News Roundup for October 27, 2020

October 26, 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

Poll: Jewish Voters Favor Biden Over Trump, WUSF
“A new poll shows Jewish voters in Florida favor Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden over President Donald Trump. The Trump campaign had hoped the peace deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel would help the president gain more Jewish support. But, a poll by J Street, a pro-Israel group, shows American Jewish voters are more focused on domestic issues.”

Top News and Analysis

Almost all American Jews say anti-Semitism is a problem, according to a new poll. Half of Americans don’t know what it means., JTA
Nearly half of Americans don’t know what the phrase “anti-Semitism” means. That’s one takeaway from two surveys published Monday by the American Jewish Committee. The surveys asked Jews and the general American public about anti-Semitism in the United States. The Jewish survey found that a large majority of Jews consider anti-Semitism a problem, and that most see it as a problem on the right and in the Republican Party. 

Palestinians push for international conference, US is open, AP
The Palestinian foreign minister said Monday an international peace conference is the only way to generate momentum to bring Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a peace agreement. The U.S. ambassador said the Trump administration has “no objection” to meeting international partners. Riad Malki, the top Palestinian diplomat, strongly backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for an international conference early next year, telling the U.N. Security Council: “Anything else is volatile, and it is futile.” Abbas called for a conference in his virtual address to the U.N. General Assembly’s annual meeting of world leaders in late September to launch “a genuine peace process.” He called on U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to undertake preparations along with the so-called Quartet of Mideast mediators — the U.S., U.N., European Union and Russia.

Trump’s pandering to QAnon should be a deal-breaker, Times of Israel
Martin Weiner writes, “The last time a US president failed to repudiate proponents of rabid conspiracy theories that echo blood libels against Jews was…never.”


In Tel Aviv, Sudanese migrants say Israel making peace with a rotten regime, Times of Israel
According to papers published by The Jamestown Foundation and Middle East Institute, many Darfurians accuse al-Burhan of being “the architect of the genocide” in Darfur. He is reportedly “well known in Darfur for his threats to exterminate the Fur people.”

All of this will harm us’: Leading Israeli Modern Orthodox rabbi condemns Trump, JTA
While a majority of Orthodox Jews are expected to vote for Donald Trump in next week’s U.S. presidential election, a major Israeli Orthodox rabbi who also has a large following in the United States strongly condemned the president in an interview this week.

Attorney general clashes with Likud minister for ‘spreading pernicious lies’, Times of Israel
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit once again found himself clashing with a Likud minister Monday after the latter attacked him during a Knesset speech, alleging that he’d had a woman detained and questioned for making a critical comment toward him.

At a Long Island ‘Jews for Trump’ rally, Orthodox Jewry’s political contradictions take center stage, JTA
The Woodmere rally was one of several pro-Trump events organized this weekend across the New York City area by Orthodox Jews, who stand apart from the majority of American Jews for their support of the Republican Party and for Trump.

A Shande’: Liberal Jewish Organizations Slam Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Confirmation, Haaretz
A long list of American Jewish organizations harshly criticized Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court eight days before the election.

Opinion and Analysis

If Biden and Democrats Win, Netanyahu Morphs From Asset to Liability, Haaretz
Chemi Shalev writes, ” A Biden victory would be perceived as a slap in the face for Netanyahu and would weaken his internal political position considerably. Instead of being viewed as a unique asset, Netanyahu would now be portrayed as a distinct liability.”

Foreign policy is now partisan policy, Washington Post
Daniel W. Drezner writes, “We know from the impeachment inquiry that Trump believes American foreign policy is his own private fiefdom from which he can extract political favors. His former national security adviser John Bolton has confirmed this. He recently told the Guardian about Trump’s foreign policy decision-making: ‘Decisions are made not on the basis of the pros and cons of the policies being debated but on what the domestic political blowback could be. Every president takes politics into account but with Trump it’s qualitatively different. It’s not just a factor. It’s the factor.’”

How Israel’s String of Peace Deals Triggered a Mideast Arms Race, Haaretz
Hagai Amit writes, “Peace typically means less defense spending, but the latest deals are defying that logic – Israel is spending more of its GDP on defense than it has in years.”

In East Jerusalem, the settler project is expanding underground, +972 Mag
Natasha Roth-Rowland writes, “Elad’s politicization of archaeology, most notably through the City of David park in East Jerusalem, erases Palestinians and their history.”

Sealing a Room at a Palestinian Family’s Home With Concrete? For Israel, It’s ‘Urgent Security Needs’, Haaretz
Amira Hass writes, “On October 21, early Wednesday morning, IDF soldiers sealed a room in a meager three-room apartment in Yabed, where Suheila Abu Bakr and her eight children live. The oldest is 19, the youngest almost two. To seal a room means to fill it with concrete. The sealing was done with the permission of the High Court of Justice.”