News Roundup for November 7, 2017

November 7, 2017

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Top News and Analysis

Israeli PM pledges West Bank bypass roads for settlers, Washington Post

Aron Heller reports, “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged 200 million shekels ($57 million) Monday to build safe bypass roads for Jewish West Bank settlers, in a move that looks to satisfy a key constituent but anger Palestinians who consider it a further encroachment upon their hoped for future state. Facing bereaved families of those killed in Palestinian attacks in the West Bank at parliament, Netanyahu assured them the government was committed to improving the roads, as well as the lighting and cellular coverage there to help prevent such attacks.”

John Kerry: Donald Trump’s verdict against Iran deal not based on ‘any fact whatsoever,’ The Independent

Kim Sengupta reports, “Speaking at the Chatham House think tank in London, the former Secretary of State recalled how the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, urged Barack Obama to bomb Iran. ‘After you bomb a country you give them reason to want a weapon. The Iran deal makes Israel safer, the security people in Israel know that. Bombing Iran would not have stopped Iran developing a bomb, the deal does.’ Mr Kerry continued: ‘We all know what the world would have looked like without a deal with Iran. We knew Iran was maybe two months from a nuclear break-out. Under the deal we have cradle to grave visibility on every ounce of uranium, the situation has never been more transparent.’”


Saudi Arabia Charges Iran With ‘Act of War,’ Raising Threat of Military Clash, New York Times

Saudi Arabia charged Monday that a missile fired at its capital from Yemen over the weekend was an “act of war” by Iran, in the sharpest escalation in nearly three decades of mounting hostility between the two regional rivals.

Israeli State-funded NGO That Built Illegal West Bank Outpost Now Trying to Legalize It, Haaretz

The nonprofit organization called the Jewish Shepherd, which is funded by the Education Ministry, is seeking to retroactively legalize an unauthorized outpost erected by Kfar Adumim.

The road to the outpost, which was built on “Hill 387” near Route 1 connecting Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, passes over privately owned Palestinian land. The homes were erected without permits on the hill, which is state land. The court has ordered their demolition.

Americans for Peace Now Calls on Jewish Federations to Cease Settlement Funding, Times of Israel

Americans for Peace Now called on the Jewish Federations of North America to stop donating to settlements in the West Bank. A letter from the left-wing U.S.-based organization was sent to JFNA’s leadership on Friday, following a Haaretz special report which revealed that Jewish Federations had forwarded over $6 million to the settlements between 2012 and 2015.

Most Israeli Jews Would Deny Voting Rights to Arab Citizens Who Reject Zionist Narrative, Survey Finds, Haaretz

Most Israeli Jews believe that Arab citizens who are unwilling to declare Israel the national home of the Jewish people should be denied the right to vote, a survey published on Tuesday shows.

Israeli forces detain 16 Palestinians, one woman, in overnight raids, Ma’an

Israeli forces detained at least 16 Palestinians during overnight raids between Sunday night and Monday morning, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources. In the northern West Bank, locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained former prisoner Omar al-Sheikh Qasim from the town of Azzun in Qalqiliya, while Iyad al-Jarad, Amir Samir Abu Saffaqa, Muhammad Muhannad Abu Saffaqa and Suhaib Abu Safiyyeh were detained from the nearby Tulkarem district.

Kushner Had 4 AM Meetings With Saudi Crown Prince Who Engineered Royal Purge, The Forward

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is in the midst of a drive to battle corruption and consolidate power in the kingdom, jailing 11 princes, four ministers and dozens of businessmen last week. As David Ignatius wrote in The Washington Post on Sunday, the 32-year-old crown prince has developed a special relationship with the person closest to holding that title in America – Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser.

Opinions and Analysis

The United States should stand by the Iran deal, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Ambassador Thomas Pickering argues, “The United States’ international standing, already weakened by inconsistent and unsupported threats, will suffer further because of the Trump administration’s rejection of the Iran nuclear agreement. Most of the rest of world sees the deal as a win for just about everybody, not least the United States. The president must be persuaded to support it, not kill it.”

Adelson Has Hijacked the Israeli-American Community for His Hard-right Agenda, Haaretz

Chemi Shalev argues, “The IAC, by its very definition, delineates between American citizens who are former Israelis and other American Jews. Its mission purpose assumes that ex-Israelis won’t assimilate easily into the larger American Jewish community. Now Adelson has added a political tinge to the delineation: The American Jewish community might prevaricate and equivocate, but Israelis, through their representative IAC, won’t ask questions and won’t cast doubts.”

Israeli media play game of polls, Al-Monitor

Mazal Maulem argues, “What we are seeing now is a chaotic political system, in which the definitions of left and right are flexible and in flux. When it comes to public attitudes, however, there is no real sign that there has been any change to the slight advantage held by the right. The proof is Gabbay’s own shift to the right as head of the major left-wing party. Gabbay faces an enormous challenge; he must try to keep his hard core of Labor Party voters despite his recent statements and shifts to the right. Furthermore, to reach 30 seats — as he promised when he was elected party leader last July — he will have to take votes away from Yesh Atid. But right now, Lapid is only getting stronger.”

Is Tom Cotton the Future of Trumpism? The New Yorker

Jeffrey Toobin writes, “Trump gave Cotton a victory on the touchstone issue of his Senate career by decertifying Iran’s compliance with the nuclear-arms deal that the Obama Administration had negotiated. ‘I told the President in July that he shouldn’t certify that Iran was complying with the agreement,’ Cotton told me. ‘Putting aside the issue of technical compliance or noncompliance, it’s clear that the agreement is not in our national interest.’ Following Trump’s action, Cotton joined forces with Senator Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, on a proposal that, if passed, would likely lead to the termination of the Iran nuclear deal and the reimposition of American sanctions.”

Enemies and Neighbours: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017 – review, The Guardian

Anshel Pfeffer writes, “Enemies and Neighbours will not make easy reading for partisans on either side. Narratives are meticulously broken down and reshaped by inconvenient facts. Black uses an array of sources highlighting how, from the start of the Zionist initiative, neither its ideologues nor the majority of the early Jewish settlers had any interest in building a nation together with the native population. While he chooses not to take a clear position in the historical debate over whether the Palestinian displacement of 1948 was premeditated ethnic cleansing, he does describe how in many places the banishment of communities and the destruction of their villages was intentional. His account of the second-class status of Israeli-Palestinian citizens and of daily life for the millions who have lived under Israeli military rule since the six-day war of 1967 is detailed and harrowing.”

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