News Roundup for October 8, 2020

October 8, 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

Organizational Sign On: Jewish Communal Statement Denouncing White Supremacy, ADL, HIAS, J Street and others
“White supremacy is a public safety emergency, a threat to American democracy and a global crisis. When white supremacists are encouraged by our own administration on the national debate stage, the security of the 2020 U.S. election is at stake as are the lives and safety of those routinely targeted by those groups. And the problematic impact of white supremacy in America exists both on the ground and online. Social media companies allow white supremacist groups to grow their membership. Algorithms and engagement metrics augment their voices. Troll storms torment their victims. Platforms are a mechanism for white supremacists to plan their attacks and even broadcast their violence.”

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu’s Party Surprised by Polls Showing Coronavirus Response Has Hurt Him, Haaretz
The gap between Likud and the opposition right-wing Yamina party is narrowing, according to recent polls. The trend is said to have surprised Likud leaders, who believe that a smart campaign will keep Yamina and its chairman, lawmaker Naftali Bennett, at bay, but they understand that the coronavirus crisis has hurt Likud.

At vice presidential debate, Pence invokes ‘Jewish grandchildren’ in defense of Trump, The Forward
“Your concern that he doesn’t condemn neo-Nazis — President Trump has Jewish grandchildren,” Pence said. “His daughter and son-in-law are Jewish. This is a president who respects and cherishes all the American people.”

They Fought for Israel’s Independence. Now They’re on the Streets Fighting Netanyahu, Haaretz
“We would have easily gotten a bigger crowd, but we didn’t want to violate the social distancing rules or endanger anyone’s health,” says Arad, a Holocaust survivor who served as director of Yad Vashem (Israel’s Shoah memorial center) for over 20 years.


Brooklyn Protesters Attack Orthodox Reporter Who Urged Compliance With COVID Restrictions, Haaretz
Videos of the attack were posted to Twitter, showing a large crowd assaulting Kornbluh, whose back is pinned against a wall. He later wrote that he was “hit in the head, and kicked at by an angry crowd of hundreds of community members of the Borough Park protest” who called him “Nazi” and “Hitler.”

Trump compares NYC’s attempt to break up Orthodox street party to Holocaust, The Forward
Sharing a Tweet from James Woods, which mentioned “rounding up the Jews” and accused Mayor De Blasio of antisemitism, the president insinuated that the NYPD’s attempts to break up an Orthodox gathering in Crown Heights for the Sukkot holiday Monday night were reminiscent of the Holocaust. “I am the only thing in the Radical Left’s way! VOTE” he then said.

Hamas, Fatah complete consultations on reconciliation, Middle East Monitor
In a press release issued yesterday, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said that his movement held lengthy talks with Palestinian factions to agree on a roadmap to restructure Palestinian bodies.

Pence touts embassy move, Harris knocks Trump for Iran deal pullout at VP debate, Times of Israel
US Vice President Mike Pence touted his administration’s 2017 decision to transfer the American embassy to Jerusalem and the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in January, while his Democratic challenger Kamala Harris attacked the US president for leaving the Iran nuclear deal and failing to condemn white supremacists at a debate Wednesday.

EU gives Palestinians ultimatum by linking aid to financial ties with Israel, Axios
European Union leaders have told the Palestinian Authority they will refuse to provide any additional financial aid as long as the Palestinians refuse to accept tax revenues collected by Israel, European diplomats and Israeli officials tell me.

Shaked: We need elections after 2nd virus wave, Bennett would be ‘excellent’ PM, Times of Israel
A day after her right-wing opposition party saw a massive bump in its polling numbers, Yamina’s Ayelet Shaked called Wednesday for elections to be held after Israel overcomes the current wave of coronavirus infections, touting party chair Naftali Bennett as a replacement for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Opinion and Analysis

Falling in line: Why the Second Intifada was a watershed moment for Israeli media, +972 Mag
Meron Rapoport writes, “Before the Second Intifada, mainstream Israeli journalism could be looked at as a two-lane road with wide margins. One could drive along the margins and still somehow remain part of the mainstream. During the intifada, the media suddenly transformed into a one-way street with no margins. Anyone who drifted to the edges, as I did, was cast out.”