News Roundup for May 8, 2019

May 8, 2019

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J Street in the News

J Street Honors Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut, J Street
“We join with Israelis and supporters of Israel around the world today as we commemorate Yom HaZikaron — Israeli Memorial Day — and honor the sacrifice of those who have fought for Israel and those who have fallen victim to acts of terror and hate.”

Top News and Analysis

Iran Will Stop Complying With Some Parts of Nuclear Deal, New York Times
The announcement by President Hassan Rouhani came exactly a year after President Trump withdrew entirely from the 2015 agreement, which limited Iran’s capacity to produce nuclear fuel for 15 years. But Mr. Rouhani did not follow Mr. Trump’s path and renounce the entire agreement. Instead, he notified European nations that he was taking some carefully calibrated steps, and that he would give Europe 60 days to choose between following Mr. Trump or saving the deal by engaging in oil trade with Iran in violation of American unilateral sanctions. “The path we have chosen today is not the path of war, it is the path of diplomacy,” he said in a nationally broadcast speech. “But diplomacy with a new language and a new logic.”

How the War Between America and Iran Will Start, Haaretz
Warren Getler writes, “Iran is laying trip-wires for a violent, costly escalation. America’s response will be determined by a besieged president, an administration led by anti-Iran hawks and a pre-occupied Congress […] Make no mistake, this would be a very big war, one that could rapidly escalate into a conflict that would unfold in a much more violent and costly way than the two Gulf Wars involving the United States and Iraq from previous decades.”


Iran Announces Partial Rollback of Nuclear Deal Commitments, Haaretz
In a nationally televised speech, Rohani said that after 60 days, Iranwill scale back more compliance with the deal, and will increase their uranium enrichment. He also warned of a “firm response” if the nuclear case is once again referred to the UN Security Council, and that Tehran is ready for nuclear negotiations. The five world leaders were also told that Tehran will no longer sell its enriched uranium and heavy water to other countries.

World watches warily as Iran scales back nuclear deal, Deutsche Welle
World powers have been weighing up Iran’s decision to abandon parts of the 2015 nuclear deal. France said it would assess the situation, China urged restraint, and Russia condemned “unreasonable pressure” against Tehran.

Netanyahu Rebuffs Iran at Memorial Ceremony: We Will Not Allow Tehran to Have Nuclear Weapons, Haaretz
Netanyahu spoke after a two-minute siren wailed and Israel stopped at a standstill to pay its respects to soldiers who died in the line of duty and those who were slain in terorr attacks. The premier also spoke about the fact that Iran intends to “diminish commitments” it made in the nuclear deal it struck with world powers in 2015. “We will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon,” Netanyahu said. 

Israelis on Memorial Day mourn nation’s 23,741 soldiers killed in service, JTA
Israelis remembered their fallen soldiers and terror victims, coming to a standstill with the sounding of a siren marking the start of Yom Hazikaron, or Memorial Day. Some 23,741 soldiers have died while serving in the Israel Defense Forces and its forerunners. Ninety-five names were added to the list this year, including 40 veterans who died of wounds sustained during their service. 

Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Event Disturbed by Protesters; Ceremony Streamed in Gaza, Haaretz
“I’m hoping people in Gaza will get a different idea about Israelis – and vice versa,” the Gazan organizer tells Haaretz, while protesters called the participants “Nazis” and “traitors”.

Israeli city to name square after Donald Trump, JTA
A square in the central Israel city of Petach Tikvah will be named after President Donald Trump, the city’s mayor announced. Rami Greenberg said Monday that he decided to name the square adjacent to City Hall for the U.S. president because of “his unqualified support for the State of Israel,” the Israeli daily newspaper Maariv reported.

Palestinian Authority ‘Surprised’ by Qatari Pledge to Give $480 Million in Aid, Haaretz
Palestinian Authority officials said Tuesday they were taken by surprise by Qatar’s pledge to give $480 million to the Palestinians. Officials in Ramallah noted that the decision to appeal to Qatar for financial support marks a change in approach from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose ties with Saudi Arabia are tighter.

Opinion and Analysis

Has Israel already annexed the West Bank?, Al Jazeera
Jaclynn Ashly writes, “An official annexation of parts or the whole of the West Bank would likely result in a dramatic escalation of policies, which Palestinians say are aimed at eroding basic rights and self-determination. However, Israeli and Palestinian analysts have told Al Jazeera that international concerns over Netanyahu’s comments were not reflective of reality, which has seen an incremental process of annexation in the occupied territory for decades.”

Netanyahu wants you to think Israeli-Palestinian mourning is seditious, +972 Mag
Edo Konrad writes, “Prime Minister Netanyahu appears to have lied to Israel’s highest court this week in an attempt to shut down and delegitimize one of Israel-Palestine’s only successful fora for shattering the exclusive nature of national mourning.”

Diplomacy Is the Best Way Forward with Iran, The National Interest
The National Coalition to Prevent an Iranian Nuclear Weapon writes, “Despite strong European government support for the JCPOA, private corporations have chosen not to confront the U.S. on sanctions, thereby depriving Iran of the economic benefits that had been crucial to the agreement to severely limit its nuclear program. Iran has been trying to outlast the current U.S. administration, despite the mounting threats of violence and ever tighter economic restrictions, particularly on Iran’s exports of oil.”

The Eurovision boycott row confirms it: Palestinian lives don’t matter, The Guardian
Arwa Mahdawi writes, “One of the most frustrating things about being Palestinian (I’m half-Palestinian myself) is that there seems to be no acceptable way to defend your humanity or protest agains your oppression. Calls to boycott Eurovision, for example, have been decried as divisive […] A peaceful form of protest is described as an ‘attack’ and a ‘weapon’. Palestinians and their supporters are cast as unreasonable, violent aggressors.”

How an international song contest played into the latest flare-up between Israel and Gaza, Washington Post
Loveday Morris and Ruth Eglash write, “A song contest may not seem like a trigger for military conflicts, but in the latest confrontation between militants in the Gaza Strip and Israel, Europe’s kitschiest and most widely watched music competition has played a starring role.”

This Memorial Day, Netanyahu’s Biggest Achievement Is the One He Won’t Talk About, Haaretz
Anshel Pfeffer writes, “Far fewer Israelis have died from terror and warfare under Bibi, but this belies his image as a tough man to meet on the battlefield.”

Have the Palestinians received ‘more aid than any group in history’?, Washington Post
Glenn Kessler writes, “President Trump’s son-in-law has been crafting a still-secret plan designed to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These remarks — that the Palestinians “have gotten more aid than any group of people in history” — cried out for a fact check. Is this really the case? [Three Pinocchios]”