Fighting Set to End, The New York Times
Reporter Patrick Kingsley lists out four possible outcomes of the next phase in the war: continued but smaller raids in Gaza, a Gaza power vacuum, a possible war with Hezbollah, or continued tensions with the Biden administration over the conflict.

Why My Sonoma County Synagogue Stands for a Cease-Fire in Gaza, The Jewish News of Northern California
Rabbi Irwin Keller shares, “We realized we didn’t need to sign onto anyone else’s demands to express our grief, our concern and our tattered hope. We decided we could speak together as caring humans, as people of conscience, as Jews and as people who against all odds maintain a commitment to a peaceful and secure future for Jews and Palestinians in the land. We knew we could assert simply that, no matter what the ideology, the violence must stop. We worked hard on language. We listened to our hearts, to our sadness. We responded to the suffering we are seeing.”

The Plan to Defeat Critics of Israel in Congress [Podcast], The Daily
Nicholas Fandos, political reporter from New York Times, reports on a coalition of Israel supporters trying to defeat sitting members of Congress who have criticized the country’s deadly war against Hamas and how it is affecting the results of the New York democratic primary.

Israel Isn’t Ending the War in Gaza — Just Turning Its Attention to Hezbollah, Vox
Nicole Narea argues, “Netanyahu’s actions so far are consistent with the three-phase plan for Gaza he and his advisors laid out at the beginning of the war: First, wiping out Hamas’s military and governing capabilities in Gaza (a goal that many security experts, including in Israel, believe to be impossible); second, ‘eliminat[ing] pockets of resistance’ in Gaza through lower-intensity fighting; and third, ‘the creation of a new security regime’ in Gaza that will remove Israel’s ‘responsibility for day-to-day life’ there. Israel has not yet achieved even its first objective. In that sense, Netanyahu may have no intention of signing a ceasefire deal anytime soon, even if Israel might scale back its operations in Gaza somewhat.

As Netanyahu Abandons the Hostages, Hamas May Seek to Extend the War, +972
Meron Rapoport writes, “It is reasonable to assume that Hamas sees the potential for all-out conflict between Israel and Hezbollah as the primary reason to continue the war in Gaza. If we remember that on Oct. 6, Hamas was not a large military organization, and was besieged by Israel from all sides as Arab-Israeli normalization moved full-speed ahead, then the prospect of a regional war “for the sake of the Palestinian cause” is a huge leap forward for them.”