News Roundup for October 3, 2023

October 3, 2023
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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.

Top News and Analysis

Israeli Herders Spread Across West Bank, Displacing Palestinians, The New York Times
Palestinian herding communities are abandoning their villages, ceding huge swaths of land to nearby Israeli settlers. Settler activists say it’s the result of their new strategy in the West Bank.

Israel’s Secular-Religious Divide Highlighted in Holiday Incidents, The Washington Post
The weeks-long holiday period ends Friday, and many leaders have beseeched Israelis on all sides to act with greater tolerance during the holiest stretch of the Jewish calendar. Those pleas appear to have largely gone unheeded during a time of unprecedented political division.


In First, Yesh Atid to Hold Leadership Election; MK Ram Ben Barak to Challenge Lapid, The Times of Israel
The former prime minister will face off against at least one challenger, Yesh Atid lawmaker Ram Ben Barak, who declared his candidacy shortly after the primaries were announced.

Israel’s Ben-Gvir Backs Officers Filmed Pushing Palestinian Women in Jerusalem’s Old City, Haaretz
As most of the Jews began leaving the Temple Mount compound through the Chain Gate, Palestinians began chanting “Allahu akbar” (god is great). Police then arrested three of the Palestinians for “chanting inflammatory nationalist slogans at Jews.”

Second Israeli Minister ‘Received Warmly’ in Saudi Arabia Amid Normalization Push, Al-Monitor
After the first Israeli official delegation and then a trip by Tourism Minister Haim Katz, Israel’s Communications Minister Shlomi Karhi is the latest Israeli minister to visit Saudi Arabia.

Alice Shalvi, Hailed as a Mother of Feminism in Israel, Dies at 96, The New York Times
Dr. Shalvi developed a brand of feminist activism that drew on her experiences as a mother and a teacher, along with her deep knowledge of Jewish text, to help galvanize the nascent women’s movement in Israel beginning in the mid-1970s.

Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir Meet Amid Latest Rift, The Jerusalem Post
The meeting was reportedly aimed at resolving the latest crisis between the two in which Ben-Gvir wasn’t invited to a security meeting that media said involved issues under his authority like the Temple Mount.

Opinion and Analysis

Inside Netanyahu’s Patently Corrupt Plan to Change How Israel’s Judges Are Chosen, Haaretz
Naomi Katz-Lulav argues, “This is not a “minor correction.” This is a dangerous wolf, dressed in lamb’s clothing. For Netanyahu, who fears the outcome of his criminal trial, it is in fact the Holy Grail, and in my opinion the reason he mobilized for regime overhaul in the first place.”

For Palestinians, Social Media Influence Comes with the Threat of Prison, +972
Sophia Goodfriend writes, “Charges against Palestinian social media users have surged in recent years — particularly in the wake of the Palestinian uprising of May 2021 known as the “Unity Intifada” — and Abbassi is just one of many whom Israeli authorities have surveilled, censored, detained, and incarcerated for their online activity.”

Why There’s Nothing Normal about Israel Normalizing Relations with Saudi Arabia, The Forward
Robert Zaretsky notes, “Rather than ignore the never-ending tension between the demands of our ideals and the demands of reality, we have no choice but to embrace this tension, and, though we will always fall short, nevertheless always demand better of ourselves but also others, especially those that talk the talk, but do not walk the walk on human rights.”