News Roundup for November 14, 2016

November 14, 2016

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J Street in the News

How Donald Trump Will Divide American and Israeli Jews, The New York Times

“Exit polls indicated that 71 percent of Jewish voters cast their ballot for the losing Democrat. In Florida, according to a poll commissioned by the organization J Street, 68 percent of Jews voted for Mrs. Clinton….So it seems that most Jewish Americans are in the losing camp. Seventy-two percent of Jews have an unfavorable view of the winning candidate, Donald J. Trump, according to another J Street poll.”

You Should Know….Joshua Greenfield, Baltimore Jewish Times

An interview with J Street Baltimore leader Joshua Greenfield. “Advocating for policies that advance shared U.S. and Israeli interests in the Baltimore Jewish community is an initiative that Joshua Greenfeld has always found appealing. As co-chair and vice president of the J Street Baltimore chapter, Greenfeld, a 29-year-old Pikesville native, works with local congressional delegates to educate them on the importance of achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He also sits on the Baltimore Jewish Council’s board, representing J Street at various meetings and events, and J Street’s regional advisory committee.”

University of Maryland students are working to save an Israeli village from demolition, The Diamondback

“The University of Maryland’s chapter of J Street U is campaigning to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian village in the West Bank, as the Israeli high court prepares to make a decision on the village’s future on Tuesday. J Street — a pro-Israel, pro-peace political activism group — has campus chapters in 95 colleges and universities around the United States, according to the organization’s website. J Street U chapters across the country have worked for months to prevent the demolition of Susya, a Palestinian village in the West Bank that was established without a permit….This university’s J Street chapter has talked to multiple student groups on campus including MaryPIRG, Muslim Student Association, Jewish Student Union, Terps for Israel and many more to bring awareness to try and build a coalition for this cause, J Street co-president Zachary Goldblatt, a junior Arabic studies and government and politics major said. Goldblatt said protecting Susya is important to the group because the village is a ‘symbol of the urgency and the viability of a two-state solution.’”

Top News and Analysis

ADL decries Trump choice of Bannon as top adviser: ‘A sad day’, JTA

“The Anti-Defamation League decried Donald Trump’s appointment of Stephen Bannon as a top White House adviser, saying Bannon’s association with “unabashed anti-Semites and racists” is disqualifying. Bannon, longtime CEO of the right-wing Breitbart news website, a clearinghouse of ‘alt-right’ views, joined Trump’s presidential bid late in the campaign and helped lead it to victory….‘[T]he ADL strongly opposes the appointment of Steve Bannon as senior adviser and chief strategist in the White House,’ the statement, posted on Twitter by ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, said. ‘It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ – a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists – is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house’.”

President Trump Has Shattered Jews’ American Idyll, Haaretz

Chemi Shalev writes, “Sunday evening’s appointment of former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon as chief strategist in the White House is bound to exacerbate Jewish tensions. He is considered the standard bearer for the racist, anti-immigrant alt-right movement and has been accused of harboring anti-Semitic sentiments himself….In recent years, the American Jewish establishment has willingly enlisted in the Israeli government’s effort to depict ever-widening circles of anti-Israeli agitation on the left as anti-Semitism. The fight against BDS and the efforts to portray it as hatred of Jews in another form has consumed the time, energy and resources of the American Jewish leadership, with the possible exception of the Anti-Defamation League.

Meanwhile, virulent and classic anti-Semitism lurking just under the radical right’s surface was virtually ignored, concealed by the mainstream right-wing’s overwhelming support for Israel. Even mentioning it was considered to be an anti-Israeli provocation.”

Israeli Ministers Unanimously Approve Bill to Legalize West Bank Outposts, Haaretz

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation unanimously approved on Sunday a bill that would retroactively legalize outposts in the West Bank, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s objection and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit’s position on the issue. Mendelblit told committee members that the bill contradicts international law and that he would be unable to defend it in the High Court of Justice. The bill would have to pass several readings in the Knesset to become law. The vote took place against the backdrop of a confrontation between Netanyahu and Habayit Hayehudi chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett. Bennett demanded that the vote take place on Sunday, while Netanyahu objected to this and called the move “childish and irresponsible.”

With Bill to Legalize Settlements, Israeli Ministers Are Pushing Obama to the Security Council, Haaretz

Barak Ravid writes, “[B]eyond the serious legal ramifications and the injustice that such a law would create, the move being pushed by Shaked and Bennett is a diplomatic folly, particularly at this time. Even from the Israeli right’s perspective, there’s no sense in passing a law like this before incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama leaves the White House on January 20. This bill crosses all red lines as far as the international community is concerned and would essentially force Obama to make a move against the settlements in the UN Security Council, which he has consistently refrained from doing since taking office in 2009.”


‘You Deserve to Be Gassed’: Hate Crimes Skyrocket After Trump’s Win, Haaretz

In the days since Donald Trump won the American election, as many 250 reports of hate crimes were filed with the Southern Poverty Law Center, it says — roughly the amount they receive in a typical five or six month period.

Left-wing MKs up in arms over bill to legalize outposts, Times of Israel

Opposition politicians on Sunday night reacted furiously to a controversial bill that gained initial approval from cabinet ministers which would legalize some unauthorized Israeli outposts in the West Bank.

Trump: Israelis and Palestinians must negotiate peace themselves, JTA

In his first long statement about Israel since winning the U.S. presidential election, Donald Trump called the Jewish state a “beacon of hope” and vowed to help it make peace with the Palestinians without imposing solutions. Trump added that he hoped his administration would play a “significant role in helping the parties to achieve a just, lasting peace,” saying that any deal would have to be directly negotiated between the two sides. Peace, he added, “must be negotiated between the parties themselves and not imposed on them by others. Israel and the Jewish people deserve no less.”

Netanyahu’s silence led to Rabin’s murder, opposition head charges, Times of Israel

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog on Sunday leveled harsh criticism against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other right-wing political leaders for contributing to the incendiary political rhetoric that led to the 1995 assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. During a special Knesset session to mark the 21st Hebrew anniversary of Rabin’s murder that turned heated as Herzog traded barbs with Educatin Minister Naftali Bennett, the Zionist Union leader castigated Netanyahu for silencing the “hate and incitement that caused his murder.”

Palestinian UN envoy threatens US if Trump moves embassy to Jerusalem, Ma’an

In response to a pledge by US President-elect Donald Trump to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour threatened to “[unleash] all of the weapons that we have in the UN” against the United States, Israeli media reported on Sunday.

Top Senate Democrat cites Jewish fears in blasting Trump, JTA

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., cited fears expressed by minorities, including Jews, in a scorching message excoriating president-elect Donald Trump. ‘The election of Donald Trump has emboldened the forces of hate and bigotry in America,’ the Senate minority leader said in a message posted Nov. 11, three days after Trump’s surprise victory, and which has since gone viral.”

Opinion and Analysis

Trump is the president settlers could only dream of, +972

Derek Davison writes, “Trump’s pro-settlement views are not surprising given the advisers he surrounded himself with during the presidential campaign. Foremost among them was [Jason] Greenblatt, the Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, whose qualifications as an adviser on Israeli-Palestinian affairs are questionable at best. David Friedman, another lawyer and Trump friend who also served as one of Trump’s leading Israel advisers, is aloud advocate for settlement construction who uncritically regurgitated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s up-is-down assertion, made in a September video address, that Palestinian opposition to the settlements amounted to ethnic cleansing.”

Jewish Leaders, Don’t Congratulate Trump! Normalizing Him Endangers Us All, Forward

Isaac Luria writes, “If mainstream Jewish organizations are so interested in a seat at the table in Trump’s America that they’ll issue offers of congratulations on Day 1, we should worry about their ability to protect American Jewish interests and advance our values in Washington. This is not a partisan question; it is a question of basic safety for American Jews and for (sometimes overlapping) targeted groups like women, immigrants, people of color and Muslims….Fascism hopes to rearrange the way we make sense of the world and our sense of what is right and wrong. It all happens because we end up believing it’s normal, because we redraw our red lines to avoid confronting the terrible truth that a comfortable reality we once enjoyed may be over. Jewish leaders, please stop acting like this is normal. It is not normal. Before you issue your next statement, remember our history. Do not normalize; resist. We need you to lead.”

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