News Roundup for March 8, 2023

March 8, 2023

Receive the roundup in your inbox every morning!

J Street News Roundup

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

Can American Jewish Support for Israel Survive This New Government?, The New Republic
“Some liberal American Jewish groups, meanwhile, are focused on their own government, and on encouraging their elected leaders to speak out, though getting elected officials to speak critically of Israel is no easy task. Israel has long had unquestioned bipartisan support in the United States, and for an elected official, Jewish or not, to challenge that is to both break away from congressional custom (and perhaps deeply held belief) and risk being attacked as an antisemite. “More and more Jewish Americans are alarmed,” said Logan Bayroff, vice president of communications at J Street. Bayroff said an increasing number of American Jews “are going to be speaking out more to say that the U.S. government and American Jewish leaders should do something about this.” For J Street’s part, “We’ve always contested the idea that being ‘pro-Israel’ means supporting occupation, supporting the policies of the current government,” Bayroff said. And he wants elected officials to internalize that, too, and to say so publicly. “You have to have clear red lines,” he said, which “can’t just be expressed behind closed doors.””

Top News and Analysis

The Origins of Netanyahu’s “All-Systems Assault” on Israeli Democracy, The New Yorker
Isaac Chotiner interviews Dahlia Scheindlin, an analyst and policy fellow at Century International, and also a columnist for Haaretz. They discuss why the different strains of the Israeli right joined forces in the latest government, the distinct threats that the government poses to the country’s democratic norms, and how much of Israel’s current course was inevitable in light of its failure to end the occupation.

Six Palestinians, Including Suspected Hamas Gunman, Killed in Israeli Raid, CNN
Israeli forces staged a daylight raid into Jenin in the occupied West Bank targeting the suspect in the killing of two Jewish settlers, leaving the suspect and at least five other Palestinian men dead, officials on both sides said Tuesday. The violence marks the latest round in what has become a brutal cycle of Israeli raids against suspected Palestinian militants, Palestinian revenge attacks on Israelis, and Israeli settler targeting of Palestinians. The Israel Defense Forces named the suspect as Abdul-Fattah Hussein Kharousha, 49, and described him as a “Hamas terrorist operative.”


Gaza Launches Rocket at Israel After Six Palestinians Killed in Jenin Raid, Haaretz
The Israeli army confirmed on Wednesday that a rocket launched overnight from Gaza landed in Israeli territory after it initially reported that it fell within the coastal enclave.

Reservists Reportedly Still Frustrated After Meeting Defense Brass Over Protests, The Times of Israel
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Israel Defense Forces chief Herzi Halevi met Tuesday with soldiers in the military’s reserves, as the country’s leadership attempts to stanch a flux of troops saying they will refuse to train or serve as part of a protest against the government’s judicial overhaul.

Yariv Levin Positive on New ‘Outside the Box’ Judicial Reform Outline, The Jerusalem Post
Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s office expressed positivity toward a new judicial reform negotiation outline published Tuesday led by former justice minister Prof. Daniel Friedmann. “This is the first outline that goes outside the box, it has good directions and [Levin] will test them,” said the Justice Minister’s spokesperson.

Palestinian Police Clash With Funeral Crowd of Hawara Shooter Killed by Israeli Forces, Haaretz
Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank city of Nablus clashed with funeral attendees on Wednesday during a procession of the Hamas operative who was killed a day earlier in an Israel Defense Forces raid. PA forces fired smoke grenades and tear gas at the crowd, which heightened the confrontations and even caused the operative’s body, identified as 49-year-old Abdul Fattah Hussein Khrousheh who killed two Israeli settlers in late February, to fall from a makeshift coffin being carried in the procession.

Opinion and Analysis

As Israel’s Democracy Erodes, Its Government Delegitimizes Criticism, Politico
Israeli-Dutch lawyer and human rights activist Dvir Aviam Ezra argues, “We liberal Israelis and Jewish people have long been aware of the importance of the historical and social bonds we have with Europe, and these bonds now have the potential to protect our freedom. Please use them.”

American Jews, You Have to Choose Sides on Israel, The New York Times
Thomas Friedman writes, “Ever since Israel’s founding in 1948, supporting the country’s security and its economic development and cementing its diplomatic ties to the U.S. have been the “religion” of many nonobservant American Jews — rather than studying Torah or keeping kosher. That mission drove fund-raising and forged solidarity among Jewish communities across America. Now, a lot of American Jews are going to need to find a new focus for their passion.”