News Roundup for October 1, 2021

October 1, 2021

Receive the roundup in your inbox every morning!

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

PM Bennett Preaches Unity at UN, Atlanta Jewish Times
Leaders of J Street’s Atlanta chapter said its self-identified pro-Israel, pro-peace organization supported the $1 billion replenishment of Iron Dome. However, when asked about passage of the same bill in the U.S. Senate, J Street Atlanta chapter chair Scott Rafshoon and chapter steering committee members Joe Sterling and Cedric Suzman said in a statement, “it seems likely the bill will pass the Senate, but it is important to note that earlier this year every House Republican voted against the package that contained the standard annual aid to Israel. It’s certainly possible that Senate Republicans could derail this aid bill in a similar fashion.”

The Peres Philosophy and its impact on my career, Times of Israel
J Street’s Nadav Tamir writes, “Yesterday we marked 5 years since the death of Shimon Peres, a founding parent of Israel whose lifelong dedication to his country led him to become the only Israeli leader to serve as both President and Prime Minister, as well as many more leadership positions. I had the privilege to serve on his team of advisors when he was Foreign Minister and President. The following is a description of the enduring impact he’s had on me and my country.”

Top News and Analysis

Andy Levin says his friendship with Rashida Tlaib gives him hope for Israel, JTA
Levin told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency before he introduced the bill about why he believes U.S. support for Israel, including U.S. Jewish support needs recalibrating. He also talked about how his Jewish faith informs his politics; his friendship with the most outspoken anti-Zionist in Congress, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib; and why he‘s in it for the long haul. Here’s what he told us.

‘Shrinking the Conflict’: What Does Israel’s New Mantra Really Mean?, New York Times
There’s a new three-word concept taking root in political and diplomatic discourse in Jerusalem: shrinking the conflict. The idea is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not be solved in the near future, since the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships are both too divided to restart peace negotiations, let alone reach a peace deal. But Israel can work to reduce the impact of the century-long conflict on Palestinians, thus making peace more likely.

Palestinian Villagers Stunned by ‘Worst Ever’ Settler Attack Fear They’ll Be Back, Haaretz
On the morning after the violent incident in the village, which is near the illegal outposts of Avigayil and Havat Maon, the residents still appeared to be in shock. The windows of most of the village houses were smashed; most of the cars and one tractor were vandalized; and solar panels and water tanks were punctured with knives. The Palestinians initially reported that 12 had been injured, but on Wednesday the villagers said the number was really six, including two children.


Israeli troops kill Gaza man near border; army investigates, AP
Israeli troops shot and killed a 40-year-old Palestinian man in the Gaza Strip on Thursday as he was setting bird traps near the Israeli border, his family said. The military said it was investigating. The shooting came hours after two other Palestinians were killed in separate incidents in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. The shooting in Gaza occurred just before noon, near the Bureij refugee camp.

Harris’ office does damage control over student’s Israel ‘ethnic genocide’ comment, Politico
Vice President Kamala Harris’ office is working behind the scenes to mend relationships with pro-Israel Democrats after not pushing back on a student who, in asking her a question, accused Israel of “ethnic genocide.” On Thursday, Harris’ senior staff contacted the influential Democratic Majority for Israel to clean up remarks she made Wednesday at George Mason University where Harris was visiting a classroom of students.

3 Israelis arrested after settler attack that injured 12 Palestinians, JTA
Three Israelis have been arrested for an attack on Palestinian residents of the West Bank that sent a three-year-old to the hospital over the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret. The attack came amid a week in which several Palestinian terror suspects have been killed in the West Bank and Jerusalem. A man in Gaza who Israeli troops said was carrying a “suspicious bag” was also shot dead Thursday.

In one more hurdle for Iron Dome, Rand Paul refuses to fast-track $1 billion in new funding, JTA
Rand Paul, the Republican senator from Kentucky, is the latest lawmaker to get in the way of $1 billion in new assistance to Israel to replenish its Iron Dome anti-missile system. Paul on Thursday revealed himself to be the single senator refusing to “hotline” the bill now that it has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. “Hotlining” is when all 100 senators agree to allow a bill to go straight to the floor for a vote, substantially accelerating the process.

Iraqis fear for their lives after botched pro-Israel conference in Erbil, Responsible Statecraft
A conference of Iraqis calling for diplomatic relations with Israel held last week has devolved into a fiasco as several participants now claim they were duped into attending. The conference was held in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, on Friday and organized by the Peace Communications Center, a New York-based organization dedicated to fostering Arab-Israeli ties. Several prominent pro-Israel advocates, notably from the influential Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the hardline neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, have called for the U.S. government to back the conference as attendees face death threats.

Opinion and Analysis

Green means go for Israel’s new eco innovators, Jewish Chronicle
Gaby Kaminsky writes, “But while there is hope in the battle against the pandemic, the planet now faces another, greater threat from the calamitous effects of climate change. Perhaps Israel has not traditionally been considered a leader in the development of green technologies in the same way as, for example, the Scandinavian nations. Yet the picture is rapidly changing.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Now Pretends the Palestinians Don’t Exist. It’s a Brilliant Move, Haaretz
Anshel Pfeffer writes, “Bennett knew that while some left-wing politicians and pundits would slate him for keeping the Palestinians out, nearly everyone else simply couldn’t care less. He knew that nearly everyone else would just be interested in pointing out how his rhetoric was different to that of his predecessor’s and how he chose to use the U.N. podium to criticize the medical experts for being too cautious, in his opinion, by recommending further restrictions in Israel – despite the spike in COVID-19. ”

Only the World Can End the Israeli Occupation. It Won’t Come From Bennett, Haaretz
Roger Alpher writes, “This occupation does not belong to Bennett, nor to Netanyahu, nor even to Rabin’s assassin Yigal Amir. It belongs to Jewish Israeli society. It is society’s creation. […] With the help of the Iron Dome and the Shin Bet security service, it’s happy with its occupation. Until the United States, Europe and China cause economic distress to Israel, it will continue to be happy with its occupation.”