News Roundup for September 7, 2023

September 7, 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

As 1.2 Million Palestinians Face Food Crisis, Civil Society Orgs Urge Blinken to Override GOP Aid Block, Haaretz
Twenty-three civil society organizations including J Street warned that “a devastating humanitarian crisis looms with more than 1.2 million people potentially left without food as early as mid-September, including hundreds of thousands of children who will be left hungry.” Republican lawmakers have placed holds on the State Department from providing appropriate funding for food assistance for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, accusing UN aid agency UNRWA of anti-Israel sentiment and supporting terror organizations.

Top News and Analysis

Knesset Speaker Threatens Israel’s High Court Ahead of Dramatic Judicial Coup Hearing, Haaretz
Israel’s Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana warned Supreme Court justices on Wednesday that the parliament “will not acquiesce to its trampling,” less than a week before the court is set to hear petitions against a key law in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial coup. “I suggest to the court and its judges: Know the limits of your power,” Ohana said in the Knesset.

A Former Mossad Chief Says Israel is Enforcing an Apartheid System in the West Bank, AP
Tamir Pardo becomes the latest former senior official to have concluded that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank amounts to apartheid, a reference to the system of racial separation in South Africa that ended in 1994. Leading rights groups in Israel and abroad and Palestinians have accused Israel and its 56-year occupation of the West Bank of morphing into an apartheid system that they say gives Palestinians second-class status.

Abbas: Ashkenazi Jews ‘Are Not Semites,’ Hitler Killed Them for Their ‘Social Role’, The Times of Israel
In a recent speech, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas repeated a number of antisemitic canards he has made over the years, including unfounded claims about the origins of Ashkenazi Jews and that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler had Jews slaughtered because of their “social role” as moneylenders, not because of enmity toward Judaism.


Trump Privately Urged to Support Biden’s Saudi Mega-deal, Axios
Sen. Lindsey Graham told Axios he has urged former President Trump to support the mega-deal President Biden is negotiating with Saudi Arabia. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, the chief architect of the Abraham Accords, also urged the former president to support Biden’s potential deal.

Hamas, Hezbollah Lash Out at Bahrain as Israeli Foreign Minister Concludes Visit, Al-Monitor
The Gaza-based Palestinian organization Hamas condemned Cohen’s visit in a statement on Tuesday, pledging “its rejection of normalization with the Zionist occupation.” The Lebanese militant organization Hezbollah also condemned Cohen’s trip, accusing the Bahraini government on Tuesday of “worsening its political and moral decline.”

Two Wounded, 1 Seriously, in Terror Stabbing Near Jerusalem’s Old City, The Times of Israel
Two people were wounded, including one seriously, in a terror stabbing attack just outside the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City on Wednesday afternoon, police and medics said. According to police, a 17-year-old Palestinian from East Jerusalem carried out the attack.

US Officials Meet Saudis in Riyadh Amid Continued Efforts to Push Israel-Saudi Normalization [Video], CNN
Senior US officials are meeting with Saudi officials in Riyadh as Washington continues to work behind the scenes to push forth a possible normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Opinion and Analysis

To Appease Biden, Israel’s Netanyahu Floats Judicial Compromise, Saudi Progress, Al-Monitor
Ben Caspit writes, “Once again, as has been his habit throughout his lengthy career, Netanyahu conducted sensitive and secret negotiations over a controversial issue, maintained total deniability and convinced the honest broker that he was on board, only to encounter strong public opposition and appear to back off. […] This time, the deceived party was Herzog, and not for the first time.”

Don’t Be Fooled: Israel’s Far-right Government Plots Its West Bank Moves With a Calculated Frenzy, Haaretz
Amira Hass argues, “Don’t be misled by the cabinet ministers’ embarrassing stupidity, their contempt for Israeli citizens, and the collapse of government systems. All these things hold true within the borders of the Green Line. In the West Bank, though, the coordination and long-term planning are ticking along like a German luxury watch. There is perfect cooperation and harmony between the authorities.”

Violence, Collective Punishment, and Systematic Looting: Four Nighttime Home Invasions in Hebron, B’Tselem
During May and June 2023, B’Tselem documented four separate instances in which dozens of Israeli soldiers raided the homes of extended Palestinian families in Areas H1 and H2 in the city of Hebron in the middle of the night, waking up members of the household, including young children. The soldiers, most of whom were masked, had dogs with them.