News Nosh 01.04.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday January 4, 2017  
 
Quote of the day:
“An 18-year-old who enlists in the IDF isn’t everyone’s child, he isn’t a baby who was taken prisoner. He’s a fighter, he’s a soldier, he’s called on to put his life on the line.” 
--IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said in regards to those who defended Sgt. Elor Azariya, who is on trial for the killing of an incapacitated Palestinian assailant.**


Breaking News:
Guilty as Charged Israeli Soldier, Sgt. Elor Azariya, Convicted of Manslaughter for Lethal Shooting of Wounded Palestinian Assailant (Haaretz, Israel Hayom, Maan and Ynet)

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • This morning: Dramatic ruling in trial of the ‘Shooting Soldier’ – Elor Azariya: Judgment Day
  • The symbol and the Chief of Staff // Yossi Yehoshua 
  • Not a child. A soldier // Nahum Barnea
  • We all lost // Ben-Dror Yemini
  • The terrible truth // Ronen Bergman
  • Yes. They are children // Ariella Ringel-Hoffman
  • The damage report // Yoaz Hendel
  • Death of a hero - Major Hagai Ben-Ari, who was mortally wounded in Operation Protective Edge and stayed unconscious, passed away yesterday
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
 
  • The shooting and the ruling – Chief of Staff: “An 18-year-old man who joins the military is not the ‘child of all of us,’ he is a fighter”
  • Exceptional intervention by the Chief of Staff // Gen. (res.) Dan Biton
  • Eisenkot’s test of values // Yoav Limor 
  • The murder in Haifa: All aspects of the investigation are being probed
  • Netanyahu: “Years of persecution turned out to be nothing”
  • 2017 subsidized medicines: More than half the money goes to treating cancer
  • Major Hagai Ben-Ari of the Paratroopers Commando unit, who was mortally wounded in Operation Protective Edge, passed away
  • In the Senate: a new bill to move the US embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem
News Summary:
**Ahead of the verdict today in the manslaughter trial of Sgt. Elor Azariya, the ‘Shooting Soldier from Hebron, the IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot criticized efforts to present the defendant as 'everyone's child,’ sparking right-wing anger making today's top story. Yet most commentators agreed (see Commentary/Analysis below) that the battle over IDF values that began when Azariya extrajudicially killed Abdl Sharif Al-Fattah, an already wounded and incapacitated Palestinian assailant, would be decided with the verdict. Human Rights Watch released a report outlining how senior Israeli officials supported 'shoot-to-kill' policy against Palestinians. 
 
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to be questioned again under warning on Friday on graft suspicions and in his defense wrote on Facebook that “years of persecution of him ended up with nothing.”
 
Quick Hits:
  • Under right-wing pressure, senior Israeli justice official stripped of West Bank authority - Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber was lightning rod for settlers and the right wing. (Haaretz
  • Two Israeli police officers hurt in suspected West Bank car-ramming attack - Two Palestinian bikers also wounded after breaking through security checkpoint near the West Bank city of Jenin. (Haaretz
  • 2 Palestinian motorcyclists severely injured in accident at Israeli army checkpoint - Israeli media sites had initially reported the incident to be a deliberate vehicular attack, though Israeli authorities confirmed shortly after that it was an accident. (Maan)
  • Girl indicted for attempting to stab IDF soldier - During her questioning, the 17 year old said she regretted her stabbing was unsuccessful, presented her drawings illustrating her desire to stab an Israeli soldier. (Ynet and Maan)
  • NGO: Israeli military slow probing alleged troop violence - Advocacy group Yesh Din says that the IDF is not doing enough to investigate crimes committed by Israeli soldiers against Palestinians; report's release comes a day before verdict in Elor Azaria trial. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Israeli forces demolish homes, school in Bedouin village in the Jordan Valley - The village was demolished at least four times over the course of 2016, leaving scores of Bedouin Palestinians homeless, sparking condemnation from the United Nations, which warned that the village was at risk of “forcible transfer” by Israeli authorities. (Maan)
  • Knesset gives first nod to controversial so-called Facebook bill that would allow court to censor internet - If passed into law, legislation would permit court to order social networks to remove content that incites to violence from their sites. (Haaretz and Maan
  • In rare case, Palestinian citizen of Israel receives administrative detention order - Muhammad Khaled Ibrahim, 20, is reportedly a computer technician from the village of Kabul in the Galilee region of northern Israel. Ibrahim is one of only two Israeli citizens held under the policy. Administrative detention is almost exclusively used against Palestinians. (Maan
  • Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike to protest renewed administrative detention - Muhammad Nasser Alaqma, a 27-year-old father of two and a resident of village of Bartaa, near Jenin, has been on hunger strike for eight days to protest the renewal of his administrative detention. He was initially detained by Israeli forces at a checkpoint in August, and later sentenced to four months in administrative detention -- internment without trial or charges. (Maan)
  • Israeli navy fires warning shots at Gaza fishermen - Fishermen said that that Israeli forces fired warning shots at them while they were fishing off the coast of al-Waha, northwest of Gaza City. No injuries were reported. (Maan)
  • Israel erased in UN schools - UN-run schools in the West Bank and Gaza use textbooks which negate the existence of Israel; teach Western Wall, Cave of the Patriarchs are exclusively Muslim holy sites which the Jews strive to occupy; stamps from the British Mandate period are doctored to remove the Hebrew. (Ynet
  • JNF Chairman Accused of Aiding Workplace Electioneering by Staff - Danny Atar reportedly requested that staff make campaign calls for the candidate he supports to 2,200 members of the Labor Party central committee at the JNF’s expense. (Haaretz+)
  • Abbas doesn't expect Trump will move U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, threatens response if he does - Palestinian president tells Israelis he intends to attend peace conference in Paris, which Netanyahu is boycotting. Netanyahu to ambassadors: Prevent another UN resolution. (Haaretz+) 
  • U.S. election caused new high in anti-Semitism on social media in 2016, watchdog says - Israeli watchdog releases figures showing jump in anti-Semitic incidents online, especially on Twitter. (Haaretz+)
  • Islamic guards try to boot guide for saying ‘Temple Mount’ on Temple Mount - Waqf officials haul Israeli archaeologist in front of Israeli police for not using term ‘Haram al-Sharif’ during historical tour of site; police advise him to refrain from saying ‘Temple Mount’ for rest of visit. (Times of Israel
  • Thousands attend funeral of Israeli killed in Turkey New Year's attack - Turnout (of Arab Israelis) at Leanne Nasser's funeral was protest against religious Arab circles' criticism of her desire to celebrate New Year's Eve. Ex-MK: 'This ISIS-ism must be uprooted.' (Haaretz+ and Maan
  • Paratroopers’ officer critically wounded in Protective Edge passes away - Maj. Hagai Ben-Ari, a highly-regarded officer who was supposed to be appointed commander of the Paratrooper Commando Unit, suffered a brain injury from a sniper bullet in Gaza. Over two years later, he succumbed to his wounds. (Yedioth/Ynet
  • Israeli supermarket takes down sign requiring modest dress - Israel Religious Action Center filed a complaint over the sign; supermarket responds that demand for modest dress for entry will be replaced with a request. (Haaretz+) 
  • Venezuelan Jews Barred by Israel From Immigrating to Israel Because 'They Don't Belong to a Jewish Community' - Despite evidence, Ministry of Interior claims applicants – suffering from shortages in food and medication – haven’t been engaged enough in Jewish life. (Haaretz+) 
  • Jewish Leaders to Israel: Don’t Reject Venezuelan Converts - Jewish Agency head Sharansky considers intervening on would-be immigrants' behalf. (Haaretz+) 
  • Hollywood stars welcome new year in Israel - Ministry for Public Diplomacy together with America's Voices in Israel bring stars from The Walking Dead, Dexter, Lost and Hawaii Five-0 to country; Sonequa Martin-Green: 'After this trip, I will bring back home the necessity of embracing other cultures.' (Ynet
  • Palestinians face budget cuts after sharp fall in foreign funding - As the Saudis withhold funding due to falling oil prices and the US and EU reduce monetary support, the Palestinian Authority is set to face a NIS 4.12 billion shortfall. (Agencies, Ynet)


Features:
Will Hebrew be taught in the Arab world?
An unusual conference held in Amman brought professors from four countries to discuss a particular topic—teaching Hebrew to students at universities from Saudi Arabia to Egypt; speakers say Israelis know more about Arabs than the Arabs know about Israel and Jews. (Roi Kais, Ynet
The Strange Case of a Nazi Who Became an Israeli Hitman
Otto Skorzeny, one of the Mossad’s most valuable assets, was a former lieutenant colonel in Nazi Germany’s Waffen-SS and one of Adolf Hitler’s favorites. (The Forward and Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, Haaretz
Report ignored by state could grant Darfur refugees legal status in Israel
A legal opinion issued two years ago stating that any former Darfur resident from a non-Arab tribe is automatically entitled to political asylum in Israel has allegedly been concealed from the courts by the Population and Immigration Authority. Now that the recommendation has been revealed, it can be used by thousands of Darfur refugees to try to gain legal recognition. (Yehuda Shohat, Yedioth’s ’24 Hours’ supplement and Ynet)

Commentary/Analysis:
Netanyahu investigation: Why 'friendship' as a line of defense will not be enough (Ido Baum, Haaretz+) As police investigate the prime minister over alleged gifts, explanations of 'friendly relationships' will not save him.
The Azariya trial: In the courtroom, a battle takes place over the values of the IDF (Yossi Melman, Maariv) The Chief of Staff Eizenkot and the top command blocked any attempt by some right-wing factions to change the norms and ethics of the army. If Azariya is convicted, the public discourse regarding his case will dissipate within a few days. The IDF and its officers will internalize the meaning and lessons about the line between what is permissible and what is forbidden (if some of them have not done so already). But even if acquitted, one must hope that the case will remain an isolated case and not become a role model that will contaminate the IDF. Even if that does not happen, there are still in the army and outside of it enough honest and faithful people to continue to try and prevent the evil spirit, which is passing over part of civil society, to penetrate the ranks of the army so that it won’t turn into armed gangs, which the former defense minister, Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon warned against.
Don’t Annex Ma’aleh Adumim (Haaretz Editorial) Would people support annexation if they knew it could lead to severe sanctions against Israel? Or to an intifada? 
The Invoice That Is the Mother of All Corruption (Raviv Drucker, Haaretz+) The invoice from 2004 and addressed to Ron Lauder's investment firm's president is for the payment of expenses incurred by Ron Dermer, now Israel’s ambassador to the United States, and 'S.N.' (Sara Netanyahu). 
Palestinian Time in Israeli Hands (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Hours a day, every day, at every gate in the separation ​fence, at every checkpoint, at every vehicle inspection post, Palestinians' lives come to a halt as they wait for armed Israeli soldiers to let them go past.
Take an amendment: there is no integrity in the holding of a court-martial for the cameras B'Tselem (Nadav Haetzni, Maariv) The affair of the ‘Shooting Soldier’ illustrates the loss of leadership among the top brass of the IDF and the Defense Ministry alongside disturbing practices in the military justice system. You can roll your eyes to the sky and hold on to the desire impart purity of arms, but there is no purity in holding a court-martial for the soldier before a fair trial was conducted for him. It seems that the IDF spokesman and the military prosecutor's office, being led from above, tried and convicted Elor Azariya publicly before the IDF investigation ended. It was all directed towards CNN and the sponsors of B’Tselem and not for any noble purpose. With the verdict this distortion needs to be corrected. 
Why Is Trump Toadying to Putin? (Nitzan Horowitz, Haaretz+) The members of the new Trump administration despise liberal democracy and aspire to imitate Vladimir Putin’s governmental model. 
A new balance of world order (Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, Israel Hayom) Donald Trump may try to bring back to life the vision articulated in the 1945 Yalta Conference: two superpowers working in harmony to maintain order.
Illusion of morality: We have lost the ability to investigate and make judgments (Lilach Sigan, Maariv) Despite what it appears in the case of the ‘Shooting soldier from Hebron,’ the two camps - left and right - abandoned justice in favor of shaming, incitement and fighting each other to a pulp.
Occupy the West Bank, Don’t Annex It (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Israel's annexation of the Palestinians wouldn’t end the occupation, it would merely dress it up in enlightened, humanitarian and conscience-cleansing garb.
The Israeli Left Should Endorse Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem (Don Futterman, Haaretz+) Why should we allow right wingers to claim only they care about Jerusalem’s place in Jewish history and identity? 
Patience is a virtue (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) Those who celebrated the now-dismissed allegations against the prime minister are unlikely to do any soul-searching regarding their contribution to the erosion of public faith in the media.
Netanyahu Only Looks Impregnable: His End Is Nigh (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Benjamin Netanyahu looks as entrenched as ever, but so did Winston Churchill, in 1945 – only to be booted out office just when he seemed invulnerable.
 
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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