News Roundup for September 4, 2020

September 4, 2020

Receive the roundup in your inbox every morning!


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

Israel Failed: After Record 3,000 New Cases, Czar Threatens Holiday Lockdown, Haaretz
Coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu is expected to submit to the cabinet Thursday a list of new, more detailed restrictions regarding so-called “red cities,” where infection rates are highest, beyond the restrictions on gatherings that have already been presented. Gamzu has been drawing up the guidelines with senior Health Ministry officials and other professionals, and they include additional funds for testing, contract tracing and the country’s health care providers.

France calls on US to drop ICC sanctions, a ‘serious attack’ on the court, AFP
France led criticism of US sanctions on the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Thursday, saying Washington had launched a “serious attack” on the global body. The ICC, a special multilateral court set up to try genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity cases, has become the latest issue to split Europe and United States under President Donald Trump. “The measures announced on September 2 amount to a serious attack on the court and signatory states of the Treaty of Rome and, beyond this, a challenge to multilateralism and the independence of the judiciary,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday.

Peace with the UAE is fabulous. But Israel’s existential problem is at home., The Forward
Ori Nir writes, “It’s fabulous that Israelis and Gulf Arabs are reaching for the stars. But Israel’s existential problem is not Abu Dhabi or Dubai or the dark side of the moon. Its problem is its conflict with the Palestinians who live thirty minutes from Tel Aviv, under a 53-year-old oppressive occupation which is a calamity for Palestinians and Israelis alike.”


Israeli Army Commander Won’t Be Tried for Shooting Palestinian Who Threw Rock at His Car, Haaretz
The High Court of Justice denied on Thursday a petition seeking to put on trial Col. Yisrael Shomer, who in July 2015 shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian seconds after he smashed a large rock from close range on Shomer’s vehicle, shattering the front windshield.

Netanyahu Privately Condoned U.S. Plan to Sell Arms to U.A.E., Officials Say, New York Times
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel privately went along with a plan for the Trump administration to sell advanced weapons to the United Arab Emirates, despite publicly saying later that he opposed the arms deal, according to officials familiar with the negotiations. Mr. Netanyahu chose not to try to block the deal as he took part in a broader effort in recent months to secure a diplomatic breakthrough normalizing relations between Israel and the Emirates, the officials said. President Trump announced the initiative to great fanfare last month, without mentioning the arms discussions that were proceeding on a parallel track.

Top health official says renewed national lockdown still possible ‘if no choice’, Times of Israel
The top official at the Health Ministry said Friday the potential reimposition of a nationwide lockdown was still on the table, after ministers agreed to tighten restrictions in area with high COVID-19 infection rates. “I don’t rule out the possibility that a full lockdown will be decided on, but again, a full lockdown is something that all of us want to avoid,” Health Ministry Director-General Chezy Levy told Kan public radio. “If there’s no choice, we’ll be there.”

Two-state solution needed for Palestine, Qatar emir tells Kushner, Al Jazeera
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has told White House adviser Jared Kushner that Doha supports a two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, to end the conflict with Israel.

Abbas meets Hamas, Islamic Jihad terror heads, says he won’t engage with US plan, Times of Israel
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hosted a meeting in Ramallah Thursday night which included the leaders of terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The meeting focused on reconciliation efforts among the Palestinians and on the United Arab Emirates’ decision to normalize ties with Israel last month.

Three children burn to death in Gaza candle fire, MEMO
Three children were burnt to death in a fire in the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday. It is believed that the fire was started by candles being used to provide light in the family home during one of the territory’s frequent and lengthy power cuts.

Opinion and Analysis

How the recent Iran-IAEA agreement can save the nuclear deal, Responsible Statecraft
Julia Masterson writes, “Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency recently resolved a year and a half-long dispute over an Agency investigation into possible undeclared nuclear materials and activities. While this investigation is focused on accounting for past activities, Iran’s cooperation eliminates a key obstacle that may have impeded any potential return to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.”

Coronavirus is turning Gaza’s nights even darker, +972 Mag
Mohammed Moussa writes, “Besieged and bombed, Gaza has imposed a lockdown to stem an outbreak of COVID-19 — an unwanted guest that we are in no condition to host.”

Wisconsin’s Small Jewish Community Could Be Just Enough to Send Biden to the White House, Haaretz
Allison Kaplan Sommer writes, “With the city of Kenosha dominating headlines following the police shooting of Jacob Blake and subsequent unrest, just 20,000 votes could make all the difference in November.”