News Roundup for November 1, 2023

November 1, 2023
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J Street In the News

For Europe’s Jews, a World of Fear, The New York Times
“If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has always appeared intractable, it now appears particularly explosive. The unthinkable has come to pass. For European Jews, it seems that something fundamental has shifted since the Hamas attack, as it also has for Jews in the United States. “This is what happened to parents and grandparents in Europe, but we thought the era of massive calamity had passed,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, a liberal American Jewish organization dedicated to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. “Now the world looks different.”

We Need a Strategy to Guide Our Military Campaign, The Times of Israel
J Street Israel Director Nadav Tamir writes, “Without giving thought to a diplomatic solution, we will achieve nothing, we will not be able to harness the world, we might lose the support of our allies in the region, and we will gradually receive an increasingly colder shoulder from our allies in the West. If Israel does not present a political purpose to the war, that point in time could arrive soon. The world is not interested in a regional war or in a humanitarian disaster in Gaza. Israel can be on the side of those who seek a solution, or on the side of those who create and enlarge the problem. The choice is ours.”

J Street Opposes Inadequate, Politicized GOP Supplemental Bill – Urges Passage of Full Supplemental Aid Package, Including Security and Humanitarian Assistance, J Street
“While President Biden has asked Congress for a supplemental funding bill that includes robust security assistance to Israel and Ukraine and major funding for humanitarian assistance to Israelis, Palestinians, Ukrainians and others, House Republicans have put forward an inadequate and unserious bill that would solely provide $14.3 billion in security assistance to Israel. By refusing to include the other important provisions of the president’s request – including $10 billion in desperately needed global humanitarian aid amidst the unfolding crisis in Gaza – and by insisting that the legislation be “offset” by massive cuts to the IRS, Republicans are engaging in a harmful political stunt.”

Challenges and Dilemmas of Israel-Hamas Conflict, with Rep. Jason Crow [Video], J Street
As thousands of Israeli troops begin a ground invasion of Gaza, we know that decisions made by both Israel and the United States in the coming days will have potential repercussions for decades to come. J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami is joined by Congressman Jason Crow to discuss how the US can best guide Israel’s government toward responsible, effective decision-making — and avoid the mistakes the US has made in the past.

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Airstrikes Target Hamas in Jabaliya Refugee Camp; Gaza Officials Say Civilians Killed, CBS News
Israel carried out airstrikes and ground operations Tuesday in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, targeting what it called a Hamas “terrorist stronghold.” Palestinian officials said civilians were killed in the strikes that leveled several apartment buildings in the densely built-up area on the outskirts of Gaza City. The director of Gaza’s Indonesian hospital told Al Jazeera that at least 50 people were killed and 150 were wounded in the bombardment, the Reuters news agency reported. The numbers could not be independently confirmed.

Another Wave of Israeli Strikes Hit Gaza Refugee Camp as Crossing Opens for Foreigners and Wounded, AP
Israeli airstrikes hit apartment buildings in a Gaza refugee camp for the second day in a row Wednesday, Palestinian officials said, as the territory’s only functioning border post opened to allow foreign passport holders to leave for the first time since war broke out over three weeks ago. Dozens of people could be seen entering the Rafah crossing — the only one currently operating — and ambulances carrying wounded Palestinians exited on the Egyptian side.

Jack Lew Confirmed as Next US Ambassador to Israel, Haaretz
The US Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Jack Lew as the next US ambassador to Israel, a significant step in the Biden administration’s efforts to bolster support for Israel following the October 7 Hamas attack and its subsequent military operation in Gaza. Lew passed by a vote of 53-43. Two Republicans, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul, crossed party lines to vote in favor of Lew.

House Republicans Aim to Pay for Israel Aid With Cuts to IRS Funds, NPR
On the same day House Speaker Mike Johnson took office last week, the Republican-led House passed a resolution declaring solidarity with Israel and pledging to give its government the funding needed to defeat Hamas. Now they’ve introduced a bill aiming to do just that — but not without controversy. The bill would send $14.3 billion to Israel without addressing funding requests for the war in Ukraine. Johnson’s new bill would pay for the spending with $14.5 billion in cuts to the long-understaffed Internal Revenue Service.

Defending Israel is Essential. So is Aiding Civilians in Gaza, The Washington Post
Secretary of State Antony Blinken writes, “Some in Congress are making the case to fund only parts of the president’s request, including proposals to cut out all humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza. That would be a grave mistake. It will deepen the suffering of more than 2 million Palestinian civilians — including women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations — who have nothing to do with Hamas’s deplorable attacks. It will undercut Israel’s security and regional stability. And it will worsen problems and risks that will end up costing American taxpayers many magnitudes more over time.”

The Gaza Invasion Will Not Make Israel Safer, Time Magazine
Ian Bremmer shares, “There are more than two million Palestinians now trapped inside a war zone with nowhere to go. Nearly half of them are children, to whom no one can assign even indirect blame for Hamas’ mass murder. Yes, Israeli forces will take steps to minimize civilian casualties, but with so many people trapped inside one of the world’s most densely populated areas, those precautions won’t be nearly enough. Beyond the moral problem, Netanyahu should understand that the invasion of Gaza will make Israel less safe.”


Palestinian American Family Mourns 42 Relatives Killed in a Single Day in Gaza, CNN
Thousands of miles away from the brutality of war in Gaza, Tariq Hamouda and his wife Manal are in disbelief over the loss of three generations of their family. The Palestinian Americans, who live in Maple Grove, Minnesota, say it’s been over a week since they learned 42 relatives were killed in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, and they’re still unable to fully comprehend the news. Hamouda and the family say it was an Israeli airstrike. Israel has launched numerous airstrikes on Gaza City since October 7, including multiple strikes in the area that day.

Israel’s Missing: Forensic Workers Struggle to Put Names to the Dead, The Washington Post
The scale and brutality of Hamas’s attack on southern Israel is still coming into focus here, more than three weeks later. Of the more than 1,400 dead, there are about 200 bodies that forensic pathologists have been unable to identify because they were mutilated or incinerated. The damage is so severe, and the task so complex, that the Israeli government has turned to archaeologists to collect bone fragments from the sites of the attack.

Phone and Internet Connections in Gaza Go Dark Again as War Rages, The Times of Israel
Internet and phone networks were down across the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, a Palestinian telecommunications provider said, in the second such blackout in the territory in less than a week, as war rages between Israel and the Hamas terror group. “To our good people in the beloved country, we are sorry to announce that communications and internet services have been completely cut off in Gaza,” the Palestine Telecommunications Company (Paltel) said on X.

US Asked Israel to Release Withheld Palestinian Tax Revenues, Axios
The Biden administration expressed alarm over Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s decision to suspend the transfer of Palestinian tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority, two US officials said. The tax revenues Israel collects for the Palestinian Authority under an agreement between the parties are a major source of income for the PA, which is already in a financial crisis.

Cornell Student Charged in Threats Against School’s Jewish Community, The Ithaca Voice
Federal prosecutors have announced charges against a Cornell University student for the violent threats posted online directed at the university’s Jewish community. Patrick Dai, a 21-year-old junior at Cornell, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of posting threats to kill or injure another using interstate communications, according to Assistant US Attorney Richard Southwick in a press release.

Biden’s Gaza Stance Spurs Stunning Drop in Arab American Support, Time Magazine
Back in the US, Palestinian and Arab Americans have expressed outrage over Biden’s response to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, which has killed more than 8,000 people, more than a quarter of them children. The first national poll of Arab Americans since the war in Gaza began shows how deep that sense of betrayal goes, with only 17% of Arab American voters saying they will vote for Biden in 2024—a staggering drop from 59% in 2020.

Anti-war Protest Hits US Congress Hearing as Biden Officials Seek Aid for Israel, Ukraine, Reuters
Two of President Joe Biden’s top advisers asked US lawmakers to provide billions more dollars to Israel on Tuesday at a congressional hearing interrupted repeatedly by protesters denouncing American officials for backing what they called “genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin testified to the Senate Appropriations Committee on Biden’s request for $106 billion to fund ambitious plans for Ukraine, Israel and US border security.

‘A New Nakba’: Settler Violence Forces Palestinians Out of West Bank Villages, The Guardian
After weeks of intense settler violence in the aftermath of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, Zanuta’s 150 residents have made a collective decision to leave. Armed settlers – some in reservist army uniforms, some covering their faces – have begun breaking into their homes at night, beating up adults, destroying and stealing belongings, and terrifying the children. After decades of a desperate fight to cling on to their land, the community has decided they have lost.

Israeli Influencers Are Mocking Palestinians Suffering in Gaza, Newsweek
As people in Gaza continued to live without electricity and water, a number of other videos surfaced on social media that showed other influencers mocking their plight by excessively using water in their kitchens and bathrooms. In the seconds-long clips, they are also doing such things as repeatedly switching their lights on and off and posing with extension cords, in an apparent move to emphasize their own access to electricity.

Opinion and Analysis

Arab Citizens of Israel Face a Cruel Quandary: Our State Is Fighting Our Own People, Haaretz
Mohammed Darawshe shares, “We Arab citizens of Israel must have our own sense of safety and security in our country restored which has been absent since the war began. Israeli society, which historically has seen its Arab citizens as a fifth column, now 75 years after living together, needs to finally evolve. We are not the enemy. We have every right to feel safe in our own country, and not live with fear in our workplaces and on university campuses. This is what a true democracy and freedom of expression should look like in the country we share.”

Toll of Israel-Palestine Crisis on Children ‘Beyond Devastating’, United Nations News
The UN reports, “Gaza has become a “graveyard” for children with thousands now killed under Israeli bombardment, while more than a million face dire shortages of essentials and a lifetime of trauma ahead, UN humanitarians said on Tuesday. UN relief chief Martin Griffiths, who has been visiting Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, spoke to families in Gaza over the phone from east Jerusalem on Tuesday and said that what they have endured since the start of Israel’s retaliation for Hamas’ deadly 7 October attacks is “beyond devastating.” “When an eight-year-old tells you that she doesn’t want to die, it’s hard not to feel helpless,” he wrote on social platform X.”

As Israel Pummels Gaza, the Crisis in the West Bank Comes Into Focus, The Washington Post
Ishaan Tharoor writes, “Even before the Islamist group Hamas’s bloody rampage through southern Israeli towns and kibbutzim three weeks ago, which triggered a punishing, brutal Israeli response, 2023 was the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank in two decades. But in the aftermath of the deadliest day in Israel’s history, the scales have tipped even further. In the shadow of the war in Gaza, Israeli settlers have ramped up their attacks on Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Groups of settler vigilantes, some roaming around on ATVs, have set fire to Palestinian homes. A Palestinian man harvesting olives was gunned down by a Jewish settler this weekend.”

Statement of ICC Prosecutor Karim A. A. Khan KC From Cairo on the Situation in the State of Palestine and Israel, International Criminal Court
ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan KC says, “Palestinians who want no part of this conflict are caught up in hostilities. And too many are dying and too many are being injured. And it’s alarming to see the bodies of young children that could be our own children being dragged, baked in dust, still and silent, -as lifeless bodies – or injured and bleeding – being rushed to medical facilities that may not have the means to fix them and give them a chance to breathe the air and see the sun of tomorrow. The fact that innocent civilians are trapped under the weight of a war they cannot escape and which is not their fault is not tenable.”