News Roundup for June 28, 2022

June 28, 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

UDP, DMFI Focus On Early Summer Primaries, Jewish Insider
“Next month’s Democratic primary in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District is emerging as the next major battleground between the United Democracy Project super PAC, an AIPAC-linked group, and J Street PAC. The two groups clashed in a number of high-profile races in May, with UDP spending $6.4 million in Democratic primaries that month, and more than $10 million total this year. In Maryland, former prosecutor Glenn Ivey — backed by AIPAC, Pro-Israel America and DMFI — faces J Street-backed former Rep. Donna Edwards. As of June 23 — nearly a month ahead of the July 19 primary — UDP had spent nearly $1.9 million on ads targeting Edwards. J Street is spending $100,000 on digital ads supporting Edwards that a J Street spokesperson told JI have not yet gone live. Pro-Israel America and DMFI have also lent their support to Ivey, and AIPAC’s PAC has directed at least $160,000 in donations to him…In an announcement of the group’s endorsement of Edwards, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said, “She was one of the first members of Congress to stand proudly and publicly with J Street and the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement, promoting more effective American leadership and a better future for both Israelis and Palestinians. Now more than ever, we need her knowledgeable, experienced and principled voice in Congress.””

Top News and Analysis

Iran, U.S. To Hold Indirect Talks in Doha on Tuesday, Reuters
Indirect talks between Iran and the United States will start on Tuesday in Qatar’s capital, the Iranian foreign ministry said on Monday, amid a push by the European Union to break a months-long impasse in negotiations to secure a 2015 nuclear pact. Confirming the arch foes will meet in Doha this week, the U.S. State Department said Iran needed to decide to drop additional demands that go beyond the nuclear pact.

Israeli Parliament to Dissolve by Wednesday as Coalition, Opposition Reach Deal, Haaretz
The coalition and opposition have agreed to dissolve the Knesset by Wednesday, with the final vote to take place before the end of the day on Wednesday, coalition whip Boaz Toporovsky announced Monday. The possible dates for the election are October 25 and November, according to the announcement. The coalition and opposition agreed that until the election, there will be no attempts to vote on bills that “change the rules of the game.”

Hamas Says Captive Israeli’s Condition Has Deteriorated, The Washington Post
Gaza’s Hamas rulers on Monday said the condition of one of the Israelis it is holding captive has deteriorated. The announcement marked a rare piece of information about the Israelis in Hamas captivity. The Islamic militant group has given no details on the conditions or whereabouts of its prisoners, and it has never allowed the Red Cross to visit them.


GOP Megadonors Gave Millions to AIPAC’s Super PAC Ahead of Democratic Primaries, Haaretz
Two of America’s most significant Republican megadonors donated $1 million apiece to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s super PAC last month, just before the organization spent heavily on several key Democratic primaries.

Israel, Arab Allies Agree to Tighten Cooperation Ahead of Biden Visit, The Times of Israel
Senior diplomats from Israel, the US, and regional Arab allies agreed to increase efforts to improve security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East during a Negev Summit follow-up meeting in Bahrain on Monday.

Israel Elections: Bennett, Yamina’s Futures Discussed in Talks With Shaked, The Jerusalem Post
Reports suggest Bennett has been going back and forth on whether to run in the upcoming elections to the Knesset. His Yamina faction is struggling in the polls, with uncertainty over who will be included in Bennett’s list. If the prime minister chooses to leave politics, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked is the likely candidate to lead Yamina.

Israel Moves to Register Lands Near Al-Aqsa Using Funds Earmarked for Palestinians, Haaretz
The Justice Ministry on Thursday began the process of registering ownership of land adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, a highly sensitive area considered holy by both Jews and Muslims.

Opinion and Analysis

Expert Groups Say Biden Should Show ‘Political Courage’ on Iran Deal Return, Responsible Statecraft
Ben Armbruster reports, “More than a dozen national organizations sent a letter to President Biden on Friday urging him to show “leadership and political courage” and save the Iran nuclear agreement, saying it’s “perplexing” that he is allowing domestic politics to stand in the way of renewing a sound non-proliferation agreement…The groups — which include J Street, Indivisible, and the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft — note that Biden himself, and many senior officials in his administration, have previously stated that Trump’s withdrawal from the deal was a “disaster.””