News Roundup for September 18, 2018

September 18, 2018

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J Street in the News

Preventing Palestine review: a fine history of Israel’s negation of a nation, Guardian

“This splendid book by a young American Jewish scholar is the product of an early emotional and intellectual transformation….Though he never mentions the organization, Anziska’s sensibility is very much that of J Street, ‘the political home of pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans’ who believe in a two-state solution.”

Below the Surface of ICE: The Corporations Profiting From Immigrant Detention, In These Times

“In June, Progressive groups formed the Families Belong Together coalition to express revulsion at the spectacle of children being ripped from their families. Following the model of the Women’s March and the March for Our Lives against gun violence, Families Belong Together planned mass demonstrations. The breadth of the coalition was exceptional, bringing together environmentalists at and Clean Water Action, progressive Jews at J Street and Bend the Arc, National Domestic Workers Alliance, the Center for Reproductive Rights, End Rape on Campus, the American Federation of Teachers, Rock the Vote, and hundreds more.”


Top News and Analysis

Russia Lashes Out at Israel After Plane Downed in Syria Attack, Bloomberg

Henry Meyer and Stepan Kravchenko report, “Russia warned angrily it may respond to ‘hostile’ actions by Israel after one of its military reconnaissance planes was downed mistakenly by Syrian forces fighting off an attack by Israeli warplanes. The spike in tensions came a day after Russia called off a campaign against the last major opposition-held area in Syria, preventing for now an escalation in the seven-year war, after President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan reached a deal on Monday. Still, unlike a 2015 incident in which Turkey shot down a Russian warplane, sparking a yearlong breach in ties, the Kremlin gave no sign the latest episode would lead to broader consequences.”

Why Did Israel Handcuff and Deport a French-American Law Professor?, Haaretz

Mordechai Kremnitzer writes, “The case of Prof. Frank Romano, a dual French-American citizen who was arrested on Friday at the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, raises a number of questions. Why was it documented and reported that the professor attacked a police officer, and based on this report a military arrest warrant for 96 hours was issued, when no such attack had occurred? The attorney representing the state admitted to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court that there had been no attack. Rather a soldier had been hindered in carrying out his duties, when apparently the movement of a tractor was blocked as part of a protest against the intention to evacuate the village and destroy its homes. What steps will be taken against those who gave false testimony? How long will the practice continue in Israel of law enforcement officers providing false reports against citizens or tourists to lead to their false arrest? Was the use of a military arrest order intended to enable a longer detention without judicial oversight? Was it intended to allow for a hasty deportation from Israel? Is this the way Israel treats the right to liberty?”



Russia summons Israeli envoy after warning of response over downed plane, Times of Israel

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Israel’s ambassador Tuesday afternoon, state media reported, as Moscow fumed over the Syrian downing of a military plane that it said was the result of an Israeli “provocation.”

Palestinian envoy says spat with United States will be ‘short lived’, i24NEWS

The Palestinian envoy to Washington believes the fierce diplomatic spat with the United States will soon pass and may even present opportunities for a broader push toward Israeli-Palestinian peace, he told i24NEWS.

Iran Clashes With U.S. Over Nuclear Deal at IAEA Talks in Vienna, Bloomberg

Top energy officials from the U.S. and Iran clashed on Monday with warnings that international peace is at risk as America’s sanctions noose tightens on the Islamic Republic.

IDF denies abuse allegations after arrested Palestinian suspect dies, Times of Israel

A West Bank man died in Israeli custody after he was arrested by Israeli security forces at his home near the West Bank city of Ramallah in the predawn hours of Tuesday morning, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.According to Palestinians, Muhammad Zaghloul Khatib, 24, was beaten by Israeli soldiers during his arrest in the village of Bayt Rima, near Ramallah.

Medics recover two bodies after Israeli airstrike in Gaza, Associated Press

Gaza’s Health Ministry said early Tuesday that paramedics recovered two bodies after an overnight Israeli airstrike near the perimeter fence with Israel.


Opinion and Analysis

The U.S. Can’t Punish the Palestinians Into Negotiating, The New York Times

Dana H. Allin and Steven Simon write, “It is a dangerous time, and not just for any chance at a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In traditional American diplomacy, problems are managed, policy choices are hedged and partners, however weak, are not antagonized for no good reason. And while it is true that this approach has not brought lasting peace to the region, that is no excuse to throw caution aside and bank on such a dangerous gambit. The traditional emphasis on diplomacy through negotiation and compromise speaks to the best qualities in the American character — qualities that have allowed American diplomats to resolve seemingly intractable conflicts over the decades, from the Camp David Accords to Northern Ireland. Diplomacy is generally about preserving options, not foreclosing them. The extinction of hopes for Palestinian independence will generate future trouble. This is the problem with mistaking punishment for statecraft.”

Mideast peace ‘deal of century’ eludes Trump, 25 years after Oslo Accords, Seattle Times
Trudy Rubin writes, “Trump’s coercive diplomacy has been rejected by Palestinian leaders (and has yet to receive buy-in even from Arab leaders friendly to Israel). And it ignores the demographic reason a reluctant Rabin and subsequent Israeli premiers — until Benjamin Netanyahu — accepted the premise of Oslo: If Palestinian sovereignty is ruled out, a majority of Israeli Jews will retain permanent control over a disenfranchised majority of Arabs. This is the road to an apartheid-style Israeli state. Yet the Trump team seems determined to dismantle every premise of the Oslo Accords, and reshape a peace framework that parallels Netanyahu’s demands.”

Camp David Accords have been replaced with back channel diplomacy, i24NEWS

Jotam Confino writes, “Forty years after the signing of the Camp David Accords, which brought peace between Israel and Egypt, Professor Robbie Sabel, former Legal Adviser to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs tells i24NEWS that the only other big Arab state that would foreseeably make peace with the Jewish State is Syria — though it’s unrealistic given the current state of affairs. Although there have been suggestions of behind the scenes cooperation between Riyadh and Jerusalem and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman’s in April giving unprecedented acknowledgement of Israel’s right to exist, Professor Sabel doesn’t believe Saudi Arabia would be the next Arab country to sign any peace treaty with Israel. ‘Saudi Arabia will work with Israel in the background but it will not make an open peace agreement with Israel until the Palestinian issue is solved,’ Professor Sabel told i24NEWS in an exclusive interview.