News Roundup for October 6, 2021

October 6, 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.

J Street in the News

What the Jewish Left Learned From Occupy: An Oral History, Jewish Currents
On September 17th, protesters converged in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park in response to a call to “occupy Wall Street.” Over the next two months, what began as an encampment of several hundred demonstrators grew into a makeshift city—with a field hospital, childcare center, and people’s library—and inspired anti-capitalist actions in more than 900 locations around the world. […] “Once accusations of antisemitism started cropping up, I worked with some comms folks from the outside to do a letter. [J Street president] Jeremy Ben-Ami was actually really supportive and signed on saying that Occupy Wall Street was not antisemitic. We pushed that out from Jewish leadership, because of course that became a talking point, as it always does.”

Top News and Analysis

Both of These Politicians Opposed Iron Dome Funding. Only One Was Called Antisemitic, Haaretz
Pro-Israel advocates across the political spectrum have slammed Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s moves delaying the delivery of $1 billion in Iron Dome antimissile system funding. However, their outrage is much tamer now than when Democratic progressives, including “The Squad,” also opposed the move in the House last month. The language used against the ‘Squad’ members after they opposed the funding was much harsher compared to criticism against Paul, and in some cases included accusations of antisemitism.

Thousands of Gazans apply for Israeli work permits, AFP
Thousands of Gazans applied Wednesday for work permits for Israel, which has been reopening its gates to labourers from the Palestinian enclave following the latest war in May. In Jabalia, a refugee camp in northern Gaza, a crowd of men holding their identity papers lined up hoping to obtain a permit to work in Israel, AFP journalists said.

Government won’t neglect Palestinian issue ‘forever and ever,’ Lapid says, Times of Israel
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Tuesday that Israel’s government will not neglect the Palestinian issue “forever and ever,” just over a week after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett left the matter out of his speech to the United Nations entirely. The comments from Lapid to the Jewish Federations of North America’s annual conference appeared to highlight underlying tensions within his broad-base coalition and could possibly offer a preview of policies he may seek to pursue when he takes over from Bennett as prime minister next year.


Israeli military chief hints of covert action against Iran, AP
Israel’s military chief on Tuesday vowed to step up actions, including covert operations, against Iran and its nuclear program. Speaking at a ceremony, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi said Israel and its intelligence community “is working against Iranian regional entrenchment throughout the Middle East.”

The inquisition of Nemi El-Hassan, +972 Magazine
Nemi El-Hassan was supposed to start hosting a science show in November on WDR, one of Germany’s public broadcasting institutions. But on Sept. 28, just over a month before her new stint was to begin, WDR announced that she would not get the job after all. The reason: suspicion of antisemitism. The evidence: her “likes” on Instagram posts by a Jewish, pro-Palestinian organization.

Germany Sets Aside an Additional $767 Million for Holocaust Survivors, Officials Say, New York Times
Many of those now eligible for reparations are Russian Jews who survived the Nazi siege of Leningrad. They will receive annual pensions of about $5,200, or 4,500 euros.

Diplomacy is ‘best path’ to thwart Iran nukes, Biden aide tells Israelis, Times of Israel
United States National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan reiterated the Biden administration’s preference for diplomatic efforts to revive the Iran nuclear agreement over military action against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, during a meeting with his Israeli counterpart in Washington on Tuesday.

Assailants Tried to Attack Wounded Palestinian Child Inside Ambulance, Israeli Police Say, Haaretz
An investigation into an attack by Jewish settlers on the Palestinian village of Khirbet al-Mufkara has found that there was an attempt to attack a wounded 3-year-old while he was inside the ambulance that came to take him to the hospital. A relative of the 3-year-old, Mohammed Hamamda, told Haaretz that alongside that incident and while the child was on a stretcher outside the ambulance alongside his uncle, who was also injured by stones, three masked settlers hurled rocks at them.

Opinion and Analysis

US efforts to broaden sanctions on Iran won’t work, Responsible Statecraft
Geoff LaMear writes, “The United States is at a crossroads with Iran as diplomatic talks to revive the nuclear deal stall. President Joe Biden stated recently that the administration is looking at ‘other options’ beyond diplomacy with Iran, even as he promised ‘relentless diplomacy’ in his first address to the United Nations. Amidst a report the Biden administration is reaching out to China to cut its imports of Iranian oil, it appears the United States is prematurely abandoning the diplomacy-first approach. But a return to sanctions wouldn’t serve U.S. interests.”

If Not for Peace With the Palestinians, Then for Democracy, Haaretz
Mickey Gitzin writes, “Apparently Bennett really does see Israel as a liberal democracy, but his democracy depends on repressing a certain fact: ‘Look,’ he explained to his listeners, ‘Israelis don’t wake up in the morning thinking about the conflict.’ But nevertheless, the conflict – or the occupation, to call a spade a spade – still exists, even if the prime minister doesn’t think about it when he wakes up in the morning.