News Roundup for October 5, 2021

October 5, 2021

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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

U.S. rules out “goodwill gesture” to get Iran back into negotiations, Axios
The U.S. will not offer Iran concessions just to get nuclear talks restarted, a senior U.S. official told reporters, rejecting an Iranian demand for “a goodwill gesture,” such as the release of $10 billion in frozen Iranian funds. Indirect talks between the U.S. and Iran over a mutual return to the 2015 nuclear deal have been suspended since the Iranian elections in June. There is no set date for talks to resume, but the Iranians have signaled it could happen in early November.

Israel’s Top Court Proposes Compromise to Prevent Sheikh Jarrah Eviction, Haaretz
Israel’s Supreme Court presented a detailed compromise proposal on Monday that would allow a group of Arab families living in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood to continue living in their homes with the status of protected tenants. Presented during a hearing on a lawsuit seeking to evict the families, the proposal would end the threat of eviction for the foreseeable future. Under the proposal, the three families would be recognized as first-generation protected tenants, meaning they would continue to enjoy the status for two more generations.

Republican senator blocks expedited US passage of Iron Dome funding, Times of Israel
Republican Rand Paul on Monday blocked the US Senate from fast-tracking $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense program, but the bill is still certain to pass. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Democrat Bob Menendez, brought the Iron Dome funding bill to the Senate floor to be approved by unanimous consent after the House voted overwhelmingly to advance the legislation earlier this month. […] But Paul objected to Menendez’s effort, saying his own version of the bill — which requires the Iron Dome funding to come from $6 billion in proposed US assistance to Afghanistan — should be adopted instead.


What keeps this Israeli leftist in a pro-occupation government?, +972 Magazine
MK Mossi Raz opens up about being part of a coalition that is ‘moving to the right’ on the occupation, and whether his Meretz party truly promotes Jewish-Arab partnership.

David Schoen, lawyer who defended Trump during impeachment, to chair Zionist Organization of America, JTA
The Zionist Organization of America elected as its national chairman David Schoen, the Jewish lawyer whose Orthodox observance drew media attention as he defended former President Donald Trump at Trump’s second impeachment trial. Schoen, a constitutional lawyer who lives in Atlanta, has for years served on ZOA’s board and has represented the organization, in one instance leading ZOA’s efforts to hold the Palestine Liberation Organization legally accountable for terrorist attacks committed in its name.

Israeli environment minister says UAE oil deal poses ecological risk, Reuters
An Israeli company’s deal with partners from the United Arab Emirates to transport oil from the Gulf to Europe through Israel poses ecological risks, Israel’s environment minister told Reuters on Monday while visiting the Expo fair in Dubai. The Israeli government is assessing a request, which has outraged environmental advocates there, to increase substantially the amount of oil moved through Israel.

Opinion and Analysis

Palestinians Residents of Sheikh Jarrah Can Breathe Easier Now – for a Price, Haaretz
Nir Hasson writes, “The story of Sheikh Jarrah requires the media to look at the Palestinians as well (and their Israeli leftist supporters) with a different lens from which they are accustomed. In the Israeli view, Palestinians are either weak victims or violent terrorists. In the story of Sheikh Jarrah, they are neither victims nor violent; they are people who went out to fight for their homes, and against all odds they succeeded – at least for now – in pushing back against those who wanted to throw them out of their homes.”

Israel Claims That the Palestinian Village of Walaja Doesn’t Exist, Haaretz
Zehava Galon writes, “Last week, in his speech to the UN Assembly General, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett didn’t mention the Palestinians. When cornered to say something about the millions subject to military rule and denied basic rights, he said he would diligently apply himself to ensuring their economic rights, as though millions of people can be expected to live without political rights forever. But does Israel protect the Palestinians’ economic rights? In the upcoming days the Supreme Court will discuss the state’s demand (through the aggressive National Building Codes Enforcement Unit) to reject a lawsuit standing in the way of demolishing 38 homes in the village of Walaja. Walaja captures the essence of the occupation.”