News Roundup for November 4, 2022

November 4, 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.

J Street In the News

Pittsburgh Jews Decry Pro-Israel Group’s Support for Republican Extremists, The Guardian
“More than 240 Jewish American voters in Pittsburgh have signed a letter denouncing the US’s largest pro-Israel group for backing extremist Republican election candidates while spending millions of dollars to oppose a Democrat who would be Pennsylvania’s first Black female member of Congress…One of those who initiated the letter from members of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community was Ritchie Tabachnick who sits on the steering committee of a more moderate pro-Israel organisation, J Street. Tabachnick said the letter speaks for the majority of the city’s Jews because they are disturbed at Aipac “supporting some of the most extreme Republicans, people who make openly antisemitic remarks promote antisemitic conspiracy theories”. “It’s quite possible to be pro-Israel and antisemitic. They often go hand in hand. Aipac have chosen to prioritise the-pro Israel and ignore the antisemitic elements that go with it,” he said. Tabachnick said he believed Aipac was attempting to shut down widening criticism of Israel in the US, a task made more urgent by the expected return of Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister in coalition with far-right Jewish nationalists.”

Far-Right Triumph in Israel Election ‘Deeply Troubling’—Jewish Americans, Newsweek
“American Jewish groups have expressed concern after the far right made big gains during Tuesday’s election in Israel, and could be about to enter government as part of a coalition headed by Benjamin Netanyahu…Reacting to the news, Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of U.S. Jewish group J Street, tweeted: “Last night’s election results in Israel are deeply troubling…”

Top News and Analysis

Blinken Calls Outgoing PM Lapid To Thank Him, Warn of Spiraling West Bank Violence, The Times of Israel
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid late Thursday to thank him for his partnership and to voice alarm about rising tensions in the West Bank. Blinken spoke to Lapid to “commend Israel for its free and fair elections, and to thank the prime minister for his partnership,” the State Department said in a statement. Blinken voiced “his deep concern over the situation in the West Bank, including heightened tensions, violence and loss of both Israeli and Palestinian lives, and underscored the need for all parties to urgently de-escalate the situation.”

Netanyahu Set To Return to Power in Israel After PM Concedes, AP
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday appeared set to return to power as head of Israel’s most right-wing government ever after winning this week’s national election, with the current caretaker prime minister conceding defeat. Final results showed Netanyahu’s Likud Party and its ultranationalist and religious partners capturing a solid majority in Israel’s Knesset, or parliament.


More US Jewish Groups Publicly Fret Over Far-Right Showing in Israeli Election, The Times of Israel
More and more organizations have joined the chorus of American Jewish groups raising concerns over the presumed inclusion of the far-right Religious Zionism party in the next Israeli government following Tuesday’s elections.

IDF Attacks Hamas Underground Rocket Facility in Gaza Strip in Response to Earlier Rocket Fire, Haaretz
The Israeli army says it attacked an underground military facility in the central Gaza Strip overnight Friday, in response to earlier rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave. According to the IDF, the Hamas facility was used to “develop and manufacture missiles.”

Israel Poised To Have Its Most Religious Government; Experts Say No Theocracy Yet, The Times of Israel
Barring an unexpected turn of events, for the first time in Israel’s history, the government will be made up primarily of religious parties, with 33 seats in the projected 64-strong coalition going to the Religious Zionism Party, Shas and United Torah Judaism, two more than the Likud.

Netanyahu in Coalition Talks With anti-LGBTQ Party, Could Walk Back Conversion Therapy Ban, Haaretz
Officials in Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party’s plan to negotiate a coalition agreement with the anti-LGBTQ Noam faction of Religious Zionism with the aim of bringing Noam into the new government coalition – potentially walking back recent civil rights gains such as a ban on conversion therapy.

Opinion and Analysis

The Israel We Knew Is Gone, The New York Times
Thomas Friedman writes, “You have not seen this play before, because no Israeli leader has “gone there” before. Netanyahu has been propelled into power by bedfellows who: see Israeli Arab citizens as a fifth column who can’t be trusted; have vowed to take political control over judicial appointments; believe that Jewish settlements must be expanded so there is not an inch left anywhere in the West Bank for a Palestinian state; want to enact judicial changes that could freeze Netanyahu’s ongoing corruption trial; and express contempt for Israel’s long and strong embrace of L.G.B.T.Q. rights.”

How Media Exposure Helped Propel Israel’s Far Right to Election Triumph, The Washington Post
Shira Rubin and Claire Parker note, “Analysts say Ben Gvir’s use of free airtime was reminiscent of Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign. Like Trump, and other far-right politicians across the world, Ben Gvir may struggle as he transitions from being a television personality to a government official.”

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