News Nosh 01.10.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday January 10, 2017  
Quote of the day:
"It's the same threesome - Bibi, Bennett and Lieberman. This is the leadership problem. They continue to play with the story of Azariya because it suits them politically. Everything connects to Azariya. I opened this morning the 'Israel Hayom' newspaper and realized Azariya is everything. You see how the Prime Minister, Bennett, and Lieberman treated the verdict, and you understand the story. All three have a clear political interest here."
--Former defense minister Moshe Yaalon accuses the Israeli leadership of using the conviction of Sgt. Elor Azariya for political purposes.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The heroism – and the tears
  • “Receipts for cigars and wine worth 400,00 shekels for Netanyahu were found”
  • The glamorous presentation of (Israeli actress) Gal Gadot at the Globus Awards
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
News Summary:
The funerals of the four Israeli soldiers killed in the truck-ramming attack Sunday and the related news that followed along with the latest on the investigation of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were today’s top stories in the Hebrew newspapers.
*The four soldiers were laid to rest, but no ministers showed up at the funerals, angering parents. Moreover, the debate continued over how the other soldiers on site responded after some claimed that all the soldiers ran for their lives and others said that was because of the “Azariya effect,” meaning that they were afraid to shoot because they did not want to take a chance that killing the assailant would put them on trial. Azariya was convicted of manslaughter in the execution of a wounded and incapacitated Palestinian assailant. The IDF insisted that was not the case here and gave permission to Lt. Maya Peled to talk to the media. Peled said, “I wasn't the only one who shot.” Former defense minister Moshe Yaalon attacked Israel’s top leadership – naming Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, accusing them of using the conviction of Sgt. Elor Azariya to gain favor with the “extreme margins of society instead of supporting the judges and the army.” (Maariv) That said, Lieberman stated that there was no connection between the Azariya conviction and the way the soldier’s responded during the truck-ramming attack.
The government sought to take harsh actions against the family of the assailant, Fadi Qanbar. The family's traditional mourning tent was destroyed yesterday, their home will be demolished, and Yedioth revealed that Israel plans to expel the assailant’s mother and 11 other family members from East Jerusalem by revoking their residency as early as today. Yedioth wrote that "Such a measure has previously never been implemented and prevents the family from appealing to the High Court of Justice, because they are not Israeli citizens." [NOTE: Palestinians in E. Jerusalem are residents by Israeli law, not citizens. While some applied for citizenship in the past and received it, most only have residency. If they leave the country for more than seven years they may not return except as a tourist. – OH] Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Galant called to expel the assailant’s family to Syria. 

Four brothers are still in police custody, but a sister was released, angering Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who publicly slammed the judge’s decision. Shadia Qanbar was detained by police for allegedly praising her brother's act and thereby inciting when she was interviewed by the media, and said: “We don’t know what happened with Fadi. He called his wife (before the attack) and told her to prepare lunch…Fadi was not a (former) prisoner nor part of a (militant) movement or organization. He was just making a living for his family. God chose him to be a martyr. Allah be praised, this is the decision of God." The judge ruled that this was not praise for her brother’s act. Attorney Mohammed Mahmoud, the sister’s attorney, was shocked at Erdan’s remarks. “It’s simply shocking that a minister in a democratic country should attack a judge for her decision that there is no reasonable suspicion [of incitement].” Just five days ago, High Court Chief Justice Miriam Naor said that attacks on the IDF judges who convicted Azariya ‘have no place in civilized society.’ [And this morning on Israeli radio, the host also expressed shock that a minister attacked a judge’s decision – OH.] Barely reported was that Palestinian security forces announced that it arrested 37 Islamic State sympathizers in raids in several Palestinian cities, Israel Hayom reported as an aside. Five Hamas operatives were also arrested in the raid, Ramallah sources said. In an appreciated show of support, a Berlin landmark was lit up with the blue and white Israeli flag in a show of solidarity following the attack.

The new United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack, but said it must not deter peace talks. Meanwhile, the UN's Palestinian aid agency urged President-elect Donald Trump to revive the MidEast peace bid saying that young Palestinians were becoming increasingly disillusioned by lack of peace prospects. Haaretz’s Barak Ravid got a scoop when it published the draft of the summary statement of the upcoming Paris peace conference. The draft calls on both Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to renounce officials in their respective governments who oppose a two-state solution. [NOTE: This is pointed towards Netanyahu's government, because people in Abbas' government don't make such statements. - OH] Moreover, the draft says the participating countries will not recognize unilateral changes to the 1967 borders, including Jerusalem. 
The latest in the police investigation on Netanyahu’s quid pro quo negotiations with Yedioth publisher Noni Mozes was that it was Netanyahu who initiated the secret talks. Both of them will be questioned again. According to Channel 2, police have recordings of two hour-long meetings held shortly before and shortly after the Knesset dissolved in December 2014 ahead of the 2015 elections. Haaretz+ noted that after the reordings were made, Netanyahu supported a bill to ban recordings. Israel Hayom, the Netanyahu mouthpiece, reported that according to a social media analysis organization, 55% of the people discussing the investigations on social media networks defended the prime minister and said he was being investigated over petty issues that were not germane to his performance as prime minister. The tapes were found in a police search of the belongings of Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow. He’ll likely go on trial for fraud charges on a separate issue. Now, lawmakers are calling for Netanyahu to be ousted from being the Minister of Communications and to re-examine Netanyahu's ties with Israel Hayom newspaper, owned by right-wing Jewish-American tycoon Sheldon Adelson. Haaretz reported that Netanyahu has cancelled his January 18th attendance at the Davos Economic Forum in Switzerland. His office said his cancellation was not connected to the investigation against him, but rather to plans to meet Trump. However, no date has as yet been set for that trip. 

Quick Hits:
  • Palestinian Man Killed During Army Raid in West Bank; IDF: He Tried to Stab Soldiers - The IDF said Mohammed al-Salahi, 32, threatened them with a knife, but an activist in the camp alleges he was shot for no reason. Three Palestinian suspects were arrested. (Haaretz, Maariv and Ynet)
  • Abbas warns Trump: Moving U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would be 'disastrous' - Palestinian officials believe that Trump is serious about moving the embassy and that it was not simply an election campaign stance. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Defense Ministry: IDF colleges campus to move to Jerusalem - Military colleges will be transferred from their current location in Glilot, outside Herzliya in central Israel, to a site in southern Jerusalem, ministry says • Statement says new, modern academic campus will be constructed on a 12.5-acre plot. (Israel Hayom
  • UN seeks to blacklist Israeli firms operating beyond Green Line - Human Rights Council to introduce list rendering Israeli companies based in Judea and Samaria illegal in March • NGO Monitor: Move violates UNHRC guidelines; discriminates against Israel by applying double standards to international law. (Israel Hayom)
  • Jewish Leaders Warn of Far-right Kahane Group's Revival in U.S. - Followers of the Jewish Defense League, listed by the FBI as a terror organization, are upping their activities following Trump's election. (Haaretz+) 
  • Anti-Trump Americans in Israel to demonstrate in solidarity with Women’s March on Washington - Goal is 'to show other Jewish organization in the U.S. that there are American-Israelis who care and are taking a stand against this wave of bigotry,' organizer says. (Haaretz

  • D.C. Area Jewish Family Targeted With anti-Semitic Threats After Voicing Support for Black Lives Matter
  •  - 'Enjoy the mayhem,' letter bearing yellow star, word 'Jude' and crosshairs sign told the Franklins. Police at first said no signs point to anti-Semitism, but later announce incident a hate-crime. (Haaretz+)
  • False alarm stirs rocket scare in southern Israel - Two 'Color Red' sirens were sounded in Eshkol region, but army says no rockets fired from Gaza at Israel. (Haaretz
  • Israelis to get 4 long weekends per year, ministers decide - Move to give Israelis four long weekends a year aims to bolster quality of life and increase leisure time • Extra days will coincide with days children are off from school • Measure needs Knesset approval, is supported by many in government. (Israel Hayom)
  • Terrorist who murdered Israeli near Dolev gets 2 life sentences - Mohammed Abu Shaheen shot Danny Gonen and Netanel Hadad at close range after asking them to pull over and pretending to need help, murdering Gonen and wounding Hadad; court also orders him to pay NIS 3.5 million in damages. (Ynet and Maan)
  • Israeli defense firm Elbit wins $100M Brazilian military contract - REMAX remote-controlled weapon stations to be supplied to Brazil's army over five-year period by Ares, Brazilian subsidiary of defense electronics developer Elbit Systems • "Brazil is a very important market for Elbit Systems," company's CEO says. (Israel Hayom)
  • WATCH: IDF upgrades new transport aircraft with anti-missile system - New Hercules C-130J transport aircraft are being upgraded with new Israeli-produced anti-missile defense systems in order to combat shoulder-fired missiles and other projectiles utilized by terrorist groups. (Ynet
  • NIS 3.34 billion allocated to Gaza barrier project - The project will include a 'smart' fence on the Gaza border complete with underground concrete barriers, the ability to detect tunnels and both offensive and defensive capabilities. (Ynet
  • Palestinians protest dire electricity crisis in Gaza amid 12-hour blackouts - In a spontaneous protest, scores of outraged citizens launched a spontaneous demonstration on Sunday night demanding an end to the electricity crisis that has been ongoing for years and which has worsened recently with only three hours of power in between 12-hour-long blackouts. (Maan)
  • Drones, cameras smuggled into Gaza by stuffing them inside washing machines and TV sets - Shin Bet says the equipment, destined for Hamas, was concealed in the appliances in the West Bank and then transferred to Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Syria's Assad Ready to Negotiate on 'Everything' in Talks Amid Fragile Cease-fire - Rebels have vowed to respond to government violations of the truce brokered 10 days ago. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • U.S. Destroyer Fires Warning Shots at Iranian Vessels in Gulf - Iranian vessels came within 900 yards of American ship in Strait of Hormuz, U.S. officials says. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran to Increase Military Spending on Missiles, Drones and Cyber Warfare - 'Those ballistic missiles, with a range of 1,250 miles, were designed to intimidate not only Israel ... but also intended to frighten Europe and someday maybe hit even the United States,' Trump told AIPAC in March. (Agencies, Haaretz
Holocaust Deniers at Yad Vashem: German Far-right Tour Israel
An Israeli tour like no other, organized by a nationalist, anti-Muslim blog in Germany. (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)
Drugs in the street, weapons and attacks: a glimpse into the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem
Poor infrastructure, illegal construction, drug labs and weapons on the street. In the face of the reality in the neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, from where the ramming terrorist of the Armon Hanatziv attack came, authorities remain helpless and (Arab) residents are lack hope. (Carmit Sapphire Weitz, Maariv Magazine supplement, cover)
In the land of Bennett and Shaked: The Netanyahu investigations are a distraction of the real danger: Habayit Hayehudi party (Yitzhak Ben-Ner, Maariv) In their actions and their omissions, Ministers Bennett and Shaked threaten to put an end to Israeli democracy and to the continued existence of the Zionist progressive and secular state. 
Terror Victims Highlight Unforgivable Stupidity of Palestinians and Israelis (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) By playing up ISIS role in Jerusalem truck attack, Netanyahu is downplaying existence of occupation.
Fighting for our home: The IDF is facing a complex challenge of the collapse of the state (Ron Tirah, Maariv) Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot is not required to deal with the invasion of conventional armies, but he stands in one line with chiefs of staff, such as Yadin and Eleazar and he commands a war that is no less important. In this war I'm a soldier of his.
Ahead of a Disaster in Gaza (Haaretz Editorial) Israel has both the ability and the responsibility to prevent the UN's warning from coming true: that in 2020, Gaza will no longer be fit for human habitation. 
Opinion The Skepticism Is Justified. But Paris Can Be More Than Just Another Vague Peace Initiative (Nimrod Goren, Haaretz+) Faith in the peace process is at a nadir. The history of failure, Trump's election, Israeli rejectionism. But the January conference in Paris could still produce concrete progress.
Eleven Years Is Too Long, Netanyahu: Just Resign (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz+) The need to keep getting reelected, forever, has made Israel's prime minister forget his democratic worldview and his support for the rule of law. 
Unsettling images (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) The footage of IDF cadets ducking for cover instead of engaging a terrorist provides the enemy with a psychological victory and erodes Israel's ability to generate deterrence.
Neither Rabbi Marvin Hier, nor Any Rabbi, Should Bless Donald Trump at His Inauguration (Rabbi Dan Moskovitz, Haaretz) It is not an honor for Rabbi Hier or for Judaism to be associated with Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric or his inauguration. It is a disgrace. 
The argument that Sgt. Elor Azariya was discriminated against because he is Mizrachi - is outrageous and damaging (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) Politicians claim that if the Shooting Soldier (Azariya) were Ashkenazi, the story would have ended in a cover-up or a plea bargain. Taking into account their attempt to wink to their voters, they should look for another back to ride on. 
In the New Order of Trump and Netanyahu, Resistance Is an Act of Love
(Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) We can't hate our way out of this. Hate is how we got here. We can't intimidate our way out of this either. No one can. Because fear and hatred are what keep us stuck mired where we are. No matter what side you're on. 
Two states or one? The Israeli public must be allowed to determine its future (Eitan Barushi, Maariv) Fifty years after the Six Day War, the question is asked: how will the future of the country look? This fateful decision needs to be transferred from the closed political arena and to involve the public directly. 
Division is no solution to terror (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) Anyone who seeks to avoid terrorism by cutting off the Jerusalem neighborhoods where it is nurtured will find that terrorism follows them home.
Obama's Tragic Mideast Legacy (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) The president's refusal to veto the latest anti-Israel resolution in the UN will only further obstruct the direct talks that can advance the peace process. 
Confront the enemy (Brig. Gen. (res.) Zvika Fogel, Israel Hayom) Sunday's attack highlights the risks our soldiers face when the enemy catches us by surprise. We must stress constant vigilance to our soldiers to confront dangers, in addition to preserving purity of arms.
After Defeat in Aleppo, Syrian Intellectuals Pin Hopes on Diplomatic Arena (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Country has seemingly reached the limits of its endurance and readiness to mobilize against the Assad regime, but that doesn’t mean rebels will stop fighting. After defeat in Aleppo, Syrian intellectuals look to diplomatic front

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