News Roundup for May 10, 2019

May 10, 2019

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J Street in the News

Two-Way Street: A message of hope – Tikvah – for Yom Ha’atzmaut, J Street
“As the Talmud teaches, radical hope is the key to our survival. Hope is also necessary for us to take action. Abdication and apathy are death. That is why J Street is essential for a Jewish future: it gives us reason to keep hope. As long as we keep fighting the cynical, toxic voices that stir fear and racism, and push back against the forces that will do anything to dominate, we have good reason to keep hope for the future.”

Top News and Analysis

US and Palestinians clash over US plan for peace with Israel, AP
A key architect of the long-awaited U.S. plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace lashed out at the U.N.’s “anti-Israel bias” Thursday while urging support for the Trump administration’s “vision” — but the Palestinian foreign minister dismissed the U.S. peace effort, saying all indications are it will be “conditions for surrender.”

Can Anyone Save the Iran Nuclear Deal?, New York Times
Ariane Tabatabai writes, “On Wednesday, Mr. Rouhani announced that Iran would stop adhering to some of the deal’s provisions. Iran’s goal, though, is not to find a quick exit — or any exit at all — from the deal, but to signal to the European countries that also signed it that they can no longer sit by as the United States imposes sanctions and more generally piles pressure on Tehran.”

Collision course; The brewing conflict between America and Iran, The Economist
The Economist writes, “Instead of reaping the benefits of co-operation, Iran has been cut off from the global economy. The rial has plummeted, inflation is rising and wages are falling. The economy is in crisis. Predictably, rather than bringing Iran’s leaders to their knees, America’s belligerence has caused them to stiffen their spines. Even Mr Rouhani, who championed the nuclear deal, has begun to sound like a hawk. Having long hoped that Europe, at least, would honour the promise of the deal, he is exasperated.”


Trump’s peace plan sets conditions for surrender, Palestinians tell UNSC, The Jerusalem Post
US President Donald Trump’s peace plan is a document of surrender and no amount of money will sway the Palestinian Authority to support it, PA Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki told an informal gathering of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday. “We cannot afford not to engage with any peace efforts. But the US administration efforts cannot be characterized, nor can qualify as peace efforts,” Maliki told an UNSC Arria-Formula meeting that was organized by Indonesia. 

After Cease-fire, Gazans Still Waiting on Qatari Money and Warn of Relapse Into Conflict, Haaretz
On Wednesday morning, Gazan fishermen reported that the sea was still closed off and that they have not been able to go to work for several days now. There is no official word yet as to when the Qatari money to pay Hamas bureaucrats’ salaries and aid needy families will arrive.

Palestinian FM says US seeking to renew ties ahead of peace plan’s unveiling, Times of Israel
Malki told the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that US officials were making overtures to resume talks. But he stressed that “contacts are still completely cut off.” He also said Washington “will not find a single Palestinian to accept” its deal if it does not propose a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.

Attempts to Demilitarize Gaza Will Trigger War in the Summer, Islamic Jihad Leader Says, Haaretz
Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhalah has said that he believes attempts to demilitarize the Gaza Strip and disarm Palestinian factions will trigger a war in the coming summer.

US B-52 bombers reach Middle East in message to Iran, Reuters
American B-52 Stratofortress bombers sent to the Middle East over what Washington describes as threats from Iran have arrived at a US base in Qatar, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said. The US military said on Tuesday that a number of B-52 bombers would be part of additional forces being sent to the Middle East to counter what the Trump administration says are “clear indications” of threats from Iran to US forces there.

Thousands of Arab Israelis March on Empty Palestinian Village to Commemorate Nakba, Haaretz
Thousands of Arab citizens of Israel marked Nakba Day Thursday in a march on the empty Palestinian village of Khubbayza in northern Israel. This is the 22nd time a “march of return” has taken place. Although the official Nakba Day is on May 15, the march is held annually on Israel’s Independence Day, each time on a different Palestinian village demolished in 1948.

PM’s lawyers ask to delay hearing on criminal cases beyond July 10 deadline, Times of Israel
Attorneys, who have yet to pick up evidence a month after it was made available to them, say they need more time to prepare on three complex cases.

Opinion and Analysis

My kids think I’m a hero. They have no idea I’m also afraid.’, +972 Mag
Yael Marom writes, “We don’t have a bomb shelter, so when there is a bombing we are together, holding our children’s hands trying to calm them,’ Abu Ali said over the phone on Sunday afternoon, just as hostilities were reaching a peak. ‘My sons think that I’m a hero. They think their father can prevent the missiles from hitting our home. They believe in their father, so they feel safe when they see me. Even if they hear the bombing, they feel okay because ‘our father the hero is here, and he can stop the missiles from entering our home.’’”

Deal of the century’ aside, what is the Israeli-Palestinian end game?, Washington Post
Megan McArdle writes, “The idea that Palestinians will have to concede defeat strikes me, and many other observers, as dangerously naive. But assume it works — that Israel gains de facto control over the territory from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, and for most of the Arab people within it. What comes next? What, as I asked an Israeli academic, is the endgame?”

Exasperated by Israel’s Reality, Its Leftists Are Trapped, Haaretz
Ravit Hecht writes, “Israeli democracy is in crisis, cracking under the weight of the bulldozers arrayed against it. Religious and extremist groups, which have declared war on any liberal breakthrough, are growing stronger. There is cruel, sickening racism against Arab citizens. And on and on.”

With Mix of Threats and Blandishments, Trump Bandies Policy of Regime Change, New York Times
Mark Landler writes, “The lack of ideological coherence has played to the advantage of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the national security adviser, John R. Bolton, two hawkish officials with strong interventionist tendencies. They have filled the vacuum left by Mr. Trump with aggressive moves on Iran and Venezuela that recall those of George W. Bush in the Middle East and Ronald Reagan in Latin America.”

Vicious Protests at Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Are a Sign of Israel’s Demise, Haaretz
Yossi Verter writes, “The dozens of right-wing activists who gathered at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on Tuesday evening, spitting and hurling invective at members of bereaved families, are the embodiment of human ugliness and evil. Wednesday’s torchlighting ceremony in Jerusalem included heartwarming expressions of the Israeli spirit, but an evil, sick spirit has been spreading here in recent years.”