News Roundup for July 9, 2019

July 9, 2019

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J Street in the News

Inside the Jewish Effort to Stop ICE and Trump’s ‘Concentration Camps’, Haaretz
“Shaina Wasserman, the director of rabbinical and community engagement at J Street, says that since President Donald Trump was elected in 2016, her organization has made the decision to expand the scope of its work to include issues pertaining to migrants, refugees and ‘those who have been victimized by white nationalism, xenophobia and persecution.’ To do so, the organization tries to leverage its connections on Capitol Hill and providing support to grassroots organizations to tackle the issue. ‘The majority of people that would call J Street their political home care deeply about these issues, and so we want to make sure we are able to stand in coalition with both Jewish and non-Jewish organizations that are dealing with issues directly connected to our values,’ she says…..Beyond protesting in the streets, Wasserman says there are other ways the Jewish community can contribute: Donating airline miles to families who need to be reunited; traveling down to the border to offer translation help; calling their congressmen or women and pushing them to act. ‘This is something all of us could do, and we must do it,’ she states.”

Top News and Analysis

West Bank Grows Calmer as Pocketbook Issues Take Priority Over Protests, The New York Times
Isabel Kershner reports, “[F]or many Palestinians in the West Bank, the lull in grass-roots protests has less to do with economic optimism than despair. They attribute the relative calm that now prevails to a combination of factors, including war weariness and the Israeli military’s harsh response, which resulted in too many killed, wounded or imprisoned and too few achievements.There is also a pervasive lack of hope for change after five years of impasse in peace talks, a powerful but intransigent Israel and what many Palestinians view as their own feckless and divided leadership, which has failed to deliver on Palestinian statehood.”

The Nakba Isn’t Going Away, Haaretz
The editorial board writes, “Israel at age 71 is strong enough to address the moral failings of its past. The Nakba won’t go away….Instead of censoring and concealing things, the history of Israel’s establishment and the Palestinian society that was uprooted should be studied and taught. Commemoration signs should be put up at the sites of destroyed villages, and the moral dilemmas that have accompanied Israel since 1948 should be faced. Such recognition won’t resolve the conflict, but it will place dialogue between Jews and Palestinians in Israel on a foundation of truth instead of lies, shame and concealment.”


Mother, Don’t Let Me Be the Next Victim’: Protests Resume Over Police Shooting of Ethiopian Israeli, Haaretz
Protests resumed Monday over the police shooting of 18-year-old Ethiopian Israeli Solomon Teka, after thousands took to the streets last week demanding an end to institutionalized violence and discriminatory policing against the Ethiopian Israeli community. About 1,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv, mostly Ethiopian Israeli women holding signs saying “Mother, don’t let me be the next victim” and chanting slogans such as “Racism kills.” Dozens of young people demonstrated in Netanya, with eight of them being arrested and brought in for questioning.

IDF uncovers cross-border attack tunnel from southern Gaza, Times of Israel
The military on Monday uncovered a cross-border attack tunnel that entered Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip, five years after the start of a 2014 operation aimed at finding and destroying such passages. The tunnel was found during the construction of an underground barrier around the coastal enclave, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Greenblatt: Trump may decide to release peace plan before Israeli elections, Times of Israel
The US administration may decide to release the political portion of its plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before upcoming elections in Israel, Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt said in comments published Monday. The White House has indicated that it is waiting until after a government is formed following September elections to release the political part of its peace plan. But Greenblatt said the administration may no longer be waiting to unveil the long-awaited proposal.

Israel’s Center-left Parties Seek Election Alliance, but Little Progress Made, Haaretz
Officials in Labor, Democratic Israel and Meretz said they would discuss a possible electoral alliance but there was as yet little concrete progress in that direction. Peretz met Monday with Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz, who held talks Sunday with Barak. Peretz and Barak were expected to meet soon to discuss the issue.

Palestinian Shot by Security Forces After Hurling Firebombs at Border Police in West Bank, Haaretz
Israeli Border Police officers shot a Palestinian man who hurled firebombs at the entrance of a military court in Salem in the West Bank on Tuesday. The man, who suffered injuries to his lower body, has been arrested. Police sappers were summoned to the scene, and the entrance to the court has been cordoned off.

Opinion and Analysis

Iran Is Right, Slate
Fred Kaplan writes, “A woeful sign of the Trump administration’s bankrupt foreign policies is that, in the dispute with Iran over the Obama-era nuclear deal, the Iranians are in the right and the United States is in the wrong—politically, diplomatically, and even legally….Trump is using U.S. economic power—specifically, the primacy of the dollar in global finance—to bully U.S. allies into breaking international law. This is tantamount to banditry, and if the Europeans or Chinese ever displace the dollar’s primacy with their own currency, historians may date their desire to do so to their frustration over Trump’s Iran policy.”

How long can Europe maintain its balancing act between the U.S. and Iran?, Washington Post
“The European high-wire act could come to an end soon: France, Britain and Germany see higher levels of uranium enrichment as a red line that would leave them little alternative but to start the process of reimposing sanctions and ending the deal. Turning away international inspectors or installing more centrifuges would also be triggers for sanctions, diplomats said.The Europeans — who have been battered by President Trump for years about their low military spending — are also worried that the United States could tear into their multinational companies or otherwise retaliate for their continuing to do business with Iran. But Europeans remain furious with the Trump administration for its unilateral pullout from the deal last year. They have little appetite to sign on to new sanctions, although they have even less interest in a nuclear Iran.”

Mossad chief exposes vision of peace, calls to act, Al-Monitor
Yossi Beilin writes, “Mossad Director Yossi Cohen announced at the Herzliya Conference that there was a one-time window of opportunity to reach a comprehensive peace agreement in the Middle East. Peace is no longer relegated to being the dream of various naive individuals; it is the professional assessment of a special unit in the Mossad, charged with identifying diplomatic opportunities. This information was made public by Cohen, a Netanyahu appointee, who served as head of the National Security Council before being named director of the Mossad by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself….What Cohen is actually saying is that the stars are currently aligned. He says that Israel must take advantage of this rare situation before it passes and achieve a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians, at a price that can’t be beat. No brilliant team, even one headed by the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner himself, can find a better alternative to the one proposed in former US President Clinton’s Parameters of 2000 and laid out in detail in the Geneva Initiative of 2003.”