News Roundup for September 28, 2023

September 28, 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

Israel’s Changes for Entry to the Visa Waiver Program a Welcome Step; Strict Monitoring and Enforcement Needed, J Street
“We have long advocated for Israel’s entry to the Visa Waiver Program, once it meets the criteria for entry that every other country must meet. Chief among these, the reciprocity principle requires that all American visitors be treated equally without regard to national origin, religion or ethnicity.”

Top News and Analysis

Sequel to Constitutional Showdown Pits Government Against Court on PM Recusal Law, The Times of Israel
With societal and political tensions in Israel more profoundly strained than ever, the High Court of Justice — the veritable epicenter of those tensions — is set to hear petitions on Thursday against government legislation that blocks the court from potentially ordering the prime minister to recuse himself from office.

US-Israel Visa Deal Could Give Some Palestinians New Freedom of Movement, The Washington Post
The deal, fulfilling a longtime Israeli goal of easing travel to the United States, will benefit only a sliver of Palestinians: dual citizens who are US passport holders and are also registered by Israel as having family connections to Jerusalem, the West Bank or Gaza.


Israel Reopens Gaza Crossings, Lets Palestinians Back to Work After Two Weeks, Reuters
Israel reopened crossing points with Gaza on Thursday, allowing thousands of Palestinian workers to get to their jobs in Israel and the West Bank, after nearly two weeks of closure prompted by violent protests along the border.

As Democrats Urge Menendez to Resign, Pro-Israel PACs Stand by Him, The Forward
Dozens of prominent Democrats are imploring Sen. Bob Menendez to resign following a federal indictment on bribery charges. Some pro-Israel groups including AIPAC and NORPAC are not ready to see him step down.

Israel’s Ben-Gvir Cancels Gender-segregated Prayer Service Planned for Tel Aviv, Haaretz
Explaining his decision, Ben-Gvir said that it follows the pro-democracy protest leaders’ announcement, which he called “leaders of the extreme left,” to not repeat their Yom Kippur “antisemitic activity, in which they pushed praying Jews off public space.”

Israel Says it Foiled Iranian Plot to Target, Spy on Senior Israeli Politicians, AP
Israel arrested five Palestinians in a plot allegedly hatched in Iran to target and spy on senior Israeli politicians, including Israel’s far-right national security minister, the country’s internal security agency said Wednesday.

Palestinian Negotiators Sceptical Over Potential Israel-Saudi Deal, The Guardian
A potential normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia is being treated with skepticism by Palestinian negotiators, despite outwardly positive signals from Palestinian officials, several sources with knowledge of the talks have said.

Opinion and Analysis

Netanyahu’s Legacy will be Permanently Darkened by Corruption, The Jerusalem Post
Douglas Bloomfield argues, “The American Jewish community is divided over Israel as never before, and Netanyahu did nothing to heal those wounds on last week’s visit. The protest movement followed him here. Long gone is the day when public displays of opposition to an Israeli leader were taboo.”

The Palestinian Dream Is Dying — and It’s A Nightmare for Israel, Newsweek
Tom O’Connor writes, “Just 30 years after the Oslo Accords set the stage for the formation of the first autonomous Palestinian leadership body to be recognized by Israel, the Palestinian National Authority stands on the brink of collapse, with dwindling territorial control, deteriorating popular support and no clear successor for its aging longtime leader.”