News Roundup for June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022
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J Street in the News

J Street Action Fund Pumps Money in Donna Edwards’ Campaign, The Washington Post
“J Street Action Fund, a super PAC affiliated with the progressive “pro-Israel, pro-peace” advocacy group, is ramping up its support of former Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) ahead of next months’ primary in an open, safely Democratic district. The super PAC will spend $500,000 on TV ads and $160,000 on digital ads and direct mail backing Edwards, who’s running to recapture the seat she relinquished in 2016 to run for Senate. (Democratic Rep. Anthony Brown, who succeeded her, is running for attorney general.) The spending comes after the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s super PAC, United Democracy Project, poured nearly $1.9 million in attacks on Edwards, according to campaign finance records. AIPAC has endorsed her primary opponent, former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey.”

J Street Action Fund Launches $660,000 Independent Expenditure Campaign in Support of Donna Edwards, J Street
“J Street Action Fund, the independent expenditure arm of the leading pro-Israel, pro-peace group J Street, announced today a major $660,000 campaign in support of prominent progressive Democrat Donna Edwards, the former four-term Congresswoman who is running again for her former seat in Maryland’s 4th district. The campaign will include a $500,000 television ad buy along with $160,000 in spending on digital advertising and direct mail to Democratic voters across the district ahead of the July 19 primary.”

Top News and Analysis

Israel Votes To Dissolve Parliament, Collapsing Government and Triggering Fifth Election in Three Years, CNBC
In what now feels like a familiar story, Israel’s government has collapsed after the Parliament, or Knesset, voted on Thursday to dissolved itself. This paves the way for a fifth election in three years, after the most diverse and unlikely coalition in the country’s history — which featured centrists, right wingers, left wingers, and even Islamists — eventually hit a level of gridlock it could not overcome, just one year into its existence.

Outgoing Israeli PM Naftali Bennett Won’t Run In Upcoming Election, Axios
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has decided not to run in the upcoming election, his office said on Wednesday. Bennett’s announcement comes as the Israeli Knesset is set to vote on calling an early election. Once an election is called, Bennett will be replaced by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. Bennett will stay on as the alternate prime minister until the elections.


U.S., Israel and Several Arab Countries Establish Negev Forum, Axios
Senior diplomats from the U.S., Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Morocco and Bahrain met in Manama, Bahrain, on Monday to push forward with the establishment of the Negev Forum, a new framework for cooperation in the region.

Ben and Jerry’s Sells Its Israeli Business, CNN
Unilever has sold its Ben & Jerry’s business in Israel to its distributor in the country, following ongoing controversy related to its activities in Israel and the West Bank. Unilever announced Wednesday the sale for an undisclosed amount to American Quality Products (AQP), which distributes Ben & Jerry’s in Israel. Going forward, under AQP ownership, Ben & Jerry’s will be sold under its Hebrew and Arabic names throughout Israel and the West Bank.

Israeli Military, Palestinians Clash at West Bank Shrine, AP
Palestinian gunmen opened fire at Jewish worshipers on Thursday at a flashpoint holy site in the occupied West Bank, wounding an Israeli military officer and two civilians, the Israeli army said. The Palestinian official news agency Wafa said a Palestinian teenager was wounded by live fire and 16 others by rubber bullets in clashes with Israeli forces at the site near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, a frequent point of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

In Legislative Blitz, MKs Approve Omicron Grants, Protection for Sex Abuse Victims, The Times of Israel
The Knesset passes legislation approving financial grants to small and medium businesses harmed by the Omicron wave of the coronavirus earlier this year, as part of a package of bills agreed upon by coalition and opposition lawmakers before they voted this morning to disband the parliament and hold new elections. The approved legislative package also includes a law strengthening the confidentiality of mental care treatments undergone by victims of sexual abuse and domestic abuse, so that those documents will become less prone to be revealed in courts during criminal cases.

Opinion and Analysis

‘Cautious Optimism’ Again as U.S.-Iran Nuclear Talks Resume, Haaretz
Zvi Bar’el writes, “The West and Iran have returned to using the familiar phrase, “cautious optimism,” in describing the chances of this round of talks, with no one warning that this is “a final opportunity.” The working assumption in the West is that the resumption of negotiations is in itself evidence that Iran’s leaders have decided to end them soon so that Iran can join the global oil market and start benefiting from the fruits of the accord before Europe finds alternative sources to replace Russian oil.”