News Roundup for May 18, 2022

May 18, 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

Israeli PM Welcomes Expansion of West Bank Settlements, The Washington Post
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday welcomed a recent decision to expand Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank that the Palestinians and most of the international community view as illegal. During a visit to the settlement of Elkana, he cast the expansion of settlements as a response to recent Palestinian violence. The Palestinians view settlement construction as the main obstacle to peace because it further undermines their hopes for an independent state on lands Israel seized through war.

Progressive Democrat Declares Victory in Pennsylvania Primary Despite Unprecedented AIPAC Opposition, Haaretz
Progressive Democrat Summer Lee on Tuesday declared victory in her primary race in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, despite extraordinary opposition from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and its backed candidate Steve Irwin, who has yet to concede. Lee defeated Irwin by 600 votes with approximately 99 percent of the votes counted.


‘A Day of Hope’: Thousands at Jewish Rally Against Overturning Roe v. Wade, Haaretz
Several thousand people participated in the Jewish Rally for Abortion Justice in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, where U.S. lawmakers, Jewish community leaders and activists rallied in support of abortion rights.

Israeli Ministers Call for Change in Controversial Nationality Law, Al-Monitor
Paying tribute to the Druze community and its contribution to the country, Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman called to change the controversial Nationality Law, which anchors the Jewish character of the State of Israel.

Gantz Leaves to US for Security Talks Centered on Iran, Ukraine, The Times of Israel
Iran’s nuclear program and the war in Ukraine will be the focus of security talks with Washington this week, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said late Tuesday as he took off for a several-day trip to the US.

A Year After Disaster, Thousands Flock To Israeli Holy Site, AP
Police made preparations at a Jewish holy site in northern Israel ahead of the arrival of thousands of mostly ultra-Orthodox worshipers and revelers on Wednesday, a year after a chaotic stampede linked to overcrowding left 45 people dead.

Israeli Military To Hold Wide-ranging Drill Simulating Strike on Iran, Axios
The Israeli military in two weeks will begin a wide-ranging exercise to train for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, senior Israeli officials said Tuesday. It will be the first time in at least five years that the Israeli military will engage in such an exercise. The goal is to redevelop a credible military option against Iran’s nuclear program, the Israeli officials said in a briefing with reporters.

Opinion and Analysis

Who Is the Israeli Army Censor Protecting?, Haaretz
Haaretz’s Editorial Board writes about censorship of Mossad chief Yossi Cohen’s travels to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2019. They write, “It can be said with a great degree of certainty that the Military Censor is preventing publication for considerations having to do with the image of the state that do not necessarily have direct bearing on its security. Although publication of the details of the affair has the potential to generate an international storm, it is difficult to imagine that their disclosure could do concrete damage to national security.”