News Roundup for November 7, 2022

November 7, 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

Here’s Why J Street Isn’t Focusing on Israel Ahead of Midterm Elections, The Forward
“Jeremy Ben-Ami, the organization’s director and founder, acknowledged an expansion of J Street’s work that started during the Trump administration and gained momentum in recent years. But he said that the focus on voting rights and democracy was consistent with its founding mission. He said that J Street’s goal was to show elected officials that American Jews both hold a relatively liberal outlook toward Israel — strong support for a Palestinian state and a dim view toward settlement construction — and that they prioritize other issues above Israel.”

Why Is AIPAC So Desperate to Defeat Summer Lee?, The Nation
“Laura Birnbaum, J Street’s national political director, put it more directly: “After spending nearly $30 million in Democratic primaries on ads that claimed to care about democratic values and priorities, this right-wing group isn’t lifting a finger to defend democracy itself from candidates willing to overturn elections and undermine belief in our core institutions. Instead, UDP is making its only expenditures in the General Election to target Democrats.””

Fetterman Tells Haaretz: Supporting Israel Isn’t a Free Pass for Hate Speech, Haaretz
“Other Jewish organizations backing Fetterman include the J Street PAC, which has raised at least $200,000 for him and was the first group to hold a virtual fundraiser for him upon his post-stroke return to the campaign trail.”

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Soldiers Fatally Shoot Palestinian Rock Thrower, AP
The Palestinian Health Ministry said Saturday that Israeli forces shot and killed a young man in the occupied West Bank. The ministry said Musab Nofal, 18, was hit with a bullet in the chest and died at hospital in the city of Ramallah. Another Palestinian was also seriously wounded. The Israeli military said Nofal and the second Palestinian were hurling stones at Israeli vehicles traveling on a West Bank road near Silwad, northeast of Ramallah, damaging several cars. Soldiers aimed live fire toward the rock throwers, it added.

Israel’s Premier Calls for Unity After Netanyahu Victory, The Washington Post
Israel’s prime minister on Sunday issued a plea for national unity, days after he was defeated in national elections by the former premier, Benjamin Netanyahu, with the backing of a far-right ultranationalist party. In a memorial ceremony for the assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid warned of the deep divisions plaguing the country after the bitter campaign, Israel’s fifth election since 2019.


Israel Resumes Construction of Jewish Town Planned Over Ruins of Yet-to-be-demolished Bedouin Village, Haaretz
Police forces arrived to secure the resumed construction of a Jewish town on Monday planned over the ruins of a yet-to-be-demolished Bedouin village as dozens of protestors gathered near the site.

With Far Right Ascendant in Israel, Blinken Tells Abbas Us Committed to 2 States, The Times of Israel
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Friday, demanding the Biden administration “compel” Israel to stop various attacks against Palestinians. According to State Department spokesman Ned Price, Blinken and Abbas discussed “joint efforts to improve the quality of life for the Palestinian people and enhance their security and freedom.”

Israeli Settlers Have High Hopes After Netanyahu Election Win, Reuters
Among ideological settlers who see themselves as pioneers redeeming Biblical heartland promised by God, hopes are already high for budgets, construction and infrastructure to keep their enterprise thriving.

Hamas Arrests Two Gaza Residents Who Fired Rockets Towards Israel, Haaretz
Hamas’ security forces in the Gaza strip arrested two Palestinians on Sunday who fired four rockets towards Israeli territory on Thursday, thereby violating ceasefire and leading to a retaliatory attack by Israel, according to Palestinians sources in Gaza.

Obama Pans Celebrities Who Post ‘Vile, Antisemitic Conspiracy Theories Online’, The Times of Israel
Former US president Barack Obama on Saturday lashed out at celebrities and people in leadership positions for “creating a dangerous climate” by posting “vile, antisemitic conspiracy theories online” and urged Americans to question things they read online.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel’s New Kingmaker Is a Dangerous Extremist and He’s Here to Stay, The New York Times
Joshua Leifer writes, “In his election night speech, Mr. Ben-Gvir averred that his party owed its success to its ability to “represent everyone — secular and religious, ultra-Orthodox and traditional, Sephardim and Ashkenazim.” His rhetoric combines blunt ethnonationalism, worship of the land of Israel and veneration of the armed forces. In the past, the leaders of the extreme right disdained the Israeli mainstream and sought to distance themselves from it; Mr. Ben-Gvir, by contrast, wants to represent it.”

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