News Roundup for March 23, 2022

March 23, 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

Four Killed in Southern Israel in Latest in Spate of Attacks, The New York Times
Four Israelis were killed in a knife and car-ramming attack in Beersheba, in southern Israel, on Tuesday afternoon, in the third attack on Israeli Jews in less than a week. The attacker rammed and killed a cyclist with his car outside a gas station, before entering the gas station and stabbing a woman to death, a police commander, Peretz Amar, said in a briefing near the crime scene.


Leaders of Israel, U.A.E. and Egypt Meet for Their First Summit, The New York Times
Egypt hosted the first summit meeting with leaders of Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Monday and Tuesday, the latest sign of a swift realignment of Middle Eastern political alliances since Israel established diplomatic relations in 2020 with several Arab countries.

Artifacts Seized From U.S. Billionaire Returned to Israel, AP
Prosecutors in New York announced the repatriation Tuesday of $5 million worth of looted antiquities seized from billionaire hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt to Israel, where Steinhardt is well known as a patron of cultural institutions.

Dispute Breaks Out in Knesset Over Beersheba Terror Attack, The Jerusalem Post
An intense dispute broke out at the Knesset Interior Committee on Wednesday, following Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Beersheba in which a terrorist murdered four people. Religious Zionist Party MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, who visited the site of the attack, disrupted a meeting of the committee, which is chaired by Ra’am (United Arab List) MK Waleed Taha.

AIPAC Endorsed ‘Election Deniers,’ but Its New Project Touts Democracy, Haaretz
AIPAC’s super PAC, dubbed the United Democracy Project, describes itself as “an organization comprised of American citizens, Democrats and Republicans, united in the belief that we are stronger as a nation when we come together in support of our democracy and other democracies around the world.”

Israel’s Field Hospital in Ukraine Welcomes First Patients as Air Raid Sirens Wail, The Times of Israel
Battling persistent air raid sirens, limited resources, and the shadow of wartime uncertainty, Israel’s state field hospital opened Tuesday afternoon in western Ukraine, with the first patients arriving just minutes after its official opening.

Opinion and Analysis

Who Gets To Speak Out Against Their Occupier on Social Media?, +972 Mag
Mona Shtaya writes, “Social media companies’ swift steps to protect Ukrainians’ free speech, especially in a time of war, was shocking to many Palestinians. Less than a year ago, during Israel’s attack on Gaza and the mass uprising in May, Palestinians turned to social media platforms to document human rights violations and disseminate their opinions with the aim of boosting and enriching the Palestinian narrative in the digital space, especially as that narrative rarely receives fair coverage in international mainstream media. We Palestinians, however, never witnessed any of the measures taken by social media platforms for Ukraine. On the contrary, these platforms actively participated in a campaign of online repression last May that systematically targeted and censored Palestinian voices while taking down content that spoke out against Israeli oppression.”

Time to Put an End to Nationalist Service Volunteers at Illegal West Bank Outposts, Haaretz
Haaretz’s Editorial Board argues, “Even as one arm of the state is issuing demolition and eviction orders against outposts that were built illegally, another arm is funding national service positions for organizations that send the volunteers to work in these outposts. MK Gaby Lasky (Meretz) sent a letter to the head of the national service authority demanding that he stop allotting volunteers to any organization that knowingly sends them to break the law. MK Mossi Raz (Meretz) submitted a parliamentary question on the issue to Defense Minister Benny Gantz, asking why the ministry lets people do their national service in illegal outposts. The national service authority’s response is completely unacceptable.”