News Roundup for March 9, 2018

March 9, 2018

Receive the roundup in your inbox every morning!

J Street in the News

Democratic congressman who praised Louis Farrakhan now denounces him, JTA

“Those statements drew condemnation from the Anti-Defamation League, which had previously accepted Davis’ claim that the Daily Caller has misquoted him, and the Jewish Democratic Council of America. They also led J Street, the liberal Jewish Middle East policy group, to contact Davis for clarification. J Street’s political action committee lists Davis as an endorsed candidate. J Street praised Davis’ latest statement.”

J Street Welcomes Representative Danny Davis’ Repudiation of Farrakhan’s Anti-Semitic Views, J Street

“We welcome Representative Danny Davis’ statement this evening repudiating Minister Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic views. Anti-Semitism is a scourge and Louis Farrakhan is a shameless peddler of it, for which there is no excuse or justification. We condemn his record of anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred unequivocally. We expect Representative Davis and all other members of Congress we endorse to reject Farrakhan’s deeply disturbing views of the Jewish people. African Americans and Jewish Americans have long been victims of baseless, categorical prejudice, making it all the more critical that our communities stand together in confronting it in all forms it takes, wherever and whenever it occurs. We look forward to our continued work with Representative Davis on this and other issues of shared concern.”

Congressman who praised Farrakhan condemns preacher’s anti-Semitic views, Times of Israel

“J Street, the dovish pro-Israel group that earlier this week came under fire for its endorsement of Davis, welcomed his statement and signaled it would not rescind its support. ‘Anti-Semitism is a scourge and Louis Farrakhan is a shameless peddler of it, for which there is no excuse or justification. We condemn his record of anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred unequivocally,’ it said.”

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu’s Bilingual U.S. Tour: Triumphal and Defensive, The New York Times

David M. Halbfinger writes, “Yet there also hovered over Mr. Netanyahu’s trip the vaguely valedictory sense that this outwardly triumphal visit to the United States’ political and media capitals, places where he has grown accustomed to a conquering hero’s reception, could turn out to be his last as prime minister. The Israeli police have recommended bribery charges against him. Former confidants are lining up to testify against him and his wife. A criminal prosecution seems only a matter of when, not if. And the Israeli media is already treating him like an indicted man walking.”

‘I Intend to Be the Prime Minister of Israel,’ Politico

Susan B. Glasser interviews Naftali Bennett: “We spoke with one of those who hopes to follow Netanyahu, the hard-line young Cabinet minister Naftali Bennett, for a special episode of The Global Politico. Bennett, a former protégé of Netanyahu’s who served as his chief of staff before breaking with him a few years back to enter politics on his own, told me in the interview he won’t directly challenge Netanyahu—but he’s ready to run and win after him—and he was sharply critical of the prime minister’s alleged gift-taking, pointedly saying he would want to run and win as a better ‘leader by example’ for Israel.”

Does Hamas have the courage to admit failure? Washington Post

Jason Greenblatt writes, “As most people understand, an essential part of achieving a comprehensive peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, both in Gaza and the West Bank, will be resolving — and rebuilding — Gaza. The president has been clear that he wants a fair and enduring agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians that will enhance Israel’s security and give all Palestinians the opportunity for a prosperous future. We are ready to work with any party truly interested in peace to reach this goal. Solving the situation in Gaza is an important step toward resolving the ultimate problem.”


Israeli Army Sets Up ‘Consciousness Ops’ Unit to Influence Enemy Armies, Foreign Media and Public Opinion, Haaretz

With eye on hearts and minds, Israeli army sets up a new ‘soft power’ psychological warfare unit

Netanyahu to US radio: Israelis support me despite corruption allegations, Times of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US radio this week that, despite the ongoing corruption investigations against him, most Israelis believe he knows best how to protect the country, help it thrive, and “have a real confidence in the future.”

Refugee skeptic lands top State Department refugee job, Politico

A White House aide close to senior policy adviser Stephen Miller who has advocated strict limits on immigration into the U.S. has been selected for a top State Department post overseeing refugee admissions, according to current and former State officials.

France’s Macron: Old anti-Semitism Is Back, Can’t Be Blamed on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Haaretz

French President Emmanuel Macron warned French Jews on Wednesday that “the old anti-Semitism” has returned to France, and the battle to combat it will be long.

Unwanted by Israel and the PA, Bedouin have nowhere to go but ‘up in the air,’ Haaretz

Over the past decade, Eid Abu Khamis has trotted the globe in an effort to gain international support for his battle against the looming demolition of his Bedouin community northeast of Jerusalem.

Netanyahu Blasts Police: State Witnesses Are Told That Only Way Out Is to Smear Me, Haaretz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu harshly criticized the police Wednesday for recruiting his confidants as state witnesses in the corruption cases against him.

Ultra-Orthodox conscription bill heads to cabinet as parties look to end crisis, Haaretz

The coalition crisis threatening to send the country to early elections may be on its way to a resolution, after Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman signaled late Thursday he may be willing to allow an ultra-Orthodox conscription law to move ahead in parliament next week.

Opinions and Analysis

Slew of anti-Palestinian bills points to impending Israeli elections, Al-Monitor

Akiva Eldar writes, “One of the typical symptoms of election fever is a life-threatening outbreak of populist legislation. The epidemic does not distinguish between radical right and center-right, and does not spare politicians hiding behind the label of center-left. Unfortunately for those elected officials, the media is busy these days with public corruption scandals and the governing coalition crisis over the military draft law for ultra-Orthodox Jews…Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may avoid starring in television and radio campaign advertising spots in light of his many ongoing criminal investigations, but his hallmark slogan and the title of the book he published in 1995 — “Fighting Terrorism” — will continue to take center stage.”

Collision Course in the North Between Israel and Iran, Haaretz

Amos Harel writes, “Talking with U.S. President Donald Trump this week, Netanyahu again pressed him to declare that America would abandon the nuclear agreement in May. Meanwhile the EU wants to lead an initiative enforcing monitoring in Iran and restrictions on its missile program, as wells as its dissemination of technology among terrorist and guerrilla groups in the region. These are goals marked for the years to come, based on the understanding that the battle with Iran will slog on for years and that the Vienna agreement provided, at best, a hiatus, not a comprehensive solution.”

The quiet feminist revolution in Arab society in Israel, +972

Samah Salaime writes, “It’s hard to argue with numbers: 25 percent of college-educated women Arab are unemployed, and even a degree isn’t enough to solve the problem of a racist labor market that is not yet ready to accept thousands of Arab women. But this too will be overcome once the labor market is no longer able to exist without fmeal Arab researchers, pharmacists, doctors, engineers, and scientists. I wish a happy and successful International Women’s Day to all, in which we remember and celebrate our victories. Our struggle as women in this world is not over. We have many arenas in which to sound our voices, to determine what we want and which direction to walk. The struggle over our bodies, sexuality, safety, livelihood, and culture is still in full swing, and it does not matter in what language we choose to wage it.”