News Roundup for March 18, 2022

March 18, 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

Zelenskyy To Give Zoom Speech To Israeli Knesset Sunday, Al-Monitor
The address of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Knesset makes headlines even before it is delivered. Zelenskyy is set to address Knesset members and government ministers via Zoom March 20 at 6 p.m. local time. The legislators and ministers will not be allowed to ask Zelenskyy questions or respond to his address, even if they speak Ukrainian or Russian.


Israel to Buy Laser Defense Systems Against Rockets for Hundreds of Millions of Shekels, Haaretz
The Defense Ministry is set to close a deal for laser-based defense systems over the next few days, the country’s latest upgrade to its defense arsenal with a bill totaling hundreds of millions of shekels.

17 Tons of Equipment for Israeli Field Hospital en Route to Ukraine, The Times of Israel
Seventeen tons of equipment needed to set up an Israeli field hospital in Ukraine were loaded onto a cargo plane of national carrier El Al Thursday, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Ukraine War: ‘Other Democracies Paid a Price. They’ll Ask Why Israel Isn’t Joining’, Haaretz
U.S. and Israeli experts say patience in D.C. is wearing thin with Jerusalem’s position on Russia sanctions, after Israel tempered expectations that it will keep oligarchs close to Putin from finding safe harbor.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel Has Opened Its Arms To Ukrainian Immigrants. But Will They Have Equal Rights?, The Times of Israel
Amy Spiro writes, “As millions flee the war in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, Israeli officials have declared that they will open their arms to any Ukrainians who qualify to immigrate to Israel. Under the Law of Return, any individual with at least one Jewish grandparent, or a Jewish spouse, is eligible for Israeli citizenship. However, a significant portion of those new immigrants are expected to be [in a] category [where they are not considered Jewish, since their fathers, not their mothers, are Jews] – Jewish enough to obtain citizenship, but not Jewish enough to be married or buried as Jews in the Jewish state.”

War in Ukraine: I Made the Heartbreaking Journey From Kyiv to the Border. This Is What I Saw, Haaretz
Nir Gontarz reflects, “Polish volunteers offer us sandwiches and hot tea, and some try to console the child with toys. But he keeps woefully crying, and I suddenly find myself sobbing along with him. I imagine that he was forced to flee with his family while his father had to stay behind with the rest of the men. I picture the boy hearing the first blasts, noticing the rushed packing, enduring the never-ending train ride. I ask him his name. Adam, his mother answers…I see Adam and his family settling into one of the tents and can’t help but think about Israel’s treatment of the Ukrainian refugees. I recall a conversation with a Ukrainian government official who was upset about the scenes of refugees stuck at Ben-Gurion Airport. “It’s not that you’ve forgotten what it means to be Jews and refugees,” he said. “You’ve forgotten what it means to be human beings.””