News Roundup for October 21, 2019

October 21, 2019

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J Street in the News

In one-off alternative to Birthright, J Street lets students focus on occupation, Times of Israel
“While there, the students met with multiple stakeholders in the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian saga. Within a 24-hour span, for instance, they spoke with Israeli settlers and Palestinians in Susya, a southern West Bank village the Israeli government has threatened to demolish. ‘You hear about these things, you see them on the news,’ said Abby  Kirschbaum, J Street’s assistant director of young leadership, who organized the trip. ‘But when you’re faced with it, it’s something different entirely.’”

Top News and Analysis

Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is ‘on the table’, The Hill
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Saturday said that she was open to making aid to Israel conditional on whether the government ceases settlement building in the West Bank. “Right now, Netanyahu says he is going to take Israel in a direction of increasing settlements, [but] that does not move us in the direction of a two-state solution,” Warren responded when asked what her stance was on aid and settlement-building. “It is the official policy of the United States of America to support a two-state solution, and if Israel is moving in the opposite direction, then everything is on the table,” she said, before repeating: “Everything is on the table.”

Four Days and Counting, Haaretz
Carolina Landsmann writes, “Within four days, for the first time since Ehud Olmert resigned in 2008 and Tzipi Livni received the opportunity to form a government – and failed – someone other than Netanyahu will receive the mandate to establish a new government in Israel. That person is named Benny Gantz.”

ADL: Pittsburgh synagogue massacre spawned rash of far-right plots against Jews, AP
At least 12 white supremacists have been arrested on allegations of plotting, threatening or carrying out anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. since the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue nearly one year ago, a Jewish civil rights group reported Sunday.


Israeli Soldier Wounded by West Bank Settlers Throwing Stones, Military Says, Haaretz
Some 30 West Bank settlers threw stones at soldiers and punctured their vehicle’s tires, lightly wounding one, overnight Saturday next to the settlement of Yitzhar, according to the military.

After deadly shooting, Pittsburgh synagogue plans reopening, AP
The building in the city’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood has not reopened since the shooting, considered the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history. Tree of Life leaders now envision a rebuilt space that includes places for worship; memorial, education and social events; classrooms and exhibitions. The mission is to fight anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination.

Blue and White, Liberman hit back at Netanyahu for ‘secret scheme’ video, Times of Israel
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, the party’s No. 2 Yair Lapid, and Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman hit back at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a video accusing them of seeking to form a minority government with the help of Arab parties.

New poll: Iranians are souring on the nuclear deal and don’t want a new one, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Almost every aspect of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s approach to the nuclear agreement his country made with major world powers in 2015 finds broad support among the Iranian public. Put differently, the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign has not driven a wedge between Iran’s people and its government. That’s the main takeaway from a series of national surveys conducted by the University of Maryland and IranPoll, released this week.

Opinion and Analysis

Denounce and Forget: Don’t Be Too Impressed by Israel’s Condemnation of Settler Violence, Haaretz
Amos Harel writes, “In the West Bank, after settlers attacked Palestinians and wounded a soldier, they will bow their heads just for a while, until the storm passes and the fury is brushed aside.”

Attack on troops draws fresh scrutiny to army’s response to Yitzhar violence, Times of Israel
Jacob Magid and Judah Ari Gross write, “The attack on IDF troops on Saturday night drew wall-to-wall condemnations — from right-wing and settler groups to liberal non-government organizations — but limited punitive or legal action was expected in response.”

New York Times, New York Times
Isabel Kershner writes, “Rosh Haayin almost perfectly reflects the political divide paralyzing Israel, with the religious right on one side and the secular left on the other. But its residents are ready for compromise.”