News Roundup for March 22, 2022

March 22, 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

House Democrats Ask Blinken to Stop ‘Destruction and Displacement’ of Palestinian Village, Haaretz
Fifty House Democrats urged U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to prevent Israel from moving forward with the planned displacement of Palestinian families and the demolition of their homes in the West Bank village of Walaja. Citing the historically constructive U.S. role in facilitating dialogue and reconciliation, they urged the Biden administration to work with Israel to “immediately halt demolitions in al-Walaja and ensure that the planning authorities are working with the Palestinian residents to advance an equitable development plan that will formally authorize existing homes, provide for adequate municipal services, and allow for residential and other necessary development of the village.”

Israeli PM, UAE Crown Prince in Egypt for Diplomatic Talks, The Washington Post
Israel’s prime minister and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi were in Egypt for meetings with its president on Monday, officials said, including discussions on the repercussions of the Ukraine war. The previously unannounced meetings came as Israel seeks to mediate between warring Russia and Ukraine. Egypt and the UAE have both grown relationships with Russia in past years, though both joined a U.N. General Assembly vote calling on it to stop its invasion of neighboring Ukraine.


AIPAC’s Pro-democracy ‘Super Pac’ Does Not Mention Israel in Its Mission, JTA
AIPAC’s new regular political action committee is self-evident about what it’s all about: It’s called AIPAC PAC, after all, and is committed to supporting pro-Israel candidates. The “super PAC” that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee launched in December, however, is more opaque: It’s called the United Democracy Project. Its brief mission statement does not mention Israel nor the powerhouse pro-Israel lobby behind its founding. Instead, it emphasizes the promotion of democracy.

Aliyah Express’: Israel to Ease Immigration Process for Jewish Ukrainian Refugees, Haaretz
To expedite the immigration to Israel of Jewish refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine, the Jewish Agency announced on Monday plans to ease much of the bureaucracy involved.

Bennett Says He Won’t Pick Public Fight With US Over Iran Nuclear Deal, The Times of Israel
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Monday that he has no intention of creating a public rift with the United States over the renewed nuclear deal with Iran, which he said he believes Washington will sign no matter what.

In First Since 2017, Jordan’s King to Visit West Bank in Bid to Ease Tensions Before Ramadan, Palestinian Official Says, Haaretz
Jordanian King Abdullah II will visit Ramallah to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later this month, a senior Palestinian Authority official said on Monday.

Opinion and Analysis

How the Road to Recovery Brings Israelis and Palestinians Together, J Street
“The sun is setting on another day as Naama Goraly drives back from work. It’s no ordinary drive. It will end with her dropping off a young woman with a genetic blood condition at an Israeli military checkpoint, where the patient will cross the border into the West Bank to meet her family and go home. It’s a familiar route. Naama has been driving the woman to and from her appointments at a Tel Aviv hospital for over seven years. Every year, the volunteers at Road to Recovery make thousands of similar trips, bringing Palestinians in the West Bank — mostly children — to vital medical appointments in Israel. Since Israeli authorities often only grant entry permits to children in need of care and not their caregivers or their vehicles, volunteers end up offering both practical transport and emotional support and reassurance. “Driving people from the other side, there’s something magical about it,” says Goraly, who is both a volunteer driver and the group’s CEO. Every day, more than 70 volunteers — out of a total of over 1,000 — make the trips.”

Under Today’s Refugee Policies, No One Is Accountable – Including Israel, The Times of Israel
Naomi Chazan writes, “The debate over Israel’s refugee policy is still raging as the number of Ukrainians forced to leave their country – mostly women, children and the elderly – has now passed the 4 million mark and is still rising. At issue is not only the legality, morality, and human compassion of keeping the country’s doors closed to those seeking a safe haven, but also the historical, cultural, religious and national factors that underlie the increasingly bitter disagreements. Throughout, very little, if any, attention has been given to the utter inadequacy of existing international and Israeli instruments designed to deal with displaced persons. These norms were adopted following the ravages of the Second World War. It’s high time for these international agreements to be updated to meet the exigencies of the 21st century, now in its third decade, and that Israel adjust its laws accordingly.”