News Roundup for June 28, 2024

June 28, 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

Netanyahu’s Invitation to Congress, J Street
J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami writes, “Those who take a pass on attending will be in good company expressing their displeasure, aligning themselves with the majority of Israelis, more than 70 percent of whom want Netanyahu to resign immediately or right after the conclusion of the Gaza war. Members should also consider registering displeasure over the Prime Minister’s consistent public disparagement of President Biden, whose support for Israel and its people since October 7 has been unwavering.”

Top News and Analysis

Israel Readies Troops for a Potential Escalation in Lebanon, The New York Times
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, posted a video on social media during his visit of him saying that Israeli forces were “determined and committed to the mission of achieving victory, and no less.”

US to Release Part of Suspended Bomb Shipment to Israel, Axios
The Biden administration is expected to soon release 500-lb. bombs that were part of a weapons shipment to Israel put on hold in April over U.S. concerns about the Israel Defense Forces’ military operation in Rafah, one U.S. and one Israeli official told Axios. The move suggests the U.S. is now less concerned about Israel possibly using these bombs in Gaza and that the White House wants to decrease some of the tension between President Biden and Israel’s supporters over his decision to withhold this specific shipment.

The Palestinian Authority’s Financial Woes Alarm the US, Which Wants It to Have a Role in Running Postwar Gaza, The New York Times
U.S. officials worry that an economic crash in the West Bank could lead to a surge in violence in the territory, which has yet to see a mass uprising despite months of deadly Israeli military operations. Early Friday, the Israeli cabinet appeared to grant the authority a brief reprieve, agreeing to release some Palestinian funds and to temporarily extend the bank waiver, three Israeli officials said. To mollify Mr. Smotrich — who must ultimately sign off on both decisions — the ministers agreed to measures including authorizing five Israeli settlements in the West Bank that had been built illegally.


US, UN and Israeli Officials Meet to Discuss Restarting Food Aid Distribution in Gaza, NBC News
A senior United Nations official, a senior Israeli official and a U.S. military commander met Wednesday night and discussed restarting aid distribution in Gaza, where roughly 12 million pounds of supplies have been sitting for 18 days, two U.S. defense officials said. The aid has been in Israel Defense Forces’ custody since June 9, when the U.N.’s World Food Programme halted deliveries because of security concerns.

Israelis Conclude Day of Countrywide Rallies Demanding Hostage Deal, Immediate Election, Haaretz
“The Prime Minister has abandoned the hostages, willing to let them remain in Gaza as long as he remains in power,” stated the protesting families Thursday morning. “Only a comprehensive deal that brings back all the hostages and ends the conflict in Gaza can save the country,” they emphasized.

Trump Says Biden Has ‘Become Like a Palestinian’ in Debate Exchange over Israel, The Hill
During a lengthy exchange about foreign policy, Biden outlined his administration’s push for a cease-fire in the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Biden argued Hamas is the one keeping a deal from being reached, something Trump disputed. “Israel is the one. And you should let them go and let them go finish the job. He doesn’t want to do it,” Trump said.

ICC Allows UK to Submit Arguments on Jurisdiction Over Israelis in Gaza Case, Reuters
Court documents made public on Thursday showed that the UK, an ICC member state, filed a request with the court earlier this month to provide written observations on whether “the court can exercise jurisdiction over Israeli nationals, in circumstances where Palestine cannot exercise criminal jurisdiction over Israeli nationals (under) the Oslo Accords”.

Critically Ill Children Allowed to Leave Gaza for First Time Since May, The New York Times
Israel and Egypt agreed to allow at least 19 sick children, most of them cancer patients, to leave Gaza for medical treatment on Thursday, Israeli and Palestinian officials said, in the first major evacuation of critically ill Gazans since the Rafah border crossing shut down in early May.

The US Readies to Evacuate Americans From Lebanon if Fighting Between Israel and Hezbollah Intensifies, NBC News
The USS Wasp and Marines from the 24th Expeditionary Unit moved into the Mediterranean on Wednesday to join the dock landing ship USS Oak Hill and another ship in their amphibious ready group, according to the Marine Corps. The Wasp will operate to be ready for a Military Assisted Departure and other missions, the officials said.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews Block Highway to Protest Israel’s New Mandatory Military Service Ruling, AP
Protesters sat on the highway and lay on the ground as police lifted them up and dragged them away. Officers mounted on horseback charged into the crowd. Many demonstrators held signs and chanted “To prison! Not to the army!”

Survivors of Israel Music Festival Massacre Unite to Build a Healing Community, AP
At those events in Tel Aviv, survivors meet with therapists, lawyers, social workers or just spend time with one another. The Nova Foundation connects survivors to opportunities for horse therapy, surfing and massage. Some have completed trainings in peer therapy to help others, and the organization recently began providing support to the families of those killed.

They Returned to Northern Gaza, Only to Be Ordered to Evacuate Again, The New York Times
The Israelis have “thought about Day 1 — kill the bad guys — but have not focused on the next steps,” said Daniel Byman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “That was inexcusable even in October and November. There is less and less excuse now.” The Gazan health authorities said on Thursday that 15 people had been killed and dozens injured in Shajaiye.

NGOs Seek Dutch Export Ban for Jet Parts That May Go to Israel, Reuters
Lawyers for rights groups asked a Hague court on Friday to order the Dutch state to block all exports of F-35 fighter jet parts which might end up in Israel, including parts sent to the United States to build fighter planes destined for the Israeli army.

Opinion and Analysis

I Accuse Netanyahu of Betrayal, Haaretz
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert writes, “I accuse the prime minister of Israel of deliberately abandoning the Israeli hostages who are still being held by Hamas murderers. His refusal to reach an agreement that would allow all the hostages to return to Israel is based on the argument that it would prevent a total victory over Hamas. But total victory is not an option now and it has not been an option from the day the prime minister first presented it. It was meant to be an impossible goal that would allow the prime minister, any time he chooses, to blame the failure to achieve it on the military and the fighting forces in general and on the person who leads it, Lt. Gen. Herzl Halevi, in particular.”

Netanyahu’s Rivals Tack Toward a Gaza ‘Day After’ Without Him, The Washington Post
David Ignatius reports, “U.S. officials told me they support the thrust of Gallant’s plan, but that moderate Arab governments won’t back it unless the Palestinian Authority is directly involved, conferring what Arabs would see as legitimacy. They also caution that moderate Arabs want what the Saudis have called a ‘political horizon’ toward an eventual Palestinian state, something Gallant says he and most Israelis won’t support. The Gaza transition plan would be implemented in phases, starting in northern Gaza and spreading south as conditions improved.”

Netanyahu No Longer Controls Events in Israel – and It’s Driving Him to Distraction, Haaretz
Yossi Verter shares, “Bibi suspects that Gallant and Edelstein are plotting to overthrow him in another way. Meanwhile, the unfortunate hostages; the soldiers in Gaza; the reservists who have done 150-180 days of service since October 7; and the families of the hostages and war dead, the vast majority of whom the prime minister blatantly ignores, stand by and watch.”

What Would Donald Trump Do in Gaza?, The Forward
Jay Michaelson writes, “Donald Trump was and would be an utter catastrophe for Palestine and the Palestinian people. And if solidarity with those people is your ideological commitment, if you care about the seven million people whose lives are at stake, then you must do everything in your power to keep Trump from returning to office. Including, if you live in a competitive state, voting for Joe Biden.”