News Roundup for July 25, 2019

July 25, 2019

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J Street in the News

Pennsylvania native returns from J Street’s first student trip to Israel, Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle
“After returning from his first trip to Israel — a free tour offered by J Street — Adam DeSchriver, 21, has a ‘renewed sense of purpose for being committed to peace in the region, and I don’t take that lightly,’ he said […] ‘It’s not something I had ever actually really, truly considered before,’ he said. ‘But the occupation weighs on the Palestinians and it weighs on the Israelis. It drains the population, and more than ever, what we really need is peace in the region.’”

We Went To See The Occupation. We Came Back More Connected To Israel., The Forward
“Through interacting with a variety of places and people, from Israelis in kibbutzim and Jerusalem, to Palestinians in Ramallah and Susya, otherwise distant narratives became painfully authentic and deeply personal. The volatile debates on our college campuses suddenly seemed trivial and distant. ‘Let Our People Know’ is lamentably unique; most young Jews who visit Israel on organized trips are not given a comprehensive education about the geopolitical history of the region, let alone able to meet Palestinians living under occupation. For the vast majority of us, this trip was the first opportunity to hear from those who live the day-to-day reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu And Trump Are Xenophobic Tyrants. We Must Resist Them – Together., The Forward
Deborah Waxman, Jill Jacobs and Libby Lenkinski write, “For American Jews, the recent resurgence of American nativism recalls the worst moments of the last century. American nativism brought us the Immigration Act of 1924, a racist law that closed America’s borders to Jews and other ‘undesirables,’ and that ultimately barred our forebears from escaping the Nazis and finding refuge in America […] It is for this reason that last June, we helped form the Progressive Israel Network — a coalition of ten leading organizations committed to building a vision of a democratic and progressive future for Israel. This week, we are laying out an affirmative, values-based vision to guide the Israel-America relationship into a strong, free and democratic future.”

US blocks UN rebuke of Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes: diplomats, Reuters
The United States on Wednesday blocked an attempt by Kuwait, Indonesia and South Africa to get the United Nations Security Council to condemn Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes on the outskirts of Jerusalem, diplomats said.

Meretz and Barak’s Party Announce Joint Run Ahead of Israeli Election, Haaretz
Meretz and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s Democratic Israel announced Thursday a joint run in the September election, with Labor Party’s Stav Shaffir given the second spot on the their joint ticket. Meretz Chairman Nitzan Horowitz will take the first slot on the ticket, while Ehud Barak will rake the tenth spot. The joint slate will run under the name “The Democratic Camp.”


Meretz-Barak merger praised on left as Labor pressured to join in, Times of Israel
The second highest figure in the Labor party said he may follow former colleague Staf Shaffir and decamp for the newly formed Democratic Camp faction, as the creation of the new left-wing slate sent shockwaves through Israel’s political arena.

Fearing Election Debacle, Labor Chief’s Resistance to Left-wing Union Starts to Wane, Haaretz
The first cracks may have been discovered in Labor Party Chairman Amir Peretz’s wall of opposition to a joint run in Israel’s September election with left-wing parties Meretz and Ehud Barak’s Democratic Israel. According to people close ot Peretz, the agreement in principal reached by Barak and Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz on forming a joint ticket, with some Labor lawmakers like Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli also likely to join, has given Labor leader second thoughts about whether agreeing to block any other possible mergers in his union with Orli Levi-Abekasis’s Gesher party, announced last week, wasn’t a mistake.

Shaked: I See Otzmah Yehudit as Part of Right Wing Unity, The Jerusalem Post
The New Right’s co-founder and, until this week, its leader Naftali Bennett, had previously sought to distance the party from Otzmah due to its radicalism and his fear it would chase away secular voters. 

Labor Could Join Netanyahu’s Coalition if Prime Minister Not Indicted, Chairman Says, Haaretz
“A vote for Labor is a vote for Netanyahu,” Meretz leader blasts as Peretz refuses to rule out joining Likud government after Israel’s September election.

Israeli army knew it was unnecessarily killing Gaza protesters in real time, +972 Mag
The Israeli army admits that it secretly changed its policy once it realized that shooting unarmed protesters in the leg was lethal. Rights group says the revelation is an admission that Israel was killing protesters without any justification.

Jordan king backs Palestinian state ahead of Kushner visit, AP
Jordan’s king is standing by a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ahead of a meeting in Amman with White House’s Mideast adviser Jared Kushner.

Leaders of Far-right Parties Trade Barbs as They Negotiate Merger, Haaretz
Hayamin Hehadash, led by Ayelet Shaked, accused the Union of “insisting on leading in unrealistic direction,” while the latter charged that Shaked’s party “relies on opinion polls and likes.”

Israel welcomes US vote against boycott movement, AP
Israel on Wednesday welcomed a U.S. congressional resolution opposing the Palestinian-led boycott movement against Israel, while Palestinians said the decision was a blow to human rights and free speech.

Opinion and Analysis

Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Special Troll to the Middle East, Haaretz
Rogel Alpher writes, “Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s envoy to the Middle East, a crafter of the failing deal cooked up by the administration to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is simply a provocateur. In an interview Wednesday with ‘PBS NewsHour,’ he said that in the conflict with the Palestinians, Israel isn’t responsible for the situation that has been created – it’s the victim. This amazing statement is a sweeping denial of reality – of well-based facts and of precise and extensive documentation of the occupation’s injustices. Greenblatt is an occupation denier.”

Israeli right, left play merger game, Al-Monitor
Ben Caspit writes, “We are 55 days from the elections, which are (again) labeled as fateful for the future of Israel. We are also about a week from the closing of the lists on Aug. 1. Israel’s political map is undergoing an accelerated evolution. Both right and left are making desperate, against-the-clock attempts to unite as many small parties as possible with the goal of averting what happened to the right in the last elections: Small parties did not cross the electoral threshold, leading to a critical loss of votes.”

The Last Thing Israel Needs Is Yet Another Election, New York Times
Shmuel Rosner writes, “So this is where Israel now finds itself: preparing for a second election that appears likely to deliver the same political stalemate as the first, and with the two leading parties seemingly unable to avoid a disastrous third election.”

These Children Are Israeli, Haaretz
The Editorial Board writes, “The shameful operation to deport Filipina workers and their children who were born and educated in Israel has begun. At 5 A.M. on Sunday, Interior Ministry immigration inspectors arrested a woman and her 12-year-old son who were in their beds. The two have since been held in the Population and Immigration Authority’s detention facility at Ben-Gurion International Airport, awaiting a decision by the Tel Aviv Appeals Court, which is hearing their appeal. The court has blocked their deportation until it rules.”