News Roundup for May 11, 2022

May 11, 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.

J Street in the News

Jewish Congressman Calls Attacks by AIPAC and Other Pro-Israel Groups ‘Ridiculous’, The Forward
“Levin said that he might have been caught up in the middle of a fight between AIPAC and the liberal pro-peace J Street, who has increased its influence on Capitol Hill in recent years. “It’s ridiculous,” he said. “I think that AIPAC is so freaked out by J Street.” JStreet’s PAC has fundraised $238,000 in contributions for Levin’s campaign. Logan Bayroff, the group’s spokesman, called it “deeply alarming” to see groups like AIPAC investing so much time and money in an effort to smear and defeat a candidate who, in fact, reflects the views and principles of a clear majority of American Jews.””

Ad Watch, The Washington Post
“J Street Action Fund, “Real Democrat.” The American-Israeli Policy Committee’s new super PAC has played a big role in safe-seat Democratic primaries, and liberal groups are starting to fire back. This spot in North Carolina goes after state Sen. Don Davis, a conservative Democrat running for Congress, for casting antiabortion votes in Raleigh, then promotes former state Sen. Erica Smith as a “pro-choice leader” who supports “expanding Medicaid.””

Top News and Analysis

Al Jazeera Journalist Is Killed in West Bank, The New York Times
A journalist for Al Jazeera was fatally shot in the West Bank city of Jenin early Wednesday, the news network and the Palestinian health ministry said, blaming Israeli forces for her death. The circumstances surrounding the shooting of the journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American, were not immediately clear but it happened during clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinian gunmen in the city. Al Jazeera, citing the health ministry, said the journalist had been shot in the head by Israeli forces during a raid.

Key Israeli Governing Partner Ra’Am To Remain in Coalition, The Washington Post
A key Israeli governing partner said Wednesday it was remaining in the country’s fragile coalition, averting another crisis for the embattled government. Mansour Abbas, the head of the Islamist Arab Ra’am party, said he would continue his party’s membership in the coalition after suspending it following tensions at a key Jerusalem holy site in recent weeks. “Ra’am decided to give an additional opportunity to the coalition and the government in order to move the wheels of decisions and implement them in a practical manner,” he told reporters in parliament, flanked by his three party members and speaking in Arabic.


Israel Resumes Demolitions of Palestinian Homes in East Jerusalem as Ramadan Ends, Haaretz
Jerusalem resumed on Tuesday demolitions of Palestinian homes built illegally in the eastern part of the city after a month-and-a-half freeze due to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. On Tuesday the municipality demolished a three-story building in Silwan, which was home to 45 people and for years operated as a branch of an Israeli Health Maintenance Organization. The structure was demolished despite the fact that in a plan promoted by the municipality about a decade ago, it was supposed to receive a building permit. Clashes developed at the site and young Palestinians threw stones at police who were providing security for the demolition.

June Verdict Set for Gaza Aid Worker Accused by Israel of Hamas Ties, Reuters
Israel’s top court called on Tuesday for the conclusion of a long-running trial of a Palestinian aid worker accused of funneling tens of millions of dollars in relief funds to the Islamic militant group Hamas, charges he has consistently denied. Mohammad El Halabi, head of Gaza operations for U.S.-based Christian relief group World Vision, was arrested while entering Israel in June 2016. Israeli officials said his indictment was based in part on a closed-door confession he gave in custody.

Nine Arrested in Israel After Air Crash Images Sent to Plane Passengers, The Guardian
A taxiing plane returned to the gate at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport after photos of aviation disasters popped up on passengers’ phones – sent, Israeli authorities believe, by nine people onboard using the iPhone AirDrop function.

EU Slams Israeli Court Ruling Okaying Expulsion of Palestinians From IDF Firing Zone, The Times of Israel
The European Union on Tuesday condemned a ruling from Israel’s top court last week approving the eviction of over 1,000 Palestinians to make way for a military training zone. “Settlement expansion, demolitions and evictions are illegal under international law,” a spokesperson for the bloc said in a statement. “The EU condemns such possible plans and urges Israel to cease demolitions and evictions, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian and international human rights law.”

Opinion and Analysis

Old Palestinian Wound Resurfaces at Israeli Resort, The New York Times
Patrick Kingsley discusses the new film “Tantura,” which centers around what happened to the Palestinian village of that name in 1948. He writes, “Israeli soldiers had long denied killing prisoners after capturing an Arab seaside town, days after Israel’s creation. A new film provides fresh evidence — reopening a debate about Israel’s foundational story.”