News Roundup for June 13, 2018

June 13, 2018

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J Street in the News

2 National Organizations Endorse Campa-Najjar for Congress in 50th District, Times of San Diego

“Two national political organizations have endorsed Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Democrat who is running to end the Hunter family’s nearly four decades of representing East County in Congress.

End Citizens United, a grassroots-funded political action committee, and J Street, a liberal Jewish organization, both issued their endorsements over the past four days.”

Top News and Analysis

US peace envoys to visit Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt next week for talks, Times of Israel

“White House special adviser Jared Kushner and US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt will reportedly travel to Israel and other Middle East countries next week for talks with regional leaders on when to present a Trump administration peace plan, as well as to seek ideas on resolving the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. The tour comes amid a nadir in relations between the United States and the Palestinians, with the Palestinian Authority refusing to speak to Washington over the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the subsequent relocation of the US embassy to the city last month.”

Israel’s New Tool for Dispossessing Palestinians, Haaretz

Amira Hass reports, “This week, a new military order is supposed to take effect that will make giant strides toward the vision of emptying Area C, which covers 60 percent of the West Bank, of Palestinians. In one stroke, the order effectively repeals Jordanian planning and construction law, which has hitherto been valid throughout the West Bank because it is occupied territory. The order also increases the power of Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank to demolish Palestinian buildings, cancels the right to a hearing and an appeal, and removes the court, with its power to intervene, from the arena.”


Palestinians seek UN vote blaming Israel; US wants changes, Associated Press

The Palestinians and their supporters are hoping an emergency meeting of the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday will adopt a resolution deploring what it calls Israel’s “excessive use of force,” particularly in Gaza, and seeking recommendations to protect Palestinian civilians. The U.S. is demanding changes.

As Kurz visits, Israel signals it may ease boycott on far-right Austrian party, Times of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday told visiting Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz that Israel was stepping up contacts with Vienna, heaping praise on his counterpart and appearing to signal a thaw in Jerusalem’s freezing out of a far-right coalition party that has been accused of Nazi links.

Iran says it can’t remain in nuclear deal without benefits, Associated Press
President Hassan Rouhani says Iran will not be able to remain in the 2015 nuclear accord unless it benefits from the agreement’s provisions. In a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, Rouhani said the Europeans must find a way to compensate Iran if they want to preserve the landmark agreement, following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the deal and restore sanctions.

Israeli forces evict settlers in West Bank land dispute case, Reuters

Israeli security forces on Tuesday began evicting Jewish settlers from 15 homes which Israel’s highest court ruled were built illegally on privately-owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

Syrian army boosts air defenses near Golan frontier: pro-Assad commander, Reuters

The Syrian army has reinforced its anti-aircraft defenses near the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, a commander in the regional alliance that backs President Bashar al-Assad said on Tuesday.

Opinion and Analysis

US recognition of Jerusalem backfires on Israel, Al-Monitor

Akiva Eldar writes, “Argentina’s pullout indicates that Israel’s victorious crowing over the recent transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is premature. Argentina and its neighbors were unimpressed when Guatemala and Paraguay decided to follow Washington’s example. Most of the international community still regards Israel’s 1967 annexation of a large part of Jerusalem as a violation of UN resolutions and international law. That is why most countries keep their embassies outside the city, although they maintain normal diplomatic and economic ties with Israel. Even the head of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, declared that if the game had been played in the northern Israeli city of Haifa as originally planned, “we would have opposed anyone who tried to hinder it.”

Trump-Kim Summit: Iran’s Khamenei Can’t Smile Just Yet, Haaretz

Zvi Bar’el writes, “The heart of the declaration with North Korea relies on its readiness for “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” with no timetable, and without pledging that denuclearization will be irreversible….Iran signed a detailed, tough accord that includes addenda which state clearly the nature of the invasive, sophisticated means by which the International Atomic Energy Agency will monitor Iran’s nuclear program. Iran committed itself to a timetable by which it will not be able to enrich uranium beyond 3.5 percent for a decade from the day the agreement was signed, and to remain under close scrutiny for another decade.”