News Roundup for March 2, 2021

March 2, 2021

Receive the roundup in your inbox every morning!

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

The harmful effect of despair on Israel’s Left, The Jerusalem Post
J Street’s Nadav Tamir writes, “During my time working alongside Shimon Peres, I often heard him say that despair was not a work plan. I witnessed how this approach enabled him to change reality, helping advance both the State of Israel and the cause of peace.”

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Health Officials To Government: Vaccinate All Palestinians, NPR
Israeli health officials have urged their country’s leaders to help vaccinate the entire Palestinian population against COVID-19, citing a public health imperative, an outgoing senior health official told NPR Monday. “This is really important, to vaccinate the entire Palestinian Authority population, and I believe it will go this way,” said Itamar Grotto, who helped lead Israel’s pandemic response and stepped down Monday as deputy director general of Israel’s Health Ministry. “This is the recommendation of all the experts, and I believe that the politicians will follow our recommendations.”

Israel’s Vaccine Apartheid, Haaretz
Amira Hass writes, “The embarrassing, daily question is: ‘Have you been inoculated?’ The shameful response is ‘yes.’ Those who ask are Palestinian neighbors and friends, acquaintances and interviewees, residents of the West Bank (not including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. They don’t intend to embarrass me, certainly not to shame me. They express a human, friendly interest. Usually they respond: ‘that’s great,’ when they hear the answer. The embarrassment and shame are in the fact that we, the citizens of Israel, are inoculated and they are not.”


Israeli Court Says Converts to Non-Orthodox Judaism Can Claim Citizenship, New York Times
People who convert in Israel to Reform or Conservative Judaism have a right to citizenship, the Supreme Court ruled, chipping at the power of Orthodox authorities that see them as non-Jewish.

Biden admin ‘enthusiastically embraces’ full IHRA definition of antisemitism, Jewish Insider
Secretary of State Tony Blinken wrote that the Biden administration “enthusiastically embraces” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, including its full list of examples.

For Second Time, Israeli Settler Filmed Expelling Arab Family Having a Picnic, Haaretz
A West Bank settler was filmed trying to eject an Arab family from a public area on Friday, three weeks after being filmed ejecting, with the help of a soldier, an Arab family having a picnic in the same area.

Opinion and Analysis

Can Silwan’s rekindled protests beat back Israel’s eviction threats?, +972 Mag
Oren Ziv writes, “Zoheir Rajbi has been feeling encouraged, almost optimistic. In early February, hundreds of Israelis came to his community of Batan al-Hawa in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, where he has been leading the struggle against evictions of Palestinian families. Together with dozens of Palestinians, the Israeli activists led a march from Silwan to Balfour Street, the locus of the anti-Netanyahu protests that have been taking place regularly outside the Prime Minister’s Residence for the past year. The march was a rare sight in East Jerusalem, and particularly in Silwan, a neighborhood of 60,000 Palestinians and several hundred Jewish settlers.”

Conversion ruling ends decades of official shunning of Reform, Conservative, Times of Israel
Haviv Rettig Gur writes, “Israel’s High Court of Justice issued a groundbreaking ruling on Monday that will mean formal recognition by the state to non-Orthodox Jewish communities in the country — and likely spark a dramatic uptick in the country’s religious culture wars and, quite possibly, a move in the Knesset to clip the wings of the court.”

Netanyahu Is in Distress, and His Pre-election Media Blitz Proves It, Haaretz
Yossi Verter writes, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose moaning bellowed out of our radios Monday morning, was at his absolute worst: crude, lying, taunting, humiliating and slandering. Not something pleasant to listen to with your morning coffee. But mostly he sounded stressed out and frustrated. Like the neighborhood bully who grabs a club and heads to the market to look for victims, Netanyahu came for a fight, this time with Aryeh Golan of Kan Bet radio and Efi Triger of Army Radio. And other interviewers will be waiting for him down the road.”