News Roundup for September 8, 2020

September 8, 2020

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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

New Israeli film projects AIPAC’s steady drift from idealistic bipartisan roots, Times of Israel
“‘The Kings of Capitol Hill,’ airing on Israel’s YesDocu before going global, examines how the pro-Israel lobby eschewed mainstream US Jewry for Evangelical Christians and the right […] Mor Loushy: ‘Living in Los Angeles and going to Washington, DC, so many times, I felt that the danger with the next generation is indifference, that they don’t want anything to do with Israel. Israel is something that embarrasses them, in a way. So I’m appreciative of the young people that are choosing to engage, whether it’s IfNotNow or J Street or any organization. Just so long as they don’t disconnect with Israel. That’s the real war.’”

Top News and Analysis

Israel hits new high with over 3,400 infections in day, as curfew snarl persists, Times of Israel
Over 3,400 new coronavirus infections were confirmed Monday, setting a new single-day high, as testing rates climbed amid government disarray over where a nighttime curfew set to go into effect Tuesday evening will be imposed.

Virus puts new strain on Gaza’s overwhelmed health system, AP
Dr. Ahmed el-Rabii spent years treating Palestinians wounded by Israeli fire during wars and clashes in the Gaza Strip. Now that the coronavirus has reached the blockaded territory, the 37-year-old physician finds himself in the unfamiliar role of patient. El-Rabii is the first Gaza doctor diagnosed with COVID-19 and is among dozens of health-care workers infected during the local outbreak, which was detected late last month. The spread among front-line workers has further strained an already overburdened health-care system. Speaking from one of the two hospitals designated to treat coronavirus cases, el-Rabii said the threat in many ways is more terrifying than war.

My fellow Jews: Getting rid of Trump is a religious imperative, The Forward
Ben Gould writes, “Many of the Jews who have endorsed Trump have done so because they see him as a friend to Israel. But this is shortsighted. Moving the embassy, recognizing sovereignty of the Golan Heights, and authoring a one-sided ‘peace plan’ hasn’t brought the elusive two-state solution any closer, which is the only way to establish self-determination for both people and ensure Israel’s Jewish majority and democracy. Nor have these moves made Israel more secure. These are symbolic — and at what cost?”


Shin Bet says it foiled bomb plot planned by Israeli citizen on behalf of Hamas, Times of Israel
The Shin Bet security service released information Monday on what it said was a foiled bomb plot involving an Israeli citizen who received training and orders from the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip.

Get out of here’: thousands in Israel call for Netanyahu to resign, The Guardian
Thousands of Israelis protested outside the official residence of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night, pressing ahead with a months-long campaign demanding he resign.

‘Palestine TV’ conducts rare interview with Hamas leader, The Jerusalem Post
The interview, the first of its kind with a Hamas leader, is seen by Palestinians in the context of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s ongoing efforts to reach a national-unity agreement that would end the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israeli Top Court Slams State’s ‘Embarrassing’ Request to Delay Khan al-Ahmar Eviction Hearing, Haaretz
Israel’s High Court of Justice on Monday called a state request to postpone a hearing on the petition to evacuate the West Bank village of Khan al-Ahmar “embarrassing,” heaping unusual criticism on the state in its ruling.

Law enforcement said to have covered up conflicts of interest in Netanyahu probe, Times of Israel
Senior law enforcement officials have filed a complaint with the state comptroller in recent days alleging that senior police officers and the state prosecutor engaged in a wide-spread cover up of a serious conflict of interest by one of the investigators into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, in order not to derail the corruption investigations into the premier, Channel 12 reported Monday.

Netanyahu Accuses Rivals of Stirring Anarchy as Coronavirus Crisis Deepens, Haaretz
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused opposition lawmakers Monday of “undermining public unity” in the battle against the coronavirus in a letter sent to opposition leader Yair Lapid and Knesset members Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Lieberman and Ayman Odeh.

Virus czar apologizes for criticizing Haredi rabbi who reportedly bucked testing, Times of Israel
The government’s coronavirus czar, Prof. Ronni Gamzu, apologized for his comments against prominent ultra-Orthodox rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, which he made after the latter was reported to have told students not to get tested for COVID-19.

Hamada Was Dragged From One Israeli Prison to Another and Freed Four Days Later Without Questioning, Haaretz
Israel Defense Forces soldiers arrested Hamada (Mohammed) Tamimi in the early hours of Sunday, August 23, in his home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. He was released on Wednesday, August 26, in the evening: Nobody interrogated him, nobody told him why he had been detained, nobody apologized for the false arrest.

Fire breaks out at Arab-Jewish school for second time in a week, JTA
For the second time in less than a week, a fire has damaged a Jewish-Arab school in the village of Neve Shalom near Jerusalem.

Opinion and Analysis

Israel-Emirates: Neither betrayal nor history-making deal, Responsible Statecraft
Hicham Alaoui writes, “The peace treaty represents neither a tragic betrayal nor an historic breakthrough. From a strategic point of view, it is a calculated move meant only to offer short-term advantages to the three parties concerned.”

By Folding to ultra-Orthodox, Netanyahu Paves Way for Full Lockdown on High Holy Days, Haaretz
Amos Harel writes, “After nixing a lockdown on coronavirus hot spots, experts say castrated plan seems unlikely to achieve anything other than giving the ultra-Orthodox a false sense of equality.”

Palestinian holy sites are crumbling under Israeli rule, +972 Mag
Irit Segoli writes, “Israeli land grabs are preventing Palestinians from accessing Muslim shrines in the West Bank, with some falling into ruin or being deliberately destroyed.”

An Explosive Letter From Israel’s Longest-serving Palestinian Prisoner, Haaretz
Amira Hass writes, “Karim Younes is above the calculations of power and personal profit that are eating up the Fatah movement. That’s why the accusatory letter he sent is so important.”