News Roundup for November 17, 2022

November 17, 2022
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J Street News Roundup

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

Officials: White House Told Israel It Wasn’t Behind FBI’s Abu Akleh Probe Decision, Axios
The White House and the State Department told the Israeli government they were not behind the FBI decision to open an investigation into the killing of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. The FBI decision is unprecedented and it has led to a bilateral crisis between the Biden administration and the Israeli government. Abu Akleh, an Al Jazeera correspondent, was wearing a bulletproof vest marked “press” when she was killed in May while covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

Settlers Carry Out 20 Attacks Against Palestinians, Israeli Soldiers in Less Than 48 Hours, Haaretz
Some 20 incidents of violence against Palestinians and Israeli soldiers in the West Bank have been reported since the deadly terror attack on Tuesday morning which saw three Israelis murdered over a span of 25 minutes. According to the Israeli security establishment, stone-throwing incidents account for most of the reported attacks.

Netanyahu, Turkey’s Erdogan To Continue To Improve Ties, The Washington Post
Israel and Turkey agreed to a fresh start in ties Thursday, according to former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. Relations between the former allies became icy under Netanyahu’s term in office. He is now expected to return to power soon as head of Israel’s most right-wing government ever. Relations were already on the mend under outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid who met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York in September, the first meeting between the countries’ leaders in 14 years.


Israel’s Netanyahu To Keep Michael Herzog As Ambassador to U.S., Axios
Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to keep Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Mike Herzog, in his position even though he was appointed by the previous government. The ambassador to Washington is always a critical post for Israel, and the job is only expected to get harder once the new government is in place.

As Netanyahu Nears Power, the Far Right Wants to Oversee the Army, The New York Times
As Benjamin Netanyahu attempts to form a new government in Israel, one likely member of his cabinet has drawn particular concern in Washington and in Israeli security circles: Bezalel Smotrich, a far-right lawyer angling to lead Israel’s powerful Defense Ministry.

Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir Agree to Legalize West Bank Settlement Evacuated in 2005, Haaretz
Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu and Otzma Yehudit chairman Itamar Ben-Gvir agreed on Wednesday to amend the Disengagement Law in order to enable Jews to settle in the evacuated settlement of Homesh in the northern West Bank. Homesh was one of four Jewish settlements in the northern West Bank that were evacuated as part of the 2005 disengagement, which also saw the evacuation of all Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip.

Israel and Jordan Pen Agreement To Clean Up Jordan River, The Times of Israel
The Israeli and Jordanian governments signed a declaration of intent on Thursday to partner in the ecological restoration and sustainable development of the Jordan River. The document was signed at the UN COP27 climate conference in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh by Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg and the Jordanian minister of water and irrigation, Mohammed Al Najer.

Opinion and Analysis

Israeli Elections Have Become a Referendum on Netanyahu, The Washington Post
Clareta Treger and Liron Lavi report, “In our research with Michal Shamir, Naama Rivlin-Angert, Israel Waismel-Manor and Tamir Sheafer, we find that voters’ appraisals of Netanyahu are connected to their attitudes toward Israel’s democracy. Our analysis of multiple surveys of Israeli voters shows that positive views of Netanyahu — but not of other politicians — are associated with support for illiberal approaches and authoritarian views.”

The Far Right Rises in Israel, The New York Times
On the New York Times podcast The Daily, Sabrina Tavernise takes a look at the return of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the arrival of the nation’s most right-wing government.

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