News Roundup for October 12, 2023

October 12, 2023
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J Street In the News

Tempers Flare Among House Dems Over the Israel War, Politico
“There are a couple of people, a handful of people, who are not part of the present, unanimous posture of progressives and Democrats,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of liberal Jewish advocacy group J Street. “That’s where we are today in the immediate aftermath of this attack. I’m not going to say that’s where things will be in a week, two weeks, three weeks, but that’s where we are today.”

Hamas Attack on Israel Might be Setback for Palestinian Cause in US Just as Progress Was in View, The Guardian
“But Debra Shushan, J Street’s policy director, said the attack obliges US politicians to recognise that things cannot go on as before. She said it is right, for now, for Washington to focus on Israel’s “legitimate right of self-defence in accordance with international law” and securing the release of Israelis abducted to Gaza. “In the longer term, there are many questions that must be asked about flawed policies and narratives. I expect fertile ground for a recognition that a return to the status quo ante of “managing the conflict” is unacceptable. The vision for a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a negotiated end to the occupation of Palestinian Territory, and a future of genuine security, self-determination and equality for Israelis and Palestinians must prevail.”

Biden Denounces Efforts to Justify Hamas Attack in Fiery Speech, Bloomberg
“The White House meeting with Jewish community leaders was previously planned but expanded to include more organizations and the Israel-Hamas war was added to the agenda. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee and J Street were among more than 20 Jewish and Israeli advocacy groups represented at the meeting, according to the White House.”

Blinken Heads to Israel to Underline US Solidarity, AFP
“Logan Bayroff of J Street, a US liberal pro-Israel group, praised Biden’s support for Israel after “one of the most horrific massacres of civilians anywhere in the 21st century.” But he said that Netanyahu has shown “his legacy at this point is one of complete failure” and that the US administration needed a longer-term solution to the Palestinian issue.”

Students’ Solidarity With Hamas Raises Fears Among Young Jews on Campuses Across the US, Haaretz
“J Street U, the progressive Jewish student group affiliated with the advocacy organization of the same name, said it was “alarmed and appalled” by the rhetoric adopted and promoted by SJP as part of their planned “Day of Resistance.” This rhetoric “effectively celebrates the Hamas onslaught against Israel while refusing to even acknowledge the terror group’s brutal killing of hundreds of Israeli civilians, or their kidnapping of dozens of civilian hostages,” said J Street U.”

J Street Alarmed By the Excusing of Hamas War Crimes, Dehumanization of Israelis and Palestinians, J Street
“All those who believe in justice for all must be fully capable of rejecting and unequivocally condemning Hamas’s horrific attack on Israel, while also supporting a peaceful resolution to the many decades of Israeli-Palestinian conflict and an urgent end to the ongoing occupation of Palestinian Territory.”

Top News and Analysis

The Long Wait for Help as Massacres Unfolded in Israel, The New York Times
The slow response of Israeli forces on Saturday, a national holiday, gave Hamas terrorists many hours to infiltrate more than 20 towns outside of Gaza, where they killed at least 1,200 people and took an estimated 150 hostages. Israeli officials declined to answer questions about the timing of their response to the attacks. Here’s what we know about the timeline of some of the deadliest events and the official response, based on interviews with survivors and their family members, and an analysis of photos and video.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, a Centrist Rival, Form Emergency Wartime Government, JTA
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, a centrist opposition party leader, have formed an emergency unity government to prosecute Israel’s war against Hamas. The formation of the wartime coalition means Netanyahu and Gantz have put aside bitter schisms — over the government’s judicial overhaul and other issues — that have split the country over the past year.

25 Americans Killed in Israel, Others Held Hostage by Hamas in Gaza, Axios
The number of Americans killed in the surprise Hamas attack on Israel has climbed to 25, Secretary of State Tony Blinken said after arriving in Tel Aviv on Thursday. President Biden earlier this week confirmed that US citizens are also among the hostages being held by the militant group in Gaza.

Flooded with Casualties, Gaza Hospitals Limit Services as Fuel Runs Out, Al-Monitor
As Israel intensifies its airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, the humanitarian situation in the besieged enclave is worsening by the minute as fuel runs out, hospitals reach capacity and nearly 200,000 are displaced. The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza announced that hospitals and health institutions across the enclave will begin limiting their services to urgent cases.


‘I Found a Hostage!’: Inside the Tel Aviv War Room Where Civilians Locate the Kidnapped, The Forward
This war room is run entirely by civilians — many of them the very same people who have been organizing the mass pro-democracy protests in Israel’s streets for 40 weeks. Just 500 yards away, in a parking lot, volunteers pack boxes of donated clothing, toys, baby supplies and books, which are then hurried away to communities in the north and south.

Israel Bombs South Lebanon after Hezbollah Rocket Fire, Reuters
Israeli shelling hit southern Lebanese towns on Wednesday in response to a fresh rocket attack by powerful armed group Hezbollah, as cross-border violence extended into a fourth day. Hezbollah said it had fired precision missiles at an Israeli position in response to the killing of its members in Israeli shelling earlier this week.

With Gaza and Israel at War, Palestinian Authority Struggles to be Heard, The Washington Post
As Hamas militants rampaged through Israel on Saturday and Israeli strikes rained down on Gaza, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was at his base in Ramallah. He made calls, held meetings and issued statements. His formulaic response underscored the Palestinian Authority’s weakened position and sclerotic leadership.

Palestinian Health Ministry: 3 Palestinians Killed in West Bank Village by Masked Settlers, Haaretz
Israeli settlers shot and killed three Palestinians on Wednesday after entering a village in the West Bank. The Palestinian Health Ministry said that eight others were wounded and taken to hospitals in Salafit and Nablus, adding that three of them are in critical condition, with gunshot wounds to the neck and abdomen.

Inside Biden’s Meeting with Jewish Leaders Addressing Hamas Attack in Israel, Axios
President Biden, second gentleman Doug Emhoff and other officials convened a closed-door roundtable meeting with more than two dozen Jewish community leaders to offer support and discuss what the administration is doing in the wake of Saturday’s Hamas terrorist attack in Israel.

Opinion and Analysis

A Left That Refuses to Condemn Mass Murder Is Doomed, New York Magazine
Eric Levitz shares, “What we actually witnessed was not “the Palestinians” mounting a violent struggle for justice but a far-right theocratic organization committing mass murder in the name of blood-and-soil nationalism. Hamas’s project is antithetical to the left’s foundational values of secularism, universalism, and egalitarianism. And it is also completely at odds with the progressive vision for Palestinian liberation.”

Israeli Settlers Aren’t Pausing the Expulsion and Dispossession in the West Bank, Haaretz
Amira Hass notes, “The lack of attention [on the West Bank] has allowed the settlers and their enforcement bodies, official (the military and the police) and semi-official (the settlements’ security officers and right-wing volunteers acting as escorts), to escalate their attacks against Palestinian herders and farmers with a clear goal: to expel more communities from their land and homes.”

Seeking a Moral Compass in Gaza’s War, The New York Times
Nicholas Kristof writes, “Urban combat is a nightmare, whether for Americans in Falluja or Russians in Grozny, and civilian casualties are often enormous. That’s particularly true in a place like Gaza, where civilians cannot flee. If we owe a moral responsibility to Israeli children, then we owe the same moral responsibility to Palestinian children. Their lives have equal weight. If you care about human life only in Israel or only in Gaza, then you don’t actually care about human life.”

Where Was Israel’s Political Opposition All this Time?, The Times of Israel
Avi Gil argues, “The Israeli opposition did nothing to stand up against this and offered no argument to convince Israelis that without a solution to the Palestinian conflict bloodshed would fill the vacuum. Netanyahu’s opponents on the left have settled for an untenable strategy of “conflict management,” an approach that eventually and inevitably leads to a binational reality and routine flare-ups of Hamas carnage.”