News Roundup for July 2, 2018

July 2, 2018

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J Street In the News

J Street urges Senate to recall Ambassador Friedman, Ynet News

“J Street, the American liberal lobby attempting to promote an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, has released a report slamming US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who was personally appointed by President Donald Trump. The non-profit liberal advocacy, which defines itself as an alternative to AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), has been running a campaign against Trump’s envoy culminating in the release of a report arguing he should be recalled to Washington.”


Top News and Analysis

Arab Leaders Asked U.S. Not to Reveal Mideast Peace Plan, Palestinians Say, Haaretz

Jack Khoury reports, “Arab nations have asked the White House to refrain from revealing its Mideast peace plan spearheaded by U.S. President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner and Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt, senior Palestinian officials told Haaretz. One senior official said that representatives of Arab countries warned members of the U.S. delegation to the Mideast of the ramifications of detailing the plan. The Arab officials cited the fact that their countries are dealing with internal challenges in a landscape marked by Syria’s civil war and Iranian interference.”

Hamas-Fatah feud heats up as talk of Abbas successor intensifies, Al-Monitor

Ahmad Abu Amer reports, “A new legal controversy and political feud has erupted between the Palestinian Hamas and Fatah movements. On June 25, Ahmad Bahar, the first deputy speaker of the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), accused the PLO of setting up a scheme to strip the PLC of its powers and confer them to the PLO’s Palestinian Central Council (PCC).”



State Takes Preparatory Steps Ahead of West Bank Bedouin Village’s Demolition, Haaretz

Civil Administration employees accompanied by policemen took measurements and made a close inspection of the Jahalin Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, which is slated for demolition, residents reported Sunday. A security source confirmed the measurement-taking to Haaretz, but added, “There won’t be any eviction tonight.”                                                   

Prominent Jewish BDS activist denied entry to Israel, Times of Israel

Israeli officials barred a Jewish pro-Palestinian activist from entering the country late Sunday and began proceedings to deport her over her support for a boycott of the country.

Abbas Rejected U.S. Offer for Kushner Meeting, Al Hayat Says, Bloomberg

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected an offer to hold a joint meeting with U.S. presidential adviser Jared Kushner and other Arab leaders, Al Hayat reported, citing diplomatic sources. The president saw the offer as an American maneuver to pressure the Palestinians into accepting a peace plan on Israel’s terms and achieving the “real objective” of pushing for stronger ties between Israel and Arab states, the London-based newspaper reported, quoting an unidentified diplomatic source.

Trump signals sanctions on EU companies over Iran, Financial Times

Donald Trump warned European companies that they would face secondary sanctions if they violated US restrictions on doing business with Tehran following Washington’s move to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Israel warns Syrian army away from Golan, boosts frontier forces, Reuters

Israel beefed up its tank and artillery deployment on the Golan Heights frontier with Syria on Sunday, cautioning Damascus’ forces to keep a distance as they sweep rebel-held areas over the border.

Qatari diplomat confirms indirect Israel-Hamas talks on Gaza, Times of Israel

Qatar’s special envoy to Gaza confirmed Sunday the existence of indirect talks between Israel and Hamas on solving simmering tensions and a humanitarian crisis in the coastal enclave.


Opinion and Analysis

Between Adelson and BDS, Birthright Has Become a Political Battlefield, Haaretz

Allison Kaplan Sommer reports, “Birthright Israel has done its best to stay above the political fray ever since its founding in 1999. Like most major institutions, though, in these divisive times it is losing the struggle to remain detached from deep political differences. Over the past months, it has been targeted directly by young activist Jews, angry over what they believe is the program’s refusal to deliver a balanced message to its participants regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The activities have ranged from protests against the Birthright gala in New York, to leafleting Birthright participants boarding their flights to Israel, to the high-profile walkout of five female participants toward the end their trip to Israel last Thursday, opting instead to join a Breaking the Silence tour in Hebron.”

Trump’s Cruel Immigration Policies: A Rabbi Speaks Out, J Street Blog

Rabbi Nancy Kasten writes, “The Trump administration’s cruelty demands a moral as well as a political response. While we should not pretend that there is an easy solution, it is correct to press our failed Congress to do something to right the situation. This is their job. But as American Jews, with our own special history, we have a job to do, too. We must speak out, bear witness and tell our nation and the world that our faith teaches us to welcome the stranger and love them – because we were strangers in the Land of Egypt.”