News Roundup for November 7, 2016

November 7, 2016

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J Street in the News

New Trump ad features prominent Jews in deriding ‘global power structure’, JTA

“The Trump campaign has released a campaign ad promising to defeat an international global power structure featuring several prominent Jews in the financial world. The ad, the final Trump campaign ad before voters go to the polls Tuesday, has been criticized on liberal news websites and Democrats for what they describe as its use of anti-Semitic tropes. J Street, a liberal Jewish Middle East policy group backed by Soros since its inception, also condemned the ad. ‘It is hard to miss the implication that a cabal of wealthy and powerful Jews is an enemy that the people of the United States must defeat,’ J Street’s president, Jeremy Ben Ami, said in a statement. ‘Trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes is just one aspect of the appalling bigotry that has characterized the Trump campaign and that makes clear Trump is unfit to be President.’ J Street also has an affiliated PAC that this year has backed Democrats in congressional campaigns.”

J Street Condemns Trump’s Closing Advertisement, J Street Blog

“J Street condemns the closing advertisement released by the Donald Trump campaign this weekend, which features overtones of hateful anti-Semitic tropes and stereotypes….Trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes is just one aspect of the appalling bigotry that has characterized the Trump campaign and that makes clear Trump is unfit to be President. Singling out particularly vulnerable minorities in our society endangers and debases us all. This rhetoric should be condemned by responsible leaders and roundly rejected by voters who believe in an America that is far greater than the sum of its parts.”

Top News and Analysis

Tens of Thousands Remember Rabin in Tel Aviv; Herzog: No More Talks Over Unity Government, Haaretz

Tens of thousands gathered at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening for a rally marking the 21st anniversary of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. Speaking at the rally, opposition leader Isaac Herzog accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of waging war on democracy, and vowed to fight back. Herzog, whose Zionist Union party organized the event, said: ‘When I see the prime minister declaring war on democracy, I say that’s it. No more. The time for talks is over. The time for a unity government is over.” ‘Tonight we go out to war for democracy,’ Herzog said. ‘Tonight we go out to war for the state. Twenty-one years ago they promised to change, to learn a lesson, to do soul searching. Twenty-one years ago they watched over as gangs of thugs hung images of Rabin in an S.S. uniform, and they said nothing. After 21 years, they are silent again, turning a blind eye again. After 21 years, hatred rears its head, and incitement is here again. The hatred is the same hatred, the incitement is the same incitement, and the leader is the same leader.’”

Trump Rolls Out Anti-Semitic Closing Ad, Talking Points Memo

“Take a moment to look at this closing ad from Donald Trump….It’s also packed with anti-Semitic dog whistles, anti-Semitic tropes and anti-Semitic vocabulary. These are standard anti-Semitic themes and storylines, using established anti-Semitic vocabulary lined up with high profile Jews as the only Americans other than Clinton who are apparently relevant to the story….This is an ad intended to appeal to anti-Semites and spread anti-Semitic ideas. That’s the only standard that really matters. This is intentional and by design. It is no accident. Trump has electrified anti-Semites and racist groups across the country. His own campaign has repeatedly found itself speaking to anti-Semites, tweeting their anti-Semitic memes, retweeting anti-Semites.”

Israel’s Joe McCarthy on a Witch Hunt, and Netanyahu Keeps Mum, Haaretz

Yossi Verter writes, “One doesn’t need a deep perspective in order to diagnose that the Bitan era is to Israel what the McCarthy one was to the U.S.  Thugishness and ignorance, the insolence and loss of any shame have never known better days than the days of David Bitan. He makes Miri Regev look tolerant and enlightened, liberal and cultured. This is the character who leads the parliamentary coalition in Israel. He is the person the prime minister listens to. He is the character who takes part in every discussion, meeting or political counseling at the prime minister’s bureau.”


Palestinians File Police Complaint Over Alleged Assault by Settlers, Haaretz

Police took statements Sunday from two Palestinians who reported having been assaulted by Israeli settlers in the West Bank on Saturday. Security officials said four people were injured in the incident, which took place near the settlement of Talmon. The four, who had apparently been beaten, were treated at a hospital in Ramallah. The Palestinians said about 20 masked Israelis attacked them with sticks, iron bars and stones as they harvest their olives.

Israeli media: PA security forces helped thwart attack on Israeli army post in Hebron, Ma’an

Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces helped thwart an attack on the Israeli army in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, Israeli media reported on Sunday.

Hebrew-language news site Walla quoted PA officials in Hebron as saying that Palestinian security services “passed precise information” to Israel about an explosive device placed near an Israeli army military post in Hebron.

EU Committee Recommends States Ask Israel to Pay for Ruined West Bank Projects, Haaretz

The European Union committee that deals with Middle East affairs is recommending that the EU’s 28 member states ask Israel to reimburse them for the demolition of buildings and infrastructure projects in Area C of the West Bank that they helped finance, European and Israeli diplomats told Haaretz. The Foreign Ministry was outraged by the resolution and has lodged protests with the EU and several member states.

Palestinian land owners file appeal against postponing evacuation of illegal Amona outpost, Ma’an

Palestinian landowners filed an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court on Sunday, rejecting demands to postpone the evacuation of the illegal Israeli Amona outpost, according to a statement by Israeli human rights group Yesh Din. The appeal was filed by Israeli lawyers Michael Sfard and Shlomi Zacharaa, and implored the court not to respond to the demands of the Israeli State Attorney’s office, which requested the postponement on the basis that it could not arrange alternative housing for the residents of Amona before the target date of December this year.

French Envoy: Netanyahu’s Presence at Paris Summit Would Signal Commitment to Peace, Haaretz

The French envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Pierre Vimont, said on Sunday that his country is still determined to promote its plan to convene an international peace conference in Paris by the end of the year. Vimont noted that Israel’s participation in such a conference would demonstrate its commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians. He added that immediately following the November 8 elections in the United States, he would go to Washington to coordinate possible steps over the next two months with the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama.

Netanyahu tells ministers to stay mum on US elections, Times of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed cabinet ministers to refrain from commenting on the upcoming US presidential elections, or from giving an opinion as to which of the candidates they would prefer to see in the White House.

Opinion and Analysis

Will Obama push for UN settlement-freeze resolution?, Al-Monitor

Uri Savir reports, “A senior official close to Federica Mogherini, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, told Al-Monitor that the European Union is conveying to Kerry the importance and urgency of a concrete policy move against Israeli settlement expansion. Such a resolution would, according to the EU official, include strong wording on the settlements as an obstacle to a two-state solution (taken from the July 2016 Quartet report), as well as a demand that Israel stop all settlement expansion and a call to the parties to immediately renew negotiations on a two-state solution based on previous Security Council resolutions. France and Egypt would likely advance the resolution before the end of 2016.”

In Iowa, Politics is A Way of Life, J Street Blog

J Street’s Ben Sheridan writes, “Local volunteers remind me that Iowans are pragmatists. Candidates won’t win votes with platitudes and empty mantras…This same approach to politics has JStreetPAC endorsee Monica Vernon positioned to win one of the most competitive races in the country. Vernon will be a champion in Congress on a wide range of issues, including diplomacy-first Middle East foreign policy. Her opponent, Rep. Rod Blum, voted against the historic Iran nuclear deal. Ads are inundating the airwaves attacking Vernon for supporting the agreement that defanged the Iranian nuclear threat. Blum’s opposition to the deal is consistent with a pro-Trump platform that opposes women’s rights and denies climate change.”

Beyond the Bay Area Bubble: Campaigning in Iowa, J Street Blog

J Street’s Alex Willick writes, “I volunteered to be a part of J Street’s embedding program to accomplish three main objectives: (1) to make an impact on a race that could genuinely use an extra set of hands, (2) to gain experience working on the ground-game of a campaign whose platform I could get on board with, and (3) to interact with the “average American voter,” to whom I rarely have access from the Bay Area-bubble where I live and work.”

Lee Zeldin Shouldn’t Stand Behind Trump, J Street Blog

J Street’s Jordan Schreiber writes, “Despite the relentless racism, disgusting misogyny and reckless invective of the Trump campaign, [Rep. Lee] Zeldin hasn’t wavered in his support of the GOP nominee. As Throne-Holst’s camp has charged, he’s putting partisan politics over the good of the country. Zeldin cited the Supreme Court as a reason to vote for Trump, pointedly refusing to defend some of his most outrageous statements. Zeldin’s political calculus reinforces the stakes of this election for me. When it comes to foreign policy, Trump’s blithe throwaways about leveling countries in the Middle East and the frightening callousness with which he talks about nuclear proliferation render him unfit to be president. Republican candidates should distance themselves from him, even if it means they have to air out their party’s disagreements.”

Why Israel is pouring cash into this settlement university, Al-Monitor

Shlomi Eldar reports, “An investigative report published Oct. 30 by the financial daily Calcalist in cooperation with The Public Knowledge Workshop reveals that Ariel University in the Samaria district is the beneficiary of massive state funding. In fact, it’s the best funded university in Israel, while other academic institutions are crippled by enormous deficits. According to the report, since 2007, Ariel University has been given some 162 million shekels ($42 million) through various contractual engagements with state institutions, while other universities received far smaller sums, some negligible. For example, Hebrew University in Jerusalem got only 63 million shekels ($16.5 million) during those years, and Ben-Gurion University in southern Israel received the least of all at only 2.3 million shekels ($604,000).”

RJC All in For Donald Trump and His Campaign, Talking Points Memo

Josh Marshall reports, “The Republican Jewish Coalition sent out an email to members. Zero mention of the Trump ad, full-throated endorsement of Donald Trump.”

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