News Nosh 3.15.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday March 15, 2017
Quote of the day:
"We do not kill if we don't have to." 
--Prof. Asa Kasher, who wrote the IDF's ethics code told a special Knesset discussion on purity of arms that Sgt. Elor Azaria was wrong to kill Palestinian assailant Abdul Fattah Al-Sharif.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • “She came to do holy work – and was murdered” – Protest over the murder of the nurse: Health system to go on strike today for 2 hours
  • Holland votes, Europe is tense
  • Prime Minister: “Sarna’s words are crazy smears”
  • 2 killed in explosion at fireworks warehouse
  • This morning at high schools: Two-hour solidarity strike in protest of violence against teachers
  • Approved: Senior citizens age 80+ - won’t need to wait in line
News Summary:
A disgruntled elderly man set on fire and killed a nurse, an illegal fireworks warehouse exploded killing two (Arab) workers, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife testified in court against a journalist he said libeled him, making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also in the news, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told US President Donald Trump’s envoy that he believed peace was possible, while conflicting reports emerged about whether Trump would allow settlement construction to continue.
Israeli hospitals and community clinics declared they would be on strike today for two hours in protest of frequent attacks against medical personnel, the most recent ending in death. The Israeli Health Ministry said over 800 violent incidents are reported, both verbal and physical, annually. Schools also declared a limited strike over violence against teachers.
Abbas met at his Ramallah offices with U.S. special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt and, according to a statement released by the US Consulate in Jerusalem, Abbas told Greenblatt that “under President Trump's leadership a historic peace deal is possible, and that it will enhance security throughout the region. The statement also said that Greenblatt stressed to Netanyahu that “enabling the growth of the Palestinian economy" and "improving the quality of life for Palestinians,” was important to President Trump. Yedioth noted that Greenblatt did not wear his signature black yarmulkeh during his visit in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. A source in Washington said it was an 'intentional decision with a goal: The American desire not to be seen as supporting Israel.
Interestingly, Palestinian sources told Al-Hayat newspaper that Trump will offer Abbas a settlement construction freeze (Maariv), while Haaretz+ reported that Netanyahu expects to reach a deal with Trump for restrained settlement construction. The report also said that in May, Jordan will host a US-Israeli-Palestinian summit, where the sides are expected to discuss the general lines needed to resume negotiations. But a poll released yesterday shows that most Palestinians barely see a chance for a two-state solution happening under Trump’s term and over 60% want Abbas to resign. Palestinian sources also said that "Israel eavesdropped on last week’s telephone conversation between Abbas and Trump...Obviously there was a wiretap because Israeli politicians talked in detail about the conversation between the two," the sources told Sama news agency. (Maariv)
Quick Hits:
  • Secret Document Reveals Israel Expelled Gazans Right After Six-Day War - Israeli army was engaged in collective punishment, kicking out dozens of refugee camp residents and demolishing homes over one landmine whose tracks led back to the camp, Foreign Ministry memorandum shows. (Haaretz+)
  • Moshe Dayan opposed conquering Jerusalem's Old City, rare recordings from the Six Day War revealed - 50 years after the war, recordings of senior members of the intelligence branch are shared, revealing a complex relationship with the heads of state at the time: "The considerations were political, not military." (Maariv +audio)
  • Israeli army denies soldiers intended to plant knife on Palestinian boy in Hebron - An eyewitness who filmed the incident said he saw Muhammad Qazzaz flat on the ground with a soldier, who pointed a machine gun at the boy’s head, and had his boot on Qazzaz’s neck. A second soldier was seen carrying a knife and then throwing it near the checkpoint. Sometime later, another soldier was seen picking up the same knife and then moving with the young Palestinian towards the Israeli police station, when the footage was taken. (Maan
  • East Jerusalem schools go on strike: 'Israel forcing its vacation calendar on us' - Parents say the move will interfere with the holding of the Palestinian matriculation exams; they're also protesting the closing of a school said to have Hamas links. (Haaretz+) 
  • Israeli high school teachers to strike over increased violence - Teachers Association chairman says he is 'infuriated' by Education Minister Naftali Bennett's lack of action. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • (Israeli) Civil servants feel abandoned, strike in protest - 3,000 violent incidents take place every year in the healthcare system; following the murder of an HMO nurse, hospitals, schools, and other public offices shut down in solidarity for two hours. (Ynet)
  • Israeli forces assault Palestinians during protest over home demolitions in Israel - Dozens of Palestinians in Jerusalem protested outside Israel's Ministry of Finance on Tuesday against the “Kaminitz” draft bill being considered for legislation in the Israeli Knesset -- expected to intensify Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem -- while clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli police forces. (Maan
  • Israel briefly detains Palestinian ex-negotiator - Israeli police detain a former Palestinian peace negotiator for several hours, accusing him of conducting illegal political activity in east Jerusalem on behalf of the Palestinian Authority; he will be permitted to reopen his office later in the week. (Agencies, Ynet
  • Foreign Ministry brings (Arab) North African media delegation to Israel - The visit is the sixth such initiative to bring Arabic-language media representatives to Israel; delegation includes journalists and bloggers from Algeria and Tunisia. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Sara Netanyahu: "Of course I support a pardon for Elor Azaria" - Wife of the Prime Minister spoke of the ‘Shooting Soldier’ affair in an interview with Channel 20: "This is very sensitive (subject), because on the one hand you have to obey the law, and on the other hand I believe that the IDF is the most moral army in the world, no army is more moral than ours…You need to remember that they are just children, aged 18-19. Sometimes they are scared. I don’t know, maybe Elor was scared. They are soldiers, but they are our children who are protecting us…I don’t want our soldiers needing to go around with lawyers.”  (Maariv
  • **Charlie Azaria to Knesset Committee: "They’ve made us out to be enemies of the people, Elor is innocent" - Speaking at a special Knesset meeting on the subject of 'purity of arms and the sanctity of life,' the parents of the Shooting Soldier, Elor Azaria, came to the Knesset bearing a letter titled, "The real story that happened in Hebron" and also met with Knesset member Nava Boker (Likud) and Minister Ayub Qara (Likud).Prof. Asa Kasher, who formulated the IDF's ethics code, told the committee that "In the case of Sgt. Elor Azaria, there was no necessity to kill the Palestinian laying on the street and, therefore, what he did was wrong...We must keep IDF moral army in the world." (Maariv and Pulse)
  • Israel closes East Jerusalem mapping office for 'tracking Palestinian land sales to Jews' - Police say the geographic consulting firm is passing the information to Palestinian security forces in Ramallah. (Haaretz and Ynet)  
  • PLO chief denounces closure of Palestinian institution in Jerusalem - PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat denounced the closure and “the illegal detention” of its director, Khalil Tufakji, describing the man as “a distinguished scholar from Jerusalem.” Erekat said in a written statement that Israeli forces also seized the documents, computers, and equipment from the office. (Maan
  • Germany: PM's lawyer was at meeting with ThyssenKrupp rep, German envoy - German government confirms David Shimron was present at Tel Aviv meeting between Miki Ganor, ThyssenKrupp’s representative in Israel, and the German Ambassador in December 2015, raising new questions regarding his alleged involvement in submarine deal. (Yedioth/Ynet
  • Amona residents to PM: Start construction or we'll do it ourselves - In a letter to Netanyahu, residents of the former illegal outpost are calling on the prime minister to honor his commitment toward the community and immediately begin construction on a new settlement. (Yedioth/Ynet) 
  • Israeli settlers assemble new outpost on Palestinian land in Ramallah - Activist Kathem Hajj Muhammad said that Israeli settlers had placed barbed wire around caravans in a new outpost, while opening a road in order to facilitate reaching the outpost from a nearby settler bypass road. (Maan
  • Israeli army destroys equipment at Palestinian printing firm during raid - The owners, however, deny that they produced material that seeks to incite Palestinians against Israelis. (Haaretz+) 
  • Israeli Arab Lawmaker to Quit Knesset in Case of Plea Bargain, Says Deputy AG - Knesset discusses unseating MK Basel Ghattas following a draft indictment against him on charges of smuggling cellphones to Palestinian security prisoners. (Haaretz+) 
  • Philippine strongman Duterte expected to visit Israel - Denounced for human rights abuses, comparing self to Hitler, calling Obama ‘son of a bitch,’ Jerusalem official sees no problem with Rodrigo Duterte visit. (Haaretz
  • Israeli authorities demolish East Jerusalem building under construction - A large number of Israeli security forces stormed Issawiya to protect bulldozers and a Jerusalem municipality crew carrying out the demolition tore down a two-story, 250-square-meter building under construction owned by Majdi Mustafa. (Maan)
  • Israeli land authority destroys crops planted by Palestinian Bedouins in Negev - Residents of Bedouin communities in the Negev face ongoing displacement at the hands of Israeli authorities. Because Bedouins generally lack titles to the lands their ancestors have historically grazed and lived on, it is difficult for them to prove their right to live and work on the lands, which were declared property of the state of Israel in 1948. Israeli authorities have cracked down the Bedouin community in Israel since the beginning of the year. (Maan
  • Israel issues administrative detention orders against 35 Palestinian prisoners - According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,500 Palestinians were detained by Israel as of January, 536 of whom were held in administrative detention - srael’s widely condemned policy of internment without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence. (Maan
  • Palestinian prisoner poured a pot of boiling liquid on the face of the prison ward - Hussein Atta Allah, 57, from Nablus who has served 21 years of a 32 year sentence in Ayalon Prison for murder and attempted armed robbery, is accused of having boiled a pot of water, with margarine, salt and sugar and pouring it over the face of the warden, badly burning her, because she refused to grant him a conjugal visit with his wife who was scheduled to arrive the following day, saying he had submitted his forms late. (Maariv
  • Report from Lebanon: Israeli Air Force planes flew over Lebanon’s skies - Lebanon's official news agency reported that the aircraft circled over Bint Jbeil and Marjayoun. This is in the wake of the report that Iran has set up missile manufacturing factories for Hezbollah. (Maariv
  • IDF offers incentives for Haredi recruits - In the face of fierce and sometimes violent Haredi opposition, the IDF is continuing efforts to enlist Haredi soldiers by offering a variety of incentives meant to safeguard their way of life and assist them during and after their service. (Ynet
  • Reporter with new public broadcaster lauds terrorist - Samah Wattad, reporter on Kan's Arab desk, retweets terrorist's photo and caption saying, "The intellectual is the first to fight and never gives up" • Retweeting "doesn't necessarily mean agreeing with content," she says • Office calls her in to explain. (Israel Hayom)
  • Netanyahu slams IPBC after employee tweet supports terrorist - Sameh Watad, a Broadcasting Corporation researcher, shared a tweet supporting a terrorist; her managers responded with suspension, while the prime minister called for her dismissal. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Two Israeli Films to Compete at Tribeca Film Festival - Michal Gassner’s 'Big Sister' joins 'Holy Air' by Shadi Srour. (Haaretz+)
  • Mobileye Founder After $15.3 Billion Exit: 'It’s Not the Money. We Want to Change the World' - Amnon Shashua defends the sale of the self-driving car technology firm to Intel as essential for the company’s growth. (Haaretz)
  • Linda Sarsour: Zionism and Feminism Are Incompatible - Palestinian-American women in social justice movements cannot be as visible as other women because they're the target of attacks from 'right-wing Zionists,' the activist says. (JTA, Haaretz
  • Jordanians disassociate themselves from the (Jordanian) murderer of the (Israeli) girls at Naharayim: "That isn’t how you become a hero" - Alongside the celebrations fellow villagers held in honor of his release, there were also citizens refused to call him a "hero.” (Maariv)
  • Report: 465,000 killed or missing in 6 years of Syrian war - Syrian civil war has caused biggest refugee crisis since World War II, says Syrian Observatory for Human Rights • Rebel groups and regime forces alike deny targeting civilians • Syrian government, Russia deny torture or extrajudicial killings of rebels. (Israel Hayom)
  • Germany Drafting Law to Fine Social Media Firms Up to $53M Over Hate Speech - Issue takes on urgency amid concern over spread of online racist content, often targeting migrants and members of the Jewish community. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • EU's Top Court: Employers May Ban Religious Garb in Workplace - Faith groups outraged after court rules employers were within their rights to fire two women, in France and Belgium, who were dismissed for refusing to remove Muslim headscarves. (Agencies, Haaretz)

The friendly Muslim country: a glimpse of the Jewish community in Bahrain
The Jewish population in the country has only 39 people but the kingdom is ruled by a Sunni family that allows freedom of religion and appoints women to key diplomatic positions.(Jacky Hugi, Maariv)
Letters to the Editor: Arrive in Israel on March 21. Arrest Me (Haaretz
50 years since the expulsion of the Jews – a reconciliation conference between Libya and Israel
The meeting is to be held on the island of Rhodes and has received the sponsorship of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. Senior Libyans officials, including former ministers, will participate. Even Israeli senior officials, including Minister Gamliel and Minister Kara intend to attend. (Meir Uziel, Maariv)
The Symbiotic Relationship Between Israel and BDS (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Not only does the Israeli government have a vested interest in exaggerating the boycott movement's influence, it supplies it with a steady stream of justifications. 
Phillipine President Duterte, an Unwanted Guest in Israel (Haaretz Editorial) The enlightened world is not interested in granting legitimacy to Duterte, but that doesn't interest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu too much. 
Bomb Threats, Baseball, and the Quietly Heroic Family Israelis Don't Know (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) None of this is what you know. This is America. Jews have stood up to hatred. Their communities are stronger and closer than before. Moreover, they've worked hand in hand with Muslims for mutual aid at a time of crisis. 
Simone Zimmerman on Israel's Travel Ban: 'Am I an Enemy of the State?' (Simone Zimmerman, Haaretz) The Jewish American activist weighs in on the new law barring entry to foreigners who call for boycotting Israel or its settlements in the West Bank.
Calculating his end for after: Netanyahu is shooting in all directions and is also harming the country (Ran Adelist, Maariv) One possible escape route of Netanyahu from the situation he is in is to go with Trump to a regional conference, to throw out Bennett [Habayit Hayehudi] and to bring in the Zionist Camp. But like always, he probably will be scared and drift with the circumstances. 
Palestinian Authority Blindness - or Collaboration? (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) PA leader Abbas has solid reasons to fear abandoning the field to independent military cells that won’t defeat the occupation but only worsen the situation. This, however, is not the message he and his security forces are conveying. 
Italy vs. BDS (Dr. Emanuele Dalla Torre, Israel Hayom) The leadership of Italian academic institutes is taking a firm stance against the anti-Israel boycott movement. 
A national Interest: Geert Wilders is a fan of ours, we should wish him luck (Prof. Aryeh Eldad, Maariv) If the far-right candidate wins the elections in the Netherlands, Israel will win its strong ally as a prime minister who has not abandoned his positions in favor of us even when it didn’t help him. 
Geert Wilders, Netherlands' Take on Trump, Faces One Obstacle His U.S. Doppelganger Didn't (Shai Simpson-Baikie, Haaretz+) The Turkey-Netherlands diplomatic meltdown was a boon for Wilders' far-right party so soon before the election. But even if he wins a plurality, the premiership will almost certainly remain out of reach.
How Israel uses gas to enforce Palestinian dependency and promote normalization (Tareq Baconi, Al-Shabaka, Maan) Since 1967, Israel has systematically colonized Palestinian natural resources and, in the field of hydrocarbons, has prevented Palestinians from accessing their own oil and gas reserves. In 1999, the Gaza Marine field was discovered off the coast of Gaza, and the license for exploration and production was awarded to BG Group, the major British oil and gas company since acquired by Shell. 
Rights groups ask court to scrap deductions from asylum seekers' salaries (Moshe Gilad, Haaretz+) New law allows asylum seekers to receive the sum once they leave the country, but human rights groups say it forces them to live in greater poverty.  
Sara Netanyahu's Rumored Mastery of Her Husband Is Israel's Greatest Story Never Told (Yossi Klein, Haaretz+) Israeli journalists are afraid of criticizing Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife. Not just scared, but the terror that paralyzes anyone who hides in the attic from the storm troopers below. 
Why American Orthodox Jews Won’t Abandon the GOP and Trump (Samuel Heilman, Haaretz+) It's a common thesis: due to their history and prophetic tradition U.S. Jews are naturally liberal and progressive. But American Orthodoxy still cleaves to the right, even when anti-Semitic voices infect conservatism. 
A Noisemaker Dressed as Defense Minister (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Logic is Lieberman's dominant side, thus there’s no point in trying to change his mind with sentimental arguments, such as fundamental damage to the fabric of Israeli Arab life.

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