News Roundup for November 12, 2021

November 12, 2021

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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.

J Street in the News

Broad Coalition of Jewish Groups Urge Senate to Hold Hearing for Antisemitism Envoy, Haaretz
“A broad array of U.S. Jewish organizations and denominations urged leading Senators on Thursday to consider Deborah Lipstadt as U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism. In a letter written to Senators Robert Menendez and James Risch — the chair and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations — and sent to all members of the committee, the 21 national Jewish organizations and all four streams of U.S. Judaism said ‘filling this position is a high priority…and of utmost importance in fighting growing antisemitism and hate worldwide.’…Groups signed on the letter include…J Street.”

Top News and Analysis

It Is Impossible to “Shrink the Conflict”, Jewish Currents
Peter Beinart writes, “[F]or all the hype that surrounds it, ‘shrinking the conflict’ isn’t a new idea. Again and again over the past five decades, Israeli leaders have promised an enlightened, hands-off occupation that fosters prosperity among the Palestinians under their control. And, again and again, Palestinians have experienced despotism, land theft, and violence. Why? Because it’s impossible to treat people benevolently when you deny them basic rights. People who lack freedom will struggle for it, and there’s no gentle way to crush their yearnings. ‘Shrinking the conflict’ may ease the consciences of Israeli leaders and foreign audiences. To Palestinians, however, it offers only more of the same.”

U.S. special envoy visits Israel, Arab ally nations ahead of Iran talks, Axios
“The Biden administration’s Iran envoy, Rob Malley, is traveling to the Middle East for a wide-ranging round of consultation with U.S. allies ahead of the resumption of the indirect nuclear talks with Iran, the State Department said…From Dubai, Malley will travel to Israel. In his first visit since January, Malley will meet with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Israeli officials say that, at the moment, he is not expected to meet with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Next, Malley will travel to Saudi Arabia and then to Bahrain where he will attend a security conference in Manama and meet senior officials from the region.”

Qatar ups funding for UN Palestinian refugees agency
, Al-Monitor
Qatar pledged more funding Tuesday for the United Nations’ Palestinian refugees organization. The Qatar Fund for Development announced an $18 million contribution to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). The money will go towards UNRWA’s “core resources,” the agency said in a press release.

Opinion and Analysis

In rush to justify blacklisting groups, Israel makes claims it hasn’t yet proved, Times of Israel
Judah Ari Gross reports, “Israel has been on the defensive for the past month, since Defense Minister Benny Gantz declared six Palestinian civil society groups as terrorist entities and alleged that they had served as fronts for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group…Israel has yet to release to the public the hard evidence that would take these allegations beyond guilt by association and via the actions of individuals, and into the realm of clear, organization-wide support for terrorism — activities that would justify the designation.”

Josh Mandel is running for Senate again — this time as a far-right leader who promotes ‘Judeo-Christian’ values, JTA
Ron Kampeas reports on how Ohio senate candidate Josh Mandel, a one time darling of the Republican Jewish Committee, has embraced the Trumpist, Christian nationalist far-right. “The front page of his campaign website declares that he is ‘Pro-God’ and features a picture of a church steeple topped with a cross. He frequently deploys the term ‘Judeo-Christian’ on Twitter, without clearly defining its meaning, except usually as a means of attacking Muslims.”