News Roundup for October 7, 2021

October 7, 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

Biden quietly puts pressure on Israel over West Bank settlements, Axios
The Biden administration has been privately pressuring the Israeli government to show restraint ahead of a key decision on settlement building in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials tell Axios. Both sides want to keep this from becoming a point of tension between President Biden, who considers the settlements a threat to the two-state solution, and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who leads a pro-settler party and is under political pressure on the issue.

Israeli Army Identified Settler Who Shot at Palestinians With Soldier’s Gun, but Did Nothing, Haaretz
The army failed to report an incident in which a settler took a gun from a soldier and fired at Palestinians in June, as well as an incident in which a masked soldier fired at Palestinians, despite having claimed the contrary. A civilian was filmed on June 26 firing at Palestinians near the outpost of Havat Maon in the South Hebron Hills. According to an army investigation, the shooter was a settler who took the soldier’s gun without permission and gave it back to him after firing it. The army discovered his identity on the same day.

In brazen attack by settlers, Palestinians see larger threat, AP
Dozens of Jewish settlers swept down from the dusty hills, hurling rocks at a small Palestinian village in broad daylight, smashing windows, cars and water cisterns as families hid inside their homes and Israeli soldiers looked on. Palestinians in this rural part of the occupied West Bank say last week’s attack was especially violent but not unusual. They view it as part of a much larger effort by Israel to force them off their land, including by cutting off vital water resources in a parched region.


Israeli settlers take over home in Jerusalem’s Silwan, Al Jazeera
Israeli settlers from the Elad settler group have taken over a Palestinian home in the Silwan neighbourhood, south of the Old City of Jerusalem. The second-floor apartment, located in the Wadi al-Rababa area of Silwan, a Palestinian neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem, was home to Nidal Froukh and his family.

Rand Paul bedevils fellow Republicans again with Israel aid holdup, Politico
After spending much of the summer portraying Democrats as anti-Israel, Republicans are now in the awkward position of an intraparty feud that’s holding up military assistance to the U.S. ally. The GOP isn’t divided over whether to fund protection for Israel — all of them, and most Democrats, want to send Israel a $1 billion replenishment for its Iron Dome missile defense system. The schism among Republicans instead centers on how to deliver those funds, with a bill to do just that stalling out as lawmakers fight over who’s at fault.

Thousands of Gazans Are Applying to Work in Israel. Only Very Few Succeed, Haaretz
The 7,000 permits are being given to merchants rather than laborers – reportedly at Hamas’ request – with Gaza’s official jobless rate reportedly at 50 percent even before the May war with Israel

Israeli foreign minister heads to D.C. to coordinate on Iran, Axios
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will travel to Washington next week for talks with senior Biden administration officials on Iran, Lapid’s office said. Lapid is expected to meet with Secretary of State Tony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Vice President Kamala Harris between Oct. 12-14. Israel is pressing the Biden administration to develop a “Plan B” in case nuclear talks with Iran fail.

Peres Pinned Me to the Door and Tried to Kiss Me. I Pushed Him Off. I Was Shaking’, Haaretz
Over the course of Colette Avital’s long career in government service, the 81-year-old former ambassador and Labor MK has had to contend with persistent rumors of an inappropriate relationship with Shimon Peres. However, in an interview with Haaretz’s Gidi Weitz, Avital alleged that the former president tried to initiate unwanted sexual contact with her on two separate occasions.

Opinion and Analysis

I filmed a settler pogrom. Now the Israeli media is smearing me, +972 Magazine
Basil al-Adraa writes, “I was in Mufagara last week, documenting the attack. This is nothing new for me: I have been documenting human rights violations by Israeli soldiers and settlers for several years as a journalist. Over the past few days, however, I have become the target of a campaign by Channel 12, Israel’s most popular news channel, as well as by settlers and soldiers — all based on fake news and lies.”

Iron Domegate is a victory in disguise for Palestine advocates, +972 Magazine
Mitchell Plitnick writes, “While the landslide vote was certainly a mixed blessing, the public fight that unfolded over the Iron Dome funding represents a significant step forward for the Palestinian rights movement. For all the handwringing by American politicians about protecting civilians and ensuring Israeli security, the question at the heart of the U.S. debate on Iron Dome is not about the military system itself; rather, it is about who is going to pay for it. As a result, the drama on the House floor has succeeded in widening a conversation that Israel’s American supporters would prefer to avoid — if not entirely silence.”