News Roundup for May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022
Receive the roundup in your inbox every morning!

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

Progressive Politics and Jewish Values on the Campaign Trail, New Statesman
“Levin is Jewish. He is, he told me, a Zionist. He is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Last year, he introduced the Two State Solution Act, which was meant to “empower the US government to take responsible measures to push back against actions that deepen the occupation [of the West Bank] and [provide] key provisions to promote successful diplomacy and peace-building efforts to help lay the groundwork for a two-state solution”. Which is to say, it wants to put in practice what the US’s Israel policy is in theory. I first saw Levin speak in a media briefing put on by J Street, a non-profit advocacy group that describes itself as “pro-Israel, pro-peace”; its president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, accompanied Levin when the latter introduced the bill. But while he won J Street’s endorsement (and J Street’s political action committee (Pac) has raised more than $200,000 for his campaign), the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA), the self-defined “voice for Jewish Democrats and socially progressive, pro-Israel, and Jewish values”, endorsed Stevens…Levin also criticised Aipac for having endorsed 109 of the 147 Republicans who voted against certification of the 2020 presidential election. Aipac also received criticism for this from others within the communal Jewish world. J Street criticised Aipac for advocating those who, per J Street, threaten the future of the country.”

Top News and Analysis

Ahead of Biden Visit, Israel Launches Biggest Eviction of Palestinians in Decades, The Washington Post
Recent demolitions have sparked expressions of concern from Washington ahead of a planned June visit to Israel by President Biden, coming at a time of mounting instability in Israel’s coalition government and the recent approval of more than 4,200 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price, responding to a question about the high court ruling, beseeched both Israelis and Palestinians to avoid steps that raise tensions. “This certainly includes evictions,” he said.

Israel’s Political Crisis Is Resolved, but Governing Remains a Strain, The New York Times
Israel’s latest government crisis was resolved on Sunday, at least temporarily, when a lawmaker who quit the coalition late last week agreed to return to it, snatching back the tiny majority that its opposition held over the weekend. The coalition, an ideologically diverse alliance of eight parties with clashing agendas, is now back to controlling 60 seats in the 120-seat Parliament, a position that allows it to hang on to power but that makes governing difficult.

Palestinian Teen Shot and Killed in Exchange of Fire With Israeli Military in Jenin, CNN
A 17-year-old Palestinian was killed and an 18-year-old was critically injured by Israeli fire during an Israeli military raid in Jenin in the West Bank Saturday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said. The Palestinian Ministry of Health and Palestine TV later identified the teen who died as Amjad al-Fayed from Jenin. The Israel Defense Forces said they were responding to live fire, Molotov cocktails and explosives being thrown at their troops during an operation in the area.


Israeli Government and Court at Odds Over Jewish Prayer at Flashpoint Shrine, Reuters
Israel reaffirmed on Sunday a long-standing arrangement with Muslim authorities that prevents Jewish prayer at a contested Jerusalem holy site, pushing back against a lower Israeli court that questioned the legality of police action against violators.

European Union Parliament President to Visit Israel, Palestinian Territories This Week, The Washington Post
An Israeli court on Sunday sentenced six Palestinian inmates to five years in prison for tunneling out of their cell last year and escaping from a high-security facility in the biggest prison break of its kind in decades.

European Union Parliament President to Visit Israel, Palestinian Territories This Week, Haaretz
The President of the European Union Parliament, Roberta Metsola, is scheduled to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories from May 22 until 24. On Sunday, she will speak before a special session of Knesset, and is scheduled to meet with President Isaac Herzog, Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Yair Lapid, and other senior Israeli figures in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

A Senior Member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Is Killed in Tehran, The New York Times
A senior member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps was assassinated in Tehran on Sunday outside his home, according to a statement by the Guards.

Opinion and Analysis

A Warning From Israel’s Left, Haaretz
Haaretz’s editorial board argues, ” If Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wants to preserve this government of change, he must understand that the fact that leaders of the Labor and Meretz parties haven’t uttered a peep at his government’s right-wing character doesn’t guarantee that members of those parties won’t get fed up with its one-sidedness and eventually seek to topple it. Rinawie Zoabi’s brief departure was a warning.”

To Know Why the Killing of Shireen Abu Aqleh Was So Devastating, You Have To Know What It Is Like To Be Palestinian, The Guardian
Arwa Mahdawi writes, “Being Palestinian means having the validity of your existence litigated every single day. It means constantly being gaslit, erased, talked over, smeared. For diaspora Palestinians like me, it means getting used to being looked at with suspicion simply for answering the question: ‘Where are you from?’”