News Roundup for November 30, 2018

November 30, 2018

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J Street in the News

U.S. Governor Calls for Investigation of Airbnb’s Israeli Settlement Ban, Haaretz
“Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner called on his state’s Investment Policy Board to open an investigation into Airbnb over the company’s decision to stop listing properties in Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank….Also on Thursday, the progressive Jewish group J Street released a statement criticizing Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan for his attacks on Airbnb and for his appeal to U.S. governors to take action against the company. ‘Whether or not one agrees with Airbnb’s decision, it should be clear that it is rooted in concern over the ongoing occupation, settlements and the treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank — and not about opposition to Israel, Israelis or the Jewish people,’ the organization stated. J Street also said that ‘any U.S. officials who act against Airbnb, or use its decision as the basis to advance problematic legislation, should know that they are not defending Israel or the Jewish people. They are defending the settlement movement and its mission to ensure a permanent one-state nightmare for Israel and the Palestinian people.”

J Street Condemns Ongoing Efforts to Smear and Penalize Airbnb, J Street

“J Street is deeply concerned by the growing chorus of irresponsible smears directed at Airbnb in the wake of the company’s decision to no longer list properties located in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. These attacks, falsely charging Airbnb with ‘anti-semitism,’ ‘discrimination,’ and ‘boycotting Israel,’ do not promote the best interests of Israel and the Jewish people, but rather serve to aid the interests of the settlement movement. By charging Airbnb with anti-Semitism, the Israeli government and some of its supporters are in fact grossly abusing that term — and diminishing the very real threat of rising, deadly anti-Semitism in this country and around the world.”

Top News and Analysis

Rivlin says Israel wants nothing to do with ‘neo-fascists’ who support it, Times of Israel

“President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday said Israel must not work with neo-fascist forces — even if they support the Jewish state — in order to send a clear statement against racism and anti-Semitism. Responding to a CNN survey which raised serious concerns about European adults’ knowledge of the Holocaust and anti-Semitic notions, Rivlin told the network: ‘We must… work with the whole world to fight against xenophobia and discrimination, of which anti-Semitism is a variant.’ In the interview which was to be broadcast Thursday, the president said ‘There are neo-fascist movements today that have considerable and very dangerous influence, and sometimes they also express their strong support for the State of Israel. ‘You cannot say, ‘We admire Israel and want relations with your country, but we are neo-fascists.’ Neo-fascism is absolutely incompatible with the principles and values on which the State of Israel was founded.’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the position of foreign minister, has come under criticism for developing ties with Hungary and Poland, two countries whose leaderships have raised ire in Israel over their embrace of nationalistic policies and dismissive attitudes to the Holocaust.”

Nancy Pelosi Prepares to Navigate a New Era of Israeli Politics, Returning to Speaker’s Gavel, Jerusalem Post
Michael Wilner reports, “The last time Nancy Pelosi served as speaker of the House, she had a like-minded partner in the White House and a congressional caucus largely in sync with her more traditional liberal views towards Israel. No longer. In the eight interim years since losing the position, she has witnessed the growth of a subgroup of Democratic lawmakers eager for legislation on Palestinian human rights and more critical of Israeli government tactics. She has stood despondent on the House floor at the applause of her colleagues as Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, confronted then-president Barack Obama over his policies on Iran. And she has also stood on the sidelines as Israel’s leaders have aligned themselves with Donald Trump, a president anathema to liberal Democrats.”


IDF Confirms Syrian Anti-Aircraft Missile Found in Golan Heights, Jerusalem Post

Israel’s military confirmed Friday that fragments of a Syrian anti-aircraft missile was found in an open area in Israel’s Golan Heights several hours after Syrian regime said it had downed “hostile targets” over the southern part of the country on Thursday night.

Suspected ‘price-tag’ hate crime as Jewish settlers vandalize West Bank village, i24NEWS

A hate crime attack by suspected Jewish settlers from a nearby settlement hit the village of al-Jaba, west of Bethlehem, as Palestinian vehicles and buildings were vandalized.

Police suspect terrorism as Jordanian assaults 2 Israeli coworkers in Eilat, Times of Israel, Times of Israel

A Jordanian national employed at the Eilat port in southern Israel was arrested Friday on suspicion of attacking two Israeli coworkers with a hammer.

Israel extends arrest of Palestinian Jerusalem governor, i24NEWS

An Israeli court on Thursday extended the detention of the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem in connection with an investigation related to the Palestinian Authority’s arrest of a Palestinian-American citizen reportedly because he sold property to a Jew.

Italian Far-right Party Leader Matteo Salvini Scheduled to Visit Israel in Two Weeks, Haaretz

Italian Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini is scheduled to visit Israel in two weeks, on December 11-12. Salvini, who leads the far-right League party, is known for his fierce opposition to immigration and accepting asylum requests.

Opinion and Analysis

A Month After Pittsburgh Tragedy, No Sign of Bold Steps by Trump to Fight anti-Semitism, Haaretz

Allison Kaplan Sommer writes, “A month has now passed since a white supremacist gunned down 11 Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, transforming the way the United States views the rising tide of anti-Semitism….Yet since those traumatic losses, there is little evidence the Trump administration has taken any major steps that might help prevent another tragedy – either through increasing law enforcement or strengthening programs that combat racism and hatred, which it has cut or neglected during the president’s two years in office. “

Besieged on all sides, Gaza’s journalists are risking their lives to do their job, +972 Magazine

Dina Saeed reports, “The deaths of Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein, who were shot by Israeli snipers while covering the Great Return March protests on the Gaza–Israel fence, uncovered Israel’s brutal crackdown on the nonviolent movement. But their deaths also highlighted the dangerous conditions that journalists in Gaza work in, often risking their personal safety to document the lives of Palestinians in the strip. Without sufficient protection gear, access to psychological support, stable streams of payment, and free speech protections, journalists in Gaza are struggling to build their careers.”