News Nosh 2.13.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday, February 13, 2017
Quote of the day:
“But it’s possible that Netanyahu is no longer really on the same page with his constituents and its leaders, and he is marching ideologically on the path of Likud leaders of the past, such as Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni. If so, then the prime minister will this take the 'Trump Test' this week - and thus reveal his true views.”
--Right-wing Maariv columnist, Nadav Haetzni, writes that the meeting between US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will make clear whether Netanyahu is still the leader of the ‘national camp’ - or whether this camp needs to look for another leader.*

Front Page:
  • Netanyahu: I support two-state solution, but the Palestinians refuse; Trump: They will make compromises
  • Court ordered to empty ammonia container at Haifa port within 10 days
  • Tests made by municipalities over the last year revealed lead in drinking water in 32 communities
  • Employment service stopped sending people to professional courses, thousands of unemployed will be harmed
  • Yitzhak Livni, former commander of Army Radio and CEO of Broadcasting Authority, died
  • Out of fear for their fate in the US, refugees are marching in the cold to Canada
  • The ground won’t shake // Haaretz Editorial
  • Public land only for rich // Naama Riva
  • Religion vs. State // Zvi Bar’el
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The parents won - Ministers to determine maximum price for municipal summer camps
  • Between Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) and the White House
  • Logic in the madness // Nahum Barnea
  • The dance of the Likud – A wedding (of MK Oren Hazan) that connected between Benny Begin and ‘The Shadow’ (extremist right-wing rapper)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • “The goal: Pressure Iran and Hezbollah” – Netanyahu goes to Washington
  • Work with the new administration in Washington – not across from it // Boaz Bismuth
  • History: The ammonia container will be emptied
  • On the way back to victory – Ahead of 50th anniversary of Six Day War, IDF Archives released photos from Operation ‘Moked’
  • The firefighter grandson arrived – but the grandfather died from the fire
News Summary:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lowered right-wing expectations over his upcoming meeting with US President Donald Trump, a court made a historic decision ordering the emptying of the ammonia tank at Haifa port, and the right-wing expressed support for centrist Tzipi Livni to be Israel’s first high-ranking official in the UN, making today’s top stories in the Hebrew newspapers.
Under great pressure from Habayit Hayehudi ministers to tell President Trump that Israel rejects the two-state solution, Netanyahu revealed to his cabinet that two days after the inauguration, he spoke with Trump, who asked him how he intends to advance the peace process with the Palestinians. Netanyahu said that he told Trump that he supports the two-state solution and a final status agreement, but that the Palestinians were unwilling. He warned his cabinet that he must “be careful and not do things that will cause everything to break down. We mustn't get into a confrontation with him." He said Israel needs to continue to act carefully under Trump as it did under Obama. Zionist Camp MK Erel Margalit petitioned the Attorney General to ban Netanyahu from traveling to the US due to the ongoing criminal investigations into alleged wrongdoing by him and his lawyer, David Shimron. “There is serious concern that he could obstruct the investigation because people from abroad are involved.” 
Despite the deep divide between the left and right-wing on the Palestinian issue, when it came to Zionist Union leader, Tzipi Livni possibly being the first Israeli to serve as UN under-secretary general, senior politicians from Likud and Habayit Hayehudi parties were full of praise and excitement. And about the US blocking the appointment of former Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad as U.N. envoy to Libya, Netanyahu admitted he had said Fayyad should get the job only if an Israeli got one, as well. “I said that it was time for mutuality in Palestinian-Israeli relations, and that the Palestinians can't always be given free boons. It's time for the Israeli side to be granted status and appointments, too.” 
Quick Hits:
  • Wanted ex-Peruvian President Not on Plane Landed in Israel - Alejandro Toledo, wanted in a $20 million dollar corruption case, was reportedly fleeing his home country on a flight to Israel, but the flight landed without the former president on board. (Haaretz+) 
  • Israel Says Will Refuse Entry to Former Peru President Fleeing Corruption Charges - Foreign Ministry says Alejandro Toledo, who is wanted in relation to $20m corruption case, will only be allowed into Israel after his affairs in Peru are settled. (Haaretz
  • Galant works to block Golan becoming another front - The Security Cabinet presents a three-phase plan whose goal is to safeguard Israel's northern border from Iran's growing influence in the region. (Yedioth/Ynet
  • Maligned by Trump's Pick for Israel Envoy, J Street Mobilizes to Block David Friedman's Appointment - Jewish group formerly singled out by Friedman encourages those opposed to his appointment to contact senators in protest. (Haaretz+)
  • Elad Settler Organization Expected to Expand East Jerusalem Operations - Israel opposed letting a private group run the sensitive archaeological park next to the Western Wall, but the attorney general let Elad get a foothold anyway. (Haaretz+) 
  • Likud Minister Rejects Bennett's Gaza War Warning as Irresponsible’ - In response, Naftali Bennett's Habayit Hayehudi party says Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz should 'get back to dealing with traffic jams.' (Haaretz+)
  • Fate of Israeli facing death sentence approaches - After funds were donated for a ransom to secure release of Ben Hassin, who faces the death penalty in a Muslim state, ZAKA refuses to transfer to private account; father says ‘blood is on their hands if anything happens to my son.’ (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Famed Church in Israel Reopens 20 Months After Arson Blamed on Jewish Extremists - Church of the Loaves and Fish suffered heavy damage after a 2015 attack. 'Hate cannot win,' President Rivlin says at special mass. (Haaretz and Ynet
  • MK Stav Shaffir appointed head of OECD Transparency Committee  -Following her efforts for government transparency in the Knesset, Zionist Union MK Stav Shaffir will lead efforts for open government and open parliament at the OECD. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • 17 Years After Lynching of Soldiers, Israel to Give Convicted Palestinian Policeman New Trial - Hatam Faiz Khalil Magari was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the lynching of two Israeli soldiers at the start of the second Intifada, but new evidence could change that ruling. (Haaretz+) 
  • Newly published documents reveal how Western Wall was renovated in 1967 - An exchange of letters and a first architectural map of the holy site’s plaza upon its liberation are being exposed for the first time ahead of the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification. “On the night of June 10, 1967, the last night of the war, IDF bulldozers demolished the Mughrabi neighborhood located near the narrow alley. The place looked like piles of rubble, and there was a need to prepare the area for the arrival of millions of people from Israel and from the world who wanted to come for the first time to the Western Wall under Israeli sovereignty.” (Ynet)
  • In Israel, teaching kids cyber skills is a national mission - With special youth programs and an elite IDF digital communications intelligence unit, Israel is doing all it can to make sure it lives up to its reputation as a 'cyber expert.' (Ynet
  • Nine Haredim indicted following (anti-draft) protests - In the aftermath of violent ultra-Orthodox protests last week, which included blocking of roads across Israel, rock throwing and setting fire to garbage cans, 9 were indicted for various offenses. (Ynet)
  • Seriously wounded soldier returns to scene of attack - Lt. Shahar Roditi, who was injured last Remembrance Day by an explosive device intended to blow up a civilian bus, chooses to return to service for the months he has remaining; he recounts the ordeal: 'I'm glad that it was I who was wounded and not the civilians.' (Ynet)
  • Netanyahu Confirms He Objected to Salam Fayyad's UN Appointment - 'Palestinians can't be getting freebies all the time,' prime minister tells cabinet. (Haaretz+)
  • Can You Guess Which Israeli Party's Voters Support Settlements the Most? - Among Israel's plethora of right-wing parties, you may think those most vocal in favor of the settlements are their biggest supporters. You'd be wrong. (Haaretz+) 
  • Hezbollah's Nasrallah Says 'Idiot' Trump Makes Him 'Very Optimistic' - 'This is the beginning of relief for the oppressed around the world,' leader of Lebanese group says. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)

Israel's Settlements Explained: How Big an Obstacle Are They to Peace?
Trump recently said that advancing settlement construction is unhelpful for peace, but which settlements exactly he was referring to is open for interpretation. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)
The intrepid Haredim in the IDF
Despite the public shaming campaigns against them by radical sects in the Haredi community, forced estrangement from ultra-Orthodox families, and violent attacks, Haredi soldiers speak out and explain why they remain determined to serve, and encourage others to do so. (Isaac Dabush, Yedioth/Ynet)
Way to Go, Silence-breakers (Ilana Hammerman, Haaretz+) Soldiers pay the direct price for Israel’s actions in the West Bank, and those who break the silence have more rights than we, the silent majority.
First Netanyahu-Trump meeting will focus on Iran, not Gaza (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) The prime minister has a golden opportunity to get the new US president to take action against Tehran. He must not succeed too much, however. If he convinces Trump to bomb Iran, the immediate Iranian response won’t be on American soil but in Israel, in the form of thousands of rockets fired from Lebanon and Syria. 
With investigative noose closing in on him, Netanyahu's march of folly continues 
(Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) With one hand, the premier is trying to create a 'European front' against Iran, and with the other, he validates the disgraceful law of plunder. In between? Hummus with his 'everyman' finance minister.
Regulation Law is just business as usual (Aviad Kleinberg, Yedioth/Ynet) Despite international law, despite the principles of justice and common sense, the High Court has accepted the legitimacy of the annexation. It’s permitted to steal Palestinian lands because there is no such thing as Palestinian lands. They are ‘public lands.’ What public? The settler public. 
My Racist Father, My Hero: Trump and Netanyahu's Meeting of Minds (Larry Derfner, Haaretz+) Netanyahu and Trump have even more in common than vanity, demagoguery and a thirst for the good life. They inherited an evident dislike for minorities in their own countries.
Breaking the Rules: The Regulation (expropriation) law puts the country in an impossible situation (MK Yael German, Maariv) The law, purporting to regulate the settlements in Judea and Samaria, openly and shamelessly disregards the principles of international law, leaving the High Court in a minefield. 
On Iran, Netanyahu May Not Get What He Wants From Trump (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) As the U.S. and Iranian presidents trade barbs prior to the Israeli prime minister's visit, Trump has still not formulated his policy on Syria's ally. 
A painful embrace to the White House’s darling (Orly Azoulay, Yedioth/Ynet) While Trump showers Netanyahu with compliments and smiles, he will also make it clear to him that the party is over and that he finds the settlement construction in the West Bank unacceptable.
The Earth Won’t Shake if Netanyahu Mentions Two-state Solution to Trump (Haaretz Editorial) The State of Israel cannot allow itself to be managed in accordance with the dictates of an extreme nationalist party, which wants to annex the occupied territories and turn Israel into an apartheid state. 
*The Trump Test: Netanyahu should make an absolute revision of positions on the Palestinian issue (Nadav Haetzni, Maariv) Since he took office, it is possible to see that he respects non-hostile foreign entities who stand up for themselves, such as Japan and China. Therefore, the Prime Minister must present him with the utmost Israeli position… But it’s possible that Netanyahu may no longer really be on the same page with his constituents and its leaders, and he is marching ideologically on the path of Likud leaders of the past, such as Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni. If so, then the prime minister will this take the Trump test this week - and thus reveal his true views. Finally it will become clear whether he is still the leader of the "national camp" - or that this camp needs to look for another leader for itself.
Netanyahu's Delicate, Fateful D.C. Dance With Trump (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) Make the President your partner, the Democrats your friends. Stop endorsing the Mexico wall. Feed the Trump ego, but don't publicly suck up to Sheldon Adelson. And don't expect a warm embrace from American Jews. 
The new anti-Israel alliance (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel used to have bipartisan support in the US. The Democrats have not turned into Israel haters, but only a blind person can’t sense the change. This can be stopped, but the current government – with its illusion of an alliance with the new administration – is likely incapable of doing what is best for Israel.
Dialogue of the deaf: With the absence of a single objective truth, alternative facts are managing our lives (Avihu Sofer, Maariv) The Regulation (expropriation) Law, like the eviction of Amona (outpost) and any controversial public issue, reveals how proper dialogue is difficult if not impossible. The legal discourse creates the impression that everyone understands the field. The many disputes require us to find a way to create a common narrative, even without agreeing on each other's opinion. All around us lurk those who are just waiting for the moment when we separate from each other. 
Rights and security (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom)
In his upcoming meeting with U.S. President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu should stress the Jewish people's right to Judea and Samaria.
The Israeli Media Needs to Come to Its Senses (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+) It is saddening to see that prime minister continues to be dragged in his weakness behind the head of a small party with only eight Knesset seats, who allows himself to arrogantly dictate Israel’s agenda to all of us. 
Netanyahu conveniently throwing his wife under the bus (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth/Ynet) The man, who until recently begged the media to ‘direct the fire at me and leave my wife and children alone,’ is now adopting a defense line in which his wife is the person responsible for the perks the couple received, claiming total ignorance of any gifts. 
Echoes of Childhood on the Road to Hebron (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) A youth mumbles something, and asked to repeat it, says, 'Me, break bones? I invited you to coffee.'
In Iraq, the U.S. Invests, ISIS Loses and Iran Gains (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) In the liberated parts of Mosul, signs of normal life are reappearing. But ISIS' loss of Iraq foothold is an opportunity for Iran to expand its influence.

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