News Roundup for May 26, 2022

May 26, 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

Biden Envoy Makes the Case for Iran Nuclear Deal as Prospects Fade, The Washington Post
Saying he was “not particularly optimistic, to put it mildly,” of success in the year-long negotiations over reviving the nuclear deal with Iran, the Biden administration’s envoy to the talks insisted Wednesday that ongoing diplomacy remains the best option for U.S. national security. The hearing was the first extended public presentation by the administration since the stalemated talks were suspended in March. While several Democrats urged the administration to continue negotiations, several others joined most Republicans in questioning the value of continuing the talks.

Israel Tells U.S. It Killed Iranian Officer, Official Says, The New York Times
Col. Sayad Khodayee, 50, was fatally shot outside his home on a quiet residential street in Tehran on Sunday when two gunmen on motorcycles approached his car and fired five bullets into it, according to state media. A spokeswoman for the Israeli prime minister declined to comment on the killing. But according to an intelligence official briefed on the communications, Israel has informed American officials that it was behind the killing.


Israel Rejects U.S. Request To Approve Missile Transfer to Ukraine, Axios
Israel turned down a U.S. request to allow Berlin to supply Ukraine with anti-tank missiles produced in Germany with Israeli technology under an Israeli license, two U.S. and Israeli officials said. The issue of weapons supply is one of the last policy differences between the U.S. and Israel when it comes to the war.

Police Ramp up Alert To Top Level Ahead of Contentious Jerusalem Flag March, The Times of Israel
Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai on Wednesday ordered the readiness alert level to be ratcheted up in Jerusalem and so-called mixed Jewish and Arab cities throughout the country ahead of a nationalist march planned for Sunday in the Old City, the force said in a statement.

Israel Fired Missile at House With Sleeping Kids, Used Girl as Human Shield, Family Claims, Haaretz
In the West Bank city of Jenin, Israeli counterterrorism police arrested a member of Islamic Jihad. During the raid, his father and teenage sister were used as human shields in violation of international and Israeli law.

Turkish FM Makes Rare Visit to Israel as Nations Mend Ties, AP
Turkey’s foreign minister visited Israel on Wednesday as part of ongoing efforts to improve ties between the two countries, which have often been bitterly divided in recent years over Turkey’s support for the Palestinians. Mevlut Cavusoglu, on the first official visit to Israel by a Turkish official in 15 years, said that normalizing ties with Israel and addressing disagreements in a “constructive manner” will contribute to a peaceful resolution to the Mideast conflict.

Opinion and Analysis

Why Israel Is Afraid of Palestinian Funerals, Foreign Policy
Anchal Vohra argues, “Israel’s actions at Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral seem to indicate it is more concerned about the long-lasting impact of large public funerals of Palestinian icons than potential backlash by human rights groups and the international community.”

Israel Says This Book Justifies Masafer Yatta Expulsions. Its Author Begs To Differ, +972 Mag
Yuval Abraham reports, “Yaakov Havakook, an anthropologist and former member of Israel’s Defense Ministry, had no idea that a book he wrote 40 years ago had sealed the fate of over 1,000 Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank today…Yet in a recent conversation I had with Havakook, the anthropologist himself contradicted the state’s account. When I first told him about how the court’s ruling was based, among other things, on his book, he knew nothing about it. More importantly, he called into question the state’s interpretation of his study and its use to justify the expulsions.”

Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh Was Killed in Jenin. Who Will Be Next?, The New York Times
Diana Buttu writes, “The United States and the rest of the international community must ensure that there is full accountability for her death. For too long, Israeli political and military leaders have fostered an environment in which Israeli soldiers apparently consider the lives of Palestinians disposable. The very least that I, others who loved her and those who care about justice and fundamental human decency can do is demand that those responsible be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”