News Nosh 3.08.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday March 8, 2017
 
Quote of the day:
“The debate exists by definition within the Israeli public, with all of its elements. We know these debates, and within these debates we need to build. Not to fan [the flames] but to come and find common ground."
--At an education conference, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin accused Israel's government leaders of incitement between the different sectors of Israeli society - Jewish-Arab, Ashkenazi-Mizrachi, religious-secular - in order to gain political power. Rivlin spoke about the need for unity amongst the various sectors of Israeli society. He encouraged Jews and Arabs, religious and secular to meet and discover each other and find a common ground.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
"I'm not afraid of [soldiers] getting married while in the army. When you're fresh out of the oven, you pick a woman who's fresh -- Orthodox women. Of course, she's fresh because she's a woman, if she hasn't served in Caracal [one of the IDF's mixed-gender infantry battalions]. Otherwise, how would she be fresh?"
--Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, head of a pre-military academy at Eli settlement in the West Bank speaks about his opposition to women serving in the army.**


Front Page:
Haaretz
  • Milchan recruited Packer in order to share burden of funding Netanyahu’s lifestyle
  • Israeli embassy in Amman: Situation in Jordan destabilizing
  • Lieberman met with the US Secretary of Defense
  • Justice Danziger resigning suddenly from High Court
  • Wikileaks revealed CIA malware and claimed that the agency lost control of its weapons
  • Construction worker killed at construction site but the company ignored it and claimed he was a passerby
  • Hungary approved law to jail all asylum seekers on its land 
  • Second class // Orly Vilnai
  • Boycott on the truth // Haaretz Editorial
  • “Every choice has a price”: This is how the Israel Electricity Company planned to punish customers who moved to the competition
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • President Rivlin attacked government’s incitement: “The leaders are enflaming the debate in order to achieve more political power”
  • Education Minister Bennett: “Get the code for the kids’ cellular phone”
  • The personal space // Smadar Shir
  • It’s called supervision // Super Nanny
  • Netanyahu’s line of defense: “I can’t smoke cigars because of a problem in my nostrils”
  • The tears of protest – 14-year-old boy in Hadassah Hospital oncology dept told Knesset Health Committee he backs the “devoted doctors” who resigned
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
**The latest on the investigations of and surrounding Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were today’s top stories in the Hebrew newspapers. And coinciding with International Women’s Day, settler rabbi Yigal Levenstein, who heads pre-military academy, condemned women serving in the military, (but a poll found that 60% of Israelis support women's integration in combat roles) and a Likud member of Knesset disparaged a female MK over her ‘immodest’ dress.

Also in the news, the US State Department spokesman told a press conference that the US State Department was “working closely" with the White House to devise a new Middle East policy and that the Trump administration “would like to see Israel hold back on settlement activity" and is in discussions with the Israeli government “as to what exactly that would look like.”
 
In his second testimony to Israeli police on the case of Netanyahu receiving illicit gifts, Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan said he recruited Australian billionaire James Packer to share the burden of funding the Netanyahu's lifestyle. In the same case (Case 1000), Netanyahu told police this week during his questioning this week that because of sinus problems, he couldn't smoke all those cigars that he received from Milchan 'due to a problem in his nasal cavity.' 
  
And on the Israel submarines and ships affair, which is under police investigation, a confidential Knesset committee was examining why the state took an enormous loan to guard the private natural gas rigs. Finance Ministry representatives said behind closed doors that the security cabinet was never told about a 248 million euro loan taken to fund the purchase of ships intended to protect the natural gas rigs. Sources in the committee told Maariv that it was a “very strange procedure (and) it is unclear who authorized it."
 
Quick Hits:
  • Beitar Illit man stabbed by Palestinian hitchhiker - A 40-year-old Jewish man from Beitar Illit (settlement) picked up a hitchhiker in the West Bank, who ended up attacking him with a knife as they approached a checkpoint. Police said they were trying to determine if the stabbing was an act of terrorism. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Knesset to vote on bill limiting state-funded volunteers at left-wing NGOs - The bill would make it harder for organizations that get most of their funding from foreign governments to obtain volunteers from the national service program, an alternative to military service. (Haaretz+) 
  • American Jewish Committee says 'troubled' by Israel's new travel ban - Despite own opposition to BDS movement, organization says anti-boycott law will not 'help Israel's image as the beacon of democracy in the Middle East it is.' (Haaretz+)
  • Despite initial ban, Human Rights Watch investigator finally let into Israel - Omar Shakir's work visa request was previously denied due to 'Palestinian propaganda.' A week later, he tried again, but was still refused. He was finally let in on Tuesday. (Haaretz+) 
  • Israel army appeals 'excessively lenient' sentence for (Azaria), soldier convicted of extrajudicial killing of Palestinian terrorist - The IDF soldier should have received 3 to 5 years in prison rather than the 18 months he was sentenced to on his manslaughter conviction, prosecutors say. (Haaretz+ and Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Ya'alon attacks Netanyahu: "He switched sides because of polls showing support for Azaria" - Channel 2 revealed a tape of former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon at a rally of supporters in Rehovot blasting his political rivals’ handling of the Elor Azaria - ‘Shooting Soldier’ – affair. “Is that leadership?” Yaalon asked adding that his successor as defense minister, Avigdor Liberman, and Habayit Hayehudi head Naftali Bennett inflamed tensions on the issue for their own political gain without checking the facts of the case. He noted that "a serious lawyer would have told Azaria that ‘with such evidence - you will be convicted. Admit, repent and ask for forgiveness. (Maariv and JPost)
  • Man arrested for posting photo of chief justice in Nazi uniform - Resident of Samaria is suspected of incitement to violence and terrorism over Facebook post depicting Chief Justice Miriam Naor in Nazi uniform • "We don't believe the post is a violation of the acceptable norms of freedom of speech," his lawyer says. (Israel Hayom)
  • In surprise announcement, Israel's supreme court justice says will step down - The resignation, which the liberal justice says is for personal reasons, will give Justice Minister Shaked another opportunity to try to appoint a more conservative replacement. (Haaretz+) 
  • *Education Conference stirs debate - Draft delays, unifying society and protesting teachers; these are just some of the topics that are discussed during the Education Conference hosted by Yedioth Ahronoth and Ynet. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • IDF neutralizes 2 explosive devices planted on Gaza border - IDF scouts find "very powerful" explosives placed some distance from each other, one on the north end of the border and one on its south • Military sappers safely neutralize them • Explosives most likely placed on fence by Salafi terrorists, IDF says. (Israel Hayom and Ynet
  • As drugs flood into Gaza, Hamas to get tougher on smuggler - Drug seizures in January equal to whole of 2016; smugglers adopting new tactics to escape arrest; police, justice officials seek tougher punishments. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Israeli Envoy to Jordan Worried About Kingdom's Increasing Instability - Disturbed by a report a few months ago from the ambassador to Amman, IDF chief Eisenkot has said behind closed doors that Israel ought to consider helping out its eastern neighbor. (Haaretz+)
  • Arab MK indicted for aiding security prisoners may get deal - State Attorney's Office to offer Joint Arab List MK Basel Ghattas three-year sentence if he pleads guilty to smuggling mobile phones, other materials to Palestinian security prisoners, says news report • Ghattas is expected to ask for suspended sentence. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli lawmaker legally got settlement land for home, but built it elsewhere, illegally - Bezalel Smotrich won’t comment, neither will government. (Haaretz+) 
  • Amona residents stage hunger strike as relocation plan stalls - Habayit Hayehudi leader promises Amona residents new home for them will be decided soon • PM Netanyahu requests more time to discuss matter with U.S. • Defense minister comes under fire after joking he will join hunger strike "to lose weight." (Israel Hayom)
  • Herzog knew of planned smear campaign against Yachimovich - More than a month after the police decided to close the case against MK Isaac Herzog, interrogation transcripts reveal he was told of intentions to run a smear campaign against his Labor rival, but contends he had no hand in it. (Yedioth/Ynet
  • 23 artists to visit Israel as part of regional bid to save Dead Sea - Artists to take part in 11-day project to paint the sea, which is shrinking by over a meter a year, from both the Israeli and Jordanian sides • Project launched by Israel's Society for Protection of Nature and Netherlands' Artists for Nature Foundation. (Israel Hayom
  • IDF launches new equipment initiative - A new program was launched wherein newly enlisted combatants will receive a magnetic card which they can use to buy personalized equipment; they will also receive new, state-of-the-art combat equipment once they finish boot camp. (Ynet
  • First rocket launch from unmanned IDF navy vessel - WATCH: After two years of trials, the IDF's navy establishes a new unit called the Sea Knight, which consists of unmanned vessels that will participate in special ops without endangering soldiers' lives; this vessel comes to replace an older, smaller, less efficient version. (Ynet
  • IDF targeting recruits from the US with cyber capabilities - Military launches search for Jewish youths to serve in the Computer Service Directorate • First class of around 30 recruits expected to enlist in March 2018 after six-month educational program • If pilot program succeeds, it will be expanded, IDF says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Top US commander in Israel to discuss Mideast challenges - U.S. European Command head Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti arrives in Israel to discuss "regional developments in the Middle East and shared challenges" • Scaparrotti meets IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, President Revuen Rivlin, top Israeli officers. (Israel Hayom)
  • Knesset holds emergency debate about US anti-Semitism - The Knesset convenes in emergency deliberation in midst of a new wave of threats against Jewish Community Centers in the US; MK Nachman Shai slams the government for their seeming indifference in light of the spreading anti-Semitic occurrences. (Ynet)
  • Ex-KKK Leader David Duke Suspended From Twitter for His Response to Haaretz Story - After being reinstated, the white supremacist issued several negative tweets about Jews and Israel. (JTA, Haaretz
  • Ex-Israeli defense chief Ya'alon fears Trump's many U.S. critics could turn anti-Israel, too - Moshe Ya'alon cautions Israel that its close identification with the Republican Party could cost it support from the Democratic Party in the long run.  (Haaretz+) 
  • WikiLeaks Dumps Thousands of Files on 'CIA Hacking Capabilities' of Encrypted Apps - If 'Vault 7' does prove legitimate, the dump will represent yet another catastrophic breach for the U.S. intelligence community at the hands of WikiLeaks and its allies. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • WikiLeaks: CIA uses everyday gadgets for snooping - According to leaked documents, U.S. and British personnel hacked smart TVs and made them appear to be turned off while actually recording conversations in the room • CIA hacking tools reportedly also bypass encryption on popular messaging apps. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)


Features:
Meat, eggs and the evening prayer
The opening of synagogues in supermarkets and shopping malls is apparently more than the latest trend, and that's despite the cost of building them, an investment of hundreds of thousands of shekels. Dozens of prayer rooms have opened at Rami Levy and Yohanenof supermarkets and at Beitan Wine shops. (Yedioth's 'Mamun' economic supplement, cover)
Israel’s New Travel Ban: A Survival Kit for Activists Stopped at Israel's Airport
What happens if you've ever signed a petition condemning the Israeli occupation? This is your survival kit for entry into the country at Ben-Gurion airport. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)
Get out of the closet and charge
After a soldier said in a meeting of his platoon that "all the homosexuals need to be killed," Captain Limor Silvia told them that she's a lesbian. Basic trainees company commander Oded Heronian moved his soldiers when he said proudly in his parting ceremony that he's a homosexual. Four LGBT officers, who revealed their sexual identities to their soldiers, explain why it is important for LGBTs to serve in combat duty. And they tell that story on a day when another rabbi attacks their military service. (Itai Ilnai, Yedioth's '24 Hours' supplement, cover)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
Dumber and More Counterproductive: Israel's Travel Ban Is Worse Than Trump's (Jonathan S. Tobin, Haaretz+) Trump’s effort, while it may not be wise, is at least rooted in a genuine potential problem: terrorism. But there’s no argument to be made for Israel’s ban on boycott supporters. 
The Problems With Netanyahu's and Lieberman's Logic (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Israel's leaders may be taking advantage of the new administration in Washington to try to promote a saner agenda. 
Five Ways Israel Will Make You Hate Israel This Week (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) There was a time when commentators wryly observed that Israel acts like a country which wants people to hate it and boycott it. After this week, there's nothing wry about it. 
No limits (Lt. Col. Oshrat Bachar, Israel Hayom) Women can do anything and reach anywhere. The growing number of women in combat roles proves it.
We, the Women of Gaza, Face a Concrete Ceiling (Noor Swirki, Haaretz+) After we manage somehow to break through the confines of our own society, we encounter a much greater and more sinister obstacle at the northern gates of the Strip. 
The Israeli apartheid lie (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) Claiming that Israel is an apartheid state is absurd. The separation between Israelis and Palestinians is not the result of any racial or national principle, but of proven security concerns.
Israel's Ugly New Travel Ban Tells the World: Stay Away if You Don't Agree With Us (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) The new anti-BDS law marks a drastic shift in Israel's relationship with the outside world by sending the message that many of those who deeply object to the occupation are no longer welcome to visit.
Feeling the squeeze in Gaza (Dr. Ephraim Herrera, Israel Hayom) Hamas is being pushed on the "right" by more extreme Islamists, on the "left" by Fatah strongman Dahlan, and from the "outside" by Egypt and Israel. 
With Next Gaza War in Mind, Israel Keeps Close Eye on Iraq's Battle With ISIS for Mosul (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Defense officials say the difficulties Israel will face in Gaza if another war breaks out are even greater than the Iraqi army's challenges in Mosul. 
As anti-Semitism Spikes, Who’s Shutting Down the Conversation About American Jews and Aliyah? (David Chinitz, Haaretz+) The U.S. Jewish establishment, and the Jewish state itself, have consistently suppressed immigration to Israel as an option for U.S. Jews; this stance has never been more irresponsible. 
Israeli rightists can stop celebrating (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Defense Minister Lieberman’s statement, which was likely coordinated with Prime Minister Netanyahu, makes it clear that even the Trump administration is beginning to understand the catastrophe of the ‘one state’ vision. 
How Resilient Will the Muslim-Jewish Alliance in America Be? (Haroon Moghul, Haaretz+) Short-termism endangers Muslim-Jewish alliances facing the Trump administration. What if there's another Gaza or Lebanon war? Will our current compassion and concern for each other survive the onslaught? 
Trump changed what needed to be changed (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) The president's new executive order on immigration proves he knows how to let his experts do their jobs. But will his opponents leave well enough alone?
Surprise Retirement of Israeli Supreme Court Justice Spells More Bad News for Liberals (Ido Baum, Haaretz+) Israel's right-wing Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked now has two more court vacancies to fill. 
Justice's resignation may lead to larger Supreme Court (Tova Tzimuki & Gilad Morag, Yedioth/Ynet) Yoram Danziger joins Zvi Zilbertal in retiring early. Despite his claim of 'personal reasons,' it is believed that he was motivated by the massive caseload. The minister of justice finds the current situation untenable. 
Why Populists and Rightists Have Been in Power for Such a Long Time (Eva Illouz, Haaretz+) That so few Jews of Middle Eastern or North African origin have advanced in Israeli academia is a sad reflection of systematic, if unintended, discrimination.
Israel's New Travel Ban: Boycotting the Truth (Haaretz Editorial) The new law plays into the hands of those who seek to destroy Israel and penalizes those who support its existence but oppose the occupation.
Annexation or not, the Israeli Right must come to its senses (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet) Israel’s right-wing government is losing its way at a time when it should be providing clear answers. We have all the conditions to say what we want, and what’s happening? Nothing. 
The New Anti-boycott Law Is anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Frustrated by their failure to annex, right wingers exact a price tag from opponents of Jewish presence in the West Bank. 
The Israeli Lawmaker Who Embraces Apartheid (Uzi Baram, Haaretz+) Inspired by President Donald Trump, Likud MK Miki Zohar believes that ignoring the truth, fairness and even pragmatic realism is possible. 
What is Israel doing about the Gaza tunnels today? (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) In the wake of the comptroller report, which pointed to significant shortcomings and failures in the defense establishment's handling of Hamas's terror tunnels, Alex Fishman examines what the IDF has been doing since Protective Edge to combat the threat. 
The Timing, Source, and What's Missing: WikiLeaks' CIA Cyber Arsenal Dump Explained (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz) How reliable is Vault 7, the information allegedly leaked from the Central Intelligence Agency? For starters, nothing stated by WikiLeaks or Assange should be taken at face value.
 
Interviews:
Cornel West Tells Haaretz: Travel Ban on Boycotters Proves 'Occupation Is Devouring' Israel's Democratic Soul
In an exclusive interview, the American philosopher and BDS supporter calls it 'a sad moment when an Einstein would not be able to get into the country of his own people.' (Interviewed by Taly Krupkin in Haaretz+)
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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