News Roundup for June 9, 2023

June 9, 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.

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Soldier Kills Palestinian after Checkpoint Confrontation, Reuters
A Palestinian driver was shot dead at an Israeli army checkpoint near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials said, after what Israel’s military said was a confrontation between the man and one of the soldiers.

The Notorious Kahanist Facing Racism and Terror Charges Advising Israel’s Far-right Security Minister, Haaretz
Ultranationalist activist Bentzi Gopstein, who was banned by the High Court of Justice from running for the Knesset, is advising National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and police officers. Gopstein is now facing charges of incitement to racism and terrorism. Several sources told Haaretz that Gopstein, chairman of the far-right Lehava organization, is involved in decisions pertaining to senior police and to routine police activity such as appointing commanders.

US and Iran Both Deny Report of Nearing Interim Nuclear Deal, Reuters
The United States and Iran on Thursday both denied a report that they were nearing an interim deal under which Tehran would curb its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief. “This report is false and misleading,” said a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, referring to an article on the London-based Middle East Eye website. “Any reports of an interim deal are false.”

UN Commission Accuses Israel of Taking Aim at Palestinian Human Rights Groups, AP
Investigators commissioned by the U.N.’s top human rights body on Thursday accused Israel of “delegitimizing and silencing civil society” by outlawing Palestinian human rights groups and labeling their members as “terrorists.” The findings came in the annual report by the Human Rights Council’s “Commission of Inquiry.”


Pro-democracy Protester in Boston Hospitalized After Israeli Economy Minister’s Security Shove Him, Haaretz
Economy Minister Nir Barkat’s security violently shoved pro-democracy protester attempting to trail the Netanyahu ally at Boston’s Israeli Consulate, forcing one protester to be taken to a nearby hospital. Barkat was set to hold meetings with local Jewish community leaders at the Israeli Consulate in Boston, one day after a consulate-sponsored event at a local synagogue was canceled due to fears of protesters.

Palestinian Journalist Hit in Head by Bullet During Raid on Terror Suspect’s Home, The Guardian
A Palestinian news photographer is in serious condition after being hit in the head by a rubber bullet during a rare Israeli raid in Ramallah. A convoy of Israel Defence Forces (IDF) vehicles entered the city late on Wednesday night in order to demolish the home of a terrorism suspect who had been accused of planting two bombs targeting rush-hour commuters in Jerusalem last November that killed two people and injured another 21.

As Critical Medicine Runs Out in West Bank, Palestinian Authority Points at Israel, Haaretz
The Palestinian Authority is blaming Israel for an acute drug shortage in the West Bank that is affecting Palestinian hospitals and residents with chronic conditions, arguing Israel has failed to help the organization supply and fund the medicines. The Gaza Strip is facing a similar crisis.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel Is Officially Annexing the West Bank, Foreign Policy
Michael Sfard, Israeli human rights defender, argues, “Despite abundant, unequivocal evidence that Israel is applying its sovereignty in the West Bank, absent an official declaration of annexation—and with the territory officially under military, rather than civilian, command—the world has not treated Israel’s actions as a violation of one of the core tenets of international law: the prohibition on unilateral annexation of territory occupied by force.”

56 Years Later, Let’s De-Normalize the Occupation, The Jewish Journal
Americans for Peace Now President Hadar Susskind writes, “What happens to two societies in conflict, which internalize occupation as a way of life, the only way of life they know? What happens to the occupiers and what happens to the occupied? You don’t need a degree in sociology to answer this question. It’s enough to read the papers, or, even better, visit Israel and Palestine. Many Israelis and Palestinians cannot even imagine life differently.”

Flashpoint in Israel: Divide Between Religious and Secular Jews Heats Up Under Netanyahu’s Rule, AP
AP journalist Laurie Kellman writes, “With ultra-Orthodox parties now wielding unprecedented power in Israel’s new government — and playing a key role in a contentious plan to overhaul the legal system — they are aggravating concerns among secular Israelis that the character and future of their country is under threat. Thanks to its supercharged political clout, the haredi community has gained massive budgets that critics say will entrench its isolated way of life and weaken Israel’s economic prospects as the ultra-Orthodox population balloons.”

How Concerned Should We Be about Elon Musk?, New Jersey Jewish News
Mark Lurinsky, member of the steering committee of J Street’s New Jersey chapter, discusses Elon Musk’s recent antisemitic comments and the responses from mainstream community and political leaders.