News Roundup for November 3, 2021

November 3, 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

Sheikh Jarrah families facing threat of forced eviction reject Israeli high court proposal, CNN
Seven Palestinian families facing the threat of forced eviction from their homes in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah have rejected a proposal from Israel’s High Court that justices said could resolve the decades-long dispute. […] Announcing their position at a press conference in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, family members said the court proposal was a means of temporarily delaying plans to remove them from their homes and confiscate land.

Josh Hawley blocks confirmation of several State Dept. nominees, Politico
Sen. Josh Hawley on Tuesday blocked swift confirmation of several State Department nominees, in a continuation of the unprecedented GOP-led campaign to slow-walk most of President Joe Biden’s picks for top foreign policy posts. […] The nominations Hawley blocked on Tuesday include Biden’s picks to be ambassador to Israel, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Glenn Youngkin, Republican who drew charges of antisemitism on the campaign trail, is elected governor in Virginia, JTA
Republican Glenn Youngkin, a businessman, has defeated former Gov. Terry McAuliffe to become Virginia’s governor in a race that was fraught with charges of antisemitism. Local and national media organizations called the race, which was widely viewed as a barometer for Republican electoral strategy in the post-Trump era, early Wednesday morning. Youngkin embraced former President Donald Trump in the primary but distanced himself from Trump in the general campaign, while still managing to retain the support of Trump’s core constituencies. He did so in part by crusading against “critical race theory,” in Virginia schools, where the academic idea that conservatives revile is not part of the curriculum.


A day late, Israeli minister in wheelchair can access COP26, AP
Israel’s energy minister, who uses a wheelchair, was able to attend the global climate summit Tuesday, after police prevented her from reaching the venue. Energy Minister Karine Elharrar arrived at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow alongside Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, using a ramp to enter the building, according to footage sent by Bennett’s office.

Government legalizes 3 unrecognized Bedouin towns, fulfilling Ra’am’s pledge, Times of Israel
The government legalized three unrecognized Bedouin villages in the southern Negev desert on Wednesday, fulfilling a key demand by the coalition’s Islamist Ra’am party. The three newly recognized townships are Rakhma, Hashm al-Zena, and Abda, according to Yair Maayan, who directs a government office charged with regulating Bedouin affairs. About 4,000 Bedouins live in the villages, according to the Negev Coexistence Forum.

Israel Launches New Missile and Drone Defense System, Haaretz
Israel is set to launch a new balloon-mounted radar system with advanced missile and aircraft detection abilities into the northern sky, the Defense Ministry announced Wednesday. The system, dubbed “Sky Dew,” is designed to warn against drones and advanced munitions threatening Israeli territory. The defense establishment has spotted attempts in recent years by Iran to deploy drones with advanced capabilities in Lebanon and Syria, and in places farther afield, which were manufactured by Iran with the intent of attacking Israel.

Opinion and Analysis

After Virginia, Biden’s ‘America Is Back’ Mantra Dealt a Blow, Haaretz
Amir Tibon writes, “Three months ago, with a high approval rating and a big win in the Senate, Biden was in a strong position to restore America’s global leadership. Now, stalemate in D.C. and tough losses elsewhere have hurt his credibility.”

What Israel cannot admit about Jewish terrorism, +972 Magazine
Natasha Roth-Rowland writes, “If we were to apply the framework used by Israel and its supporters onto Jewish extremists, it would further highlight the arbitrariness, feebleness, and plain racism of the terrorism accusations sweepingly directed at Palestinian individuals and movements. What would happen, for example, if Jewish organizations allegedly financing and abetting terrorism received the same scrutiny as Palestinian groups accused of the same?”

The World May Have Given Up on Two States, but It Still Cares About the Occupation, Haaretz
Mickey Gitzinw writes, “It is impossible to disregard this any longer. Under cover of political considerations from all sides, the government is exhibiting unprecedented flaccidity, and is daring to cross red lines that even Netanyahu was cautious to avoid. These considerations – even if they stem from a desire to avoid internal disputes and maintain the government’s stability until passage of the budget – cannot justify what is taking place on the ground. Eradication of the terror being committed by settler extremists and the protection of the human rights of all those living under Israeli control are primary, crucial tasks of the government. The diplomatic fig leaf can no longer cover the occupation’s disgraces.”