News Roundup for March 10, 2020

March 10, 2020

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Top News and Analysis

Gantz Plans Snap Move to Swear in a New Government Within Two Weeks, Haaretz
“Benny Gantz intends to form a government and have it sworn in by March 23, a source familiar with the Kahol Lavan leader’s plan told Haaretz on Tuesday. He aims to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu three weeks after Israel’s election, which ended with no decisive victory for either of the two main political blocs.”

Pence urged Netanyahu to apply quarantine to all arrivals, not just US — report, Times of Israel
US Vice President Mike Pence urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ensure that Israel’s demand for self-quarantine by those arriving from abroad be applied to arrivals from all countries, rather than singling out the US and some other locations, Channel 12 news reported Monday, citing officials familiar with the events.

Gantz Speaks to Joint List, Says Will Form Gov’t to Serve Jews and Arabs, Haaretz
Kahol Lavan head Benny Gantz spoke to leaders from the Arab majority Joint List Monday, reiterating his intention to form a government that will serve all of Israel’s citizens, both Jews and Arabs.


Lapid: Joint List-backed minority coalition the only alternative to 4th election, Times of Israel
Such a coalition, while “not the government we wanted,” is the only way to break the year-long political impasse, Lapid argued in a Facebook post.

In a dramatic step, Israel to require 14-day quarantine for all travelers from abroad, JTA
Israel will require all travelers from abroad to complete a 14-day quarantine, according to the latest regulation aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Joint List rebukes Gantz for calling only 3 of 4 of its sub-faction leaders, Times of Israel
Blue and White chief Benny Gantz called the heads of three of the four factions that make up the Joint List on Monday and told them that he was committed to forming a government that will serve both Jewish and Arab Israelis and prevent a new round elections in the coming months, a short statement distributed by the centrist party said.

Israel Approves Plans for ‘Separate Road for Palestinians’ to Enable Settlement Construction, Haaretz
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced Monday the approval of a plan to build a “separate road for Palestinians” to connect the northern and southern parts of the West Bank.

Jordan restricts use of West Bank crossing amid coronavirus fears, Times of Israel
Jordan on Monday limited use of the only border crossing between its territory and the West Bank to Palestinians and individuals with diplomatic travel documents, as the number of those infected with the novel coronavirus continued to climb.

Third AIPAC Conference Attendee Tests Positive for Coronavirus, Haaretz
A third AIPAC Policy Conference attendee has been diagnosed with the new coronavirus, a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health statement said Saturday.

As virus concerns deepen, IDF bars all soldiers returning from abroad from bases, Times of Israel
The Israel Defense Forces announced Monday it was adopting stricter restrictions on troops and military installations and was preparing to roll out more as it fears the COVID-19 outbreak will worsen.

Dozens of Palestinians face ‘terrorism court’ in Saudi Arabia, Al Jazeera
Saudi Arabia has put dozens of Palestinian activists on trial, accusing them of supporting the Gaza-based rulers Hamas.

Some survivors fear coronavirus has killed a last chance to march at Auschwitz, Times of Israel
For the first time since its founding, the annual trek of Jewish teenagers, educators, and survivors from around the world to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp on Holocaust Remembrance Day has been postponed, amid global concern over the spread of COVID-19.

Opinion and Analysis

I’m a rabbi with the coronavirus whose congregation is quarantined. It’s bringing out the best in us., JTA
Rabbi Reuven Fink writes, “I told myself we would work things out. The people of New Rochelle are resourceful people. ”

Bibi Is No Houdini, Foreign Policy
Shalom Lipner writes, “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a political magician who has run out of tricks—and his stubbornness is stopping the Israeli right from winning convincingly and governing the country.”

IDF censor redacted two thousand news items in 2019, +972 Mag
Haggai Matar writes, “According to official figures, Israel’s military censor barred full publication of over 200 articles and partially redacted another 2,000 stories.”

Israel vs. U.S.: Coronavirus Crisis Shows Importance of Public Healthcare System, Haaretz
Ronny Linder writes, “The idea that people suspected of having the coronavirus must pay for testing and any treatment is nearly inconceivable to Israelis, but that’s what Americans face.”

Avigdor Liberman, torturer of the Israeli electorate, owes us an explanation, Times of Israel
David Horovitz writes, “He could have crowned Netanyahu as PM in April, and either Netanyahu or Gantz in September. If he’s finally getting off the fence now, why did he condemn us to a year’s deadlock?”