News Roundup for March 14, 2022

March 14, 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.

Top News and Analysis

Israel Faces High Stakes as Russia Go-Between, The Hill
Israel has offered to serve as a go-between with Russia and the West as the U.S. and Europe scramble to reinforce Ukraine’s resistance against Moscow’s unprecedented assault. There’s little hope that Israel can achieve significant breakthroughs with Russia, but the offer represents an about-face for Jerusalem, which initially sought to maintain neutrality in the conflict.

Trump-Era Israeli Settlement Growth Proceeds in His Absence, AP
The growth of Israel’s West Bank settler population accelerated last year, according to figures released by a pro-settler group on Thursday, despite renewed American pressure to rein in construction on occupied territory that the Palestinians want for a future state.


Israel Is Trying To Keep Out Russian Oligarchs Fleeing Sanctions — But Some Have Already Arrived, The Washington Post
As the West squeezes Russia’s economy over its war in Ukraine, Israel says it is working to prevent Moscow’s oligarchs, some of whom also hold Israeli passports, from showing up and turning the country into a haven for sanctions evasion.

Israeli Foreign Minister Condemns Russia, Politico
Israel’s foreign minister is condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling on Moscow to halt its attacks and end the conflict. Yair Lapid’s criticism Sunday is among the strongest that has come from Israeli officials since the war began. His remarks set him apart from Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who has stopped short of condemning Russia.

After Two Decades, Israel’s Top Court to Decide on Fate of Palestinian Hamlets of Masafer Yatta, Haaretz
The High Court of Justice will hold another hearing on Tuesday for the two petitions against the permanent eviction of the residents of Masafer Yatta from their homes, part of a bid by the state to declare part of the southeastern West Bank a “firing zone” for regular Israeli military exercises.

Iran Claims Missile Barrage Near US Consulate in Iraq, ABC News
Iran claimed responsibility Sunday for a missile barrage that struck near a sprawling U.S. consulate complex in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, saying it was retaliation for an Israeli strike in Syria that killed two members of its Revolutionary Guard earlier this week.

AIPAC Is All In on Support for ‘Stop the Steal’ Candidates, The Daily Beast
Polling among the Jewish community does not support these extremist views, yet AIPAC—a single-issue advocacy organization—is betting that right-wing Trump Republicans will be victorious. And if they are, AIPAC will have demonstrated that there is no bar too low for them to back a Republican politician, as long as they support Israel.

Opinion and Analysis

AIPAC’s Latest ‘pro-Israel’ Political Stunt Endangers America, Haaretz
CEO of the Jewish Democratic Council of America Halie Soifer poses the question, “Why is AIPAC, which condemned Trump’s incitement of violence on Jan 6th and the assault on America’s democratic values, endorsing ‘pro-Israel’ candidates who align with insurrectionists and white supremacists?”

When an Israeli Chicken Farm Has More Rights Than a Palestinian Village, +972 Mag
Ali Awad and Awdah Hathaleen write, Over the past few decades, industrial cow, sheep, and chicken farms attached to Israeli settlements have increasingly encroached on Palestinian land belonging to villages like ours in the South Hebron Hills of the occupied West Bank…From expropriating our land to poisoning our agriculture, settlement farms serve Israel’s goal of forcing us out of our homes in the South Hebron Hills.”