News Roundup for October 20, 2016

October 20, 2016

Receive the roundup in your inbox every morning!

J Street in the News

Solutions to Palestinian and Israeli Conflict, King 5 News Seattle

An interview with J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami and Palestinian Ambassador to the US Maen Areikat ahead of their joint event in Seattle.

Republican Jewish group launches campaign against pro-Iran deal Pennsylvania Senate candidate, JTA

“The Republican Jewish Coalition has launched a campaign attacking a Pennsylvania Democratic candidate in a tight Senate race for her “dangerously naive” support of the Iran nuclear deal….Meanwhile, J Street announced last week that it was expanding its existing campaigns in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin against Senate candidates opposing the Iran deal to Illinois and New Hampshire. Earlier this month the liberal Jewish group, which supports the Iran agreement, launched a $500,000 campaign against Toomey and Wisconsin Republican incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson.”

Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu: If Israel Doesn’t Act Wisely Ahead of End of Obama’s Term, We May Endanger Entire Settlement Enterprise, Haaretz

Barak Ravid reports, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any ‘unwise conduct’ from Israel regarding settlements in the period leading up to the end of Barack Obama’s administration on January 20 could ‘endanger the entire settlement enterprise.’ Netanyahu made his comments during a meeting last week with Likud activists, some of whom are residents of the Ofra settlement and the Amona outpost. The meeting took at the request of residents who wanted to present their position on the High Court ruling concerning the evacuation of Amona, ordered to occur by the end of December, and concerning the High Court ruling concerning 10 houses in Ofra that were built on private Palestinian land….The source noted that Netanyahu gave examples of actions carried out by past presidents in such time periods, and said that Israel must avoid committing wrong moves in those 10 weeks.”

Israel’s Human Rights Defenders Won’t Be Intimidated or Silenced – Even by Their Own Prime Minister, Haaretz

Daniel Sokatch writes, “If Netanyahu doesn’t want Israeli human rights defenders reporting on the reality of occupation, he has one surefire way to deal with it: end the occupation. Promising vengeance against those who oppose his policies may be the type of thing we’d expect from a Putin, Erdogan or, yes, Trump-controlled government. It’s not a standard we can accept for a democratic society….The occupation must end, and it must end soon. The more Netanyahu grasps at straws – the more he sells out Israel’s democracy and democratic freedom to protect his own ideological and political interests, the more he tries to intimidate and silence Israel’s human rights defenders – the more the ranks of those defenders will grow.  They will not be intimidated.  They will not be silenced.”


Thousands Finish Women’s Peace March With Plea for Action at Netanyahu’s Door, Haaretz

A march that began two weeks ago as a minor event in Rosh Hanikra ended in Jerusalem on Wednesday night as a mass rally, when thousands of Jewish and Arab women from all over the country gathered outside the Prime Minister’s Residence to urge his government to make peace with the Palestinians. The prime minister’s security was so heavily deployed it was impossible to see what was happening outside his house on Balfour Street. But the presence of thousands of women in downtown Jerusalem was evident.

ADL sees dramatic election spike in harassment of Jewish journalists, Times of Israel

The Anti-Defamation League released a report outlining the rising anti-Semitic harassment of journalists that has taken place since the process of choosing the nation’s next leader began. The group’s task force, convened last June, found that roughly 800 reporters were subjected to anti-Semitic harassment from August 2015 to July 2016, for which roughly 1,600 accounts were responsible.

In Potential Shift to Next Generation, Abbas Appoints New PA Ambassador to U.S., Haaretz

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has instructed to appoint a new Palestinian Authority ambassador to the United States. The designated ambassador is Husam Zomlot, who in recent months has been serving as Abbas’ adviser for strategic affairs. Zomlot is among the younger generation of Fatah members, and prior to his appointment as a strategic affairs adviser served as a deputy in charge of Fatah’s foreign relations and stood in as Fatah’s acting international relations commissioner for Dr. Nabil Sha’ath.

Trump, Pence to give video addresses at GOP rally in Jerusalem, Times of Israel

Donald Trump and Mike Pence will make satellite video addresses at a Republican Party rally in Jerusalem next week that will stress the unity of the city, Republicans Overseas Israel announced Wednesday. Several hundred people are expected to attend the October 26 rally, which will be held at an unspecified location near the Temple Mount under the headline of “strengthening Jerusalem,” the organizers said.

Senior Government Official Promotes Initiative to Take Down New Israeli Public Broadcaster, Haaretz

A senior cabinet member aims to foil the establishment of the new public broadcasting corporation in which the government would not interfere with programming, political sources told Haaretz on Wednesday. The cabinet member plans to present the proposal next week to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the heads of the coalition parties for approval.

2 Palestinians injured during clashes as 1,000 Israelis visit Joseph’s Tomb, Ma’an

Hundreds of Israelis performed religious rituals at Joseph’s Tomb before dawn on Thursday in the occupied West Bank district of Nablus, as at least two Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces when clashes broke out in the area. Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that more than 1,000 Israelis escorted by Israeli forces arrived at Joseph’s Tomb near the Balata refugee camp on Wednesday night and prayed at the religious site until dawn.

Opinion and Analysis

Netanyahu faces off against UNESCO over Jerusalem resolution, Al-Monitor

Akiva Eldar writes, “There’s nothing like a focus on the Jewish people’s holy of holies to serve Netanyahu’s strategy, designed as it is to push this solution to the furthest reaches of the Israeli-Jewish collective consciousness. Denying the Jewish people’s link to the Western Wall strengthens the prime minister’s claim that the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as the national home of the Jewish people is the real obstacle to peace — not the West Bank settlements. This leads directly to the conclusion that the idea of a territorial division into two states based on the 1967 border lines is a nonstarter.”

Why I’m Participating in the March of Hope, J Street Blog

Carol Winograd writes, “As Rosh Hashana faded into night time, a torchlight gathering of 2000 Israelis launched the March of Hope at Rosh Hanikra, the northern tip of Israel at the Lebanon border. 1000 participants,  dressed in white, walked together towards Jerusalem, singing for peace.  Watching the video of  women and men speaking their hearts and singing and dancing during the first days of the March, I could hardly believe that what we have been hoping for these many months,  is happening, energizing us all.”

Why Are Thousands of Israeli and Palestinian Women Marching for Peace?, J Street Blog

Tali Degroot writes, “In the face of stagnant politics, Women Wage Peace is building an optimistic vision for a better future. Far too often those of us concerned about the ongoing occupation are disheartened by the lack of a political horizon. But we can take tremendous inspiration from the marchers who have overcome their pessimism in their quest for peace. By overcoming their own fears, these women hope to inspire the Israeli government as well as other activists to do the same.”

Don’t Blame Netanyahu. Blame the Israeli Electorate, Haaretz

Steven Cohen argues, “Changing Israeli policies – with respect to God or country – demands changing the views of the voting public, rather than changing the views of the leaders whom the nationalist and religious publics send to the Knesset and government.”

New initiative aims to protect Palestinian working women, Al-Monitor

Entsar Abu Jahal reports, “The work environment in Palestine suffers from violations of labor rights in general and women’s rights specifically, as women are the weakest entity in their patriarchal society. Consequently, the Palestinian Ministry of Labor and the National Committee for Women’s Employment (NCWE) coordinated with the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), with the support of the International Labor Organization, to launch the first Guideline for Women’s Employment Rights on Oct. 4 in Ramallah.”

Questions, comments, or suggestions? Please email [email protected]