News Nosh 01.08.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday January 8, 2017  
 
Quote of the day:
“Gaza is cloaked in desperation. You feel it the minute you cross the border. It’s like traveling to another world. Already at the crossing you see seriously ill people, mainly cancer patients, waiting in line in a hall. They are hoping for some compassion and permission to cross the border and receive some treatment. You go by car and see ruins, thousands of destroyed houses, factories in ruin, sewage flowing through the streets.”
--Salah Haj Yahya, an Arab Israeli who leads delegations from  Israeli NGO 'Physicians for Human Rights' to the Gaza Strip. *


Breaking News:
4 Israelis, likely all soldiers, killed in suspected truck ramming attack in E. Jerusalem
Truck veered off course and sped towards a group of soldiers getting off a bus for a tour at the Armon Hanatziv promenade, which is over the Green Line. Some civilians were present, 15 people were wounded, mostly soldiers. Three were caught under the truck and rescued by firefighters. The alleged Palestinian attacker, who was from the adjacent E. Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukaber, was shot dead by soldiers. (Haaretz, Ynet, Ynet Hebrew, Nana Hebrew, MaarivChannel 10 video and Israel Hayom)

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Behind you, Gadi (Eisenkot) – Special: The (former) chiefs of staff in a show of support for Eisenkot – Gantz, Ashkenazi, Mofaz, Halutz, Yaalon in joint photo at Yedioth; Also, Barak, who was abroad
  • Thousands at rally of Ziv Shilon against the incitement
  • Not just over the cigar // Nahum Barnea on investigations of Netanyahu
  • Severe affair is shaking up large security institution
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • The military prosecution: “Agreed upon punishment” – The Azariya trial: There was no plea bargain at the trial, will there be an agreement on the sentence?
  • Congress: “Cancel the UN resolution”
  • (Netanyahu’s lawyer) Weinroth: “There is no criminal act in presents”
  • Pride: Israel in 8th place in recommended tourism destinations for 2017
  • The next storm: Government expected to discuss today opening supermarkets on Shabbat in Tel-Aviv
  • Likely: Chief of Staff will approve for officers and non-commissioned officers to refuse to serve in mixed gender battalions

News Summary:
The support for the IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and against the incitement against him and the military judges of the Elor Azariya case and the investigations against Prime Minister Binyain Netanyahu were today’s top stories.

After former chief of staff Benny Gantz and dozens of reservist battalion commanders sent letters last week in support of the IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, following incitement against him due to the conviction of Sgt. Elor Azaria, Yedioth brought together fiive former IDF chiefs who expressed support for Eisenkot, who gave a joint interview at the Yedioth publishing house. On Saturday, a Jerusalem man was arrested on suspicion of incitement against Eisenkot. and on Saturday night, thousands rallied in Tel Aviv against such incitement and for national unity as the country divided between those who supported the sergeant who executed a wounded and incapacitated Palestinian assailant and those who saw his act as a failure of purity of arms. Maariv reported that the debate over the conviction reached the classroom of the daughter of Military Judge Maya Heller, who presided over the trial. Children wrote on her daughter’s notebook: "Azariya is a hero.” In strongly-worded statement the U.S.-based ADL said, “We harshly condemn the recent incitement against Israeli authorities.” 
 
Even Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who before he joined the government was a supporter of Azariya, told government ministers to ‘shut up’  about the conviction, coming appeal and eventual sentencing of Azariya. Yet his Deputy, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan,  proposed a bill to give soldiers immunity for their actions in operational events. (Also Maariv.) Former High Court chief justice Dorit Beinisch said in an interview with Channel 2 News that "an evil wind is blowing from the Israeli leadership…The frameworks that are the very basis for our existence as a society have been broken and I am very worried." And on Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s attempt to involve politicians in choosing judges, she said: "It’s the end of democracy." (Maariv) Maariv and Maan reported that the Palestinian man from Hebron, Imad Abu-Shamsiyeh, who caught on film Sgt. Elor Azariya executing the Palestinian assailant Abdul Fattah Al-Sharif, said that settlers tried to break into his home and have tried to hurt him. After Israeli soldiers prevented them from doing so, they began throwing stones at the house.
 
Maariv ran a feature looking at other cases in the world, such as US soldiers in Abu Ghraib in Iraq, where violations by soldiers of the values of purity of arms sparked a debate about the character of the military.
  
Haaretz+ scooped the other big story about the investigations into Netanyahu when it reported that in the second more serious and still unrevealed case, known as ‘Case 2000,’ that Netanyahu was caught on tape negotiating an exchange of mutual benefits with a businessman. (Ynet reported on the Haaretz+ report here.)

In the less severe case involving Israeli producer in Hollywood, Arnon Milchan, Channel 10 reported that Netanyahu spoke to John Kerry on behalf of Milchan who allegedly gave Netanyahu gifts in return. Netanyahu’s lawyer said Friday there was nothing wrong with receiving gifts. Interestingly, Yedioth reported that Israeli filmmaker Dvorit Shargal wrote on Facebook that she was given a very hard time when she asked to send a copy of her documentary film, ‘Where is Ella-Kerry and what happened to Noriko-san?’ to the Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife. “They explained to me, the people who worked in his offices, that it is prohibited for the couple to receive any gift from anyone at all. There are difficult guidelines,…and only after a thorough security and administrative check they might receive the present and they will also have to leave it behind after their term in a crate of presents at the Prime Minister’s Residence.”

The opposition drew parallels to convicted prime minister Ehud Olmert and urged Netanyahu to suspend himself. Indeed, the issue of his replacement has already become a subject of discussion. Channel 2 took a poll asking who was best suited to replace Netanyahu as prime minister. Within the government, far right-wing Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) led, but in terms of all Israeli politicians, Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid led. (Maariv) Moreover, Channel 2 News reported that Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon spoke with President Reuven Rivlin about the feasibility of establishing an alternative government with the Zionist Camp if Netanyahu is forced to resign. Kahlon denied the report. (Maariv)
 
Quick Hits: 
  • U.S. House votes to condemn UN over Israel, but two-state solution clause irks hardliners - Netanyahu welcomes the resolution, which enjoyed bipartisan support, and calls on Obama to prevent any additional international moves.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Thursday a bipartisan resolution condemning United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, passed late last month, which harshly criticized Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu thanks US House for vote to rebuke UN - In a video message posted to social media, the prime minister thanked the House of Representatives and America as a whole for the lower house's bipartisan measure that rebukes the United Nations for its recent resolution condemning Jewish settlements. (Ynet
  • Israel halts $6 million to UN to protest settlements vote - Jewish state announced Friday that it is cutting $6 million, which is allocated 'to anti-Israel bodies,' such as UNRWA, from its $40 million of regular contributions. (Ynet
  • Kerry says US embassy relocation would cause 'explosion in the region' - Speaking to CBS News, the outgoing US secretary of state repeats his insistence that his country remain involved in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the goal of which must remain two states; he emphasizes the demographic incongruity with a Jewish and democratic unitary state; President-elect Donald Trump's plan to relocate the embassy would damage existing peace accords, Kerry warns. (Ynet and Haaretz
  • Palestinians to Trump: moving embassy to Jerusalem equals declaration of war - A close aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calls Trump's stated intention to move the US Embassy to the Israeli capital 'a declaration of war on Muslims', as another official threatens to call on Arab, Muslim countries to remove embassies from Washington. (Ynet)
  • Jordan says Thursday that moving US Embassy to Jerusalem is 'red line' - The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has announced that the US moving its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem would constitute a 'red line,' affect security cooperation; various UN resolutions have ignored the Jewish connection to Jerusalem. (Ynet)
  • French grocery store labels Israeli products as 'settlement produce' - Coming two months after a French government initiative to label Israeli products from WB, E. J'lem, Golan as "settlement products," Paris grocery store labels Israeli products in this manner for the first time. (Yedioth/Ynet)
     
  • Top U.S. Academic Group Rejects Motion for Boycott of Israel - A majority of members of the US based Modern Language Association voted to reject a proposal to boycott Israel (113 to 79), and accepted a proposal to reject any and all academic boycotts. Decision in favor of boycott could have dealt blow to some Israeli academics, students across U.S. and to cooperation with Israeli institutions. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • John Oliver Cancels Trip to Israel - The comedian, who was due to participate in the inauguration of HBO programming through Israel's Hot cable TV provider, cited unforeseen production obligations. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian lands in southern Gaza - Witnesses told Ma’an in Gaza City that Israeli soldiers stationed in military posts across the border fence east of the village of Khuzaa fired live ammunition intermittently at Palestinian fields. No injuries were reported. (Maan)
  • Gaza fisherman goes missing after encounter with Israeli navy - An Israeli navy ship attacked and sunk a boat belonging to Muhammad al-Hissi, 33, at around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday off the coast of Beit Lahiya, and al-Hissi went missing shortly afterwards. (Maan
  • Gaza fishermen announce 2-day protest in wake of missing fisherman - Gazan fishermen will suspend their work off the coast of the Gaza Strip starting Friday in condemnation of Thursday’s “crime” that caused Gaza fisherman Muhammad Ahmad al-Hassi, 33, to go missing. The fishermen also set up a sit-in tent in protest of “continuous Israeli violations against them.” (Maan
  • As search for missing fisherman in Gaza continues, family announces his death - Locals told Ma’an at the time of the incident that Israeli forces purposely attacked and sunk al-Hassi’s boat. Palestinian authorities, reportedly with the help of Israeli authorities, launched a search of the 33-year-old’s body that was still ongoing as of Thursday. (Maan)
  • Gaza cancer patients: Israel's refusal to let us in for treatment is a 'death sentence' - 'Premeditated death sentence,' is what Gazan patients are calling Israel’s travel ban and delays that prevent them for accessing medical treatment in Israel and the West Bank. (Haaretz+ and Maariv, p. 11)
  • Gaza residents face a cold winter with more than 12 hours of power cuts per day - The statement added that out of the 600 megawatts of power needed in the besieged enclave, less than 150 megawatts are available. (Maan)
  • With Only Three Hours of Electricity a Day, Gaza Is 'On Verge of Explosion' - Palestinians in Hamas-controlled Strip are used to meager power, but with freezing weather and fuel shortages, electricity crisis is fomenting rising unrest, with fingers pointed at Palestinian leadership. (Haaretz+)
  • MasterChef Celebrity Winner Kal Penn Donates Proceeds to Palestinian Refugees - Kal Penn, of ABC's Designated Survivor, gives $25,000 to UNRWA USA. 'I'm thrilled to be helping UNRWA do its critical work in Gaza and Syria,' he said. (Haaretz
  • 'Oron may not be everyone's child, but we must bring him home,' says mother of fallen soldier (whose body is in Gaza) - In ceremony marking 23rd birthday of Sgt. Oron Shaul, who was killed during Protective Edge and whose body was snatched by Hamas, his mother Zehava raises possibility he might still be alive: 'Are you warm, are you cold, are you eating, are you drinking, do you have comfortable sleeping conditions? All of this bothers me, every day all day.' (Ynet
  • Office of New Zealand foreign minister vandalized with 'Jew hater' graffiti - The outside wall of Murray McCully’s office was sprayed with the words 'traitor Jew hater McCully,' apparently over his vote for a UN resolution criticizing Israeli settlements. (JTA, Haaretz
  • Ultra-Orthodox man stabs Bedouin man and escapes - Bedouin junk peddler says ultra-Orthodox Jew attacked him in Ashdod after hearing him speaking in Arabic; he was lightly wounded in his hand; police searching for suspect; incident initially thought nationalistically-motivated, but now appears criminal in nature. (Ynet and Maan)
  • Bedouin man arrested after snatching weapon from security guard in Be'er Sheva - In suspected nationalistically-motivated attack, man in his 20’s assaults guard Thursday, steals his weapon and flees the scene; police detectives in civilian clothes noticed a man walking fast and ask him to stop. When he tried to escape, they catch him, finding the gun hidden on his person with blood stains. (Ynet)
  • Following 8 months house arrest, Palestinian woman sentenced to prison for 'incitement' - Sahar Al-Natsheh, 48, told Ma’an that Israeli authorities accused her of incitement through social media for posting pictures of slain Palestinians, writing “inciting captions,” and posting the will of slain Palestinian attacker Bahaa Elayyan. She said she was held in solitary confinement for 11 days. “I went through very tough circumstances, I didn’t drink water for two days…” (Maan
  • Hamas slams Facebook over blocking dozens of accounts supporting the movement - Husam Badran, a Hamas spokesman, said in a statement that Facebook had closed more than 90 pages supporting Hamas, in addition to 30 personal accounts affiliated with the movement. (Maan)
  • Joint funeral held in Hebron for 2 Palestinians after bodies released by Israel - The bodies of 15-year-old Muhammad al-Rajabi and 25-year-old Hatim Shaludi were held for almost four months by the Israeli state. (Maan
  • Israeli forces disperse protest in Qalqiliya against construction of new settler road - Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces were deployed heavily on highway 55, a settler bypass road already constructed nearby the villages of Azzun, Izbat al-Tabib, and Nabi Ilias, and prevented Palestinian demonstrators from crowding near the highway. (Maan
  • Police recommend closing Hebron document forgery investigation - Settlers paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for property • Palestinian family claims deed for property expired before settlers' purchase • Two houses near Cave of the Patriarchs remain abandoned • Minister Erdan: I hope houses will be occupied soon. (Israel Hayom)
  • PA claims Israeli forces open fire at Palestinian deputy minister’s car - The Palestinian Ministry of Health said Israeli soldiers deliberately opened fire at Palestinian Deputy Minister of Health Asaad al-Ramlawi’s car in the West Bank, adding that the front windshield of his vehicle was damaged, but that the deputy minister was not injured. The IDF Spokesman said no Israeli forces were in the area at the time. (Maan
  • Israeli forces suppress protest against settlement expansion in Jordan Valley - Ahmad Said, the deputy governor of Tubas, told Ma’an that tens of protesters had installed a tent in an area of the northern Jordan Valley to protest against Israel’s expanding illegal settlements. However, Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters at the demonstrators, causing three to suffer tear gas inhalation. Said added that Israeli forces also assaulted a crew of Palestinian journalists, causing injuries among them. (Maan
  • Israeli settlers raid Palestinian village to pray at holy site, spark clashes - Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the incident, saying that overnight “several Israeli worshipers illegally entered Kifl Haris village to visit the tomb of Joshua” and that Israel forces removed them and took them to Israeli police for questioning.” (Maan
  • First Week of 2017: Israel Demolishes Homes of 151 Palestinians, Almost Four Times Last Year's Average - The IDF's Civil Administration is carrying out Netanyahu’s vow to demolish the homes of Arabs with a vengeance. (Haaretz+) 
  • IDF spokesman promoted to Personnel Directorate commander - Moti Almoz promoted to major general, commander of IDF Personnel Directorate • Almoz replaces Maj. Gen. Topolansky, who resigned after a military laptop was stolen from his home • Convicted Hebron shooter's former battalion commander also promoted. (Israel Hayom
  • MK's salaries rise 33% in a decade - The salaries of the president, judges and MKs, linked to the average wage, increases by 2.2% this year; government ministers' salaries, linked to the CPI, won't change. (Yedioth/Ynet
  • Court orders suspect in deadly Haifa shooting remanded in custody for 10 days - Suspect surrendered to police on Thursday, two days after fatal shooting of minibus driver and wounding of rabbinical judge. Suspect's lawyer says doesn't understand why police investigating shooting as politically motivated. (Haaretz
  • Israel harnessing sunshine with world's tallest solar tower - New solar tower project in the Negev is set to supply 5 percent of Israelis with power; while Israel has abundant sunshine, government bureaucracy has hampered solar energy progress. (Agencies, Ynet)  
  • Israeli Blogger Feared Soon to Be Extradited From Belarus to Azerbaijan - Family of Alexander Lapshin, who wrote critically of Azerbaijan and its president, say Belarus pressuring him to consent to extradition. Diplomatic efforts currently at dead-end. (Haaretz+)
  • Ministries, Experts Clash Over How to Deal With Numbers of Deaths on Building Sites - Social Affairs Minister Haim Katz believes treasury should pay more to inspectors but that there’s no need to increase their number; experts within his ministry beg to differ. (Haaretz+) 
  • Russian ground to ground missiles discovered by Israel in Syria - Several Russian SS-26 Iskandar ground to ground missiles discovered by Israeli satellite; stationed at the Latakia airbase in Syria, they are thought to be in use by the Russians, missiles are able to hit Tel Aviv, J'lem; can carry half ton warhead. (Ynet
  • In Turnabout, Key Israeli Lawmaker to Push Bill Against Lobbyists’ Donations - Coalition chief David Bitan of Likud will now try to gather support for the bill that appears to criticize Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. (Haaretz+)
  • Turkey's tourism takes big hit after extremist attacks - With repeated terrorist attacks and an attempted coup in July, the country's tourism, a key component of the economy, has taken its toll; most tourists visiting the country now come from Arab countries, reflecting a drop in American and European visitors. (Agencies, Ynet
  • New York Times: Kushner's Company Received Multiple Loans From Israel’s Largest Bank - The Trump administration is set to inherit an ongoing tax investigation against Hapoalim Bank, which reportedly made several loans to family business of president-elect's confidante Jared Kushner. (Haaretz
  • Online Petition Calls on Rabbi Marvin Hier to Withdraw From Trump Inauguration - The change.org petition was posted two days ago by a Los Angeles businesswoman, Mya Stark. As of Wednesday afternoon it had nearly 1,000 signatures. (JTA, Haaretz
  • US envoy to Israel among ambassadors slated to resign - After five and a half years in office, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro will resign Jan. 20, same day Donald Trump to be sworn in as U.S. president. Trump confidant David Friedman to replace Shapiro as ambassador. (Israel Hayom)


Features:
Drawing Inspiration From Trump, Far-right Kahane Movement Seeks U.S. Revival
Jonathan Stern, organizer of New York memorial event for the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, tells Haaretz his movement won't stand in solidarity with Montana Jews targeted by neo-Nazis: 'They started it.' (Taly Krupkin, Haaretz+) 
Israeli Arab Women Forge Businesses and Break Society’s Shackles
It sure would be easier, however, if conservative segments of the community like the Bedouin weren't so queasy about men and women mixing. (Janan Bsoul, Haaretz)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
This Man Is a Danger to Israeli Democracy (Rogel Alpher, Haaretz+) A television channel should never accept government funds to produce content that looks independent, but is actually pure propaganda. Avi Nir is a danger to democracy. Nir runs Keshet, one of the two franchisees of Israel’s main commercial television network, Channel 2. According to the media watchdog website The Seventh Eye, Keshet received 2 million shekels ($520,000) from the Diaspora Affairs Ministry in exchange for making last month’s propaganda documentary “Ne’elmim” (“Disappearing”), whose sole purpose was to serve the ideological and political agenda of Education Minister Naftali Bennett.
Two reconciliations for two people (Eitan Haber, Yedioth/Ynet) The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will likely not end before a peace is achieved between the rival camps in the two populations. Until that happens, we will continue to live in the shadow of terror, and occasionally war, for many more years to come. 
 Israel's Theft From Asylum Seekers (Haaretz Editorial) Amendment to law stipulating taking fifth of African asylum seekers' wages and holding it until they leave Israel is another attempt to break their spirits. 
And perhaps Rabin is waiting for (Chief of Staff) Gadi (Eisenkot): Waiting for a leader who does what he believes in (Udi Segal, Maariv) Morality is the IDF’s Iron Dome. The fact that most people, like Netanyahu, are in favor of pardoning Elor Azariya does not prove anything - only that the Prime Minister is attentive to the wind coming from the masses, instead of leading. 
Elor Azaria Isn't 'The Child of All of Us' - He's Their Child (Uri Misgav, Haaretz+) Those defending Elor Azaria remind us that he did not really act alone, or in a vacuum. 
A soldier, not a 'child' (Maj. Gen. (ret.) Gershon Hacohen, Israel Hayom) When we ask young men and women to give everything they have and more for the sake of their country and their people, we cannot at the same time see them as kids. Still every soldier is in fact a son or daughter to their mothers and fathers. 
The Friendship That Could Have Been Between Azaria and Abed (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) The Israeli sergeant became a national hero, while Abed Fattah al-Sharif got killed as he lay wounded for resisting a violent occupation. But the two weren’t that different. 
2017 will be another bad year for the Arab world (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) All Mideast experts are predicting that least one leader in our neighborhood will be murdered this coming year. Who will it be? Each expert has his own guess, each commentator has his own scenarios. 
Two Irreconcilable Israels Clash Over Elor Azaria: Defender of Jewish History vs. Convicted Killer (Dahlia Scheindlin, Haaretz+) Outside the courthouse, there was more anger and disgust for the foundational institutions of Israeli society and the rule of law than for terrorists. 
Elor Azaria’s real enemies (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) If the soldier convicted of manslaughter wishes to be pardoned and to turn over a new leaf in his life, he must understand that some government ministers, radical right-wing gangs and his lawyers are not that anxious to see him go home. 
Why a Labor Party Lawmaker Thinks Azaria Should Be Pardoned (Iris Leal, Haaretz+) And why Shelly Yacimovich’s reasoning on the event in Hebron is admirable, but dead wrong.
More than the soldiers protecting ethics in combat, the ethics are protecting them (Gen. (res.) Yom Tov Samia, Maariv) The blatant interference of politicians is what got Elor Azariya into more trouble, put an entire country into a head spin and increased the polarization within the nation. The politicians continue to blatantly and crude this intervention. 
Israelis Aren’t Appalled Enough Yet (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) Change will come when people feel that the children are coming home from school as monsters, when parents will do everything to prevent their children from being made into soldiers, when the fear is over life itself.
A testament to Israeli engagement (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) A guilty verdict, coupled with a pardon, would be the perfect end to this horrible story.
The IDF Is Still the Most Moral Army in the World (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) Those who have made the killing of the terrorist the ultimate proof of 'the slippery slope' down which the IDF is purportedly sliding are the ones responsible for the extensive counter-reaction and for the excessive identification with Azaria. 
If Elor Azaria was Ashkenazi (Ron Cahlili, Haaretz+) Elor Azaria isn’t everyone’s child - he's child of the new Israeli right, and had he come from a good Ashkenazi family, the national debate would have been about the futile occupation and how it criminalized one of our finest.
Speaking out of turn (Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, Israel Hayom) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's speech last week against the settlement enterprise offered a very partial representation of reality • As we all know, half-truths are far worse than a whole lie.  
Hebron shooter Elor Azaria's trial: The death throes of a healthy society (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) There will be no more Azaria trials. The politicians and the masses won’t let it happen
Netanyahu's champagne is finished? Arnon Milchan would organize a new supply (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Israel is flooded with a murky militant stream and the Prime Minister wouldn’t extract even a word against the incitement against the Chief of Staff. And also, the only minister from the ruling party who feels that "the country has become derailed.” “I think that the country has become derailed. I’m very worried about this festival around Elor Azariya. Clear and unequivocal support should be given to the IDF chief of staff, especially the judges who are supposed to judge by the evidence and facts and not by public sentiment or the media. It’s good that the IDF knows how to handle such events through judicial procedure. The phenomenon of threatening judges should be killed at its roots and those responsible should be punished. Elor Azariya is a personal tragedy, certainly the heart understands what is happening and our heart hurts. But it is not possible that the IDF turns into militias and not every soldier can decide for himself what he's doing.” Who is speaking? Yuval Steinitz, a member of Knesset and Minister of Israel in a phone conversation Thursday. I think that right now he is the only righteous member of the ruling party.
The citizenry of Israel should have been in the dock with Azaria (Yagil Levy, Haaretz+) You have allowed the army and state institutions in the West Bank to be taken captive by the settlers. And you remained silent. 
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner: Israel’s insurance policy (Amnon Abramovich, Yedioth/Ynet) For the first time in its history, instead of leaning on a world power, Israel is leaning on the marital relationship between the US president-elect’s daughter and her Jewish husband. We should hope and pray, therefore, that this marriage lasts many years, or at least until the end of the president’s term.
Elor Azaria’s act of murder, and the rabbis who justify it, defile Judaism (Rabbi Daniel Landes, Haaretz) Jewish notions of the horror of murder are being dumped into the sewer of messianic madness, abetted by a prime minister who comforts the perpetrator’s family, implicitly justifying Azaria’s act.
All Downhill for Obama After He Won the Nobel Peace Prize (Asaf Ronel, Foreign News Editor, Haaretz+) The outgoing U.S. president entered the White House amid great expectations, but leaves having racked up very few qualitative achievements. 
 
Interviews:
*Israeli witness in Gaza: No water, no electricity and children dying unnecessarily
An interview with Salah Haj Yahya, an Arab Israeli who has been leading delegations from Physicians for Human Rights to the Gaza Strip for 30 years. (Interviewed by Ayelett Shani in Haaretz+)

'Had I known the package contained 12 phones, I wouldn't have brought it into prison'
In conversation with Haaretz, Joint List MK Basel Ghattas suggests the Israel Prison Service is trying to frame him for smuggling phones to a convicted murderer. (Interviewed by Nir Gontarz in Haaretz+)

 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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