Top News from Israel & Palestine: June 7, 2021

What We’re Reading


Sheikh Jarrah expulsions likely after attorney general declines to intervene,

“Avichai Mandelblit informed Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday that he would not get involved, with officials in his office saying the case of the Palestinian families was too weak and that his legal opinion would be unable to prevent them from being removed…Mandelblit’s decision not to offer an opinion means the court will not be expected to wait on any more material before making its decision.”

Also See 

  • “Israel Won’t Intervene in Sheikh Jarrah Case, Making Eviction of Palestinian Families More Likely” (Haaretz)
  • “Tensions high again in east Jerusalem” (Al-Monitor)
  • “Attorney-General Mandelblit throws Sheikh Jarrah issue back to the court” (Jerusalem Post)
  • “In blow to Palestinian residents, AG won’t weigh in on Sheikh Jarrah evictions” (The Times of Israel)

Organizers Cancel Jerusalem March After Police Refuse to Let It Pass Through Muslim Quarter,

“Police assessed that the march’s route would need to be changed due to the risk of escalating tensions. Earlier Monday, the police held a meeting to assess the situation, in which intelligence showed that the consequences of the march could include renewed rocket fire on Israel and widespread riots in the Old City and on the Temple Mount…Hamas hailed the decision as a “new defeat for Israel” that solidifies “the equation that al-Quds [Jerualem] is a red line.”…Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the far-right Religious Zionism party and one of the march’s organizers, dubbed the decision a “shameful surrender to terrorism and to Hamas threats.” He slammed Israeli police for “not being able to protect those marching through the streets of Jerusalem with Israeli flags or the Jewish residents of Lod, Ramle and Acre,” naming mixed Arab-Jewish communities that experienced a wave of violent incidents…[Kahanist lawmaker] Ben-Gvir said he intends to “march the entire route” on Thursday anyway. Police plan to allow the lawmaker, who enjoys parliamentary immunity, to march alone and under heavy security.”

Also See

  • “Right-wing MKs plan Old City Muslim Quarter march as police turn to PM” (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israeli police cancels annual massive settler march in Jerusalem” (WAFA)

Israel's arrest of outspoken Jerusalem activists sparks outrage,

“The arrest and brief detention of Palestinian activists and writers Muna al-Kurd and Mohammed al-Kurd in Jerusalem on Sunday has sparked popular and international outrage.  The twins, who both face the threat of displacement from their family home, have become the voice of the online campaign to halt the imminent evictions of Palestinian residents from the flashpoint East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.  Videos posted by friends of the al-Kurds showed Muna being detained from her home in the presence of her father by armed Israeli police forces, while Mohammed showed up hours later at the local police station after receiving a summons warrant.  They were both released later that day…

With a collective social media following of over one million people, both Mohammed and Muna have established themselves as sources of evidence of Israeli aggression against Palestinians in Jerusalem. Many have noted how crucial Muna al-Kurd has been in sharing updates and information directly from Sheikh Jarrah and Jerusalem on her Instagram account which has so far amassed 1.3 million followers. Meanwhile, Mohammed has been active on his Twitter account, uploading videos and live updates from Jerusalem, all the while making appearances on international news outlets such as Middle East Eye, CNN, CBS News, and AJ+ for which he has been widely praised online.”

Also See

  • “Occupation forces detain prominent activist Muna al-Kurd in occupied Jerusalem” (WAFA)
  • “Police arrest Sheikh Jarrah activist twins, claiming they participated in riots” (The Times of Israel)
  • “Pair of Jerusalem activists freed after detention by Israel” (AP)
  • “Israel arrests Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd hours after brutally detaining Palestinian journalist from Sheikh Jarrah” (Mondoweiss)
  • “Police arrest ‘iconic’ twin Palestinian activists from Sheikh Jarrah” (Jerusalem Post)
  • “Palestinian Activist From Sheikh Jarrah Released From Police Custody” (Haaretz)

Israel releases Al Jazeera journalist after violent arrest,

“Al Jazeera correspondent Givara Budeiri has been released from custody after being violently arrested by Israeli police while covering a demonstration in occupied East Jerusalem. Edited by Seena Khalil.”

Also See

  • “Al Jazeera journalist leaves hospital day after Israeli arrest” (Al Jazeera)
  • “Ministry of Information condemns Israel’s detention of journalist Givara Budeiri” (WAFA)

Palestinian forced to self-demolish his home in occupied East Jerusalem,

“A Palestinian resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Jabal al-Mukaber was forced today to demolish his house with his own hands to avoid paying high costs and fines after he received demolition orders from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem, according to local sources. Palestinian resident Mohannad Basheer tore down his 150-square-meter house with his own hands to avoid paying exorbitant costs; amounting to over $18000, if the Jerusalem municipality carries out the demolition on its own. The demolition of the house resulted in the displacement of his family composed of five members.”

Jerusalem’s Batn al-Hawa could be next Sheikh Jarrah,

““We have deeds and we have been living in the neighborhood for more than 60 years,” Rajabi said, pointing out that the settlers’ association claims the land on which the houses are built belongs to Yemeni Jews who lived there in 1892. The local and international uproar over the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood gave Batn al-Hawa residents hope. Rajabi said, “What happened in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood generated solidarity and unity between the residents and the families of Jerusalem as a whole. We are trying to defend our homes by all possible means. This includes resorting to the Israeli judiciary, which we do not trust and which does not do us justice. But we have no other option.” He said the residents are also considering taking their case to the International Criminal Court.”

In Repression of Palestinian Assembly, Israel Instigates a Campaign of Collective Punishment in Jerusalem ,

“Jerusalem, the epicentre of the Palestinian struggle, continues to be targeted by an ongoing campaign of repression against Palestinians, including those exercising their right to freedom of assembly to demonstrate against the forcible displacement of Jerusalem communities, amounting to war crime and crimes against humanity. The IOF repressive campaign has been based on multiple arbitrary arrests, including of journalists in the course of their duty, the excessive recourse to force to repress peaceful assemblies, the denial of health services, and the facilitation of colonial settlers’ violent incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.”

The Israeli Scene

Israeli security chief issues rare warning over potential for Jan. 6-style mob violence ahead of Netanyahu departure,

“Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman said Saturday that the spike in vitriol targeting Netanyahu’s opponents online and in public demonstrations “may be interpreted by certain groups or individuals as one that allows for violent and illegal activities that may even, God forbid, become lethal.” He called on public officials to rein in the groups that have vowed to do “anything possible” to prevent the swearing in of a new power-sharing government that has been spearheaded by centrist politician Yair Lapid.”

Also See

  • “Israeli security chief warns of Jan. 6-type violence” (Axios)
  • “Israel Security Chief Warns Against Incitement of Conflict as Tensions Mount Before Key Vote” (New York Times)
  • “Shin Bet chief warns of violence as Netanyahu faces unseating” (Ynet)

Knesset Speaker Announces New Government, but Doesn't Set Date for Swearing-in,

“Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin formally announced he had been notified by Yair Lapid a new government had been agreed upon, informing lawmakers a confidence vote will be held by next Monday”

Netanyahu claims 'election fraud' as new government prepares to form,

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned what he branded the “biggest election fraud in the history of the country” as a group of opposition parties prepare to form a government to unseat the premiere. Speaking to a gathering of members of his Likud party on Sunday, he lashed out at his opponents, accusing them of trying to shut down right-wing politics in Israel. He described the new government, which is set to feature far-right lawmaker Naftali Bennett as its prime minister, as a “dangerous left-wing government” backed by “terror supporters” and said they would be incapable of standing up to Israel’s enemies.” Also See – “Echoing Trump, Netanyahu says election stolen, ‘deep state’ within new coalition” (The Times of Israel)

Herzog, Rivlin meet to begin presidential transition,

“[Rivlin and Herzog] enjoyed a fruitful discussion on issues that occupy the attention of the president, particularly healing rifts in Israel, escalating antisemitism in the world, defending Israel against allegations of war crimes and apartheid and more. It should be remembered that in 1975 Herzog’s father, as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, famously tore up the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism, thus emulating his own father, chief Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog who had in 1936, torn up the British Mandate White Paper that restricted Jewish emigration to what was then Palestine. The President-elect, in the face of mounting allegations against Israel, may find himself in the position of emulating both his father and his grandfather.”


Hamas releases audio allegedly of Israeli soldier it holds,

“Al Jazeera Arabic aired audio of an unidentified person who purported to be an Israeli soldier being held captive by Hamas’s armed branch, the al-Qassam Brigades. In the audio clip played on Sunday in an episode for the investigative series Tip of the Iceberg, the person said he “wonders if and hopes that Israel still exists. And if so, I wonder whether the leaders of the country think of its captured soldiers and are concerned with their release”. He added: “I die every day anew,” saying he hoped to be with his family soon. “Please help,” he pleaded. It was the first time the al-Qassam Brigades disclosed a recording of this kind.”

More on this story

  • “Hamas using ‘cheap manipulation’ with fake hostage video, Israel says” (Jerusalem Post)
  • “Mother of Israeli Held in Gaza Says Al Jazeera Recording ‘Is Not My Son'” (Haaretz)

UNRWA: Tunnels under Gaza school hit by Israel in last month’s conflict,

“According to the UN agency, after the fighting ended, investigators were sent to the school and discovered what appeared to be a tunnel underneath the compound. “A detailed assessment on 31 May 2021 revealed what appears to be a cavity and a possible tunnel, at the location of the missile strike. The depth of the cavity is approximately 7.5 meters below the surface of the school. UNRWA discovered the existence of a possible tunnel in the context of the investigation of the fired missiles,” the agency said. According to UNRWA, the tunnel did not appear to originate or end at the school, but instead passed underneath it.”

Tens of Israel's spy and attack drones invade Gaza skies,

“Palestinian resistance opened fire at tens of Israeli spy and attack drones after they invaded Gaza’s skies, downing two of them, Quds Press reported on Friday. Sources told Quds Press that the Israeli drones entered the skies of Gaza and hovered over the neighbourhoods of Al-Shejaia, Al-Zaytoun and Al-Sabra. According to the sources, the Palestinian resistance opened fire at the drones and downed two of them, while the resistance leadership ordered people to remain cautious, fearing possible Israeli plans to assassinate resistance leaders. Palestinians were ordered to close the windows of their homes for protection from the drones. The drones left the skies of Gaza after half an hour of flying.”

A new mental health crisis is raging in Gaza,

“The continuous bombardment and shelling that continued in different cities on different nights meant that no one really could feel any moment of safety. All of us had our nervous system at its very highest alarm level for more than 25 and up to 40 minutes. I can say that this is the most fearful experience that I have had throughout four large offensives over the years. This type of attack caused extreme fear to the two-million population, traumatizing almost everyone…We already see children presented with night terrors, and pains in their knees and abdomen, and parents report clinging sons and daughters. Men and women alike complain of joint pains, low back pain and difficulty in concentration. Many say that they are not sure if they are living a big dream or a reality. And the worst-affected people show severe psychological impact including dissociative symptoms. In any case, we are still in early days and we will need more time to have a better understanding of the impact.”

Hamas renews threats against Israel as Qatari aid to Gaza delayed,

“The Palestinian militant movement Hamas is threatening to renew fighting with Israel after Qatari relief aid to the Gaza Strip was held up by Israeli officials, Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar newspaper reported today…Both Qatar and Egypt have pledged $500 million each to Gaza so far. The Egyptian state-run press reported Friday that construction materials had already been sent to help rebuild the beleaguered enclave.”

After unending conflicts, Gazans wrestle with rebuilding — and whether it’s worth it,

““Everything you build here will be destroyed,” he said as he surveyed the pile of rubble that had been an apartment building he erected to house his many offspring as they grew up and got married. “Working, investing, getting money to help my children, and it all goes in one second.” Their homes were among nearly 2,100 rendered uninhabitable during the conflict, according to Hamas officials, who govern Gaza.”

Also See

  • “Gazan women turn to social media to promote home businesses” (Al-Monitor)
  • “For These Gazans, the War Is Not Over” (Haaretz)

Hamas, PA compete for Gaza reconstruction,

“A government source familiar with Shtayyeh’s visit to the Gulf states told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “The countries that Shtayyeh visited refused to send grants to the PA treasury for the reconstruction of Gaza.” The source explained that these countries suggested forming committees for each country, similar to Qatar’s Gaza Reconstruction Committee that has been working for years in the besieged enclave, or forming a Palestinian committee that includes the government, factions and civil society in order to send reconstruction funds to it. He said that the PA is disappointed by these countries’ refusal to send money. Hamas leader Yahya Moussa told Al-Monitor that the PA should not be unilaterally taking over the supervision of the Gaza reconstruction. “After the Israeli war on Gaza in 2014, the PA seized 50% of the donor funds that were allocated for the reconstruction of Gaza to support its government budget, of which nothing was spent on the Gaza Strip,” Moussa said. He explained that his movement supports the formation of a national committee that includes representatives from the government, the factions and civil society to oversee the reconstruction of Gaza.”

Hamas’ Bitcoin Bonanza: How Gaza Group Skirts Sanctions,

“The surge in donations highlight how Hamas has turned to cryptocurrencies to circumnavigate sanctions. “Our fundraising strategies keep on evolving as more restrictions are being placed on us,” the Hamas official told the financial daily.”

The West Bank

Palestinian mom fights to stave off punitive home demolition,

“Sanaa Shalaby says she had no idea what her estranged husband was up to until Israeli soldiers raided her home in the occupied West Bank last month. Now she’s waging a legal battle to prevent Israel from demolishing the two-story villa where she lives with her three youngest children. It’s drawing attention to Israel’s policy of punitive home demolitions, which rights groups view as collective punishment. Israeli security forces arrested her husband, Muntasser Shalaby, and accuse him of carrying out a May 2 drive-by shooting that killed an Israeli and wounded two others in the occupied West Bank. Israel says demolishing family homes is one of the only ways to deter attackers, who expect to be arrested or killed and who are often glorified by Palestinian factions…Sanaa and her husband had been estranged for nearly a decade. He lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he ran a profitable smoke shop and married three other women in private Muslim ceremonies not recognized by U.S. authorities. “It’s allowed in our religion,” Sanaa said. “I didn’t agree to it.” He came back to the West Bank in April for what she says was one of his yearly visits to see the children. He had also sought treatment for paranoia after having been institutionalized in the U.S. in recent years, according to a deposition he gave to her lawyer. Sanaa said she knew nothing about the attack and had no indication he was planning anything…

An Israeli official said the security agencies believe home demolitions are an effective deterrent. The official declined to comment on the Shalaby case, but said everyone is notified in advance and given the right to contest demolitions in court. Someone in Sanaa’s situation would have a “good legal case” if her account is independently verified, the official said.“There are clear checks and balances,” the official said. “We are using it only when we feel that it is necessary, and only because we understand that this is an effective deterrent.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss security procedures. HaMoked, an Israeli rights group that has represented dozens of families seeking to halt punitive demolitions and is currently representing Sanaa, says such petitions rarely succeed. Of 83 cases brought since 2014, only 10 demolitions were prevented, it said. In the remaining cases, homes were partially or completely demolished, or apartments in multi-story buildings were permanently sealed off.”

Palestinian Authority pays $42,000 to family of terrorist who killed 2 Israelis,

“The payments are the first high-profile payments to terrorist families since the Biden administration took office, despite claims that the Palestinians were willing to rethink the controversial policy as part of an effort to improve relations with Washington. Halabi killed two Israelis, Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi and Aharon Banita, and injured Banita’s wife, Adele, and their 2-year-old son in a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3, 2015.”

Israeli settlers raze historic neighborhood near al-Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron,

“Israeli settlers bulldozed today a historic neighborhood near the Ibrahimi Mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) in the Old City of Hebron, according to Tawfik Jahshan, head of the legal department of the Hebron Reconstruction Committee. He told Wafa that settlers, under the protection of the occupation army, began razing 400 square meters of land near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of Hebron, as part of the Judaization operations pursued by the occupation authorities in the Old City.”

Several injuries as Israeli settlers attack vehicle in northern West Bank,

“Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors Israeli colonial settlement activities in the northern West Bank, said that a group of stone-and-club-wielding settlers intercepted attacked a vehicle with a Palestinian registration plate transporting passengers from Burqa village, north of Nablus city, to Qalqiliya, inflicting moderate wounds on them. He added that two of the casualties were rushed to a nearby hospital for urgent treatment. The settlers came from Yitzhar, a colonial settlement notorious for its hardcore religious community.”

Israeli forces demolish 10 Palestinian-owned structures near Jericho,

“Israeli authorities demolished today 10 structures belonging to Palestinian residents in the al-Moarajat area to the north of the West Bank city of Jericho, said local activist Faris Ka’abneh. He told WAFA Israeli forces demolished 10 structures in Kaabneh, Bedouin site near Jericho, including sheds, animal barns, and four residential structures, citing unpermitted construction as a pretext. He said that Israeli forces seized all the properties of the demolished structures.”

Palestinian said shot, badly hurt in clash with Israeli troops,

“A young Palestinian was shot by Israeli troops and seriously injured during clashes north of Ramallah, Palestinian media reported. The military did not immediately comment on the matter. The cause of the clashes was not immediately clear. Media reports said the man had been shot in the head with live fire in the village of Nabi Saleh. He was taken to a Ramallah hospital.”

Palestinian village pays high price in defence of its land,

“Beita activists called on residents to fight the continuing takeover of their land on Mount Sabih by Israeli settlers, who are currently building an illegal settlement and threatening the livelihoods of at least 17 Palestinian families – more than 100 people – who depend on harvesting their olives on land they have owned for generations.”

Two Decades After Ramallah Lynching, Two Palestinians Involved Receive Harsher Sentences,

“An Israeli military court increased last week the sentences of two Palestinians convicted of participating in the West Bank mob that beat two Israeli soldiers to death and mutilated their bodies in 2000. The Ofer Military Court increased Yasser Hatab’s sentence from 40 years to two life terms, and Marwan Maadi’s from eight to 22 years. The initial court proceedings against the two were lengthy; at the end they were both convicted of less serious crimes than of which they were charged. The military prosecution appealed the ruling, further delaying a final verdict, which was only issued a few months ago. Following this, they were given new sentences.”

Palestinian Citizens of Israel

Three More Israelis Indicted in Violent Mob Attack on Arab Man, None Charged With Attempted Murder,

“Three more people were indicted on Monday in the violent mob attack on an Arab driver in Bat Yam last month that left him in serious condition. Six people have been indicted over alleged participation in the assault on Said Moussa, which involved over 20 people, according to a Haaretz investigation. The Tel Aviv District Prosecutor’s Office filed the indictments on Monday against three men, all Jewish: David Botayer, Shai Simhon, and Yaakov Cohen. Boyater was charged with an act of terror with intent to harm and theft with racist motives; Simhon with aggravated intent to harm and with intentionally causing damage to a vehicle; and Cohen with aggravated intent to harm. None of them were charged with attempted murder, for which they had been suspected.”

Israel to deploy more Border Police in mixed Arab-Jewish cities,

“Israel’s security cabinet on Friday approved a plan to reinforce numbers of Border Police in mixed Arab-Jewish cities for the coming three months, Israeli media reported. Israeli Public Security Minister Amir Ohana introduced the plan in the wake of protests waged by Arab citizens against the Israeli offensive on Gaza between 11 and 21 May, when Israel killed around 265 Palestinians, including 67 children and 40 women. The plan aims to deploy two more Border Police companies, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported, to serve in the mixed cities for up to three months. Haaretz reported that the additional Border Police would be brought to the mixed cities “for the good of safeguarding the public order” and to reinforce already existing police stations. The cost of the plan is around NIS100 million ($30 million).”

Israeli Police Allegedly Beat Arab Detainees in Nazareth During Gaza Escalation,

“The suspects, all of them Arabs, said police officers ordered them to sit on the floor with their heads bowed and proceeded to beat them with various objects. They allege that several of them were kept in handcuffs and denied medical treatment. A court has ordered several of the cases to be handed over to the police internal investigations unit after being shown images of bruises on the bodies of several of the detainees. On Monday, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, sent the unit eight affidavits from some of those arrested as well as lawyers and medics who said they witnessed the violence.”

Inside Israel’s largest crackdown on Palestinian citizens in decades,

“The police claim that the campaign’s goal is “to restore deterrence and increase governance in designated places in the State of Israel, along with maintaining the personal security of Israeli citizens.” But activists and lawyers say the operation is an attempt to suppress the current Palestinian uprising. Since early May, Israeli police have arrested more than 1,900 people across the country, and another 348 since the ceasefire in Gaza. According to human rights groups, those who have been arrested are overwhelmingly Palestinian, with the number of Jewish detainees not exceeding 10 percent. Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai decided to extend the operation for another week.”

Mixed views among Israeli-Arabs over Ra'am party joining coalition,

“But how is Abbas’ move to join the coalition received among the Arab public? Opinions vary. A senior figure in Ra’am clarified in conversation with Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “The responses [in the street] to the move are positive and give us credit, but this is the first step in a long journey to changing the reality that excludes us from the circle of influence.””

Mixed Cities Were Burning All Over Israel Last Month, but Not This One. Here's Why,

“Aside from a few minor incidents of vandalism, life continued as normal in the northern city of Nof Hagalil (formerly known as Upper Nazareth). Not even one Jewish-Arab clash was reported in this city of 42,000 residents. How did Nof Hagalil avoid getting swept into the violence that engulfed another half dozen mixed Jewish-Arab cities? The short answer is that municipal officials saw it coming and took preemptive action. A day before clashes broke out in Lod on May 10, Nof Hagalil Mayor Ronen Plot read some troubling posts by top social-media influencers in his city, both Jewish and Arab, and summoned them one by one to his office for what he describes as “frank, personal discussions.” “I explained to them why they needed to lower the flames and not make things worse,” he recounts. “At the same time, I published posts on my own personal Facebook page and sent text messages to residents urging tolerance at this critical moment.” Local police were stationed in every neighborhood, and municipal workers were asked to volunteer for patrol duty. Any suspicious gathering in the streets was immediately reported. Most importantly perhaps, barriers were erected at the entrance to the city to prevent troublemakers entering from outside. Indeed, several busloads of right-wing Jews, looking to stir up trouble in Nof Hagalil as they had in other mixed cities, were stopped in their tracks.”

The U.S. Scene

Biden said considering former ambassador to Israel for Mideast envoy,

“U.S. President Joe Biden is considering tapping former ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro as Mideast envoy, the Washington Post reported Friday.The potential new position would likely involve building on last year’s Abraham Accords, in which Israel normalized relations with four Arab countries — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. The Post report cited several sources familiar with the discussions who said that Shapiro had accepted an offer for the Mideast envoy role but that nothing had been finalized. The sources were anonymous as they did not have permission to speak about the potential hiring.”

Israel’s likely leadership change prompts a hasty rethinking in Washington,

“Bennett is hardly a dove — he opposes a fully independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and has advocated Israeli annexation of part of that occupied territory. But he would govern atop a hodgepodge of mostly centrists united around the premise that Netanyahu must go, and he is slated to cede the prime ministership in two years to the more moderate Yair Lapid…The deep policy splits between Bennett and Lapid, as well as the rest of their diverse coalition, mean the new government will probably be fragile and inward-focused, diplomats and analysts said. Bennett may have little interest in picking fights with Biden and appears eager to restore a more bipartisan framework, most agreed. “It’s going to be a government that’s in disagreement on everything — it’s going to be dysfunctional” and probably short-lived, said one diplomat who is watching the developments closely. “The main thing when it comes to the U.S. is to go back to the bipartisanship and not be purposely partisan like Netanyahu, not alienating,” said the diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter candidly. “Bennett, he understands that. He’s more pragmatic than people tend to think.” Cohen said the transfer of power clearly provides an opening. Asked whether the emerging government’s divisions will prevent it from agreeing on much beyond ousting Netanyahu, Cohen said that might be the case — but that it also might be enough. He added, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”” Also See – With new Israeli government, Democrats may seek ‘reset’” (Roll Call)

Evangelical ex-Trump Adviser Says Lapid-Bennett Bloc Seeks to 'Crucify' Netanyahu, Blames Jews for Holocaust,

“In a blog post on the Times of Israel news site, pastor Mike Evans, the founder of the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem, compared the recent Israeli election to a “political striptease show” and accused members of the anti-Netanyahu bloc of working to “destroy everything we evangelicals have sacrificed our lives to build.” “I will use every bit of my energy and power to destroy them before they destroy the nation,” Evans pledged, claiming that while God had chosen Netanyahu, he had not “heard God choose any of these fools.” “It’s an election to crucify a man they hate, and they’re willing to destroy the nation to do it,” he continued, threatening to mobilize “millions of evangelicals to join me in the fight.” Evans also appeared to blame Jews for the Holocaust, stating that he understood “German Jews were busy insulting each other, drunk on the wine of pride. They did not see the smoke of Auschwitz rising because they were more German than they were Jews.”

More on Evangelicals

Weaponizing Antisemitism to Quash Criticism of Israel

Switzerland adopts IHRA definition of antisemitism,

“The government of Switzerland has adopted the definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, making the Alpine nation the 36th country to do so. “This definition can serve as an additional guide for identifying antisemitic incidents within the framework of the various measures to combat antisemitism in Switzerland,” the Federal Council, the country’s highest executive authority, said in a statement Friday. The IHRA working definition describes various forms of antisemitism, including hatred and discrimination against Jews and Holocaust denial. It also lists examples of anti-Israel criticism that it says in certain context can be defined as antisemitic, including comparing the country’s policies to those of Nazi Germany, denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination and “applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.””

Analysis & Opinion

Israel’s Supreme Court could stop evictions of Palestinians,

“In the push and pull between the legal establishment and the political echelon, the politicians are winning, and it means innocent Palestinian families will lose. I want to put a stop to these laws. I know them well, and I also know that with the proper legal lens, the Supreme Court can stop the eviction of innocent families….There are various paths the court could follow. In 2015, the court set a precedent when it allowed a West Bank Palestinian to reclaim his property in Sheikh Jarrah and dismissed Jewish claims to that property. That ruling argued that Israeli authorities should avoid using this law except in the most exceptional circumstances. Striking down the law, despite the 1992 rule, would require a more creative legal lens, but that is not impossible. The Israeli Supreme Court has a duty to avoid using these laws. Israel’s Declaration of Independence contains a clause guaranteeing complete equality of social and political rights for all inhabitants, irrespective of religion, race or sex. That is the Israel I hope the Supreme Court lives up to.”

Why Gaza's future depends on elections, not Abbas,

“The US and its European partners will need to better navigate this increasingly complicated Palestinian political landscape. Returning PA governance to Gaza is a worthy goal. But this must be the product of a genuine process of Palestinian re-institutionalisation, reunification, and re-democratisation – that includes greater space for political contestation and harnesses youth-led activism. Tying Gaza’s recovery to an ageing and discredited Abbas, and doubling down on a broken and authoritarian system, will not contain Hamas (quite the opposite), and will not help Gazans.  US and European leaders continue to see a negotiated two-state solution as the best means of ensuring stainable peace. But there can be no shortcuts. Relaunching Palestinian elections is not only an important step towards a better future for Gaza, but also towards creating the conditions for meaningful peace negotiations in the future; albeit this will require international willingness to challenge Israeli policies.

The 'good Arab': An Israeli invention to control Palestinians,

“Indeed, the establishment is determined to maintain the “good Arab” as a means of suppressing Palestinian demands for rights and full equality. The establishment’s agents are many, and as such, national movements must confront these projects with unity, placing Palestinians and their land rights above any other considerations.”