News Roundup for June 3, 2020

June 3, 2020

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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

‘Palestinian lives matter’: Activists draw parallels between Israel, US killings, Times of Israel
“Liberal organization J Street, which lobbies for the two-state solution, refrained from directly comparing the circumstances of the two killings, but said in a statement that the two cases were symptomatic of deep injustices in American and Israeli societies.”

Top News and Analysis

Hundreds of Israelis, angry with police violence at home, protest the George Floyd killing in Tel Aviv, JTA
The protesters — a mix of Israelis, including Ethiopian Jews and African-American immigrants — compared the situation in Israel to that in the United States, reading out lists of the names they said were victims of police brutality. They screamed slogans like “No justice, no peace” and “Solomon Tekah, the last victim” — a reference to the death of an Ethiopian-Israeli teenager shot by an off-duty police officer last year. They also called for justice for Iyad Halak, 32, an autistic Palestinian man who was shot and killed by Israeli Border Police on Saturday morning. Defense Minister Benny Gantz has apologized for the shooting and one of the officers involved was placed under house arrest. A second was released from police custody and placed under restrictive conditions.

Israel’s security chiefs to meet on looming annexation amid fears of violence, Times of Israel
Security chiefs will convene Wednesday for a key discussion to prepare for various scenarios if parts of the West Bank are annexed next month, as currently planned.

Netanyahu Assures Settler Leaders West Bank Annexation Won’t Be Tied to Trump Plan, Haaretz
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told settler leaders in a meeting Tuesday that should annexation of West Bank lands be brought before the government or Knesset for approval, it would be promoted independently of the plan proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump, according to sources familiar with the content of the meeting.


US ‘highly unlikely’ to back July 1 annexation, Times told; mapping far from done, Times of Israel
The US administration is highly unlikely to approve an Israeli move to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank by the July 1 date envisioned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a well-placed source told The Times of Israel on Wednesday.

Steve King, House Republican With a History of Racist Remarks, Loses Primary, New York Times
Representative Steve King of Iowa, the nine-term Republican with a history of racist comments who only recently became a party pariah, lost his bid for renomination early Wednesday, one of the biggest defeats of the 2020 primary season in any state.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Says Israeli Annexation Will Lead to ‘Fiercer Conflict’, Haaretz
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in a meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee that the international community must block any Israeli moves toward West Bank annexation and prevent such “unprecedented threat to peace.”

Netanyahu said to tell settlers US enthusiasm for annexation ‘may have lessened’, Times of Israel
In a meeting with settler leaders Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that the Trump administration was toughening its stance on the new Israeli government’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank, and signaled that any such effort might be delayed, according to a settler official who took part in the meeting.

Israeli Soldiers Committed Hate Crime Against Palestinians to Avenge Friends’ Death. Their Commanders Covered It Up, Haaretz
A team of reconnaissance fighters from the Israel Defense Forces Golani Brigade committed a hate crime against Palestinians in a Nablus refugee camp, but their commanders decided not to punish the troops involved. A Haaretz investigative report about the incident shows that when the information about what transpired reached senior officers in the infantry brigade, including its commander, it was decided to cover up the whole episode.

Opinion and Analysis

The Price We Have Paid for Not Confronting Racism, New York Times
Mitch Landrieu writes, “The distance between us is so wide and the pain so deep. And so I weep for my country. Race is America’s most traumatic issue, one that we have not faced nor nearly worked through. Centuries-old wounds are still raw because they never healed correctly in the first place.”

‘Palestinian Lives Matter,’ shout Israeli protesters over killing of Iyad Hallak, Al-Monitor
Afif Abu Much writes, “A report by the Mossawa Center found that as of last year, 57 Arab civilians have been killed by the police since 2000, while almost none of the officers involved were charged.”

The police have a white nationalist problem — and have for at least 15 years, The Forward
Aiden Pink writes, “Experts are concerned that white nationalists have infiltrated some of the protests flaring in cities across the country in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death — but they know for certain that white nationalists have infiltrated the police.”

For pro-Trump Racists in America and Israel, Black and Palestinian Lives Really Don’t Matter, Haaretz
Joshua Shanes writes, “After police killings of African Americans and Palestinians, an increasingly integrated white nationalist, Evangelical and right-wing Orthodox Jewish coalition blames them for being shot.”