News Roundup for June 8, 2023

June 8, 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.

J Street In the News

Tucker Carlson Traffics in Antisemitic Tropes About Ukraine’s Zelenskyy on Twitter Show Debut, Haaretz
“‘U.S. media’s largest purveyor of right-wing conspiracy theories and antisemitism starts his new show with antisemitism and conspiracy theories. Quelle surprise,’ J Street said following the debut of the Twitter show.”

Israel to Test Eased Entry for Palestinian-Americans Before Landing US Visa Waiver, The Times of Israel
“The Progressive Israel Network…penned a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday in which they stated that “any agreement permitting Israel entry to the [VWP] must therefore entail it not only promising to end [discriminatory] practices but verifiably doing so on a permanent basis.” That letter echoed another one sent last month to Blinken and Mayorkas by 16 Democratic senators who asked them to clarify the scope of the reciprocity demand and demonstrate that there will be mechanisms in place to hold Israel accountable if it fails to abide by its commitments.”

Top News and Analysis

‘She Didn’t Even Read It’: Israel’s Foreign Minister Fires Back at Kamala Harris Over Judicial Overhaul, Haaretz
Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said on Wednesday he believes U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris – who hours earlier took a snipe at the Israeli government’s planned judicial overhaul during an independence day celebration at the Israeli Embassy in Washington – didn’t even read the legislation. In an interview with Israel’s Public Radio, Cohen was asked about Harris’ comments stressing the shared values between Israel and the U.S. “If you ask her what about the reform troubles her, she wouldn’t be able to name one clause that bothers her,” he responded.

Israeli Economy Minister Cancels Consulate Event at Boston Synagogue Amid Protest Concerns, Haaretz
Economy Minister Nir Barkat pulled out of an event organized by the Israeli Consulate in Boston at a local Reform synagogue amid fears of protesters interrupting him. Barkat’s cancellation is a victory for pro-democracy protesters who have hounded visiting Israeli officials over the past several days across northeast America, vowing to keep members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right coalition from enjoying their time abroad and feeling the same pressure exerted domestically.


US Urges IDF to Re-evaluate Use of Deadly Force After Palestinian Toddler Killed, The Times of Israel
The U.S. urged Israel to probe its use of deadly force during military operations among civilians, a day after a two-year-old Palestinian boy died as a result of being mistakenly shot by Israeli troops during a West Bank gunfire exchange last week. “We express our condolences to the family of Mohammed Tamimi. We urge Israel to evaluate all use of deadly force that involves civilian casualties and we call on Israeli and Palestinian leadership to take responsible actions to end the conflict,” the U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs said in a statement.

Israeli Forces Demolish Ramallah Home of Jerusalem Bomber, The Jerusalem Post
Israeli forces entered Ramallah on Wednesday night and demolished the home of the terrorist behind the November Jerusalem bus stop bombings, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. Clashes erupted as the Israeli forces entered Ramallah, with at least three Palestinians injured by Israeli fire, according to Palestinian reports.

In Jerusalem’s Contested Old City, Shrinking Armenian Community Fears Displacement After Land Deal, AP
A real estate deal in Jerusalem’s Old City, at the epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has sent the historic Armenian community there into a panic as residents search for answers about the feared loss of their homes to a mysterious investor. The 99-year lease of some 25% of the Old City’s Armenian Quarter has touched sensitive nerves in the Holy Land and sparked a controversy extending far beyond the Old City walls.

Opinion and Analysis

Why Do I Fight for Israeli-Palestinian Peace?, The Jerusalem Post
Columnist and activist Gershon Baskin writes, “Without having a defined solution to this conflict, I will continue to work every day to try to help us all to find the path back to the negotiating table and back to the hope that one day, we will live in peace.”

Israel Is No Longer Able to Bring Its High-ranking Criminals to Justice, Haaretz
Haaretz’s Uri Misgav argues, “The Israeli justice system is struggling to do its job. Profound correction is needed, in one area alone: streamlining of legal proceedings. The Netanyahu trial is the perfect case in point. It has been dragging on for three and a half years already. At this pace, it won’t finish in our lifetimes.”

Mike Pence and the Jews: What to Know as He Begins a Presidential Campaign, The Forward
Ron Kampeas of The Forward writes, “Until the Jan. 6 insurrection, Mike Pence made sure to stay on the same page as Donald Trump — except, sometimes, when it came to the Jews. Both men delighted the pro-Israel establishment — Trump by fulfilling a long wishlist of Israel’s right-wing government, Pence by proving himself as a stalwart Christian Zionist through years in elected office. But just weeks after Trump assumed office, the difference in how each man approached Jewish anxieties was already stark.”