News Roundup for October 7, 2020

October 7, 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

Joaquin Castro pledges to bring Palestinian voices to the Foreign Affairs Committee, Jewish Insider
“The Texas congressman told J Street he believes bringing Palestinians and their advocates before the Foreign Affairs Committee could help advance the cause of a two-state solution. ‘I think if you’re going to be the sole broker, then you’ve got to be willing to listen to all sides to take that in. And then as you go forward, be better in your job of brokering a peace agreement,’ Castro said on the J Street call. ‘For the long-term stability of both Israel and the Palestinians, I think the United States — especially on the congressional level — being able to hear the different voices would actually be helpful.’”

Top News and Analysis

Poll: 65 Percent Dissatisfied With Netanyahu’s COVID Response, Bennett Nips at Likud’s Heels, Haaretz
Sixty-five percent of Israelis think Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is responding poorly to the coronavirus crisis, a Channel 12 News poll released on Tuesday shows. Thirty-one percent of respondents say they support Netanyahu’s response so far.

ADL: Soros conspiracies central to deluge of online attacks on Jews in Congress, Times of Israel
Conspiracy theories surrounding liberal, Jewish philanthropist George Soros constitute an “astounding” proportion of a recent deluge of online anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish members of Congress, the Anti-Defamation League said Monday, citing its latest report.

Anti-Netanyahu Protests Continue in Tel Aviv in Shadow of Lockdown, Police Violence, Haaretz
Some 400 demonstrators took to the streets in Tel Aviv and more in dozens of other cities and towns across Israel, calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step down and protesting the government’s restrictions on demonstrations during Israel’s coronavirus lockdown.


Saudi Prince Accuses Palestinian Leaders of Failing Palestinians, New York Times
“The Palestinian cause is a just cause but its advocates are failures, and the Israeli cause is unjust but its advocates have proven to be successful,” the royal, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, said in the first episode of a three-part program, which aired Monday on the Saudi-controlled Al Arabiya satellite channel.

Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn burn masks during massive protest against New York’s new COVID rules, JTA
Protests by Orthodox Jews against New York’s crackdown on gatherings in their neighborhoods turned tense Tuesday night as throngs of young men demonstrated in the streets of Borough Park, setting fire to a pile of masks and at one point running a reporter out of the area.

Cops attacked while enforcing virus closure in ultra-Orthodox areas; 24 arrested, Times of Israel
Police officers attempting to enforce coronavirus lockdown regulations met fierce resistance in the ultra-Orthodox settlement of Modiin Illit and Jerusalem late Tuesday and early Wednesday, in the latest outbreak of violence between the community and authorities.

Israeli Minister Violates Lockdown, Contracts COVID-19 and Tries to Cover It Up, Haaretz
Israel’s Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel, who announced that she had tested positive for the coronavirus overnight Saturday, hid the fact that she violated lockdown restrictions and visited a synagogue on Yom Kippur from Health Ministry officials.

Stephen Miller tests positive for COVID-19, the disease that killed his grandmother, The Forward
Miller is one of many White House officials who tested positive following the Rose Garden event announcing Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Palestinian Authority Shuns Lockdown Despite Fears of Second Coronavirus Wave, Haaretz
The Palestinian Authority has decided not to impose a lockdown to contain a second wave of coronavirus infection, and to take limited cautionary steps to try and minimize potential damage to the West Bank economy.

This 102-year-old activist was born into the last pandemic. Now she has one message: Vote!, The Forward
For Lumpkin, a lifelong union organizer whose mailbox selfie went viral earlier this week, voting is a sacred tradition. She hasn’t missed an election since she cast her first vote for Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940. And not even the second global pandemic of her lifetime could make her skip this year’s.

Sara Netanyahu had hairdresser visit home, in violation of lockdown — report, Times of Israel
The wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu violated virus lockdown restrictions by having a hairdresser come to the premier’s official Jerusalem residence, according to a Wednesday report, the latest in a series of high profile figures to be accused of disregarding rules meant to stem Israel’s runaway infection rate.

Opinion and Analysis

I Just Moved From New York’s COVID Ground Zero to Israel’s. It’s Much Worse Here, Haaretz
Samuel Heilman writes, “We spent three weeks quarantined in our hometown, New Rochelle. But in Jerusalem, we’ve found lockdown, little leadership and a pandemic out of control. Our dream of return has turned into a nightmare.”