News Roundup for June 30, 2021

June 30, 2021

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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 political ambassadorial appointees should resign, Jerusalem Post
J Street’s Nadav Tamir writes with Nimrod Goren, “Just as Netanyahu will soon vacate the official Balfour Street residence, his political ambassadorial appointees must move out of their official residences in world capitals and return to Israel.”

What’s the story with Sheikh Jarrah?, J Street
What is Sheikh Jarrah and why did confrontations there help trigger the recent escalation? Jerusalem expert Daniel Seidemann breaks down the history of this neighborhood where settlers seek to dispossess Palestinian families.

Why I Live on J Street, JMore
Sandra Zylberman, chair of J Street Baltimore, writes, “Thankfully, J Street, through its many years of hard work, is now in a great position to encourage the Biden administration to make achieving a two-state solution a top priority. Clearly, the time to act is now and I welcome you to join us in our pursuit of democracy, human rights and peace in our beloved Israel!”

Top News and Analysis

Demolition in East Jerusalem neighborhood heightens tensions in the city, CNN
Israeli forces have demolished a building in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Al Bustan, the first in what locals fear could be a string of demolitions in the area. The operation comes during a period of heightened tension in Jerusalem, with Palestinian residents in another neighborhood, Sheikh Jarrah, facing the threat of forced removal from their homes, and a series of violent clashes in May between Israeli police and Palestinians around the Aqsa mosque in the Old City.

Palestinian frustrations with West Bank government boil over with death of activist, Washington Post
Palestinians and advocacy groups continued Tuesday to protest the recent death of a local anti-corruption activist in the custody of Palestinian security forces, following days in which marchers braved beatings and intimidation to rally in cities across the West Bank. In Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem, protesters have called for an independent investigation of the death of Nizar Banat, a vocal critic of the governing Palestinian Authority, and for President Mahmoud Abbas to step down from his 16-year rule.

Israel reaches compromise with settlers on West Bank outpost, AP
Israel has reached a compromise with Jewish settlers who rapidly established an unauthorized outpost in the occupied West Bank last month, officials and the settlers said Wednesday. Under the agreement, the settlers will leave by the end of the week. The area will become a closed military zone, but the houses and roads will remain in place. A survey will be carried out that the settlers say will prove the outpost was not established on land privately owned by Palestinians. That would pave the way authorization, allowing them to establish a religious school and for some families to return.


Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid opens embassy in Abu Dhabi, The Guardian
Israel’s foreign minister has inaugurated the country’s new embassy in Abu Dhabi in the first official Israeli visit to the United Arab Emirates since the two countries normalised relations last year.

Arizona GOP congressman Paul Gosar to hold fundraiser with white supremacist Holocaust revisionist, JTA
Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican congressman known for his fervid support of former President Donald Trump, has announced a campaign fundraiser with Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist who has questioned the dimensions of the Holocaust.

‘I refuse to visit his grave’: the trauma of mothers caught in Israel-Gaza conflict, The Guardian
Many women have lost children, been separated from newborns or are unable to breastfeed and bond with their babies because of the war

Israel Hits 3-month COVID High as It Races to Curb Delta Variant, Haaretz
Israel reported its highest daily coronavirus infection rate in three months on Wednesday, with 293 people testing positive for the virus while efforts to curb the spread of the delta variant continue. However, the number of severe COVID cases in Israel remains low. The delta variant was first discovered in India and is considered highly contagious.

Inside Beita’s protests: ‘The settlers didn’t understand who they were dealing with’, +972 Magazine
For weeks, Palestinians in Beita have been burning tires, shining lasers, and defying army violence day and night to resist an Israeli settlement outpost.

Opinion and Analysis

The Palestinians Will Not—and Cannot—Be Ignored, Foreign Affairs
Rashid Khalidi writes, “For years, pundits and politicians have declared that the Palestinians were defeated and demoralized and that their cause had lost its salience. The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump translated this view into policies even more stridently anti-Palestinian than those that preceded them. This understanding that the Palestinians could safely be forgotten was also the basis of the normalization of relations between Israel and four Arab countries in 2020. But the uprising in the West Bank, the countrywide general strike, and the solidarity of the Palestinian diaspora delivered a clear message: the Palestinians cannot be ignored.”

Biden’s Billion-dollar Question: Does Iran Still Want a Deal?, Haaretz
Alon Pinkas writes, “Following the Islamic Republic’s recent election and ahead of a new round of nuclear talks, some in the administration are asking whether Tehran really wants an agreement or is happy with brinkmanship and stalling”

Old friends: Rivlin leaves Washington, confident Biden is in Israel’s corner, Times of Israel
Jacob Magid writes, “While President Reuven Rivlin’s farewell visit to the US has been a mostly ceremonial affair, he managed to inject a good deal of substance into his Monday meeting at the White House, conveying critical messages on behalf of the new Israeli government regarding its views on the Iran nuclear file, the Palestinians and broader regional issues.”

Stop Israeli Weapons Killing Global Environmental Activists, Haaretz
Eitay Mack writes, “If [Environmental Protection Minister] Zandberg is interested in participating in the global war against climate change, she must do so by reviving the proposal she boldly promoted in the Knesset for several years: amending the Defense Export Control Law. Only such legislation will ensure that Israeli weapons, training and surveillance systems will no longer reach corrupt and violent regimes around the world that violate human rights, among them those in Brazil, Honduras and Colombia.”