News Roundup for September 1, 2017

September 1, 2017

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J Street in the News

Palestinian School Demolitions Are Destroying Israel’s Future, Forward

J Street U’s Eva Borgwardt writes, :”This past Tuesday August 22, 2017, on the evening before its grand opening and the start of the Palestinian school year, the Israeli Civil Administration arrived in Jub a-Dhib and destroyed the newly built school …. This is not an isolated incident—it is part of a recent spate of demolitions targeting Palestinian schools in Area C … This pattern should alarm supporters of a two-state solution and a Jewish and democratic future for Israel … This school year, J Street U will advocate against demolitions of the kind that prevent the women of Jub a-Dhib from securing a better future for their children. We will not wait for our leaders and politicians to continue to waffle as the prospects for a two-state solution seem ever more distant and “Greater Israel” slowly becomes a reality.”

Top News and Analysis

Contradicting Trump, U.N. Monitor Says Iran Complies With Nuclear Deal, New York Times

The world’s nuclear inspectors complicated President Trump’s effort to find Iran in violation of the two-year-old nuclear accord with the United States and five other world powers, declaring on Thursday that the latest inspections found no evidence that the country is breaching the agreement.

Netanyahu Shamelessly Vilifies the Left as the Crowd Chants ‘King Bibi’, Haaretz

Yossi Verter notes, “What is left for Netanyahu – who’s up to his neck in investigations and corruption cases and general degradation – to do other than to spray more vitriol at the media? It’s the same media on which he heaped praise when reporters industriously covered the investigations against his predecessor, Ehud Olmert. In another three weeks, Netanyahu will take the podium at the UN General Assembly and take pride in the State of Israel, a true democracy that, without a free media – not the media that poses as such – would be unworthy of its name.”


Israeli Army Shuts Down Palestinian Radio Station and Arrests Palestinian Singer for Encouraging Terrorism, Haaretz

The Israel Defense Forces closed the Palestinian al-Huriya radio station near Hebron very early Thursday morning. The station regularly broadcasts content encouraging terrorism, said the IDF Spokesperson’s Office. The IDF also arrested singer Mohammed Barghouti Wednesday night, after he recorded a song praising Omar al-Abed, the 20-year-old Palestinian who allegedly murdered three members of the Salomon family in the West Bank community of Halamish in July. Abed was indicted last week.

Army gives Hebron settlers new municipal powers, Times of Israel

The IDF Central Command on Thursday expanded the municipal powers of Hebron’s Jewish settlers in a move that officials said would strengthen the community in the divided West Bank city.

Knesset members return to Temple Mount, Al-Monitor

On Aug. 29, two years after Knesset members were banned from visiting the Temple Mount for reasons of security, Yehuda Glick of Likud and Shuli Mualem of HaBayit HaYehudi ventured there, the first parliamentarians to do so during a trial period agreed to by the police and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Bibi: I Speak To Sheldon Adelson On Average 0.75 Times A Week, Forward

Responding to criticism that he had maintained an open line with the heads of Israel’s largest daily newspaper, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he talked to owner Sheldon Adelson “.75 times a week.”

Israeli Kids Head Back to School; Uptick in Palestinians Studying for Israeli End Exams, Haaretz

With more than 2 million children starting the new school year Friday morning. The Israeli Arab and Druze school year will start in a few weeks, but in the meantime an uptick has been registered in the number of Palestinians in East Jerusalem studying for Israel’s final exams.

Far-right activists demand removal of Temple Mount metal detectors for Jews, Times of Israel

Right-wing Jewish activists petitioned the Supreme Court on Thursday to remove the metal detectors from the sole entrance to the Temple Mount used by Jews and other non-Muslim visitors. The petition argued that the government is discriminating against non-Muslims by subjecting them to security checks while allowing Muslims free access to the Jerusalem holy site through other gates.

More ultra-Orthodox in Israel Are Sending Children to Learn Full Core Curriculum, Haaretz

Data obtained by Haaretz shows that the state-Haredi system has nearly doubled in size over the past 2 1/2 years. While there were 30 preschools and 30 schools operating as part of the state-Haredi system in 2015, there are now 100 preschools and more than 40 schools in the system, educating a total of 7,500 children, as compared to 4,000 in 2015.

Illegal outpost residents ask court to save parts of homes set to be razed, Times of Israel

Residents of the illegal settlement outpost of Netiv Ha’avot in Gush Etzion filed a petition to the High Court of Justice on Thursday in an effort to save a portion of 15 homes there slated to be demolished in March.

Israeli forces detain 19 Palestinians during overnight raids in West Bank, Ma’an

Israeli forces detained at least 19 Palestinians during overnight raids between Wednesday and Thursday across the occupied West Bank, while raiding toy shops in the Hebron district — confiscating toy guns, fireworks, and laser pointers, of which the soldiers said could be used for “terrorism.”

U.N. Peacekeepers in Lebanon Get Stronger Inspection Powers for Hezbollah Arms, New York Times

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday voted to renew the peacekeeping mission in Lebanon for another year after addressing American and Israeli complaints that the force was ignoring a Hezbollah arms buildup near Israel’s border.

UAE, Egypt approve more aid for Gaza, Hamas, Al-Monitor

Hamas and Egypt are moving forward quickly on projects to aid the Gaza Strip. A delegation from the National Islamic Committee for Social Solidarity, along with officials from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, will work with experts from both countries to oversee funding.

Israel to advance plans for 3,000 settlement homes – report, Times of Israel

The Defense Ministry body responsible for authorizing construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank will reportedly be advancing plans for some 3,000 new housing units when it convenes next month.

Opinions and Analysis

The Fake News of Trump and Netanyahu’s War on the Media, Haaretz

Chemi Shalev analyzes, “Perhaps Trump and Netanyahu can form a tag team and take turns attacking the media. Perhaps in retrospect they will be viewed as the Muppet duo Statler and Waldorf, harmless old codgers who don’t have a good word to say about anyone. Until then, they are playing with fire, as the head of the UN’s Human Rights Council, Jordanian Prince Zaid Raad al-Husseini warned on Thursday. They could inspire someone to harm or even kill journalists. His words will be dismissed, of course, but even if al-Husseini’s warning comes true, Netanyahu will always be able to guide Trump on how to get out of such situations. He has experience, after all.”

What The Forward Really Said About Gorka – And Why We’re Proud We Did, Forward

Jane Eisner reflects, “There are things the Forward didn’t say. We never called him an anti-Semite. We never questioned his views on Israel. We never criticized him for his political statements, though they were way outside even mainstream Republicanism. And we never called upon him to resign. We only sought answers to questions that any citizen has the right to ask. If the Forward’s reporting contributed to Gorka’s departure from the White House, then that makes me proud. Not as a journalistic badge of honor, but because someone with so controversial and compromised a history does not deserve the privilege of working for us. By which I mean: for America.”

Tel Aviv Diary: Netanyahu Borrows Freely From Trump Playbook, Newsweek

Marc Schulman observes, “Trump and Netanyahu have both chosen the same political path — reach out to your base.  Almost every action by both Netanyahu and Trump in the past few weeks, and even months, seems to have one thing in common — they are unapologetically designed to please their base, with no attempt to reach out to the rest of the electorate. Netanyahu and Trump also share one additional common denominator — they share the same mega-donor, American casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson.”

Our Western Wall Victory Is A Win For All Jewish Women Seeking To Pray, Forward

Anat Hoffman writes, “By the end of the two-hour hearing, it was evident that the court found the Kotel Agreement to be the feasible solution, and was looking for legal apparatuses to force the State of Israel to implement the compromise …. The reneging of the Kotel Agreement has turned the attention of millions of Jews to the Western Wall. Most of them realize that the ultra-Orthodox monopoly over our National Holy site must be terminated.”

WATCH: Settlers sexually harass Palestinian woman, soldiers stand by, +972

Orly Noy notes, “Last Thursday night, settlers from the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arba approached the neighborhood of al-Hariqah and used a PA system to curse Islam as well as the local Palestinian population, in both Arabic and Hebrew. A Palestinian volunteer for Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem documented parts of the incident from the window of her home … When the settlers realized she was filming, they began cursing and sexually harassing her using racist and misogynistic language.”

Trump Push to Scrap Iran Deal Risks ‘Corrupting’ U.S. Intel Process, The Cipher Brief

The Cipher Brief interviews David Cohen, former deputy director for the CIA, about reports that the White House is pressuring intelligence officials to find that Iran is in violation of the Iran deal.

What It’s Like Living With Only 4 Hours of Power a Day in Gaza, Haaretz

Mohammed Azaiza films how he and other residents of the Gaza Strip live with limited electricity.
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