News Roundup for September 14, 2023

September 14, 2023
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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

The Oslo Accords: A Heroic Vision Unfulfilled, The Times of Israel
J Street Israel Director Nadav Tamir writes, “The foundation laid by the Oslo Accords will bear fruit, as Israel’s only viable path toward fulfilling the Zionist vision lies in a two-state solution. It has become increasingly evident to many in the Israeli public that continuing the occupation threatens our future, and genuine freedom for both Israelis and Palestinians is essential.”

J Street Condemns Alarming Surge of Bomb Threats Against Jewish Communities, J Street
“J Street is deeply alarmed by the nationwide campaign of bomb threats targeting over two dozen synagogues and Jewish organizations. One recent incident on the evening of Friday, September 9 forced the evacuation of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, California, where J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami and Representative Anna Eshoo were speaking, with hundreds of people in attendance.”

J Street Welcomes New US Program for Tracking Use of US-Origin Arms, J Street
“Ensuring that US arms are used in a manner consistent with American values and law must be a permanent element of US foreign policy. We, therefore, reiterate our call on Congress to swiftly pass legislation that will codify improved monitoring and enforcement requirements to ensure that US-origin military equipment and training is not used by recipient countries in violation of international humanitarian law and counter to US national security interests.”

Top News and Analysis

Israel’s Democracy Is at a Crossroads as Top Court Debates Law Limiting Its Power. Here’s What to Know, CNN
Beyond the legal questions surrounding the law and the justices ruling on their own powers remains the question of whether Netanyahu’s government would even abide by a court ruling – possibly months away if it comes – striking down the law. That would set Israel up for an unprecedented judicial and political crisis.

6 Killed in Gaza Border Blast During Rioting, Apparently While Planting Bomb, The Times of Israel
At least six Palestinians were killed Wednesday afternoon after an explosive device they attempted to detonate on the Israeli border during a riot blew up prematurely, the military and health officials in the Gaza Strip said.

Blinken: Saudis Have Made It Clear That Palestinian Issue Central to Israel Normalization, Haaretz
“It’s … clear from what we hear from the Saudis that if this process is to move forward, the Palestinian piece is going to be very important,” Blinken said in an interview. He added that it’s also important to the Biden administration and to all of the countries that will be involved in the process.


Ultra-Orthodox Men Block Jerusalem Traffic in Protest Against Israeli Military Draft, AP
Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox men on Wednesday blocked a major Jerusalem intersection, snarling traffic and crippling public transportation across the city, in a demonstration against an attempt to force a community member to comply with the country’s mandatory military draft.

An Israeli TV Channel for Netanyahu Fans Rapidly Gains Influence, The New York Times
Israel’s Channel 14, a formerly small and niche outlet, has rapidly turned into a major influencer in Israeli public discourse. On Tuesday, as the Supreme Court considered whether to block an effort by the right-wing government of Netanyahu to reduce judicial power, Channel 14 presented the court as an opponent of democracy.

Musk Expected to Meet with Netanyahu as Antisemitism Controversy Rages, The Washington Post
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to fly to the heart of Silicon Valley on Monday to meet with X owner Elon Musk in an effort to help ease an escalating crisis over antisemitism on the struggling social media platform.

Israel’s Netanyahu Denies Report of Weapons for Palestinians, Reuters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced on Wednesday to deny a report his government had approved a shipment of US weapons to Palestinian security forces after hard-right ministers in his coalition expressed outrage. A US embassy spokesperson also denied that the US gave weapons or ammunition to the PA security forces.

Opinion and Analysis

30 Years After Oslo – Data Shows Settlements Proliferated Following the Oslo Accords, Peace Now
Peace Now reports, “30 years later, there are about 465,000 settlers in the West Bank, residing in around 300 settlements and outposts. In East Jerusalem, there are approximately 230,000 settlers, in addition to about 3,000 who are residing within Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. The Oslo Accords signed 30 years ago this week, were supposed to lead to a peace agreement between Israel and a sovereign Palestinian state by 1999.”

How Israel Will Feature – or Not – in the High Holy Day Sermons of New York’s Rabbis, Haaretz
Judy Maltz writes, “Rabbis worldwide are facing their annual dilemma: Do they mention Israel in their upcoming High Holy Day sermons when they have access to the biggest crowds of the year? And if so, what do they say to offend the least number of congregants possible?”