News Roundup for May 4, 2020

May 4, 2020

Receive the roundup in your inbox every morning!

J Street in the News

Biden, Show Trump What ‘pro-Israel’ Really Means. Oppose West Bank Annexation, Haaretz
“On Israel-Palestine, the Democrats around Biden need to stop worrying about what Trump and Jewish right-wingers will say. It’s pro-Israel to oppose annexation – and loudly […] A partnership between Joe Biden and J Street in opposing annexation of the Jordan Valley and other settlement areas is a perfect opportunity to showcase this shift. If Biden were to come out publicly and forcefully against annexation, it would prove that Democrats are willing to be ‘tough’ on Israel while staying committed to its sovereignty and protection. “

Top News and Analysis

UK lawmakers urge Johnson to sanction Israel if West Bank annexation goes ahead, Times of Israel
Nearly 130 current and former British lawmakers wrote to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and urged him to impose economic sanctions if Israel moves ahead with plans to annex sections of the West Bank as part of a government coalition deal.

Pompeo and Warren trade Twitter jabs over Iran nuclear deal, CNN
The arms embargo is legally set to expire in October under the terms of the Iran nuclear deal that the administration walked away from in 2018. But State Department officials, including Pompeo, have publicly argued in recent days that the US is still a participant in the agreement and can demand the return of sanctions outlined in the pact if the embargo isn’t extended.

High Court reconvenes for hearing on validity of Netanyahu-Gantz unity deal, Times of Israel
The High Court of Justice reconvened Monday for the second day of hearings on petitions against allowing indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government, as well as against the unprecedented rotational unity deal he inked with Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz which demands significant changes to Israel’s semi-constitutional Basic Laws.


New virus cases plummet to just 23 in past 24 hours, lowest in 6 weeks, Times of Israel
Just 23 new cases of the coronavirus were diagnosed in the previous 24 hours according to Health Ministry figures released Sunday evening, the lowest daily rise in the last six weeks, continuing a trend indicating the outbreak in Israel is largely under control.

In Odd Turn With Israel, Gazans Get Economic Adrenaline Shot from Virus, New York Times
With demand for masks and protective gear soaring worldwide, Israeli merchants have flooded Gaza garment factories with new orders since early March.

Israel temporarily opens crossings for Palestinians seeking work, Al Jazeera
Israel has reopened a number of crossings following an agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA), in a move that allows thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank seeking employment opportunities to return to work despite fears of being exposed to the new coronavirus.

No touching, sharing or borrowing pencils: Israeli students go back to school, Washington Post
Israel’s lurch back toward scholastic routine after weeks of online learning has been scattered and controversial. Education officials have been caught between health experts warning of a second outbreak and business advocates seeking to free parents up to return to work.

Holocaust imagery and rhetoric continue at stay-at-home protests in state capitols, JTA
Signs reading “Heil, Pritzker” and “Arbeit Mach Frei JB,” the latter a reference to the German words meaning “work will make you free” posted over the gate of Auschwitz, were seen Friday afternoon at a protest against stay-at-home orders in Springfield, Illinois. “JB” referred to the Jewish governor of Illinois, JB Pritzker.

Opinion and Analysis

Pandemics have always incited anti-Semitism. Here’s the history you need to know., The Forward
Aviya Kushner writes, “Every pandemic begins with a terrifying moment in which it seems impossible to explain what is happening. Often, whoever is considered the “other” in society is blamed, a scapegoating we see happening here and now.”

Dawn of a New Era? Jerusalem and Its Palestinian Residents Joining Forces to Battle Coronavirus, Haaretz
Nir Hassan writes, “East Jerusalem activists and Mayor Moshe Leon report close and efficient cooperation in the fight against the coronavirus, with representatives of both sides meeting several times a week on a regular basis.”

Instead of attacking the ICC, Israel now ignores it, Al-Monitor
Mazal Mualem writes, “Under normal circumstances, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not miss a chance to attack the ICC and its prosecutor in the harshest possible terms, even claiming that it was motivated by anti-Semitic, pro-Palestinian sentiments. This time, however, he ignored the new development.”

What will happen to Palestinian land the day after annexation?, +972 Mag
Ziv Stahl writes, “The exact shape that annexation will take is still unknown. One thing is certain: Israel will use it to facilitate the theft of Palestinian land across the West Bank.”