News Nosh 2.14.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Quote of the Day #1:
"Unlike what part of the public may think, this wasn’t a happy evening. There is no malicious joy when it concerns your prime minister, and in my case and my colleagues’ case, our publisher too. It’s a difficult moment for Israel’s citizens, and a difficult moment for us, Yedioth Ahronoth journalists. Bribery is a serious offense, and no one likes to hear that such serious suspicions are threatening the integrity of their home. I believe that even those who have been writing against the Netanyahu government for years and warning of corruption would rather see him step down in a dignified and quiet manner. But there will be no dignity and definitely no calm here."
--Senior Yedioth political commentator Sima Kadmon writes that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is on his way out.*

Quote of the Day #2:
"A forest of clouds will escort Netanyahu at every step...At every place, in every diplomatic move and military campaign in which he will need to contend, there will be a doubt as to whether Netanyahu is doing it out of substantive reasons, as he says, or because of the police suspicions. That is the main problem with which Netanyahu will need to deal - the moral clarity of his continued role."
--Maariv commentator and Channel 2 political analyst, Udi Segal, writes about the effect of the suspicions against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.**
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From Peace Now's Settlement Watch:

Today, 12 February, the Settlement Subcommittee of the Higher Planning Committee of the Civil Administration convened to discuss a series of new plans in the settlements. Among other things, the committee approved the establishment of a new, “temporary” settlement for the evacuees of Nativ Ha’Avot. The committee also  approved 68 new housing units in the settlement of Elazar, the construction of a hotel in the Jordan Valley with 120 rooms next to a motor park and Tourist Area, and the construction of a cemetery near an industrial zone planned for the construction south of Qalqiliya. A further plan for an educational campus in the illegal outpost of Mitzpe Danny was discussed but the subcommittee has postponed its decision to a later date.

Peace Now: “The government is building new settlement areas under the guise of “insignificant” plans that will not include housing units. This is an old trick used to establish new settlements without calling them that by name. All of these plans—the construction of a hotel and tourist complex in the Jordan Valley, an educational campus in an illegal outpost, and even a cemetery as the first stage in the construction of a new industrial zone—in actuality create new settlements. The Netanyahu government has lost all the brakes on the road to de facto annexation of the West Bank, and it continues to distance Israel from the prospects for peace and the two-state solution.”
 
Details:
Some of the programs that appear on the committee’s agenda are plans for small changes in old plans without the addition of housing units; however, there are other politically significant plans that will create new settlement areas, as enumerated below. These additional plans blatantly contradict the declared policy of the Netanyahu government itself, which committed to limiting construction to the “built-up area” within settlements, and to holding hearings on plans for new housing units only four times per year (the previous hearing was just last month, on 10 January 2018):
 
1. Plan No. 404/1/6/5 (approved for validation) – a plan for the construction of 68 new housing units in the Elazar settlement near Bethlehem. The plan was approved for deposit on 17 January and was today approved for validation. It should be noted that the land concerning this plan was once privately owned by Palestinians but was seized for military use in the 1970s and now is being used for civilian settlement.
 
2. Plan No. 405/11 (Part 91) (approved for validation) – the establishment of a new, “temporary” settlement for the families whose homes are slated to be demolished in the Nativ Ha’Avot outpost according to the High Court of Justice’s 2016 ruling. The plan was approved for deposit on 17 October 2017 and was deposited for objections one month later. Last week, the subcommittee for objections within the Higher Planning Committee discussed the objections that had been submitted by Palestinian landowners from Al-Khader and Peace Now. Following these objections, the subcommittee decided to reduce the number of housing units from 17 to 15, but chose to reject the objections and to recommend approval of the plan. In the hearing today, the committee approved the establishment of the settlement, even though the subcommittee for objections admits that the plan is not appropriate, as it explains: “Although the professional authorities do not dispute that from a planning point of view, this is an unusual plan.”

To read the Peace Now objection, click here.

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Press Release: APN Exhorts Trump Administration to Shut Down Israeli Moves toward Annexation

Americans for Peace Now (APN) exhorts the Trump Administration to make clear to the Israeli government, in the strongest possible terms, that annexation of any portion of the West Bank is completely unacceptable to the United States. 

According to comments made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday, his government has been engaged in discussions with the Trump Administration “for some time now” regarding annexation. This marks the first time Netanyahu has indicated his support for settlement annexation. His statement appears to have caught the White House by surprise and elicited a denial from an administration spokesman that the US had discussed an annexation proposal with Israel. While an Israeli official agreed that the US had not given its approval to any of the various annexation bills up for consideration by the Knesset, that official clarified that Israel has kept the White House briefed on the Knesset bills.

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News Nosh 2.13.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Quote of the day:
"It’s never obvious to receive a prize, especially such a prestigious prize, and particularly not in the atmosphere that prevails here.”
--Renowned left-wing Israeli author, David Grossman, told Yedioth after receiving the Israel Prize for Literature.

You Must Be Kidding: 
"Did he hope that the Americans would wipe the spit from their faces and move on?"
—Senior Maariv political analyst Ben Caspit examined Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s statement yesterday that Israel was in talks with the US about Israeli annexation of settlements - which the White House flatly denied as ‘false.’**
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Hard Questions, Tough Answers (2.12.18) - Saturday’s fighting on Israel’s northern front

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Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst. He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, a former senior official with the Mossad, and a former IDF intelligence officer. Views and positions expressed here are those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent APN's views and policy positions.

This week, Alpher discusses whether we are on the verge of Israel's "first northern war"; what happened on Saturday; why this is a preview and a catalyst; whether there are potentially mitigating factors and actors; Israel's ongoing disputes with Lebanon that could escalate; where the US fits in; Secretary of State Tillerson and National Security Adviser McMaster's upcoming trip to the region; and the looming threat of indictment for corruption influencing Netanyahu’s behavior toward the growing threats from Israel’s north.

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News Nosh 2.12.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday February 12, 2018
 
You Must Be Kidding: 
Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev is pressuring the Foreign Ministry to withdraw its support from the Israeli Film Festival in Paris in May because it is expected to screen the Israeli film “Foxtrot," which she doesn't like.**
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Have you seen the video?

With over $3,000 raised so far to help the Shamasneh family, it's been an uplifting start to APN's Shelter for the Shamasnehs crowdfunding campaign - thanks to supporters like you.

Watch the video below to learn more about the Shamasneh family and the ongoing, settler-led evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

Shamasneh video
Click to watch video

Now, help APN and Peace Now give the Shamasneh family a new home.

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News Nosh 2.11.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday February 11, 2018
 
Quote of the day:
"(Settlements) complicate the task of making peace."
--US President Donald Trump admits in an interview with 'Israel Hayom.'*
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Legislative Round-Up - February 9, 2018

Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived

  1. Bills & Resolutions
  2. Hearings
  3.  On the Record
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News Nosh 2.9.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday February 9, 2018
 
Number of the day:
102.
--Number of US Congress members who urged US President Donald Trump not to slash funds to the UN Palestinian Aid Agency, URNWA.
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