News Roundup for November 22, 2021

November 22, 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.

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Is Killed by Palestinian Near Holiest Site in Jerusalem, The New York Times
“A Palestinian teacher shot dead an Israeli tour guide with an automatic gun near the holiest site in Jerusalem on Sunday morning, Israeli officials said. It was the first killing of a Jewish Israeli civilian by a Palestinian gunman since May. The militant Islamist group Hamas said the gunman was a senior member of its movement in East Jerusalem. The attack immediately revived calls from right-wing Israelis to install metal detectors near the entrances to the holy site — known as the Temple Mount to Jews and as the Noble Sanctuary or the Aqsa Mosque compound to Muslims — a proposal that set off deadly unrest among Palestinians when Israel last tried to implement the idea in 2017. Such a plan would also risk aggravating tensions within the fragile Israeli governing coalition, a diverse alliance that includes Jewish right-wing parties and an Arab group.”

As Hopes for Nuclear Deal Fade, Iran Rebuilds and Risks Grow, The New York Times
“For the first time since President Ebrahim Raisi took office this summer, Iranian negotiators plan to meet with their European, Chinese and Russian counterparts at the end of the month to discuss the future of the 2015 nuclear agreement that sharply limited Iran’s activities. American officials have warned their Israeli counterparts that the repeated attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities may be tactically satisfying, but they are ultimately counterproductive, according to several officials familiar with the behind-the-scenes discussions. Israeli officials have said they have no intention of letting up, waving away warnings that they may only be encouraging a sped-up rebuilding of the program — one of many areas in which the United States and Israel disagree on the benefits of using diplomacy rather than force.”

Hamas Tries to Ignite Jerusalem and West Bank, While Keeping the Peace in Gaza, Haaretz
Amos Harel writes, “Hamas will probably attempt to continue to play both sides – encouraging terrorism in Jerusalem and the West Bank, in part in the hope that it would destabilize the rule of the Palestinian Authority and the PA’s ties with Israel. On the other hand, it needs to be careful not to go overboard in Gaza, so that it avoids another violent clash with Israel that would wipe out its achievements of the past few months. But past experience – the last time was in May – demonstrates that Hamas has trouble sticking to such a policy and is sometimes is tempted to stretch the limits with Israel in a way that could lead to escalation in the south.”


‘The Iran Deal Was a Mistake. Withdrawing From It Was Even Worse’, Haaretz
The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, with encouragement by former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was a major mistake, said former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Speaking at the Haaretz-UCLA national security conference, Ya’alon explained that although he opposed the Iran deal at the time of its signing, during the Obama administration, the withdrawal from it was an even greater error.

Palestinians clash with police in East J’lem after march supporting Hamas terrorist, Times of Israel
Clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem on Sunday night after hundreds marched in Shuafat Refugee Camp to honor Hamas terrorist Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, who killed an Israeli and wounded four others in Jerusalem’s Old City earlier in the day. In videos circulating on social media, dozens of Palestinians can be seen hurling rocks as tear gas — apparently fired by police — fills the air around them. Israeli police had raided the neighborhood following the Sunday terror attack, reportedly arresting three relatives of Abu Shkhaydam’s family.

New Jewish Agency Head Could Be Chosen Next Week, but Lapid Yet to Pick Candidate, Haaretz
The special committee tasked with choosing the next head of the Jewish Agency will convene early next week to select its nominee, though Israel’s center-left parties and progressive movements have yet to announce who their candidate will be. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who serves as the chairman of the centrist Yesh Atid party, was supposed to have made the announcement by last Wednesday, but that deadline passed without any name being put forward.

National security adviser confirms solar, water swap deal with Jordan, Times of Israel
Israel is set to sign a declaration of intent with neighboring Jordan on building a major solar power plant in the kingdom that will be used to generate electricity for Israel, as well as power a desalination plant in Israel that will send water to Jordan, an Israeli official said Sunday. The deal will be signed in the United Arab Emirates on Monday between the two countries’ energy ministers, said Eyal Hulata, Israel’s national security adviser. He made the comment Sunday at the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain, an annual event hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Pro-Israel pastor apologizes for hosting event where Michael Flynn called for US to have ‘one religion’, JTA
The Christian Zionist pastor of a major church asked forgiveness for allowing the church to host an event where Michael Flynn said that the United States should only have one religion. Hagee’s father is Pastor John Hagee, who founded Christians United For Israel, the powerhouse Christian pro-Israel group.

Opinion and Analysis

Israeli president’s call with Erdogan may go beyond detainees’ release, Al-Monitor
Ben Caspit writes about Israel’s relations with Turkey. “It now remains to be seen how relations unfold. Will the crisis serve as a catalyst to recreate the relationship of old? Probably not. In the short term, a thaw can be expected and a return of the ambassadors recalled in 2018. In the medium and long-term, there is no knowing. With Erdogan facing elections next year, all bets are off.”

U.S., Israeli officials air public disagreements over upcoming nuclear talks with Iran, Axios
Barak Ravid reports, “The differences between the Biden administration and the Israeli government regarding the nuclear talks with Iran were aired out in the open during an international conference in Bahrain on Sunday.”