News Roundup for June 4, 2020

June 4, 2020

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Top News and Analysis

The Three Most Commonly Held Misconceptions About Israel’s Annexation Plan, Haaretz
Michael Sfard writes, “Annexation will set off a process of Palestinian dispossession and Israeli development of these areas, the scope and speed of which are impossible without annexation. This process will, for the first time, depend much less on the Israeli government and its policy and much more on the leaders of the settlements.”

Alumni of gap-year programs in Israel call on US Jewish groups to reject Netanyahu’s West Bank annexation plan, JTA
“As young American Jews, who spent a formative year of our lives in Israel, we unequivocally condemn the threat of unilateral annexation. We know that this plan undermines the dream of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state, threatens Palestinian human rights, and endangers Israeli security,” the letter says. “If enacted, it will irreparably harm the strength of the US-Israel relationship. Therefore, we believe it is our obligation to oppose this plan. We demand that our elected officials and leaders of American Jewish organizations stand with us, and issue public statements condemning annexation.”


Netanyahu and settlers clash over West Bank annexation plans, AP
Despite what is widely viewed as a pro-Israel peace plan, settler leaders have voiced concern that the maps they have seen leave many settlements as isolated enclaves. They also reject any recognition of a Palestinian state, as outlined in the American plan, and have pressed Netanyahu to make changes.

Ex-defense chief Mattis rebukes Trump over protests, implies comparison to Nazis, Times of Israel
Former Pentagon chief Jim Mattis issued a stinging rebuke of his erstwhile boss Donald Trump on Wednesday, accusing the US president of trying to “divide” America and failing to provide “mature leadership” as the country reels from days of protests, while implying a comparison with the tactics used by Nazi Germany.

Israel Police Tell Anti-annexation Activists Not to Promote Protest on Facebook, Haaretz
At meeting with the police, protesters were told that the police would not approve marches due to coronavirus restrictions. However, recently issued measures to do not explicitly prohibit such gatherings.

58% of Israelis believe West Bank annexation could lead to a 3rd Palestinian uprising, survey finds, JTA
Those who most support applying Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank are voters for the haredi Orthodox parties and the farther right Yamina. Among voters for the centrist-left Blue and White, the majority opposes applying sovereignty either with or without U.S. agreement and only about one third favor it. The highest rates of Likud voters are prepared to apply sovereignty even without U.S. consent.

Trump signs ‘Never Again’ Holocaust education bill into law, Times of Israel
US President Donald Trump signed into law on Thursday legislation to allocate $10 million in federal funding over the next five years to further Holocaust education.

Far-right extremists held on terror charges for inciting violence at US protests, AFP/TOI
Far-right extremists held on terror charges for inciting violence at US protests

In move seen as ‘nearly suicidal,’ Abbas’s PA refuses tax transfers from Israel, Times of Israel
The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday said it will no longer accept tax revenue transfers from Israel as it pushes ahead with efforts to void understandings and end coordination with Israel.

‘None of Us Are Immune From Police Violence’: Hundreds Protest George Floyd Murder in Tel Aviv, Haaretz
Chanting “Black lives matter” and “No justice, no peace,” some 300 people gathered in front of the U.S. Embassy’s Tel Aviv branch Tuesday, to protest the killing of George Floyd that triggered a wave of demonstrations across America over the past week.

Joint List MK diagnosed with virus, shutting down Knesset, Times of Israel
MK Sami Abou Shahadeh of the Joint List announced Thursday that he tested positive for the coronavirus days after being photographed in crowds not wearing a mask, forcing the Knesset to suspend most activities Thursday.

Opinion and Analysis

Jewish history shows the consequences of tolerating police brutality, JTA
Henry Abramson writes, “As cities around the nation burn with righteous indignation over yet another horrific incident of police brutality directed against a black man, Jewish leaders must reflect on our own long and ambiguous history with police as we grapple with our role in what is unfolding today. “

‘Iyad was the flower of the family. They cut him down too early’, +972 Mag
The family of Iyad al-Hallaq, the Palestinian with autism killed by police, describes a man who had recently began to cook and was terrified of Israeli soldiers. ‘They took my mother’s joy and left a wound that won’t heal.’