News Roundup for June 13, 2019

June 13, 2019

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J Street in the News

More than half of House Democrats slam any Israeli-Palestinian plan that does not include 2 states, JTA
“More than half of the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives say a peace plan that does not expressly have as its outcome two states would endanger the prospects of peace. The resolution, a dig at the Trump administration’s peace policies, was backed by J Street, the liberal Middle East policy group. It says not mentioning two states in a deal would ‘put a peaceful end to the conflict further out of reach.’”

Alan Lowenthal talks two-state solution: ‘Time is not our friend’, Jewish Insider
“Logan Bayroff, the director of communications for J Street, a group that supports the two-state solution, said the organization supports Lowenthal’s resolution. ‘I think Congress has a huge role here to make clear that whatever the actions and preferences of this particular administration, the long-term interests of the United States and of Israel remain bringing a peaceful and viable end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,’ Bayroff told JI. ‘The only way that’s ever going to happen is through a two-state solution.’”

Jewish Insider’s Daily Kickoff: June 12, 2019, Times of Israel
“J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami tweeted, ‘Really important comments from Pete Buttigieg. Annexation would be a game-changer – and the U.S. has every right to exert control over how its money is spent. #NoMoreBlankCheck.’”

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu Has Changed The Democratic Party – One Candidate At A Time, The Forward
Peter Beinart writes, “If you don’t think Benjamin Netanyahu has changed the debate about Israel inside the Democratic Party, just listen to Pete Buttigieg’s foreign policy speech yesterday at Indiana University. Buttigieg is no radical; he’s a darling of the post-Obama Democratic establishment. And yet he said things on Tuesday that would have been unthinkable during Obama’s campaigns.”

As election campaign begins, cracks emerge in right-wing loyalty to Netanyahu, Times of Israel
Over the past week, some prominent voices on the right have begun to question their loyalty to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a rare display of unchecked animosity toward the long-serving right-wing premier. But the foray by some loyalists into criticizing the prime minister appeared to make way for a shaky “truce” by Wednesday, even as tensions among the already splintered, rapprochement-seeking religious right-wing camp boiled over.

Many Gaza attacks in May were unlawful, says Human Rights Watch, The National
In early May, Israeli air strikes in Gaza and Palestinian rocket fire killed 19 civilians in unlawful attacks, Human Rights Watch said. Four Israeli air strikes last month struck targets with no military objective and caused disproportionate civilian loss, in breach of the laws of war, the group said. Civilians killed included a pregnant Palestinian woman, an infant, and a boy, 11. Fifteen Palestinian civilians were killed in those strikes.


Gantz calls on attorney general to expedite Netanyahu investigations, Times of Israel
Blue and White party chairman MK Benny Gantz called on the attorney general to expedite the indictment process in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption probes and “end the corrupt dance by Netanyahu to evade justice.”

Lieberman Won’t Commit to ‘Crowning’ Netanyahu After Israel’s Election, Haaretz
“I have no commitment to crown Netanyahu,” Lieberman said. “My first commitment is first of all that the right-wing wins, [and] secondly that a liberal national government be established, not an ultra-Orthodox- Hardali government.”

IAF strikes underground Hamas targets after Palestinians fire rocket into Israel, Times of Israel
Israeli aircraft hit Hamas underground facilities in the Gaza Strip early Thursday after a rocket fired at southern Israel was shot down in the first such attack since Israel and terror groups in the coastal enclave fought a vicious two-day battle last month.

Palestinians Urge Egypt, Jordan to Reconsider Attending Bahrain Conference, Haaretz
Palestinians urged Egypt and Jordan on Wednesday to reconsider their attendance at a U.S.-led conference on June 25-26 in Bahrain, voicing concern it would weaken any Arab opposition to Washington’s coming peace plan.

Supreme Court chief accuses new justice minister of leading Israel to ‘anarchy’, Times of Israel
Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut on Thursday mounted an unprecedented attack on a sitting justice minister, accusing the newly appointed Amir Ohana of leading the country to “anarchy” with his suggestion that not all of the court’s rulings should be honored.

Sick Gaza child caught in Israeli permit system dies alone, Washington Post
When Palestinian preschooler Aisha a-Lulu came out of brain surgery in a strange Jerusalem hospital room, she called out for her mother and father. She repeated the cry over and over, but her parents never came.

Israel closes Gaza fishing zone after rash of balloon attacks, Times of Israel
Israel announced Wednesday it would not allow Gazan fisherman access to the sea as it tightened its maritime blockade on the Palestinian enclave following a wave of arson attacks from the coastal enclave.

Israeli Troops Misidentify Palestinian Security Forces, Wound One Officer in Fire Exchange, Haaretz
Israeli army troops fired mistakenly at Palestinian security forces in the West Bank early Tuesday, accidentally identifying the Palestinian security apparatus as suspects. 

Opinion and Analysis

Friedman’s ‘Partial Annexation’ Highlights Trump’s Ludicrous Attempt to Troll Palestinians to Submission, Haaretz
Chemi Shalev writes, “The Trumpian trolling of the Palestinians supposedly has strategic objectives. It is meant to moderate their uncompromising positions, make them ‘face reality’ and pave the way to constructive peace talks. Kushner claims the Palestinians aren’t mature enough to rule themselves; Greenblatt has made it a habit to scold them as if they were juvenile delinquents; and Friedman periodically lets loose with a statement showing that the Trump administration has adopted the terminology of the Yesha Council.”

The brewing war to succeed Mahmoud Abbas, +972 Mag
Daoud Kuttab writes, “The jockeying for the post-Abbas leadership is taking shape in a moment of political, economic, and internal crisis for the beleaguered Palestinian government. “

Trump Sold Three More Bahrain Tickets, but Program Still TBD, Haaretz
Zvi Bar’el writes, “The expected attendance at the ‘Peace to Prosperity’ workshop of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and the most recent invitees to RSVP should be examined in the context of the relationships among these countries and between Washington and Israel, rather than as a test of enthusiasm for the opportunity to take part in solving the Palestinian problem.”

Trump offers another gift to Netanyahu, Al-Monitor
Ben Caspit writes, “You can’t drive a wedge between Trump and Netanyahu,’ one of Netanyahu’s associates told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. ‘They are always on the same page, whether directly or, usually, via the ambassadors.’”