News Roundup for November 10, 2017

November 10, 2017

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J Street in the News

Israeli, American Lawmakers to Push ‘Victory over Palestinians’ Paradigm in US Events, Jerusalem Post

“When the Congressional Israel Victory Caucus kicked off in April, Alan Elsner, a special adviser to the president of J Street….called the idea ‘savage and dangerous.’ Elsner asserted that ‘more Israeli repression will provoke more Palestinian resistance – both nonviolent and, unfortunately, violent – leading to more untold tragedy and suffering for both nations.’”

Top News and Analysis

Palestinian Authority Resumes Full Security Cooperation With Israel, Forward

The head of the Palestinian Authority police confirmed that it had resumed full security cooperation with Israel. Hazem Atallah told journalists in Ramallah on Wednesday that security coordination had resumed completely about two weeks ago after it was partially suspended in July by order of P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas. The decision to resume security coordination was a result of recent meetings between Palestinian and U.S. government officials, i24 reported. The suspension by Abbas was part of the protest against Israel over its installation of metal detectors at the Temple Mount entrance for Muslim worshippers following a terror attack at the site.

Who Wants a War in the Middle East? Seven Key Players and Their Interests, Haaretz

Anshel Pfeffer writes, “A tunnel explodes underneath the Gaza-Israel border, a surprise resignation throws Lebanon into turmoil, a series of upheavals in the Saudi kingdom and the battle against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq winds down – all this is winding up with a new round of saber-rattling between Israel and Iran and its proxies. Talk of war between elements of the Iran-led coalition and the unlikely anti-Iran alliance of Israel and the Saudis is rife, but a plausible scenario for one breaking out much less. Both sides would like to see someone taking on the other, but none of the parties are at present in a situation where it is their interest to do so themselves.”


Amid reconciliation push, Palestinians mark 13 years since Arafat’s death, Times of Israel

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank on Thursday held rallies to mark the 13th anniversary of the death of revered former leader Yasser Arafat. This year’s events came as rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas seek to carry out a landmark reconciliation deal signed last month that aims to end their 10-year rift.

Israel planning UN action against Iran, says intelligence minister, Times of Israel

Following the resignation of the Lebanese prime minister, Israel reportedly plans to mount a campaign at the United Nations to put pressure on Hezbollah.

Israel’s Explanation for Arming Myanmar During Ethnic Cleansing Campaign: ‘Both Sides Committing War Crimes’, Haaretz

“The two sides in the conflict are conducting war crimes” in Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis, an Israeli diplomat told six American rabbis who voiced concern about reports of Israeli arms sales to the Southeast Asian country. [He] charged that the current situation ‘started after Muslims attacked government positions in Myanmar’ and that both sides in the conflict are ‘conducting war crimes.’”

Netanyahu interrogated for over 4 hours in graft probes, Times of Israel

Prime Minister Netanyahu was grilled by police on Thursday for over four hours in a pair of criminal investigations involving suspicions he received illegal gifts and favors from businessman for advancing their business interests. “We confirm that the prime minister was interrogated for several hours at his residence in Jerusalem, as part of the investgiation conducted by the Lahav 433” anti-corruption unit, police said in a statement.

Egyptian envoy hails peace with Israel as top officials snub memorial invite, Times of Israel

Egypt’s ambassador to Israel on Thursday said his country’s 1979 peace agreement with Israel should serve as encouragement to Palestinians and other Arab states to reach their own peace agreements with the Jewish state.

Trump’s mystery plan for Mideast peace, Axios

Trump is reportedly pushing his aides to come up with a peace proposal soon, though the details remain a mystery to those outside his close circle. Israeli and Palestinian officials are expecting the plan to be unveiled early next year.

Opinions and Analysis

The Right Has A New Palestinian Strategy: Just Declare ‘Victory’, Forward

Nathan Guttman reports, “Right-wing Israeli and American politicians and activists are launching a new initiative that they say will ‘shift the paradigm’ of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The idea behind the Israel Victory Project, first reported by The Jerusalem Post, is to to adopt policy that ‘calls for an end to the continuously futile ‘peace process,’’ organizers stated. “The Israel Victory Project introduces a new policy for a peaceful solution: The Palestinians ‘lose’ by giving up their century-long rejection of the Jewish state, and Israel ‘wins’ by truly succeeding in its 150-year quest for a sovereign homeland,’ they explained.”

Arab-Israelis fear new bill to increase security guards’ powers, Al-Monitor

Shlomi Eldar reports, “Next week, the Knesset’s Interior Committee will debate a proposed piece of legislation by Minister for Public Security Gilad Erdan, which would expand the authority of civilian security guards. According to the proposal, security guards will be given powers similar to the police in that they will have the right to detain suspects, demand that they identify themselves and even use force to prevent them from entering crowded spaces such as shopping malls and public transportation.”

Without obtaining power, the Israeli Left will remain paralyzed, +972

Maya Haber writes, “My argument is simple: to change the political situation in Israel the Left needs to build radical institutions and produce serious policy proposals, disseminate them through effective media organizations, educate, organize, forge coalitions, and build local power. This is an uphill battle. The forces against us are all too apparent. But if we want Israel to change, if we want the occupation to end, if we want the separation of religion and state, or to provide equality to all citizens regardless of ethnic, religious, gender or sexual identity, if we want social justice, then we have to operate in the existing political sphere. We cannot simply wait for the one we want.”

Blue Flag 2017: Israel’s Fighter-jet Diplomacy, Haaretz

Anshel Pfeffer observes, “Blue Flag is not only a military exercise; it is a demonstration by Israel that more countries than ever are willing to engage with it publicly as strategic allies, and put aside political considerations, like the concerns of Arab nations and the Palestinian issue. As the influence of traditional diplomacy is waning, the role played by military commanders in international relations is growing.”

Congress Is Trying To Decide Who’s An Anti-Semite, Forward

“The topic at hand during a Tuesday meeting of the congressional committee was legislation that would formally identify such speech as a factor in defining anti-Semitism. And the definition could be used for, among other things, investigating alleged civil rights violations on college campuses….leaders of three Jewish organizations….strongly supported the proposed legislation, known as the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, that would incorporate some types of anti-Israel speech in its definition of anti-Semitism….But on the same panel sat three Jewish scholars and academics….who staunchly opposed the legislation as a potential threat to free speech and free inquiry, citing their own experiences on college campuses.”

Brown supports Israel, Cleveland Jewish News

Andrew Kohn writes, “[Sherrod] stands shoulder to shoulder with a majority of American Jews and the overwhelming consensus of sitting and former Israeli security officials and many American experts who support both the Iran nuclear agreement and a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Brown has consistently supported robust and expanding aid to Israel – totaling more than $70 billion during his time in Congress….And unlike Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who shamelessly defended alt-right blogger Mike Cernovich from due criticism by the Anti-Defamation League, Brown is a staunch ally in our community’s fight against the surge in white supremacy and anti-Semitism.”