News Roundup for June 30, 2023

June 30, 2023

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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

Recent Polls of US Jews Reflect Polarized Community, Jewish Currents
“J Street’s 2020 survey asked respondents if they would support “provid[ing] the same amount of money the US gives to Israel in military assistance but restrict[ing] it so that no US aid can be spent on annexation [of the West Bank.]” Fifty-seven percent of respondents were strongly (23%) or somewhat (34%) in favor… J Street Vice President of Communications Logan Bayroff told Jewish Currents that the majority of American Jews, “care about Israel’s security, support ongoing US security assistance to Israel, but at the same time feel that that aid shouldn’t be just a blank check.”

J Street Congratulates Ambassador Daniel Shapiro on his Appointment as Senior Advisor for Regional Integration, J Street
J Street congratulates Ambassador Daniel Shapiro on his appointment as Senior Advisor for Regional Integration. As an adept and effective ambassador to Israel under President Obama, he is well placed to support the Biden administration’s commitment to advancing a more peaceful and interconnected region, deepening and broadening Israel’s normalization with Arab- and Muslim-majority countries and building on the Negev Forum.

Top News and Analysis

Israel’s Push to Expand West Bank Settlements, Explained, The New York Times
Efforts by Israel to expand Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank have intensified this year, reflecting the agenda of the country’s right-wing government and prompting international condemnation of a practice that most countries say violates international law. Critics say that the expansion of the settlements undermines the prospects of any comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians based on a two-state solution.


Court Freezes Evacuation of Illegal West Bank Outpost, as Two Other Outposts Removed, The Times of Israel
The Jerusalem District Court on Thursday froze a military order to remove a new illegal West Bank outpost, after the settler activists who set up the dwelling last week appealed to the court to find an alternative solution. Security forces belonging to the Civil Administration arrived at the Hamor outpost Thursday morning to enforce the evacuation order, but the court order freezing its implementation was received as those forces were preparing to evacuate and demolish the outpost, and so no enforcement actions were taken.

Dan Shapiro, Former Ambassador to Israel, Tapped as Biden Administration’s Abraham Accords Envoy, The Forward
Former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro was tapped on Thursday as the Biden administration’s official charged to advance regional peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Shapiro, 53, was ambassador to Israel under President Barack Obama and built a healthy working relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a contentious period between the leaders of both countries.

Israeli President Herzog Invited to Address Joint Meeting of Congress, The Washington Post
Congressional leaders have invited Israeli President Isaac Herzog to address a joint meeting of Congress when he visits the United States next month, to mark the 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding. Herzog has been invited to address Congress on July 19 by Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

Fight Heats Up as Israeli Efforts to Enter US Visa Waiver Program Go Down to the Wire, Haaretz
Israel is entering the final stretch to see whether it can finally gain entry into the coveted US Visa Waiver Program, and advocates on both sides of the argument in the United States are preparing for an intense three months. Israel has not been eligible for the program until now for a variety of reasons. Foremost among these is its failure to guarantee reciprocity, whereby every US citizen will be allowed to travel freely to and from Israel and the West Bank.

Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir Hold Meeting Aimed at ‘Coping with Protestors’, The Jerusalem Post
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a meeting with Justice Minister Yariv Levin, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and a number of other ministers on Thursday morning titled “Restrictions in Public Space,” intended to deal with legal tools to cope with protestors. The meeting came after a group of protesters against the government’s judicial reforms blocked roads and burned tires in front of Levin’s home early on Tuesday morning.

Opinion and Analysis

Why Is the Palestinian Authority Weak? Israeli Occupation, Haaretz
Jack Khoury argues, “If Israel really wishes to strengthen the PA, it will have to strengthen the purpose for which it was established – to be a basis for a just political solution. Otherwise, there is no justification for its existence. At present, the PA is only serving the occupation. Which is why Netanyahu, who adamantly opposes any political accord, has done his best to prop it up.”