News Roundup for July 24, 2019

July 24, 2019

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Top News and Analysis

House overwhelmingly condemns BDS, JTA
The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly condemned the movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. The House vote Tuesday on the non-binding resolution was 398-17. Opposing were 16 Democrats, including two who back BDS, Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and one Republican, Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

The nuclear deal fuelling tensions between Iran and America, The Economist
The Economist explains, “Unless America and Iran can find a way to talk again, Iran will creep back towards the ability to make a nuclear bomb; and Mr Trump will face growing pressure from his hawks to bomb Iran. What could stop either of these nightmares from becoming a reality? Probably a deal that looks much like the JCPOA.”

How Netanyahu Set Up Trump’s ‘But I Love Israel’ Defense for Racism – and anti-Semitism, Haaretz
Ivan Kalmar writes, “As right-wing nationalism becomes more and more mainstream, there’s always been one trusted go-to gambit for right-wing nationalists to protect themselves from charges of anti-Semitism: profess friendship for ‘the Jews,’ and declare your eternal love of Israel. But now there’s a new twist. This same technique – loud protests that you’re against anti-Semitism – is now used to deflect charges that not only they’ve got a problem with Jews, but to deflect from other forms of racism, too. We can call this the ‘anti-anti-Semitism defense.’”


Trump’s Middle East envoy faces resistance at U.N. Security Council, Reuters
A plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians cannot rely on global consensus, inconclusive international law and “unclear” United Nations resolutions, U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, sparking pushback from several countries.

Video of soldier, cop celebrating Palestinian home demolition is shared, slammed, Times of Israel
A video clip showing an Israeli army officer and a border policeman celebrating after blowing up a Palestinian building was widely shared on Arabic social media Tuesday, prompting the military to issue a mild rebuke of the servicemen’s behavior.

Americans don’t know much about Judaism but love the Jews, survey says, JTA
US Jews know more about religion in general than their non-Jewish neighbors, a new survey shows. Americans who are not Jewish, meanwhile, don’t know a lot about Judaism. But they like Jews more than any other religious group. And they think there are more Jews in the country than there actually are. The more non-Jews know about Jews, the more they like them.

Stephen Miller ‘Profoundly Outraged as a Jew’ at AOC’s ‘Sinful’ Concentration Camp Comment, Haaretz
“I’m a Jew,” Miller said in his appearance on Fox News Sunday. “As a Jew, as an American Jew, I am profoundly outraged by the remarks by Ocasio-Cortez. It is a historical smear. It is a sinful comment.”

Netanyahu: Israel Preparing for Battle in Gaza, The Jerusalem Post
Israel wants calm in Gaza, but is preparing for battle, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday on Mount Herzl at a memorial for the fallen on 2014’s Operation Protective Edge. “We are trying to reach calm, but are preparing to embark on a campaign – a large-scale military operation that will deliver a blow against Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” he said, adding that this would be a blow the likes of which the two organizations have not yet encountered.

Former Israeli PM apologizes for killing of Arab protesters, AP
Barak was responding to an op-ed written by a parliament member from the left-wing Meretz party who called on him to apologize for the October 2000 killings, which came in the opening weeks of the second Palestinian uprising, when he was serving as prime minister.

Jeremy Corbyn admits his Labour Party has an anti-Semitism problem, JTA
“The evidence is clear enough. The worst cases of anti-Semitism in our party have included Holocaust denial, crude Jewish-banker stereotypes, conspiracy theories blaming Israel for 9/11 or every war on the Rothschild family, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood,” Corbyn said in an email to party members announcing the launch of an educational website on anti-Semitism.

Opinion and Analysis

Demolition of Palestinian homes a new low for Israel, The National
The Editorial Board writes, “The sight of Israeli troops demolishing legally built Palestinian homes has been met by the international community not with the universal condemnation it deserves, but with a collective indifference that verges on complicity. The destruction of Palestinian houses is nothing new, but this is the first time that this weapon of oppression has been wielded in an area ceded to Palestinian control under the Oslo Accords. As such, it represents a new low in Israel’s efforts to drive Palestinian people from their homeland and erase their culture from the map.”

Trump and the Iranian regime are both running out of options, Washington Post
Ishaan Tharoor writes, “President Trump and his adversaries in Iran are inching closer and closer to the brink. Both sides insist they don’t want war, but a series of escalations in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere are shrinking their room to maneuver. The White House is sticking to its ‘maximum pressure’ campaign, intent on economically strangling Tehran with sanctions that are choking off Iran’s oil exports. The Iranian regime, meanwhile, is striking at soft targets — tankers passing through the Strait of Hormuz — while it pins the blame on the Trump administration for betraying the 2015 nuclear deal and provoking the current crisis.”

Boris Johnson Will Be the Weakest British Leader Ever, Haaretz
Anshel Pfeffer writes, “Johnson has always been a very pro-Israel politician. He will now be the first prime minister to have volunteered as a student on a kibbutz (Kfar Hanassi in 1984). He has also been withering in his criticism of Israel’s opponents: During a visit to Israel in 2015 while still mayor of London, he said he could not “think of anything more foolish” than boycotting Israel […] But his support for Israel has often been tempered by criticism of its government’s policies. In the summer of 2014, during Operation Protective Edge, he said in a radio interview he was “a passionate Zionist” but that Israel’s actions in Gaza were “disproportionate.” And as foreign secretary for two years, he didn’t deviate from the official British line critical of settlement building.”

All the times (so far) Trump has invoked Israel and the Jews in his attacks on ‘The Squad’, JTA
Josefin Dolsten writes, “Trump defended his July 14 remarks by saying variously that the four hate the United States, support terrorists, are communists and are destroying the Democratic Party […] Here is a timeline of all the times the president invoked Israel in his defense and attacks, and what he said…”

We’re Just Lucky There Wasn’t an Arab With Us, Haaretz
Ilana Hammerman writes, “I’m a citizen who has chosen to be free in her country: free to see and comment and make friends and be politically active, and in order to do so I violate many illegal laws. But I’m not detained for that at the border crossings. I’m detained only because of the name left to me by my late husband. True, for now I’m fortunate: For Jews in Israel there’s still democracy, although it is steadily shrinking nowadays.”

RIP: An Obituary For Israel’s Labor Party, The Forward
Daniel Samet writes, “Several reasons account for the Labor party’s ruin. For one, free-market reforms have turned Israel into a highly developed economy and quashed popular appetite for socialism. The country is far more prosperous than it was in its first few decades, when the little industry it had derived from agriculture. Second, the collapse of the peace process has pulverized the Left, leaving the hawkish Right with much better electoral prospects. And third, Haredi Jews, once a negligible minority, now make up over ten percent of the Israeli population and vote for right-wing parties.”