News Roundup for September 29, 2023

September 29, 2023
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J Street In the News

J Street Calls for Sen. Menendez to Resign in Light of Deeply Disturbing Indictment, J Street
“As a pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy advocacy organization, J Street works frequently with Senate Foreign Relations Committee on critical issues related to US-Israel relations, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, US aid and security assistance, and many other aspects of American foreign policy. In light of this indictment, it’s clear that Senator Menendez should not continue to play an official role in making policy on these issues or other important public matters.”

Top News and Analysis

After the Supreme Court Hearing, How Can Israel Defend Itself Against Netanyahu?, Haaretz
Israel’s High Court of Justice debated on Thursday one of the clearest examples yet of the debauching of Israel’s Basic Laws, which were supposed to lay the foundations for a constitution, but which Benjamin Netanyahu has corrupted out of personal interest.

Biden Includes Antisemitism in Civil Rights Act Protections at 8 Cabinet Departments, The Times of Israel
On Thursday, the administration announced that it is instructing eight cabinet departments to extend civil rights protections to victims of antisemitism and other forms of religious bigotry. The decision marks a broad expansion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.


Elon Musk, in Live Chat with Right-leaning Jews, Insists Antisemitism Isn’t a Problem on X, JTA
Musk called himself “aspirationally Jewish,” waffled on a prominent rabbi’s invitation to visit Auschwitz, and insisted that claims of rising antisemitism on his social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, were “absurd.”

First Look: New Senate Bill Aims to Strengthen US Palestinian Security Post, Axios
A bipartisan group of senators led by Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) is introducing a bill that aims to strengthen the position of the US security coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority and protect it from being downgraded by future administrations.

Tel Aviv Yanks Religious Group’s Permits for Sukkot Events after Yom Kippur Fracas, The Times of Israel
The city claims Rosh Yehudi, which has sought to increase Orthodox devotion in the largely secular city, violated the conditions of its license by erecting a makeshift bamboo barrier as it held services at Dizengoff Square, which the city had banned.

Israel to Close Gaza Crossing During Sukkot Holiday, Day After Reopening, Haaretz
Israel announced on Thursday that the army will close the border crossings into Gaza and the West Bank during the Sukkot holiday beginning Friday at midnight until Saturday at midnight.

Opinion and Analysis

A Peace Deal Between the Saudis and Israelis Could Change Everything, The Washington Post
Fareed Zakaria writes, “The largest challenge is with Israel. This deal would be concluded with the most extreme right-wing government in Israel’s history, one that is trying to alter the constitutional makeup of the country and moving to make a Palestinian state an impossibility. But Saudi Arabia and the United States have a lot of leverage: Israel needs this deal more than they do […]”

Netanyahu and Raisi Are More Alike Than They’ll Admit, +972
Orly Noy argues, “Netanyahu’s foolish statement before his trip, tying his opponents to “the PLO and Iran,” underscores another distinct similarity between him and his Iranian counterpart: the way in which both try to delegitimize popular protests by labeling the protestors as traitors and unpatriotic, who collaborate with hostile elements in order to bring about their countries’ destruction.”

‘We Looked Like an Army’: Meet the Handmaids Standing Up to Netanyahu, J Street
From J Street’s latest Our Israel profile on Israeli women’s rights group, Bonot Alternativa: “The stark, instantly recognizable red and white costumes are a reference to the uniforms forced upon enslaved women in Margaret Atwood’s patriarchal dystopia The Handmaid’s Tale. Today, the procession of women dressed in all red has become a staple at weekly protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul, underscoring the threat to democratic freedoms and gender equality.”