News Roundup for May 18, 2023

May 18, 2023

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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

Hamas Calls on Palestinians to Confront Israeli Victory Parade in Jerusalem, ABC
The ruling Hamas militant group in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday called on Palestinians to confront a flag-waving parade planned by Jewish nationalists through the main Palestinian thoroughfare in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Tensions Mount as Jewish Nationalist Flag March Threatens to Reignite Violence in Jerusalem, Haaretz
Extensive security preparations have been taking place ahead of events to mark Jerusalem Day on Thursday, celebrating the 56th anniversary of the city’s reunification. The main event — the Flag March — is expected to draw tens of thousands of people, who will be protected by thousands of police officers.

Opposition Parties Deny Reports of Progress in Judicial Overhaul Negotiations, The Times of Israel
Opposition parties Yesh Atid and National Unity insisted Wednesday there has been no breakthrough in negotiations with the coalition for a judicial reform compromise, contradicting reports in several Hebrew media outlets. The parties said ongoing talks under the auspices of President Isaac Herzog on the contentious issue remained stalled.


Over Half of Palestinians Support a Two-State Solution with Israel, The Jerusalem Post
Just over half of Palestinians still support a two-state solution as the answer to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, according to a survey conducted by Arab News in conjunction with the YouGov research company and published on Sunday.

Biden Admin Pushing for Saudi-Israeli Peace Deal by End of Year, Officials Say, Axios
The White House wants to make a diplomatic push for a Saudi-Israeli peace deal in the next six to seven months before the presidential election campaign consumes President Biden’s agenda, two U.S. officials with knowledge of the issue told Axios. Any normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel brokered by the U.S. will likely include an upgrade in U.S.-Saudi relations and a package of tangible deliverables from the U.S. government.

NY Lawmakers Criticize Bill That Would Penalize Charitable Groups Supporting Israeli Settlements, The Forward
A group of 25 New York state lawmakers harshly rebuked five of their colleagues in a joint statement Tuesday for introducing a bill that they say would penalize charitable groups providing assistance to families of terror victims. The bill, titled ‘Not on our dime!: Ending New York funding of Israeli settler violence act,’ would prohibit nonprofits ‘from engaging in unauthorized support of Israeli settlement activity.’ It would give the state attorney general the authority to revoke a charity’s tax-exempt status if violated.

Opinion and Analysis

War Doesn’t Work: Why Israel Must Rethink How to Challenge Hamas, Haaretz
Celine Touboul, co-CEO of ECF, a leading Israeli policy planning think-tank, writes, “A key component of the current Israeli policy has consisted of weakening Hamas’ military capacities. Yet, the Israeli government has never instructed the Israeli army to challenge Hamas’ control over Gaza as Israel is in need of an address to secure a cease-fire, and then enforce it over other organizations. This lack of such an address has made the situation in the West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus so challenging, as security coordination is not functioning as it used to.”

Could the Israeli-Palestinian Cease-Fire End a Cycle of Violence?, The Los Angeles Times
Daoud Kuttab writes, “Palestinians and Israelis have been unable to find a comprehensive solution. Right now, everyone is taking sides while living in the middle of the bloodshed. What is needed is help from outside to get us out of the mess we are in. For the sake of our children, the international community has to resume a role in helping to break this cycle of violence. Yes, it will take sustained effort. But Israelis and Palestinians cannot do it alone.”