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.
Celebrate Hanukkah with J Street! Every night of the holiday, we’re sharing with you something to ponder, something to enjoy, and something to do. The first night’s offerings are already up at jstreet.org/8Nights. Check back each night as you light the candles to help guide your evening discussion with family and friends.
‘Hate crime’ attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians spike in the West Bank, The Washington Post
Israeli settlers have dramatically increased their attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank over recent months, with violent incidents up about 150 percent in the past two years, according to data presented by the Israeli military at a defense ministry meeting this month.
EU, Russia, Iran upbeat as nuclear talks resume amid scepticism, Reuters
EU, Iranian and Russian diplomats sounded upbeat as Iran and world powers held their first talks in five months on Monday to try to save their 2015 nuclear deal, despite Tehran taking a tough stance in public that Western powers said would not work…European Union, Iranian and Russian delegates to the talks offered optimistic assessments after the new round began with a session of the remaining parties to the deal, without the United States – whom Iran refuses to meet face-to-face. “I feel extremely positive about what I have seen today,” Enrique Mora, the EU official chairing the talks, said after the meeting.
Egypt, Qatar Reach Breakthrough on Hamas Civil Servants Salaries, Haaretz
In the wake of the agreement, Hamas announced on Monday that public employees will receive wage increases in the coming month.
Morocco king says Rabat will push to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Times of Israel
Morocco will push for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, King Mohammed VI said on Monday, almost a year after his country renewed ties with the Jewish state. “Morocco will continue its efforts, building on its position and its excellent relations with all sides and relevant international actors, to provide the appropriate conditions for a return to the negotiating table,” the monarch said in a televised address.
Israel’s Lapid campaigns against new deal with Iran in London, Al-Monitor
In London Monday, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson participated in a Hannukah event organized by the Conservative Friends of Israel group. Addressing the global threats Israel is facing, notably Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, Lapid said, “The struggle between law-abiding democracies and murderous terrorist organizations is not a struggle between narratives. It is a struggle between good and evil.”
Over 100 Palestinian Families in East Jerusalem Face Demolition of Their Homes, Haaretz
More than 100 Palestinian families in East Jerusalem are in immediate danger of having their homes demolished after the Jerusalem municipality hardened its stance on master plans for the area.
Jerusalem construction plan rattles Israeli government, Al-Monitor
Danny Zaken writes, “[T]he plan is on the agenda of the regional committee, which is controlled by the Finance Ministry and the Interior Ministry. Heading these two ministries are right-wing Ministers Avigdor Liberman and Shaked, who would find it very difficult to handle the political ramifications of stopping the plan to construct the neighborhood in Atarot. On the other hand, the left-wing part of the government is angry, and the American administration is putting pressure on the government. In a week we will know how Prime Minister Bennett decides on this issue, which threatens the stability of the coalition.”
The Impact on Israel’s National Security of Reopening – or Not – of a US Consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem, Just Security
Matan Vilnai and Nimrod Novik conclude, “From an Israeli security perspective, America’s reopening its consulate in Jerusalem deserves support.”
Israel’s President Just Launched His 2028 Campaign to Be Prime Minister, Haaretz
Anshel Pfeffer writes, “Herzog is positioning himself as the consensual, responsible grown-up in what in 2028 will be a polarized post-Netanyahu political climate, where younger leaders like Bennett and Yair Lapid have failed to impress as prime ministers. He is already building a base for a new party he will found, and he wants it to extend as broadly as possible. Courting the fundamentalist settlers and ultra-Orthodox parties makes sense as the left is weaker politically and will ultimately, if begrudgingly, support anyone who is not Netanyahu or a wanna-Bibi. The visit to Hebron is not an afterthought or a symbolic gesture of ‘unity.’ This was the very first Hanukkah-lighting of Herzog’s presidency, and his choice of venue signals how he intends to build his political brand throughout his term and beyond.”
The Misguided Thinking That Could Lead Biden to Blow His Chance at a Deal With Iran, Slate
Fred Kaplan argues, “More puzzling than Trump messing things up, though, is why President Joe Biden—who, during the campaign, said he would bring back the deal—didn’t move to do so right after entering office this past January. He could have, accurately, blamed Trump for the mess, offered to lift the sanctions gradually if the Iranians dismantled their nuclear hardware gradually. Instead, for reasons that no one has clearly explained, the two sides got into a dispute over who should take the first step first…The realistic options were to live in a world with an Iran that makes missiles, assists terrorists, and has nuclear weapons—or an Iran that engages in those first two activities but has no nuclear weapons. The choice seemed a no-brainer. It still does. It’s time to snap that view back into focus, if it’s not too late.”