News Roundup for June 29, 2022

June 29, 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

Delia Ramirez will win Democratic primary in Illinois 3rd Congressional District, CNN
“In what could be the signature victory for progressives tonight, CNN projects that state Rep. Delia Ramirez will win the Democratic nomination in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. Ramirez’s top rival in a four-way race was Chicago Alderman Gil Villegas, whose campaign had been boosted by the moderate-backing outside groups Democratic Majority for Israel and Mainstream Democrats PAC. But Ramirez, despite raising slightly less than Villegas, had overwhelming support from progressive PACs, led by the Working Families Party, which spent more than $600,000 backing her bid. The campaign arms of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, EMILY’s List, Indivisible and J Street also invested significant sums in Ramirez.”

Pro-Palestinian Democrat Rep. Marie Newman Loses Illinois Primary, Haaretz
“J Street, which had previously endorsed both Newman and Casten, similarly opted only to endorse Casten during this cycle. The liberal pro-Israel organization had another victory when its endorsee Delia Ramirez defeated DMFI-backed Gilbert Villegas in Illinois’ 3rd district. J Street had spent $140,000 in Ramirez’ favor compared to DMFI’s $157,000 in favor of Villegas. “In an election cycle that has seen the ultra-hawkish right-wing group AIPAC and its allies like DMFI spending unprecedented sums to attack principled progressives in Democratic primaries, Delia Ramirez’s win is a great blow to their efforts,” said J Street Vice President for Public Affairs Kevin Rachlin.”

Can AIPAC Still Claim the Middle Ground?, Religion and Politics
““The idea that a bipartisan group is spending all their money in one party’s primaries is telling,” Laura Birnbaum, J Street’s PAC director, said in an interview. J Street endorsed Lee. When AIPAC announced its entry into direct candidate funding, J Street and other Israel-activists called on the lobbying group not to endorse candidates who supported attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results…But Birnbaum and other critics say that the attempt to overturn the election was not another policy issue upon which otherwise-allies can disagree. Instead, it represents an existential threat to maintaining democracy in America and, by extension, the core civic value that the United States and Israel share. “This really is different. It really does rise above other issues,” Birnbaum said. “In our view, the threat that is posed to our democratic institutions is an existential threat to our system of government and way of life and functioning political system. This threat is extremely real and salient, and it goes beyond adding another issue to the work that we do.””

J Street Congratulates Endorsee Delia Ramirez on Landslide Win in IL-03, J Street
“Delia Ramirez’s big victory is a great moment for the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement and all those who believe in electing candidates who will truly stand for their constituents’ fundamental rights and core beliefs in Washington. A talented and dedicated public servant, Ramirez is going to be a powerful voice in Congress for democratic values, diplomacy-first foreign policy and bold American leadership toward lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

Top News and Analysis

Slain Journalist’s Brother Seeks U.S. Help Holding Israel to Account, The Washington Post
Anton Abu Akleh, the brother of Shireen Abu Akleh, has been regularly in touch with representatives from the U.S. government since May 11, when his sister, a veteran Al Jazeera correspondent, was fatally shot in the back of the head while reporting on an early-morning Israeli military raid in the Jenin Refugee Camp. He has been asking the United States to take over the investigation into his sister’s killing from the Israeli army, which he says is “trying only to protect their own soldiers.”

Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Militant in West Bank Raid, AP
Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian militant early Wednesday in the occupied West Bank during clashes that broke out during an arrest raid, Palestinian officials said. The Palestinian Health Ministry said that Mohammad Marei, 25, was wounded by Israeli gunfire near Jenin during an arrest raid by the Israeli military and later died.

Israel Braces for Fifth Election in Less Than Four Years, The Guardian
Israel is set for its fifth election in less than four years after the approval of a bill to dissolve parliament, following the collapse of a short-lived coalition government that banded together to oust the longtime prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office. Members of the Knesset voted unanimously on Tuesday in favour of the bill, with a deadline of midnight on Wednesday for it to be finalised as law.


Hamas Releases Video It Says Is of Israeli Captive in Gaza, Reuters
Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas released a video on Tuesday purporting to show an Israeli citizen being held captive in the Gaza Strip, the first such images of the man since his capture seven years ago. The move appeared to be a Hamas bid to pressure Israel for a prisoner swap as Egyptian-mediated negotiations between the sides on such a deal have lagged.

Israeli Teachers’ Union Suspends Strike After Promise of Salary Negotiations, Haaretz
Classes in Israeli schools will resume on Wednesday, the teachers’ union announced on Tuesday, suspending a strike it called the day before over lack of progress in talks with the government over workers’ salaries. The labor union has decided to put the strike on hold after Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated on Tuesday that negotiations on raising teachers’ salaries won’t be limited during the election period.

‘Mess With Israel, You’ll Pay a Price,’ PM Warns Iran, After Steel Plant Cyberattack, The Times of Israel
Outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned Tuesday, a day after Iran’s major steel companies were hit by a cyberattack, that anyone who attempts a cyberattack against Israel will “pay a price.” “[The] approach with our enemies, especially Iran… we don’t go around wreaking havoc in Tehran — that’s never been our policy. Our policy is, if you mess with Israel, you’ll pay a price,” Bennett said at the Cyber Week conference in Tel Aviv.

Israel Ranks 27th on Women, Peace and Security Index, The Jerusalem Post
Israel ranks 27th on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Index released this week by Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security and The Peace Research Institute Oslo. The WPS Index tracks progress in the status and rights of women worldwide out of a belief that countries who afford women full equal rights and opportunities are the most prosperous and peaceful.

Opinion and Analysis

Will the US Ensure Equal Protection for Arab Americans?, Arab American Institute
Dr. James J. Zogby raises questions about whether the Biden administration is committed to fully protecting the rights of Arab-Americans, and whether it will admit Israel to the Visa Waiver Program without Israel fulfilling the program’s reciprocity requirement.

Nitzan Horowitz: Meretz Leader and LGBT+ Trailblazer, J Street
J Street interviews Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, who spoke about the progress he has seen in his current role, the LGBT+ movement in Israel, and his views on the occupation.