News Roundup for October 12, 2021

October 12, 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

Two-State Solution is Best Path to Peace, Detroit Jewish News
Rep. Andy Levin writes, “As a Jew and a member of Congress, I feel compelled to do what I can to resolve a dispute that has cost thousands of lives and torn at the Jewish community for decades and work more urgently to ensure Israel’s future as a democratic state and homeland for the Jewish people is secure and Palestinians’ aspirations for a state of their own can be fulfilled. That is why I have introduced the Two-State Solution Act, a bill to accelerate progress toward a two-state solution and discourage steps that push one out of reach. It clarifies the distinction between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories and reverses policies put in place by the Trump administration that removed such distinctions.”

Israeli lawmaker praises ‘two-state solution act’ in Congress, Al Monitor
Democratic Rep. Andy Levin of Michigan introduced the Two-State Solution Act last week alongside four other Democrats. […] Member of the the Israeli Knesset Yair Golan praised the bill on Thursday, calling it a “good law” in a Hebrew-language post. Levin in turn said he was “honored” to receive an endorsement from Golan, who is a retired military commander and member of the left-wing Meretz party.

Top News and Analysis

Axios on HBO: Ben & Jerry’s founders on sales in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Axios
Thirty-five states in the U.S. have anti-Israel boycott laws, and so far four have announced they’re taking action or considering divesting from Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s parent company. Greenfield told “Axios on HBO” that those states’ decisions are based on “misinformation” that “Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever are being characterized as boycotting Israel — which is not the case at all. It’s not boycotting Israel in any way,” he said.

Merkel: Israel can’t ‘lose sight’ of deal with Palestinians, AP
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday implored Israel not to “lose sight” of the need to establish a Palestinian state, as she wrapped up a two-day farewell visit. Merkel’s support for a two-state solution has been one of the key disagreements with Israel’s leadership during her 16 years in office, which were characterized by unwavering support for Israel.

Police, Palestinians clash by Damascus Gate for third consecutive night, Times of Israel
Two Palestinians were arrested and another two detained after violent clashes with Israeli police broke out for the third night in a row near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday. Police said Palestinians threw stones at officers and passing buses, damaging some of them. Officers responded with riot control means, including stun grenades and a “skunk water” cannon. In videos from the scene, Palestinians can be seen taking cover as the cannon fired its noxious spray in an effort to disperse them. In other videos, Palestinians and Border Police can be seen scuffling.


FM Lapid to Meet VP Harris, Blinken in First Washington Visit, Haaretz
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid departed on Monday for Washington on his first visit to the U.S. capital, where he is expected to focus discussions on threats from Iran and ties with Gulf nations. […] The visit will feature a joint meeting with the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Lapid is also expected to meet with Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as senators from both parties. His bid to improve Israel’s support in the Senate follows difficulties encountered in getting U.S government funding approved to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Sally Rooney turns down Israeli translation on political grounds, The Guardian
In a statement released on Tuesday, Rooney explained her decision, writing that while she was “very proud” to have had her previous novels translated into Hebrew, she has for now “chosen not to sell these translation rights to an Israeli-based publishing house”. The statement expressed her desire to support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS), a campaign that works to “end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law”.

Israel said to approve residency for hundreds of undocumented Palestinians, Times of Israel
Israel has issued permits that legalize the status of 442 undocumented Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza on Monday, in the first mass approval of illegal residents in years, the Palestinian Authority announced on Monday. The Palestinian Authority Civil Affairs Commission, which is formally charged with liaising with Israel, announced that the group consisted of Palestinians whose families had failed to register them before they turned 16, thus making the process far more complicated.

Talks on Controversial Citizenship Law Collapse, Haaretz
Negotiations between the government coalition and the opposition over reinstating controversial provisions in Israel’s Citizenship Law have failed, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked announced Tuesday. Shaked, of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s Yamina party, had been negotiating with Simcha Rothman of the opposition Religious Zionism party over the proposed legislation, which on security grounds, barred Palestinians who marry Israelis from obtaining resident status in Israel.

Opinion and Analysis

So where’s all of the ‘diplomacy’ we’ve been talking about?, Responsible Statecraft
Doug Bandow writes, “Diplomacy is no panacea. Negotiation guarantees no result. However, international communication is more important between antagonistic powers than friendly ones. Imagine if the Soviet Union and U.S. did not have relations and diplomats ready to negotiate during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the alternative, imagine if the U.S. and People’s Republic of China had relations and diplomats ready to negotiate in the lead up to the PRC’s intervention in the Korean War.”

The Demographic Obsession: Why Israel Doesn’t Really Want to Stop Arab Crime, Haaretz
Carolina Landsmann writes, “You don’t have to be an Arab citizen of Israel to reach the conclusion, based on facts on the ground, that Israel doesn’t genuinely care about crime in its Arab communities. And you don’t have to be a great cynic to suspect that in fact, from Israel’s perspective a situation in which Arabs are killing Arabs is desirable. […] I lean toward attributing the neglect of Arab communities to a desire to reduce the number of people living in them, regardless of the identity they forge for themselves.”