News Roundup for May 31, 2023

May 31, 2023

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.

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Army Says Palestinian Gunmen Kills Israeli Civilian in West Bank Shooting, ABC News
Palestinian gunmen shot and killed an Israeli man on Tuesday near the entrance to a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army said. The Israeli military said the man was shot near the settlement of Hermesh, in the northern West Bank. Local officials identified the man as Meir Tamari, a 32-year-old resident of the settlement.

Settler Groups Hold Protests across West Bank in Wake of Deadly Shooting Attack, The Times of Israel
Groups of settlers are protesting at several sites this evening in the wake of the murder earlier today of Meir Tamari. Some are gathering at the site where Tamari was shot dead earlier today in a Palestinian attack near Hermesh. Other groups are gathering near Tekoa and Kiryat Arba in the southern West Bank, and near the Shiloh Junction and near Beit El, as well as a handful of other places.

Lapid, Gantz to Discuss Joint Judicial Appointments Committee Delegate Amid Opposition Dispute, Haaretz
Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid and the chairman of the National Unity party Benny Gantz will meet on Wednesday to discuss the identity of the opposition parties’ delegate on the Judicial Appointments Committee.


Israel’s Economy Damaged by Fight over Judiciary, Says Central Bank, Financial Times
The Israeli economy has suffered “a significant domestic shock” from the fight over the bitterly contested judicial overhaul pushed by Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government, the country’s central bank governor has said. In a speech in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Amir Yaron said the controversy over the reform of the country’s judiciary, which sparked one of the biggest waves of protests in Israeli history, had damaged how markets perceived Israel’s economic stability.

Protesters Expected at Israel Day Parade as Israeli Lawmakers Set to March, The Jerusalem Post
For the 58th year in a row, the Celebrate Israel Parade will take place on Sunday in Manhattan, celebrating Israel’s Independence Day, and this year, its 75th anniversary, the Consulate General of Israel in New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) announced on Tuesday. Organizers are nervous due to the expected presence of many Israeli cabinet ministers as well as MKs who will participate, most of whom are from the coalition. There are many demonstrations planned against the judicial reforms taking place in Israel, as a total of 40,000 people are expected to participate in this year’s march.

Poll: Gantz Restores Lead as Netanyahu Loses Post-Gaza War Bump, The Times of Israel
Benny Gantz’s center-right National Unity party has restored its lead over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud, which seemed to lose the brief boost it gained following a five-day IDF operation in Gaza at the beginning of the month, according to a poll published Tuesday. The poll placed the parties that made up the previous unity coalition in a comfortable lead ahead of the Netanyahu-led current ruling bloc – 63 to 53 in the 120-member Knesset.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel Is on a Mission to Supersize Its West Bank Settlements, Haaretz
Hagit Ofran of Peace Now writes, “The numbers debate also usually ignores the millions of Palestinians enduring life under a harsh security regime to ensure the secure existence of these settlements. Dispossession is intrinsically linked to the settlement enterprise. It is an ongoing reality that is independent of the future question of whether there will be one or two states. Now that we, the Israeli public and the international community, know what Smotrich and this government is planning – and already working to make happen – we must take action to stop it.”

What Is Smotrich’s Frightening, Suicidal Plan for Israel’s Future?, The Jerusalem Post
Yaakov Or, a former IDF major general and a member of Commanders for Israel’s Security (CIS), argues, “The Netanyahu government’s judicial overhaul is a necessary precondition for implementing Smotrich’s annexation-apartheid program. In order to justify the plan, it is necessary to mislead the majority of the Israeli public into believing that annexation will bring military, economic and political benefits; that Western democracies will understand; that countries in our region will accept it and that the whole thing will only deepen the moral, democratic values upon which Israeli society stands.”

No, I Don’t ive in Israel. Yes, I Do Have The Right to Protest., The Times of Israel
Shaul Hanany, co-founder of USA for Israeli Democracy, a grass-roots organization focused on US-based actions to maintain Israel a democracy, writes, “Israel receives $3.8B annually in US government support. Since its founding, it has received nearly $160B. This is financial support that I and other US taxpayers provide. I have a say in where my money goes. It is hypocritical for some Israelis and Israeli politicians to condemn intervention by US citizens, and at the same time lobby the US Congress for billions in annual support.”