News Roundup for June 28, 2017

June 28, 2017

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J Street in the News

The situation in Gaza – questions and answers, J Street Blog

“Over the past few weeks, we’ve received many questions about the crises (plural) facing the people of Gaza. Below, we answer several of those questions and provide some context to what’s happening in the news.”

David Friedman: Can Jews Survive Themselves?, Jerusalem Post

“In a speech in Jerusalem on Tuesday that the ambassador devoted to the topic of Jewish unity, Friedman referred to his past comments about J Street, when he called the group’s supporters ‘worse than kapos.’”

J Street Concerned By PA Cuts to Medical Vouchers for Gazan Patients, J Street Blog

“J Street is extremely concerned by reports that in recent months the Palestinian Authority has been preventing over 1,000 residents of Gaza, including children, from receiving urgently-needed medical treatment in the West Bank, Jordan and Israel … This seems to be part of a broader effort to put pressure on Hamas by slashing services and funding provided to Gaza. Gazans were already facing an extreme humanitarian crisis; now, cuts to electricity, civil service salaries and medical vouchers are pushing the territory closer to the brink of disaster. While the residents of Gaza deserve to be free from the oppressive rule of a terrorist movement, civilians must not be reduced to pawns in a wider conflict.”

Top News and Analysis

Israel is still floating a plan for Gaza island. And now there’s a video., Washington Post

Israel’s minister for intelligence, Israel Katz, has been talking for a while about creating an artificial island off the coast of Gaza to allow imports and exports to reach the besieged strip — as well as a way in or out for its residents. Now he’s made a new video showing how his idea would work.

Stop building in settlements outside blocs, ex-Netanyahu security aide says, Times of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former national security adviser argued Monday that Israel must cease new construction in settlements outside of the so-called blocs, or risk losing its ability to uphold both its Jewish and democratic nature.


Two Babies Die in Gaza After Palestinian Authority Denies Treatment in Israel, Haaretz

Two babies born with life-threatening conditions died in Gaza this week after they didn’t receive permission from the Palestinian Authority to get medical treatment in Israel, the Health Ministry in Gaza said.

Few Overseas Have Faith in Trump’s Leadership, Survey Finds, New York Times

Faith in American leadership has plunged in many nations around the world in the months since President Trump took office, according to a new survey, underscoring the challenges facing the new president as he prepares to make his second overseas trip next week.

Just 22 percent of those interviewed outside the United States expressed confidence in Mr. Trump to do the right thing, compared with 64 percent who had similar confidence in the late stages of President Barack Obama’s administration, according to the Pew Research Center. In only two of 37 countries in the survey did Mr. Trump fare better than Mr. Obama: Russia and Israel.

Congressman Nadler to Haaretz: Israel’s Kotel Decision ‘Total Insult to US Jewry’, Haaretz

Congressman Jerrold Nadler tells of the outrage his Jewish constituents have lodged over Israel’s withdrawal from the plan to create an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall.

Haley vows to veto any Palestinian from serving in senior UN role, Jewish Journal

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley promised to block the appointment of any Palestinian serving in an influential UN position on Tuesday.

Three Israeli Arab Women File Suit Against Airlines for Alleged Humiliating Treatment, Haaretz

Three Arab women, all university students from northern Israel, are suing El Al and Arkia Israeli Airlines over what they claim was humiliating treatment during an airport security check. The three filed a 360,000-shekel ($102,000) lawsuit in Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court as a result of the way they were treated prior to boarding a return flight to Tel Aviv from the Serbian capital of Belgrade last October.

Sheldon Adleson is “Disappointed and Angry” at Netanyahu, Forward

Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam spent hours Monday at an Israeli police facility, answering questions in a corruption investigation involving prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Inside the room, according to Israel’s Channel 2 TV, Adelson had some harsh words about his friend and protege Netanyahu.

Israeli authorities deliver demolition orders for Palestinian homes in the West Bank, Ma’an

Israeli forces delivered demolition orders to a number of homes in the West Bank on Tuesday, according to local media reports. An under-construction home in the town of Beit Jala in the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem has been slated for demolition by Israeli authorities, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported Tuesday.

Sharansky tells envoys to convey Diaspora’s fury over cabinet moves, Times of Israel.

The head of the Jewish Agency called on the organization’s emissaries around the world to act as conduits for Diaspora Jewry’s anger over recent government decisions on a pluralistic prayer plaza at the Western Wall and conversions, while also working to counter disillusionment and feelings of disconnectedness from Israel, caused by the moves.
36-year-old Palestinian woman found with a knife near Rachel’s Tomb
, Ynet

The IDF arrested a 36-year-old Palestinian woman on Wednesday after she was found to be carrying a knife near Rachel’s Tomb near Jerusalem.

Police arrest 3 settler minors for stoning ambulance, soldiers, Times of Israel

Police in the West Bank arrested two minors late Tuesday night for throwing rocks at an ambulance in the settlement of Yitzhar earlier this month. Along with the pair, a third minor was arrested for throwing rocks at security forces in the same northern West Bank settlement this week.

Israeli Lawmaker Yair Lapid to Visit Spain on Trip Funded by Right-wing NGO, Haaretz

Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid is leaving for Madrid on Wednesday on a visit funded by the right-wing group NGO Monitor. In the Spanish capital, Lapid will present a report by NGO Monitor to parliament and journalists stating that the Spanish government gives money to Spanish and Palestinian civil society groups that promote boycotts of Israel, incite terrorism against Israel and use anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Weighing in on Western Wall crisis, new US envoy calls for Jewish unity, Times of Israel

Wading into the current crisis between the Israeli government and Diaspora Jewry, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Tuesday denounced an unnamed Jewish organization for questioning its ongoing support for Israel and called for unity among all Jewish people.

Opinions and Analysis

Israel’s Arabian fantasy, Washington Post

Phillip Gordon writes, “The prospect of Israel normalizing its relations with Arab states is an enticing one that anyone who cares about Israel or the region should want to see realized. But the idea of achieving that goal without support from the Palestinians is a fantasy, and even modest steps toward normalization will require Israel to do much more than many Israelis seem to realize. Netanyahu and Trump may not want to admit it, but the road to normalization with the Arab states still passes through the Palestinian issue, and not the other way around.”

50 Years After War, East Jerusalem Palestinians Confront a Life Divided, New York Times

Isabel Kershner reports on life for Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

Orthodox Rabbis Call For A ‘Truly Pluralistic Israel’, Forward

43 Orthodox rabbis sign a letter saying, “As progressive, pluralistic orthodox rabbis associated with the rabbinic group Torat Chayim, we stand fully as allies with our sisters and brothers throughout the entire Jewish community in support of pluralism in America and Israel. We were disheartened to read that the Israeli government has rescinded its commitment to create a space for alternative and liberal groups to pray at the Western Wall and is moving to delegitimate all conversions but those done by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.”

Could this man be Israel’s next prime minister?, Washington Post

Ruth Eglash interviews former education minister and Israeli politician Gideon Saar.

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