News Roundup for June 7 2021

June 7, 2021

Receive the roundup in your inbox every morning!

J Stream

Wednesday, June 9 at 1 pm Eastern: Israeli Political Update with Gabriel Mitchell

J Street in the News

Israel’s likely leadership change prompts a hasty rethinking in Washington, Washington Post
“Bennett is hardly a dove — he opposes a fully independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and has advocated Israeli annexation of part of that occupied territory. But he would govern atop a hodgepodge of mostly centrists united around the premise that Netanyahu must go, and he is slated to cede the prime ministership in two years to the more moderate Yair Lapid. That could make it hard for Bennett to take too many hard-line actions that would anger Washington, said Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the liberal pro-Israel advocacy group J Street. ‘Bibi Netanyahu had the stature and the confidence to publicly take on the president of the United States on his home turf and oppose what he wanted to do’ on Iran, Ben-Ami said. ‘To use a technical term, that required a lot of chutzpah.’ While the new Israeli government also opposes the Iran deal, its leaders are unlikely to actively undermine it in the United States in the same way, Ben-Ami added.”

With new Israeli government, Democrats may seek ‘reset’, Roll Call
“J Street, the more liberal and larger pro-Israel advocacy group increasingly favored by Democrats, was more cautious about what the leadership of Bennett, whose positions on the Palestinians place him to the right of Netanyahu, would foreshadow. ‘While we have good reason to hope that [the new government] would be far more moderate and reasonable than its predecessor in many areas, we also cannot expect that it will act to end the intolerable, unjust and deteriorating status quo of endless occupation and recurring violence,’ said Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street. Few Democrats will mourn Netanyahu’s likely loss of power. But some advocates of Palestinian rights are worried it will put a halt to what they saw as positive momentum toward Democrats being more willing to question the United States’ long-standing unconditional support for Israel and Washington’s grudging tolerance of Israel’s creeping annexation of the Palestinian territories.”

Top News and Analysis

Israel Won’t Intervene in Sheikh Jarrah Case, Making Eviction of Palestinian Families More Likely, Haaretz
Israel’s attorney general informed the Supreme Court on Monday he will not intervene in the high-profile eviction case before the court against Palestinian families of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in a move officials say bodes ill for the chances of stopping their slated eviction. Officials in Avichai Mendelblit’s office say they believe the families’ case is too weak and that his legal opinion would not be able to prevent their pending eviction. A source close to Mendelblit told Haaretz that the political leadership backs the decision to refrain from arguing before the court on behalf of the state.

Echoing Trump, Netanyahu says election stolen, ‘deep state’ within new coalition, Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to step up his attacks on his rival and likely successor Naftali Bennett on Sunday, calling the Yamina leader a serial liar and saying the potential incoming government was in league with the so-called “deep state.”

Palestinian mom fights to stave off punitive home demolition, AP
Sanaa Shalaby says she had no idea what her estranged husband was up to until Israeli soldiers raided her home in the occupied West Bank last month. Now she’s waging a legal battle to prevent Israel from demolishing the two-story villa where she lives with her three youngest children. It’s drawing attention to Israel’s policy of punitive home demolitions, which rights groups view as collective punishment.


Security officials warn Jerusalem right-wing parade could ‘set the area alight’, Times of Israel
Former security officials warned Sunday against allowing a planned right-wing nationalist march to be held in Jerusalem later this week, warning it could fuel a broader Israeli-Palestinian conflagration over the city.

Organizers Cancel Jerusalem March After Police Refuse to Let Is Pass Through Muslim Quarter, Haaretz
The organizers of a planned right-wing march in Jerusalem said on Monday they had decided to cancel the event, set for Thursday, after Israeli police announced they wouldn’t allow the Flag March to pass through the OId City’s Muslim Quarter, citing security concerns.

Likud MK says Bennett, Sa’ar like ‘suicide bombers’ facing ‘death sentence’, Times of Israel
A day after the head of the Shin Bet security service urged politicians to express themselves responsibly and avoid radicalized discourse amid rising incitement, Likud MK May Golan on Sunday called the right-wing leaders of the so-called change bloc “suicide bombers.”

Israeli security chief warns of Jan. 6-type violence, Axios
The director of Israel’s domestic security service, the Shin Bet, warned on Saturday of growing incitement that could lead to politically motivated violence.

Top rabbis urge followers to ‘do everything’ to thwart new government, Times of Israel
Leading national religious rabbis on Saturday night released an open letter calling for their supporters to “do everything” to ensure the so-called “change government” is thwarted.

Netanyahu hunts for defectors from change bloc, Al-Monitor
Even now, with the new government to be sworn in as early as June 9, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuses to give up.

Knesset to meet on setting date for vote on new government, likely June 14, Times of Israel
Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin will on Monday bring to the Knesset Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid’s statement that he can form a government, setting in motion the process of holding a vote of confidence in the new, eight-party coalition that would oust the current transition government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel’s Supreme Court could stop evictions of Palestinians, Washington Post
Talia Sasson writes, “The recent clashes between Israel and Hamas had their roots in protests in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Last month, the Israeli Supreme Court delayed a discussion about whether to uphold the eviction orders against a handful of Palestinian families there. But when the court does make its decision, it will reverberate far beyond one small, otherwise sleepy neighborhood.”

Don’t expect Netanyahu’s departure to alter the course of politics in Israel, The Guardian
Daniella Peled writes, “The burning desire to depose Israel’s longest serving leader is certainly the driving force behind the disparate eight-party coalition that hopes to replace him. But another factor also unites them – by default, if not by design: the consensus that in determining the future of the Jewish state, the conflict with the Palestinians can be managed in perpetuity. Netanyahu, more than any other Israeli leader, has promoted this idea, cementing it so fast within the national consciousness that it may be his most enduring legacy.”

After unending conflicts, Gazans wrestle with rebuilding — and whether it’s worth it, Washington Post
Loveday Morris and Hazem Balousha write, “More than two weeks after the cease-fire, life has returned; even beach cafes have reopened. But existence remains shaped by destruction and reconstruction. Families are being forced once more to rebuild and repair their homes, their businesses and what they can of their lives — their suffering compounded by losses on top of losses, trauma on top of trauma.”

The Daily: Will Netanyahu Fall?, New York Times
How a political coalition has come to threaten the position of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.

Inside Israel’s largest crackdown on Palestinian citizens in decades, +972 Mag
Suha Arraf and Baker Zoubi write, “The police hoped that arresting thousands of Palestinian citizens would restore dignity to the force. Instead, it only strengthened Palestinian resolve.”

‘Pro-Israel’ Evangelicals Furious at Netanyahu’s Fall Turn to Sickening Antisemitism, Haaretz
Joshua Shanes writes, “Holocaust exploitation? Old-style unadulterated theological antisemitism? The sexualized betrayal of ‘the Jew,’ now revealed as perfidious, power-obsessed and perverted? A bizarre reframing of the charge of deicide? The recent screed by Mike Evans, a Christian Zionist leader celebrated by Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump and a host of prominent Israeli institutions, has it all.”