News Roundup for November 6, 2020

November 6, 2020

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J Street’s 2020 election night polling — available here — shows a major repudiation of President Trump. We invite you to break down the results with us during a special briefing on Tuesday at noon Eastern.

J Street in the News

Why millennial Jews like me aren’t ‘Jewish voters’, The Forward
“When I think of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Squad’s wins, I don’t feel nervous because of their opposition to U.S. support for Israel. I feel excited that someone my age broke into a government dominated by people in their 50s and 60s, and thankful that true progressives can actually make it into the government. While I may disagree with the extremity of their positions on Israel, their opposition to right-wing extremism makes me feel more confident facing rising antisemitism. Besides, I am more concerned with their advocacy for racial, economic and environmental justice. It’s a stereotype that the Jewish vote swings based on Israel, yet J Street’s recent poll shows Israel is a top concern for only 5% of Jews. And as I talked to friends about the election results, they seemed bemused by the idea of responding Jewishly to the results.”

J Street Condemns Israeli Government’s Major Demolitions in West Bank Palestinian Community — Urges Next Administration, Congress to Take Action, J Street
“J Street is appalled by the Israeli government’s demolitions in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Homsa al-Baqia (Khirbet Humsah) in the Jordan Valley, a serious violation of international law that destroyed homes, solar panels and other structures and displaced 73 people, including over 40 children […] It is vital that the next administration and Congress take action to clearly condemn and push back on the occupation and these ongoing, destructive violations of international law and Palestinian rights, which also clearly and deliberately undermine the prospects for a peaceful, comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They must act to ensure that US security assistance is not and cannot be used to facilitate them.”

Top News and Analysis

Biden Takes Narrow Lead in Georgia, Edging Closer to Victory, New York Times
Joseph R. Biden Jr. stood on the threshold of the American presidency in the early hours of Friday, seizing a slim lead over President Trump in Georgia and drawing closer to overtaking him in Pennsylvania. Those victories would secure the 270 electoral votes needed to lay claim to the White House. Mr. Biden had already begun to project the image of a man preparing to assume the mantle of office, meeting on Thursday with his economic and health advisers to be briefed on the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking briefly to reporters in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Biden urged the public to show a “little patience” as the vote counting in battleground states stretched into a third day. “Democracy,” he said, “can sometimes be messy.”

UN and EU slam Israel after West Bank demolition leaves 73 Palestinians homeless, CNN
The United Nations and the European Union have criticized the demolition by the Israeli military of a large portion of a Palestinian community in the West Bank that left 73 people, including 41 children, homeless. The UN described the demolition in the community of Khirbet Humsa as “the largest forced displacement incident in over four years.”

Trump Senate allies attack legitimacy of vote count, AFP
As a few Republicans distanced themselves from Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of fraud in Tuesday’s election, Senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz enthusiastically backed him in back-to-back appearances on Fox News.


It ain’t over ’til it’s over: Jewish takeaways from a wild election week, JTA
Jewish Democrats focused heavily on Florida but didn’t neglect Pennsylvania and Michigan — states where Jewish voters might indeed be making the difference, with Jewish populations well within the margin that would have helped give Biden the win.

Former Israeli minister accuses US Jews who voted for Biden of ‘betrayal’, Middle East Eye
A former Israeli communications minister accused American Jews of “betrayal” after they overwhelmingly voted for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Likud officials worry Biden victory could damage Netanyahu, Israel’s UN standing, Times of Israel
Likud party officials are fretting over the increasingly likely prospect of a win for Democratic US presidential candidate Joe Biden, given that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has developed a particularly close relationship with the Republican incumbent.

Protect Palestine olive harvest from settler violence, Israel urged, UN
UN agencies, together with other international NGOs, are calling on Israel to better protect Palestinian farmers from violence by Israeli settlers, as they bring in their traditional olive harvest – crucial to livelihoods – and ensure families can access their land “freely and safely”.

Netanyahu to High Court: AG can’t shackle my law enforcement appointments, Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu notified the High Court of Justice on Thursday that he rejects Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s legal position that bars the premier from making law enforcement appointments due to conflicts of interest stemming from the criminal charges against him.

In his podcast debut, Yair Netanyahu interviews son of Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, JTA
Released on Sunday, the show, which involves “triggering liberals” and “interviewing the biggest names” among its descriptors, is available on Spotify, YouTube and other platforms.

Netanyahu ally questioned by police over threat to air dirt on attorney general, Times of Israel
Likud lawmaker Miki Zohar, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was questioned by police Thursday on suspicion of extortion following a threat he made last month toward Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel Is Making the Most of One More Day of the Trump Administration, Haaretz
Hagai El-Ad writes, “On Election Day in the United States, Israel made the most of one more day of the Trump administration, dispatching its bulldozers to destroy an entire Palestinian community in the northern Jordan Valley, Humsa al-Fuqa. Eleven families – 74 people, including 41 minors – were made homeless. Humsa has been in Israel’s sights for years, along with dozens of other Palestinian communities. The technique that Israel generally uses requires patience: turning the lives of the residents into an ongoing nightmare in the hope that the message will be received and the dust will scatter in the wind – as if of its own accord – and go somewhere else.”

Antisemitism is the biggest issue for Jews. Why did it never come up during the election?, The Forward
Melissa Langsam Braunstein writes, “But as it did throughout the election cycle, antisemitism flies under the radar of American public discourse. Jewish voters and our allies, which includes everyone who cherishes living in a tolerant, open society, should be concerned about this silence. It reflects a choice reporters and editors are making, as well as debate moderators.”

Losing the Election Makes Trump More Dangerous for American Jews, Haaretz
Eric H. Yoffie writes, “Out of office, but unrepudiated, Trump will now be unconstrained, letting loose the extremists in his base, his own tribalistic nationalism and his contempt for American democracy.”

An unholy alliance, +972 Mag
Natasha Roth-Rowland writes, “Two new Israeli documentaries have been released, ‘Kings of Capitol Hill,’ which looks at the history and evolution of AIPAC and is directed by Mor Loushy, whose CV includes Censored Voices; and ‘Till Kingdom Come,’ which focuses on a small, Evangelical Zionist congregation in rural Kentucky, and is helmed by Maya Zinshtein, whose previous work includes Forever Pure. As both films show, one of the most unsettling trends in the U.S.-Israel political nexus is the way in which pro-Israel constituencies have at best pulled punches on, and at worst indulged, the most heinous excesses of the Trump administration.”

Post-Trump Era: Netanyahu Seems About to Lose His ‘Best Buddy’ in Washington, Haaretz
Yossi Verter writes, “The prime minister is said to be friends with Biden, but he won’t have his own keys to the White House like he’s had with Trump.”