News Roundup for November 9, 2016

November 9, 2016

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J Street in the News

Jewish doves and hawks each see a favored Senate candidate go down, JTA

“A liberal favorite (former Democratic Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold) and a leading critic of the Iran deal (Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk) both fell short Tuesday night. Feingold failed in his bid to reclaim his seat in a race that had been projected to go his way….Feingold was endorsed by the J Street, the liberal Jewish Middle East policy lobby. J Street injected $500,000 to boost Feingold and Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s successful bid to unseat Kirk. With her win, Duckworth retook the seat that had been held by President Barack Obama. Kirk was among the most strident critics of the Iran nuclear deal exchanging sanctions relief for a nuclear rollback since it was reached last year. Duckworth, who was backed by J Street with more than $145,000, has been an enthusiastic backer of the agreement….Two other Republican incumbents who criticized the Iran deal did win, Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio….Toomey kept his seat, fending off a spirited challenge from Democratic challenger Katie McGinty….J Street spent nearly $250,000 in an attempt to unseat Toomey.”

Who are America’s Jewish senators and congressmen?, Jerusalem Post

“Democrat Steve Cohen, reelected for his 5th term in Congress for Tennessee’s 9th District, was endorsed by J Street….In Nevada Democrat Ruben Kihuen took the 4th congressional district after defeating incumbent Republican Rep. Cresent Hardy, who had held the position for one term. Kihuen moved to America with his parents when he was 8 years old. Kihuen was endorsed by J Street. According to the Las Vegas Sun he was a supporter of the Iran deal.”

Amid Election Strains and Jewish Divisions, Two Antagonists Debate Israel, Civilly, Forward

Anthony Weiss reports on J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami’s public discussion event in Los Angeles last week with ZOA president Mort Klein.

Top News and Analysis

Donald Trump Is Elected President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment, The New York Times

“Donald John Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States on Tuesday in a stunning culmination of an explosive, populist and polarizing campaign that took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of American democracy. The surprise outcome, defying late polls that showed Hillary Clinton with a modest but persistent edge, threatened convulsions throughout the country and the world, where skeptics had watched with alarm as Mr. Trump’s unvarnished overtures to disillusioned voters took hold.”


Netanyahu Congratulates Trump Victory as Israeli Ministers Hail ‘End of Two-state Solution’, Haaretz

Israel woke up to Donald Trump’s unexpected win in the U.S. presidential election on Wednesday, and local politicians were quick to offer their congratulations. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a statement congratulating Trump, saying: “President-elect Trump is a true friend of the State of Israel. We will work together to advance the security, stability and peace in our region. The strong connection between the United States and Israel is based on shared values, shared interests and a shared destiny. “I’m certain that President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the unique alliance between Israel and the United States, and bring it to new heights,” he added.  Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) congratulated Trump on Facebook: “Warm wishes to the president of the strongest and biggest global power: Donald J. Trump!”

US ambassador to Israel calls on Trump to uphold Iran deal, Times of Israel

With a Donald Trump victory being declared early Wednesday morning, the American ambassador to Israel called on the incoming administration to adhere to the Iranian nuclear agreement. The nuclear pact, brokered under American leadership between six world powers and Iran last year, has been “very successful in doing exactly what it was designed to do, and that is to block systematically each pathway Iran had to achieve a nuclear weapon,” Dan Shapiro said. “Obviously we recommend the next administration continue [honoring the agreement], because it does fulfill that function.”

After Vote on Jerusalem, Israel Poses Conditions for UNESCO Rapprochement, Haaretz

Israel’s envoy to UNESCO, who was recalled after the organization passed a slew of anti-Israeli resolutions, will return to Paris in the coming days to present UNESCO’s director general with Israel’s conditions for putting relations with the organization back on track. Senior officials in the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Ambassador Carmel Shama-Hacohen and Yuval Rotem, the acting director general of the Foreign Ministry, to discuss additional steps regarding UNESCO.

Israeli forces shoot Palestinian after alleged stab attack in Nablus, Ma’an

Israeli forces critically wounded a Palestinian youth Wednesday morning at the entrace of the village of Huwwara in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus after an alleged stab attack, according to Israeli and Palestinian sources.  An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian attempted to stab an Israeli soldier with a screwdriver at the checkpoint near Huwwara, while the soldier “responded to the immediate threat with live fire.” The spokesperson added that the wounded Palestinian was evacuated to the Rabin Medical Center in the city of Petah Tikva in southern Israel.

Interpol will not consider Palestinian request for membership, JTA

Interpol will not consider a request by the Palestinian Authority to join the international police force following intervention by Israel.

UNRWA employees announce series of strikes in occupied Palestinian territory, Ma’an

The union for local employees of UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for providing services for some five million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East, announced on Monday that a series of protests would take place across the occupied Palestinian territory after international organizations failed to meet the demands of employees and refugees.

UN committees vote on 10 resolutions against Israel in one day, JTA

Committees of the United Nations General Assembly were scheduled to vote on 10 resolutions against Israel in one day. At least two of the resolutions involving Israel reportedly ignored Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, referring to the holy site by its Muslim name, Al Haram Al Sharif.

Opinion and Analysis

What Does It Mean To Be Jewish in Donald Trump’s America?, Forward

Jane Eisner writes, “ The hurt is too deep, the chasm too wide. I am too afraid of the anti-Semitism directed toward me and my fellow journalists from those who now are cheering the prospect of a Trump administration, and I have no idea if his family — and here I include his Jewish children, who have stayed unconscionably silent in the face of documented harassment and threats — will do anything to help restore civic tolerance. I am too afraid of how minorities in this country less protected than we Jews are will fare when the man who will occupy the Oval Office belittles and berates them, only winning more votes in the process. And as a woman, I am blindsided by the very notion of seeing someone who blithely traffics in misogyny sit behind a desk that ought to have been occupied by a woman.”

ANALYSIS: Will Donald Trump Win Kill Iran Nuclear Deal?, Forward

Yeganeh Torbati writes, “Donald Trump’s election as president raises the prospect the United States will pull out of the nuclear pact it signed last year with Iran, alienating Washington from its allies and potentially freeing Iran to act on its ambitions.”

Will President Obama Launch Lame Duck Israel Surprise?, JTA

Ron Kampeas writes, “What’s true, according to Jewish officials who consult with administration and congressional officials, is that administration officials have discussed, since the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in April 2014, moves the administration could take to keep the two-state solution alive. Those options remain on the table, even if the likelihood that Obama will act on them wanes with each passing day.”

Obama’s last chance of ending Israeli occupation, Al-Monitor

Akiva Eldar observes, “The central question concerning politicians and pundits in Israel and the occupied territories these days is about the day after the US presidential elections. What will happen in the transition period starting Nov. 9 and ending with the changing of the guard at the White House on Jan. 20, 2017? Will President Barack Obama veto the UN Security Council resolution recognizing a Palestinian state, or will he make do with yet another speech rebuking Israel? Or perhaps he will prefer a UN vote condemning the Jewish settlements? Either way, any decision Obama makes will have far-reaching implications for millions of people in the Middle East.”

Netanyahu’s Hit List: Attacking Israeli Journalists Is Now Official Policy, Haaretz

Yossi Verter observes, “Ilana Dayan’s reading of Netanyahu’s entire screed against her on Monday night’s program was one of the most seminal moments for Channel 2 in its 23-year existence. And it may well end up being remembered as a seminal moment in politics. The lunacy that exuded from every line of the PMO’s statement against a fair and experienced journalist with a centrist outlook, someone who could not be labeled as having any leftist tendencies, should horrify every reasonable person in this country, even lifelong Likud voters. At some point, this pot is going to boil over completely. Next time around, if there were a moderate right-wing slate comprised of sane people who have thus far stayed out of the political system, it would surely draw the votes of right-wing voters fed up with Netanyahu.”

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