News Roundup for October 23, 2020

October 14, 2020

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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

Biden winning Jewish vote by over 50 points in Florida and Pennsylvania, polls show, JTA
“Joe Biden is winning the Jewish vote by over 50 points in the key swing states of Florida and Pennsylvania, two polls commissioned by the liberal Jewish Middle East lobby group J Street have found. In Pennsylvania, 75% of respondents said they would vote for Biden and 22% picked Trump, tracking exactly with a nationwide American Jewish Committee poll published this week. In Florida, the gap was 73% to 22%. Both states have large Jewish populations, and both the Biden and Trump campaigns have focused substantial resources on Jewish voters there.”

Jewish voters edge further away from Trump, Religious News Service
“In 2016, Jewish voters chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by 71% to 24%. In two weeks, 75% say they’ll vote for Joe Biden and 22% for Trump, according to a survey released this week by the American Jewish Committee. In the swing states of Florida and Pennsylvania, where Jews make up 3%-4% of the voting population, a new poll by J Street shows margins of 75%-22% and 73%-22% respectively…Whatever connection they feel to Israel, for the large majority of Jewish Americans electoral politics is local — and, like it or not, Democratic.”

Top News and Analysis

U.S. Foreign Policy Never Recovered From the War on Terror, Foreign Affairs
Matt Duss writes, “Today, the greatest security threat to the United States comes not from any terrorist group, or from any great power, but from domestic political dysfunction. The election of Donald Trump as president was a product and accelerant of that dysfunction—but not its cause. The environment for his political rise was prepared over a decade and a half of xenophobic, messianic Washington warmongering, with roots going back into centuries of white supremacist politics.”

Averting Crisis, Compromise Reached on Top Jobs at Zionist Institutions, Haaretz
“A crisis that threatened to drive a deep wedge between Israel and the Diaspora Jewish communities was averted on Thursday evening, after a compromise was reached allowing the non-Orthodox movements and center-left parties to retain some influence in the key Zionist institutions. This agreement over the allocation of senior positions in the World Zionist Organization and its affiliate organizations – the Jewish Agency, United Israel Appeal and the Jewish National Fund – was reached after three intensive days of negotiations among the various delegations to the World Zionist Congress, which met this week.”


Thousands of Israelis Protest Against Netanyahu as Business Owners Rejoin Dissent, Haaretz
Thousands of Israelis called for the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday night in hundreds of locations across Israel, with major protests taking place in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Senate resolution lauding Abraham Accords gains vast backing, Jewish Insider
A Senate resolution praising the recent normalization agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain is gaining broad bipartisan support. The resolution, introduced September 17 by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Todd Young (R-IN) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), has been cosponsored by 91 senators as of Wednesday morning, according to an AIPAC list tracking the legislation’s backers.

Israeli, Sudanese officials confirm talks in Khartoum, say normalization near, Times of Israel
Sudanese officials confirmed on Thursday that a senior US-Israeli delegation flew to Sudan on a private jet this week to wrap up a deal that would make Sudan the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel this year.

Gantz touts ‘major leap’ for Israeli security as US re-ups military edge promise, Times of Israel
Defense Minister Benny Gantz hailed an agreement signed with the Pentagon on Thursday to safeguard Israel’s military superiority in the region as representing a “major leap forward” for Israel’s security interests.

Russia Poses Greater Election Threat Than Iran, Many U.S. Officials Say, New York Times
While senior Trump administration officials said this week that Iran has been actively interfering in the presidential election, many intelligence officials said they remained far more concerned about Russia, which in recent days has hacked into state and local computer networks in breaches that could allow Moscow broader access to American voting infrastructure.

Opinion and Analysis

Netanyahu’s Gulf Breakthrough: It’s His Party and He’ll Cry if He Wants To, Haaretz
Chemi Shalev observes, “Netanyahu’s expectation that anyone on the center-left would set differences aside and extol his normalization deals with far-flung and exotic Gulf princedoms is only slightly less ludicrous than Donald Trump’s assumption that the Abraham Accords would endear him to U.S. Democrats or liberal American Jews. After years of toxic incitement against political rivals, which turned public arenas into fierce and bloody battlegrounds, Netanyahu and Trump are still looking for love, like the obsessively self-absorbed narcissists they are.”