News Roundup for November 22, 2016

November 1, 2016

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Top News and Analysis

Why Jews have a special obligation to resist Trump, Washington Post

Rabbi Jill Jacobs and Daniel Sokatch write, “Trying to conduct business as usual with the Trump administration could prevent us from joining with other threatened groups to protect our neighbors. Jews know that when one minority is vulnerable, we all are vulnerable. If American Muslims will be targeted and those entering the country from elsewhere forced to “register,” if immigrants will be torn from their families and their homes, if women are assaulted as access to justice disintegrates, policies that attack Jews could be next. Jewish history and values demand that we step up and act in opposition….As a first step, we must not take a “wait-and-see” approach. Benefit of the doubt must be earned, and this incoming administration hasn’t done so. We should meet each and every step toward authoritarianism with strong opposition, as many of us have done in calling on the president-elect to reverse his decision to appoint Bannon. But condemnation alone isn’t enough. In the coming years, we must build a strong and effective opposition to protect people who are likely to be targeted under new racist, anti-woman, anti-immigrant policies. We should support brave political leaders, such as the mayors of New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities for affirming that their communities will remain places of sanctuary. And as Jews, we must marshal the full resources of our community, including the institutions built over more than 100 years, to protect the rights of all minorities — ourselves, yes, but not only us.”

Alt-Right Exults in Donald Trump’s Election With a Salute: ‘Heil Victory’, The New York Times

At a conference of the white supremacist “alt-right” movement in Washington, DC, leading ideologue Richard Spencer “railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun,” a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were “awakening to their own identity.” As he finished, several audience members had their arms outstretched in a Nazi salute. When Mr. Spencer, or perhaps another person standing near him at the front of the room — it was not clear who — shouted, “Heil the people! Heil victory,” the room shouted it back.”

Anti-Trump American Jews Should Ally With anti-Netanyahu Israelis, Haaretz

Chemi Shalev writes, “As they feel their stomachs turn, liberal American Jews can finally understand what it has felt like for their Israeli counterparts to watch the American Jewish establishment back Israeli government policies that were, in their eyes, immoral and self-destructive. How disconcerting it was to see people who are champions of equality and civil rights at home kowtow to governments who represented quite the opposite in Israel. How by doing so they were unwitting accomplices to policies they would find abhorrent if they were being implemented in their own backyard….Not only should American Jews heed Hillel’s maxim ‘don’t do unto others what is hateful to you’ and stop supporting Israeli governments that advance values they detest – or at least make their support contingent on specific policy demands – but they should actively support and encourage those elements in Israeli society that share their worries and concerns. By doing so, they might help jolt Israel’s liberal wing out of its lethargic death spiral and spur it into rejoining the battle for the soul of the Jewish state.”


Netanyahu Forbids Israeli Ministers From Contacting Trump’s Team, Haaretz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forbade all ministers and deputy ministers from making direct contact with members in U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s team. A written directive was distributed to all cabinet members on the matter by Cabinet Secretary Zahi Braverman following talks between Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel with a number of Trump advisers.

Muslim Registry? Reince Priebus Won’t Rule It Out, Forward

Donald Trump’s incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus refused on Sunday to dismiss the possibility of establishing a registry of Muslims visiting and immigrating to the United States. “Look, I wouldn’t rule out anything, but we’re not going to have a registry based on a religion,” Priebus, the present chair of the Republican National Committee told Chuck Todd of NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “What I think we’re trying to do is say that they’re some people, certainly not all people, Chuck, they’re some people that are radicalized, and there are some people who have to be prevented from coming into this country.

Israeli Supreme Court suspends appointment of chief military rabbi over controversial comments, JTA

Israel’s Supreme Court suspended the appointment of the new chief rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces over comments that appeared to justify the rape of women in wartime, among other controversial statements. The court’s ruling on Monday, in response to a petition filed by the left-wing Meretz Party, came two days before the scheduled induction ceremony for Col. Eyal Karim.

Hebron-area residents face multiple demolitions within a week, Ma’an

Israeli forces delivered 20 demolition notices in the Um al-Kher village in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Sunday, according to locals. Ratib al-Jabour, coordinator of a local committee that resists settlement activity, said that Israeli Civil Administration workers escorted by armed Israeli forces delivered the demolition notices to Suleiman al-Hathalin and Shuab al-Hathalin.

Israeli Opposition Leaders Demand Probe Into Netanyahu’s Role in Submarine Affair, Haaretz

Opposition lawmakers called on Monday for an investigation into Israel’s purchase of submarines from a German company and the involvement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the deal. “Sunlight is the best remedy for the illness of corruption,” opposition leader Isaac Herzog told a meeting of the Zionist Union Knesset faction. “There’s no option but to expose the submarine affair. It demands investigation.” On Wednesday, Herzog added, Zionist Union will propose the establishment of a parliamentary committee to look into the submarine affair.

Mosque in Israeli city fined for using loudspeakers to broadcast call to prayer, Ma’an

A mosque in the city of al-Ludd (Lod), located just south of Tel Aviv, was fined a penalty of $200 by the Israeli municipality for using loudspeakers to make the call to prayer on Monday, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz’s Hebrew site.

International ‘Off-grid’ Eco Effort Boosts Palestinian Locales’ Infrastructure, Haaretz

Despite its relatively centralized location, adjacent to a main thoroughfare near Jericho, the Palestinian village of Auja is largely cut off from utilities such as water and electricity. To remedy this situation, an unusual group of Palestinian, Israeli and American activists and professionals have joined forces in the past few years.

Opinion and Analysis

To the AJC’s David Harris: Show Jewish Leadership. Speak Out Against Bannon and Sessions, Haaretz

In an open letter AJC leader David Harris, two former staffers write, “As former AJC staff members, we are appalled that AJC has not spoken out against President-elect Trump’s decision to appoint Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist. As we’ve watched other Jewish leaders speak out forcefully against Bannon, your condemnation has been noticeably absent….When you fail to issue a concurrent condemnation of figures like Bannon, and now Sessions, what message does this send to the Muslim community, and all those you say you stand with – people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and immigrants? Will you stand in line and register your own name  if President Trump follows through on his promise to create a registry of American Muslims? The current moment requires nothing less than this kind of action, partnership, and Jewish leadership….We are horrified that you and AJC continue to invoke the language of “never again” to warn against the dangers of anti-Semitism and hatred, but when a clear never again moment appears, you’ve done nothing. We call on you to oppose Stephen Bannon’s appointment, and speak out against Jeff Sessions’ nomination the same way you did thirty years ago.”

Will Trump’s win prompt EU to adopt independent Mideast policy?, Al-Monitor

Uri Savir reports, “The official told Al-Monitor that policy planners in Brussels have been asked to contemplate various policy options in case the United States opts for a more isolationist policy. “This would be a negative development for the Atlantic relationship — and even for NATO coordination — and would forcefully lead the EU to a more independent foreign policy.” According to the official, the next months until the inauguration and shortly after it would be spent on convincing President-elect Trump and his foreign policy team to adopt close relationships and coordination with EU member states. This will include meetings between the heads of EU member states and Trump himself, starting with a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May. The assessment in Brussels is that the issue that demands the most independent EU position is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution, given Trump’s evident desire to disengage from a two-state solution process.”

Settlers Failing to See the Big Picture in East Jerusalem, Haaretz

Nir Hasson observes, “As in similar events in the past, Amona’s evacuation will be accompanied by a generous compensation package from the government. Plans for evicting Palestinians and building for Jews will be pulled out of desk drawers, and the pace of the Judaization of Palestinian areas will accelerate. But the settlers are missing the big picture. Even if their legal battle succeeds and all 72 Palestinian families in Batan al-Hawa are kicked out of their homes and replaced with Jewish families – and even if the plan succeeds to evict additional families who live on land that was sold to settlers, without a tender, by the Custodian of Absentee Property – even then, in another decade or two there will still be only one fairly small Jewish community in the heart of Silwan. An island fortress, surrounded by tens of thousands of Palestinians.”

Israeli Represented by Netanyahu’s Lawyer to Receive Millions for Brokering Deal, German Investigation Reveals, Haaretz

Miki Ganor, the Israeli representative of the German company selling submarines to Israel, will receive some 10-30 million euros for brokering the deal, according to Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper, which previously reported on corruption at the firm, ThyssenKrupp. A source in the German company said that although there were no indications of improper behavior by consultants related to Israel, “a comprehensive check” would be made because of recent reports in the Israeli press.

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