News Roundup for June 7, 2022

June 7, 2022
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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

Political Super PACs Already Spending Millions on Primary Races, MSNBC
The midterm elections are less than six months away and millions of dollars in dark money has already been spent, including from super PAC’s like AIPAC’s United Democracy Project. J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami tells MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin that this time around AIPAC is spending millions to defeat progressive democrats who criticize the Israeli government.

80 Democrats Urge Biden to Work Against Steps Imperiling Two-state Solution, Haaretz
“80 Democrats urged the Biden administration on Friday to actively work against counterproductive measures that endanger a potential two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…J Street’s Director of Government Affairs, Hannah Morris, said: “This urgent message from Congress stresses that the Biden administration must demonstrate real leadership to promote peace and prevent the further deterioration of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.””

Middle East Moves, Jewish Insider
“Eighty House Democrats signed onto a J Street-backed letter calling on the Biden administration to take “concrete steps” to “deter harmful actions” including rising Israeli settler violence, increasing settlement construction, demolitions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and growing Israeli government spending in West Bank settlements, as well as Palestinian Authority martyr payments.”

Top News and Analysis

In Blow to Israel’s Coalition, First Vote on Divisive West Bank Bill Fails to Pass, Haaretz
Israel’s coalition failed to pass on Monday a bill extending regulations that apply Israeli law to settlers in the West Bank, with 58 lawmakers voting against the legislation and 52 backing it. The bill was meant to extend “emergency” regulations that have been in effect since 1967, and since then ratified every five years. The governing coalition can try to bring up the legislation for another vote until July 1, after which it will expire.

White House Postpones Biden Trips to Saudi Arabia and Israel, NBC News
President Joe Biden’s planned visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel later this month have been postponed until July, several officials told NBC News on Friday. The White House is now planning a broader trip to the Middle East next month, sources said. “We are working on a trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia for a GCC+3 Summit,” a senior administration official told NBC News. “We are working to confirm dates. When we have something to announce, we will.”


Palestinian Flag Raises Controversy in Israeli Universities, Al-Monitor
The Knesset approved on June 1 the initial reading of a bill by Knesset member Eli Cohen of the Likud that would ban organizations and institutions budgeted for or supported by the state from flying the Palestinian flag. Included among those bodies are all of the country’s public universities.

Bennett Says Israel Has ‘Shifted Gear’ on Iran, The Times of Israel
A senior Israeli official said Monday that diplomatic pressure is mounting on Iran over its nuclear program, which could result in the issue being referred back to the UN Security Council, an outcome Israel would welcome. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors is meeting Monday through Friday in Vienna, and is expected to censure Iran for the first time since June 2020.

Bennett Says Israel Has ‘Shifted Gear’ on Iran, Haaretz
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday that Israel has “shifted gear” when it comes to Iran, adding that he expects the UN’s nuclear watchdog to impose “a heavy price” for Tehran’s violations. “We expect the Board of Governors will issue a clear warning sign to the regime in Tehran and make clear that if they continue their defiant nuclear policy, they will pay a heavy price,” Bennett told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, following a surprise visit from the International Atomic Energy Agency director Rafael Grossi to Israel on Thursday.

Palestinians Protest Against Soaring Prices Ahead of Strike, Reuters
Palestinian police made a number of arrests on Monday as protests against soaring prices for food and other necessities spread a day ahead of a planned strike to demand action from the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority. Lawyers said at least nine people had been detained and police removed a number of tents set up in the street by protesters, who are calling for a general strike in Hebron, a city in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Opinion and Analysis

It’s Time to Talk Seriously about a Confederation of Israel and Palestine, The Forward
Editor-in-Chief of The Forward, Jodi Rudoren, argues, “It’s hard not to feel hopeless about the prospects for peace in the holy land. It has been that way for a long time. But last week I heard a proposal that was both optimistic and pragmatic — more of both those welcome qualities than anything I’ve encountered since I started covering the region a decade ago.It’s time we start talking seriously about a Confederation of Israel and Palestine.”

The Ongoing Problem of Competing Sovereign Claims to the Same Land, The Times of Israel
Former Meretz MK Naomi Chazan laments the occupation’s deleterious effects on Israel’s moral compass.