News Nosh 3.09.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday March 9, 2017
Quote of the day:
"The muezzin was part of this public sphere long before the racists got here and will remain here long after they are gone. It is part of the audible tapestry of our one-and-only homeland, and it will stay that way."
--Joint List Leader Ayman Odeh said before he was removed from the raucous Knesset debate over the bill to silence the Muslim call to prayer loudspeakers. *

You Must Be Kidding: 
“The worst disdain is for the younger generation. The city executive today approved investing five times more for Israeli children than for Palestinian children. How can we not look like occupiers? What kind of neighbors are we?”
--Meretz City Councilor Laura Wharton said about the 2017 Jerusalem Municipality budget which distributed 18 million shekels to 110,000 Arab pupils, 37 million shekels to 95,000 ultra-Orthodox pupils, and 54 million shekels to 65,000 the general Jewish public of the capital.** 

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • A miracle for Barcelona
  • The girls’ response (to the misogynist statement by settler rabbi leader)
  • In their footsteps // Yossi Yehoshua 
  • Hollywood in Israel – Last night in Jerusalem: Richard Gere and his girlfriend
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Milchan: I did not change my testimony
  • A country in costume (for Purim)
  • Against all chances – The great revolution in (soccer) history
  • 50 years after the expulsion of the Jews of Tripoli: First conference of its type in Rhodes will try to bring Israel and Libya closer
Israel Hayom
  • The Muezzin law storm – ‘Allah Akbar” in the plenum: Muezzin law passed preliminary vote
  • “The meeting is important for security” – Today, Prime Minister flies to Moscow for summit with Putin
  • Barcelona miracle (soccer)
  • “Milchan softened his testimony in the presents affair”
  • Heads of pre-military academies denounced the words of Rabbi Levinstein; Prime Minister: “The female combat soldiers are heroes”
  • Purim? Carnival!
  • High Court ruled: No postponement of the closure of Sde Dov Airport; The Knesset voted in favor
News Summary:
*Numerous Israelis and the IDF protested the chauvinist statement of a settler rabbi against women serving in combat units (while 200 religious officers expressed support), a storm broke out in Knesset when a law to silence the Muezzin’s calls to prayer passed a preliminary reading, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and expressed Britain’s support for a two-state solution and told him that settlements are an impediment to peace and hours later Netanyahu flew to Moscow to tell Russian President Vladimir Putin to keep Iran out of Syria and that the Golan Heights were off the table in any Syrian peace deal making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Also in the news, a spokesman for the Hollywood tycoon, Arnon Milchan, who said he gave expensive gifts to Netanyahu and his family, said the Israeli TV reports that Milchan 'significantly' changed his testimony were false. And, Haaretz+ finally reported that Hamas is changing its charter to oppose the occupation, not the Jews and that it will accept the principle of a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders. 

And in Washington, Israeli Defense Minister Avidgdor Lieberman has been busy telling U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that settlements were not an impediment to peace, and telling U.S. vice president Mike Pence that he expects to see the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem soon and telling U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis that America's current positions are important “to remove obstacles to stability in the Middle East.”
Quick Hits:
  • Minister Erdan and (Arab MK) Odeh accuse each other of incitement and deceit - In a heated verbal exchange in the Knesset, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan blasted leader of the Joint List MK Ayman Odeh's request for Knesset committee to investigate police conduct in incident in Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran that killed local teacher, officer.  (Yedioth/Ynet and Israel Hayom
  • New bill would give Israeli government full control of broadcast media - Under legislation being prepared by Communications Ministry, all figures of authority would be appointed by politicians. (Haaretz+) 
  • Security forces bring down weapon-smuggling network - In a joint operation by the IDF, Shin Bet and the Israel Police, a vast smuggling network that used mail-ordered combat equipment to supply terrorist cells in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank is uncovered and and finally dismantled. Hundreds of illegal or restricted weapon parts and combat accessories are seized, and nine people are arrested as part of the months-long operation. (Ynet
  • Israeli lawmakers give initial approval to bill targeting mosque loudspeakers - The bill dubbed the Muezzin Law passed a first of a series of votes after a stormy debate during which Arab lawmaker Ayman Odeh was thrown out for tearing up a copy of the legislation, and a right-wing MK called Arab peers 'terrorists.' (Haaretz+) 
  • **"There was great demand for costumes of Azaria" - Among the numerous costumes for the Purim holiday starred the costume of Elor Azaria, who was convicted in a military court of killing a wounded [and incapacitated - OH] terrorist and sentenced to 18 months prison. The first shipment of 300 costumes soldout and more shipments are on the way. "I think Elor is a hero. We always support and love the soldiers and identify with what happened to Elor," said Luna Dayan, whose 7-year-old grandson will wear an Azaria costume in a "joint initiative" with his family. (Yedioth, p. 20)
  • **Enlarged Jerusalem Budget Gives Little to Local Arabs - Meretz councilor decries inequality, while city officials say there’s 'good news' for East Jerusalem residents. (Haaretz+) 
  • Richard Gere calls for an end to 'the occupation' - Arriving in Israel to promote his new movie Norman, directed by Joseph Cedar and starring Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi, Gere is uncertain as to how he will be received by the public given his recent comments on the political situation. (Yedioth/Ynet
  • Israeli Minister Blocks Women’s Day Event in East Jerusalem, Citing Palestinian Authority Ties - The organizers, from a civil society NGO, say they are not connected to the PA, and sought only to give local Palestinian women a needed respite. (Haaretz
  • Famous Hebrew teacher from Arab-Israeli village of Taibeh visited the President: "You are a major contributor to peace between the two peoples" - President Reuven Rivlin and his wife Naama hosted Jihan Jaber in a special meeting, during which they said: "Arab citizens of Israel - learn Hebrew and Jewish citizens - learn Arabic." Jihan gave the President a darbuka. “Thanks to your songs, which through you gave a broader significance than the total of their words, you triggered a great joy not only in Israel, but everywhere that there is a multi-cultural fabric. This is proof that despite the existence of many cultures in one place, it is possible to bridge between them. You can preserve your culture and respect the culture of another," the president said to Jihan. Naama Rivlin also spoke: “I was really moved by you. You are an amazing woman. What you did, despite all the criticism, I think is a great contribution to the peace between the peoples and for that you need to be proud and blessed.” (Maariv+VIDEO!
  • Gaza Doctor Who Lost Three Daughters in Israeli Strike Finally Takes State to Court - Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish's demand - a formal apology from Israel for killing his daughters and niece, and compensation - is a long shot. But he will not be dissuaded. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's High Court hears arguments on conduct of Netanyahu probes - Justices call demand that attorney general recuse himself from the three investigations against the prime minister 'premature.' (Haaretz+) 
  • Bennett mocks Lieberman following Levinstein’s speech - Naftali Bennett ridicules Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman over controversial speech by Rabbi Levinstein; ‘We’ll consider closing his school when Lieberman liquidates Ismail Haniyeh.’ (Ynet
  • Bayit Yehudi leadership primaries moved up - Party Leader Naftali Bennett instructs the director general to move up the primaries to mid-April. With no clear rival, Bennett is all but assured reelection. (Ynet
  • New Palestinian Ambassador to U.S. Sworn in - The appointment of Husam Zomlot, a close associate and adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, comes at a critical time for U.S.-Palestinian relations. (Haaretz+) 
  • Jordanian Soldier Who Killed Seven Israeli Girls in 1997 Set for Release - Daqamseh, who killed the girls in a shooting rampage at the 'Island of Peace' border post, was deemed mentally unstable and sentenced to life in prison. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • Swiss parliament prohibits government funding of BDS - In an unprecedented decision, Switzerland's parliament moves to prohibit funding of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, grouping it alongside racist and anti-Semitic organizations; decision marks the first time any European parliament acknowledges moral equivalence or correlation between anti-Semitism and BDS. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Iran Commander Alleges U.S. Navy at Fault for Ship Changing Course Toward Iran Vessels - A U.S. official told Reuters on Monday that multiple fast-attack vessels from the Revolutionary Guard had come within 600 yards of a U.S. tracking ship, forcing it to change direction. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • Iran blocks Waze app for being Israeli-made - The Iranian Committee Charged with Determining Offensive Content temporarily blocks the GPS navigation application after concerns were raised due to its development in the Jewish state. (Ynet
  • Four Jewish Centers Targeted by Bomb Threats - Jewish centers in Colorado, Delaware, Connecticut and Vancouver received bomb threats via email either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, according to local reports. (JTA, Haaretz
  • Israel to assist in US struggle against anti-Semitism - The Israeli government is examining several options to help counter the wave of anti-Semitism in the US; MK Michael Oren: ‘The Jewish leaders asked for our help, especially in the fields of cyber and security.’ (Yedioth/Ynet
  • Democratic Senator Cardin to oppose David Friedman for Israel ambassador - This will make it harder for Trump's pick for Israel envoy to win Democratic support for his nomination Thursday, both in the committee and on the Senate floor. (Haaretz)

The Palestinian Woman Convicted of Terror Casting a Shadow Over 'Day Without Women'
Who is Rasmea Yousef Odeh, what was she convicted of and is the criticism against her legitimate? (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) 
Women and Tales in Jerusalem
A unique project called Women and Tales in Jerusalem harnesses the diverse strengths and talents of women, from both ultra-Orthodox and Arab families, to form small businesses of touristic merit and personal gain. (Madison Dudley, Ynet
Israel Navy gearing up for its latest mission – protecting Mediterranean gas rigs
It will take two and half years for custom-designed missile boats being built in Germany to arrive. Until then, the navy is not resting on its laurels regarding this strategic economic asset. (Gili Cohen, Haaretz)
What on Earth Is the Problem With Miki Zohar? (Uri Misgav, Haaretz+) If an extraterrestrial being landed in the West Bank and you told it that this was not part of Israel, it wouldn’t understand what you were talking about.
Parents are planning to dress up their children as (the ‘Shooting Soldier’) Azaria, like a hero - and this is a cause for concern (Ran Adelist, Maariv) Purim reveals the ugly face of part of our society, which is reflected in all levels of government: From the Prime Minister until the last clerk who signed off on the atrocities that take place here every day. 
The Rabbi Unfit for Service in Israel (Haaretz Editorial) Last summer Rabbi Yigal Levinstein slammed the military for the tolerance it demonstrates toward the gay community, whose members he called 'perverts.' Last week he vilified the recruitment of young Orthodox Jewish women. 
Settler Rabbi Not Alone in His Growing Frustration With the Israeli Army (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Religious leaders of the nationalist ultra-Orthodox camp are failing to bend the army to their will.
Warming relations between Egypt and Hamas (worries Israel and the PA) (Elior Levy and Roi Kais, Ynet) After declaring Hamas a terrorist movement, Egypt is now utilizing the organization to deal with the ISIS branch in Sinai; however, change raises eyebrows in Israel, particularly after Egypt recently transferred two concrete pumps into the Gaza Strip, which Israel bans over fears that Hamas could exploit them for tunnel-building projects. 
Latest Gaza Border Incident Could Signal Dangerous New Approach by Hamas (Amos Harel and Gili Cohen, Haaretz+) The Israeli army destroyed explosive devices near the fence in a buffer zone that Hamas is supposed to patrol. 
Jordan Claims It's Business as Usual, but Growing Threats May Undermine Kingdom (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Worrisome economic data, a million Syrian refugees and ISIS on their doorstep could prove to be too much for the Hashemites.
Putin is practically a pariah figure in the international community, other than among Israeli leaders (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) While the president of Russia is perceived as the head of rejectionist state and treated to rejection and distancing in the world, Netanyahu flew to a meeting with him and hopes for good news that probably will not come.
I Would Be Happy to Live on an Israeli Yasser Arafat St. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Every nation’s heroes are stained with blood. Some of the heroes for whom Israeli streets are named have a lot more blood on their hands than Yasser Arafat did.
Glass Ceiling? Women in Gaza Are Facing Concrete (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) For International Women's Day, women playing leading roles in Gaza's economy talk about the challenges they face, from societal conservatism to Israel's limitations on movement.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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