Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: March 27, 2019

What We’re Reading

US-Israeli/Palestinian relations

US envoy says Trump understands why Israel needs to hold West Bank,

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman warned American Jews on Tuesday that a future administration won’t understand Israel’s need to maintain security control over the West Bank, suggesting that US President Donald Trump won’t force Israel to relinquish the territory that Palestinians envision as their own in a future state.

Netanyahu Says Golan Heights Move ‘Proves You Can’ Keep Occupied Territory,

For decades, international law has held that territory seized in war must be returned. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel asserted Tuesday that this was no longer a given.

Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, Mike Pompeo tells AIPAC,

“This bigotry is taking on an insidious new form in the guise of ‘anti-Zionism,’” he said. “It has infested college campuses in the form of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement. It’s discussed in our media. It’s supported by certain members of Congress, I suspect none of whom are here tonight.”

AIPAC Is Losing Control of the Narrative on Israel,

Despite its bipartisan aspirations, AIPAC is unable to set a consensus D.C. policy conversation on Israel.

How One AIPAC Speech Exemplified the Democrats’ Israel Challenge,

“A House leader declared that he stands with Israel ‘unapologetically.’ A day later, he felt compelled to clarify a stray remark to avoid inflaming divisions in his caucus.”

The Democrats’ shift away from Israel,

A Quinnipiac University poll shows Democrats are newly split on their sympathies between the Israelis and the Palestinians. While 27 percent of Democrats said they sympathized more with the Israelis, 26 percent sided more with the Palestinians.

Opinion: What do Israeli and U.S. politics have in common? National identity crises.,

“[The U.S. and Israel share] intense political debates over national identity and demographics whose outcome will shape each land’s long-term future,” writes Henry Olsen.

Occupation/Human rights

House Democrats skeptical of Trump’s Golan Heights shake up,

President Donald Trump may have sparked vocal condemnations from world leaders on Monday when he officially recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, but another battle over the occupied territory is quietly shaping up on Capitol Hill.

Trump Trades Arab Lives for Netanyahu Votes,

“Trump’s latest move…appears designed to bolster Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of Israel’s elections on April 9 and entrench a ruling party whose policies aggravate the situation on the ground and work in direct opposition to long-held U.S. positions,” writes Laila Ujayli.

Palestinian volunteer medic killed by Israeli forces in Bethlehem,

Sajed Muzher, 18, was shot in the abdomen by Israeli forces while treating injured protesters in Dheisheh refugee camp.

Jordanian lawmakers urge canceling $10 billion natural gas deal with Israel,

House Speaker Atef Tarawneh claimed broad public opinion backed rejecting the deal with the “Zionist entity” and demanded it be “canceled at any cost.”

What We're Listening To

BDS: An In-Depth Conversation,

Watch J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami and Foundation for Middle East Peace President Lara Friedman in conversation with Todd Gitlin. They discuss what BDS is and isn’t — and offer strategies for responding to this very polarizing issue.