News Roundup for March 6, 2020

March 6, 2020

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J Street in the News

Being ‘pro-Israel’ means seeking a viable two-state solution, The Jerusalem Post
“The J Street slogan ‘Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace’ is not an oxymoron. Or as Sanders recently said, there is no contradiction between being ‘pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian.’ It’s the very essence of what being pro-Israel should mean. After all, achieving peace, with security, is an existential Israeli need.”

Trump’s ‘peace plan’ is the deal of the century, for the extreme right, Student Life
“As members of J Street U at WashU, a pro-peace, anti-occupation campus movement, we will not accept this plan. We are currently working on a campaign to reform the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) platform on Israel and Palestine. Although the DNC has stated that they support a solution to the conflict that includes a Palestinian and Israeli state, there is no language opposing Israeli occupation or annexation of Palestinian territory in their platform. We are calling on support from students and progressive campus groups to help us advocate for a future we can be proud of.”

Top News and Analysis

Liberman may recommend Gantz for PM, will support bill to disqualify Netanyahu, Times of Israel
Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party is expected to recommend to President Reuven Rivlin that Blue and White leader Benny Gantz be tasked with forming a government, according to Hebrew media reports Thursday neither confirmed nor denied by the party.

Netanyahu Tries to Lure Lawmakers to Defect in Hunt for 61 Seats, Haaretz
With all of the results from Monday’s election reported, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party has embarked on a hunt for potential defectors from the anti-Netanyahu bloc in the new Knesset to give Likud the minimum 61 seats required for a majority in parliament.


Gantz’s Party Members Preparing for Defections, Don’t Rule Out Splitting Up, Haaretz
After a dirty election campaign that seems to have ended in disappointment for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief rival, Benny Gantz, the former army chief is facing a new challenge: A possible attempt by the premier’s Likud party to get Kahol Lavan MKs to defect.

Blue and White’s Ya’alon said to support minority coalition backed by Joint List, Times of Israel
Blue and White MK Moshe Ya’alon, a hawkish former defense minister who once served under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is reportedly favoring a Benny Gantz-led minority government with the outside support of the predominantly Arab Joint List.

Naftali Bennett closes Bethlehem, Abbas declares state of emergency, The Jerusalem Post
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Thursday, in coordination with the IDF and Palestinian Authority (PA), a closure of Bethlehem due to concerns on the spreading of coronavirus. Both Israelis and Palestinians will be restricted from entering and leaving the city.

Vote count shows settlers came out in droves for Netanyahu; Yamina, Otzma fell, Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent a great deal of time beyond the Green Line campaigning ahead of Monday’s election, seeking to remind locals of all he has done and will continue to do to further expand and entrench their presence there. On Monday, settlers returned the favor, giving the premier’s Likud party more support than any other faction among Israelis in the West Bank.

Likud demands recount after final results published, The Jerusalem Post
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party demanded a recount of Monday’s election and to check every polling station’s protocols in a lawsuit filed on Thursday.

Palestinians confirm 7 coronavirus cases, declare tourist ban, AFP / Times of Israel
The Palestinian Authority government confirmed the first coronavirus cases in the West Bank Thursday and declared a two-week ban on tourists visiting cities and sites including Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.

Opinion and Analysis

A Netanyahu Victory Would Be Bad News for Peace and the Rule of Law, Foreign Policy
Dahlia Scheindlin writes, “If he leads the next government, the prime minister is likely to annex much of the West Bank and deepen attacks on judicial independence.”

Netanyahu’s Hat Has Run Out of Rabbits. Now Lieberman Can Finish Him Off, Haaretz
Yossi Verter writes, “Lieberman’s support of the proposed legislation that would prevent a person under indictment from forming a government is the next, obvious stage in his main and in effect only election promise, a commitment with a double edge: To accelerate Netanyahu’s farewell to public life and to prevent a fourth election.”

Palestinian voters are the new power brokers in Israel, much to Netanyahu’s chagrin, The Guardian
Yair Wallach writes, “Palestinians flocked to the Joint List party and denied the prime minister a majority. Now they could even help oust him.”

Refugees From the Zionist Left: How the Jewish Vote for Arab Party Spiked in Israel’s Election, Haaretz
Hagar Shezaf writes, “Support for largely Arab Joint List in heavily Jewish communities said to have risen from 9,000 votes to 20,000.”

All the drama that has happened in Israeli politics since this week’s election, JTA
Marcy Oster writes, “At first it seemed as if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had finally garnered the votes he needed to break the longstanding impasse and consolidate his power. The final tally, however, paints a less than clear picture.”

Israeli Election Breakdown: Where Netanyahu Got a Quarter of a Million Votes From, Haaretz
Judy Maltz writes, “With all the votes in Monday’s election now counted, it is time to take a deep dive into figures published by the Central Elections Committee and see who the big winners (and losers) were. Here are six key takeaways, based on figures published on Thursday evening…”