News Roundup for September 6, 2023

September 6, 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

Diplomacy is About Relationships and Not Headlines, The Times of Israel
J Street Israel Director Nadav Tamir writes, “In the absence of a responsible adult in the government, it is time for civil service personnel, including in the foreign ministry, to put a stop sign before the ministers! Minister Cohen’s actions are damaging to Israel’s ability to conduct sensitive and discreet regional talks, as has been done for years by the Foreign Ministry and the Mossad, which talks have yielded political dividends without betraying confidence.”

J Street Welcomes Nomination of Jacob J. Lew for US Ambassador to Israel, J Street
“American policy is in need of a reset — one that focuses on addressing underlying root causes of Israel’s current crisis, including the ongoing occupation. During his nomination hearing and once confirmed, we look forward to hearing from Secretary Lew about the steps the United States can take to meet this consequential moment in Israel’s history, and to create a more just, equitable and peaceful future for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

Top News and Analysis

Israel’s Supreme Court Delays Pivotal Judicial Overhaul Hearing After Attorney General Opposes Plan, AP
Israel’s Supreme Court on Tuesday delayed the first of three pivotal hearings on the legality of the judicial overhaul, spearheaded by the far-right government of Benjamin Netanyahu, after the country’s attorney general expressed staunch opposition to the plan.

‘No Surrender’: Netanyahu’s Far-right Allies Push Back Against Softening Judicial Coup, Haaretz
“Benny Gantz is one of the biggest hypocrites in Israeli politics,” Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said on Wednesday, a day after Gantz – one of the opposition leaders – said he didn’t trust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his offer to find a compromise over the judicial coup.


Border Police Officer Lightly Wounded in West Bank Attack, Palestinian Assailant Shot Dead, Haaretz
According to the Israel Police, a Palestinian shot at the soldiers, who returned fire and killed him near Argaman junction in the Jordan Valley. Army sources say that the incident took place while the forces were searching for a man who shot at a nearby restaurant earlier on Tuesday.

Former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to be Nominated Ambassador to Israel, The Washington Post
President Biden will nominate former treasury secretary Jack Lew to serve as the next US ambassador to Israel, the White House announced Tuesday. Lew, 68, is a lawyer who has had an extensive career in Washington policy. He served as treasury secretary during President Barack Obama’s second term and before that was Obama’s chief of staff.

Arab Israelis Go On Strike as Crime Wave Devastates Community, Al-Monitor
Arab Israeli municipalities, businesses and community centers went on strike Tuesday, demanding law enforcement agencies do more to stem the violence affecting towns and villages across the country.

Far-right Activists in Ma’ale Adumim Try to Curb Palestinian Presence in Settlement, The Times of Israel
Some residents of the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim have banded together in a WhatsApp group to organize various activities to reduce the presence of Palestinians in the city, including boycotting and harassing businesses that cater to them and organizing patrols to harass Arabs wandering around the community.

Opinion and Analysis

You Can’t Normalize Relations With a Government That Isn’t Normal, The New York Times
Thomas Friedman argues, “I want to appeal directly to President Biden and the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman: Do not let Netanyahu make you his useful idiots. You cannot have normalization with an Israeli government that is not normal. It will never be a stable US ally or Saudi partner. And right now, Israel’s government is not normal.”

How Eritrean Regime Agents Persecute Asylum Seekers in Israel, +972
Guli Dolev-Hashiloni writes, “The general Israeli public does not know that the Eritrean community in Israel lives under double persecution: on the one hand, by successive right-wing governments in Israel, and on the other, threats by government agents in Eritrea. Now, when things have spiraled out of control, the Netanyahu government, the most extreme in Israeli history, is once again threatening asylum seekers with deportation — a blatantly undemocratic and illegal move.”

Why Israel Has Ended Travel Restrictions for Palestinian Americans [Audio], NPR
Daniel Estrin reports that the US is on the verge of granting Israelis the right to travel to the States without visas like many other nationalities. He talks with Palestinians and Arabs, all US citizens, about Israel’s lifted restrictions on their travel in the region.