News Nosh 3.16.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday March 16, 2017
Quote of the day:
“These are tears of pain and of hope, to say that we were able to give others life from their death. This tragedy was a cause of the ceasefire."
--Dr. Ezzeldin Abu al-Aish, the Palestinian doctor whose three daughters and niece were killed in an IDF tank shelling during Operation Cast Lead, said outside an Israeli courtroom where has filed a civil suit against the state.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Kahlon: Netanyahu is trying to pull a fast one on me
  • Rabbi battle – Defense Minister threatened to close pre-military academy if Rabbi Levinstein, who opposes drafting females, doesn’t resign…Bennett attacked, Lieberman responded
  • “When Shaftel began with the ‘They are thirsty for Elor’s blood” thing, we wanted to bury ourselves” – The resigning defense lawyers of Elor Azaria shoot in all directions. “If they had listened to us, Elor would have been home within months”
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Nurses in blood – Health system went on strike for two hours in remembrance of nurse Tovah Karero, who was set on fire and killed at a medical clinic
  • Associates of Minister Kahlon: “The Prime Minister wants to go to elections over the establishment of the (Israel Public Broadcasting) Corporation? Be our guest”
  • Kahlon is adamant // Ben Caspit
Israel Hayom
  • Even moderate rabbis oppose mixed-gender military service
  • Lieberman is enjoying his new image // Mati Tuchfeld
  • The rabbi storm: The test to freedom of speech // Prof. Aviad Hacohen
  • Lost battle against progress // Dan Margalit 
  • Holland said ‘no’ to Wilders
  • Record salary: Professor of law at Bar-Ilan, Gideon Prohomovsky, earns 252,000 shekels a month
  • The suspicion: “Deep corruption” at the Israel Aerospace Industries
  • Despite objections by her ministry: Justice Minister Shaked calls to consider pardoning Olmert
  • Shooting on the south: Rocket landed in open field
  • Detention of Asher Freij, the man suspected of setting on fire and killing nurse Tova Karero
  • Tension between Netanyahu and Kahlon; Prime Minister: Postpone the opening of the Israel Broadcasting by (another) six months

News Summary:
Three political battles made top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers and only one of them - the elections in the Netherlands - has ended, with a burning loss to the radical right-wing candidate. Barely discussed in today’s news were the recent meetings of US President Donald Trump’s envoy, Jason Greenblatt, with residents of Jilazoun refugee camp in the West Bank and with university students at Bethlehem University, as well as with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, the latter who said the US plays an important role in ending the Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking gridlock. He also met with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin with whom he also spoke about the need to return to peace negotiations. And, Trump met with the Saudi defense minister and deputy crown prince to try to enlist their country in efforts to achieve regional solutions. But former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo told the Knesset yesterday that “Nothing in the region will move without progress on the Palestinian track." (Also in Maariv print, but without a link.)
Also in the news, the defense team of ‘Shooting Soldier,’ Elor Azaria, which resigned, told Yedioth that “Without us, Elor Azaria would have sat in jail for 10 years.” Azaria received a light 18-month sentence.
The coalition rifts of the Netanyahu government are deepening. In a battle over the opening of Israel’s first independent Public Broadcasting Corporation, which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants to postpone again, Finance Minster Moshe Kahlon told Netanyahu he was “only interested in having control,” an associate of Kahlon said. The associate further said that Kahlon would go to elections over the issue.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told conservative settler Rabbi Eli Levinstein that he must resign or Lieberman would stop funding the pre-military academy Levinstein heads on Eli settlement. Levinstein has made a string of controversial comments ridiculing female enlistment in combat roles in the IDF. Pro-settler Education Minister Naftali Bennett slammed Lieberman, saying it was empty threats, to which Lieberman accused Bennett of “protecting someone who is trying to turn Israel into Iran." But Levinstein is not alone in his views. A group of prominent rabbis wrote a new position paper forbidding joining mixed IDF combat units, albeit they didn’t mock women in their declaration.
Lastly, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl driving a car slammed into a cement posts at a hitchhiking stop in the West Bank and was shot and critically injured. Yedioth called her a ‘terrorist,’ Haaretz wrote that the army said she was trying to carry out a car-ramming attack and quoted an Israeli medic, who said, “When we got to the scene, we saw a vehicle that had come to a stop after colliding with concrete barriers that protect the bus stop." Maan noted that she was 16-years-old and that the “security camera footage of the events showed a car seemingly losing control at the junction, going over a median strip, and hitting posts near a bus station.” (See video) No one was injured except the motorist and a pregnant Palestinian woman waiting at the bus stop, who went into shock.

Quick Hits:
  • *Emotional Drama Marks Start of Gazan Doctor's Civil Suit Over War Deaths of 3 Daughters, Niece; IDF blames Hamas - Dr. Ezzeldin Abu al-Aish says through tears, 'I’ve waited eight years for this moment'; Israeli judge expresses 'great sorrow and profound shock over the tragedy that happened to your family.' (Haaretz+ and Ynet
  • AIPAC Gave $60K to Group That Inspired Trump's Muslim Ban - The unusual contribution to the Center for Security Policy, headed by Frank Gaffney, was used for ads against the Iran nuclear deal. (Haaretz+)
  • Forgeries and Fake News: Israelis at Heart of Scam to Hurt Trump - An Israeli journalist received a tip and purchased damning document on Trump that turned out to be falsified, inspiring a Buzzfeed report that 'reveals an audience on the left that seems willing to believe virtually any claim that could damage Trump.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Hilltop Youth call for death to 'Zionazis' - While conducting crackdowns against far-right extremist youths near Givat HaBaladim, police discover inciting graffiti calling for death to Arabs, 'Zionazis,' police and the Israeli left. (Yedioth/Ynet
  • 13 suspects arrested in IAI corruption investigation - Investigation centers on companies providing bribes and kickbacks to Israel Aerospace Industries officials in exchange for contracts; suspects include executives, board members, managers, a former IDF officer and a bank manager. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Driver in West Bank attack that killed yeshiva head rabbi sentenced to two life terms - The gunman in the case was killed in a shootout with IDF forces following the incident. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • 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+) 
  • 94% of Palestinians: God is with us - A survey shows that one third of Palestinians believe that the occupation will continue for at least another 50 years, 64% believe that Mahmoud Abbas should resign and 51% oppose the two-state solution, but despite the pessimism, the majority believe that God is standing with them. 37% believe that armed resistance is most effective means of achieving an independent state. (Ynet
  • Two months later: Police reenact Umm al-Hiran shooting incident - Controversial incident of the Umm al-Hiran shooting reenacted by police – with headlights turned on, despite the fact that the initial testimony of the incident provided by the police claimed that Yakoub al-Qiyan's headlights were off, in an effort to establish circumstances leading to the death of a policeman and the Bedouin resident. (Ynet and Maariv
  • Israel's justice minister calls to pardon former PM Ehud Olmert - Ayelet Shaked's stance runs counter to the recommendation of the pardon department at her own ministry. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Facebook Blocks Links to Israeli Site That Criticizes Social Media Giant - Users who try to share posts linking to the Hebrew-language Mizbala site are warned that the content in question is 'unsafe.' (Haaretz)
  • Crusader shipwreck, gold found by diving archaeologists in Israel - As the Muslims breached the walls of Acre, hoards of gold coins sank with their fleeing masters to the bottom of the sea, and have now been found by marine archaeologists. (Haaretz)
  • IDF Skylark drone crashes in northern Gaza - Artillery Corps drone was carrying out routine operations when it crashed in the Saja'iyya area; army investigating whether it went down due to technical malfunction and states crash does not endanger state security. (Ynet)
  • Sbarro terrorist added to FBI Most Wanted Terrorist list - For her role in the murders of two US citizens and the wounding of four others in a 2001 suicide bombing attack, the FBI and Justice Department have issued an arrest and extradition warrant against Tamimi; Jordanian government refuses to turn her over. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • At Least 31 Killed in Two Separate Suicide Attacks in Syria's Damascus - First suicide bomber targeted Palace of Justice in central Damascus, second attack hit restaurant; dozens wounded, state media reports. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • Syria's Assad Will Remain in Power as a Pariah, Experts Say - An estimated half a million people have been killed, half the population has been uprooted in the world's biggest refugee crisis, and the war has set new standards of savagery in its impact on civilians. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Geert Wilders' anti-Islam Party Dealt Blow, PM Mark Rutte Wins Dutch Elections, Exit Polls Show - Netherlands' ruling party projected to win with 31 seats; Geert Wilders' PVV tied with two other parties in second place; Wilders: 'Rutte hasn't seen the last of me.' (Haaretz)
  • US demands 'considerable reform' in UN Human Rights Council - As long as the U.S. is part of the UNHRC, it will "reiterate [its] strong principled objection to the Human Rights Council's biased agenda against Israel," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says • U.S. withdrawal from council not imminent, officials say. (Israel Hayom)

‘Ambulance’ assaults viewers with an uncensored look at the last Gaza war
The seething mass of blood, dust and fear that was hidden behind the dry headlines that summer of 2014 is the focus of a documentary by a Gazan filmmaker who spent the war in an ambulance. (Nirit Anderman, Haaretz+)
From Rooftop to Salad Bowl: Farming in Tel Aviv's Urban Jungle
Three enterprising farmers use hydroponic methods
to grow veggies atop Dizengoff Center in the heart of
Tel Aviv and offer them freshly picked on a daily basis. (Ronit Vered, Haaretz+)
In Egypt, many still believe sexual harassment is the woman's fault
A law is not enough to shake views to the core, but some see encouraging if slow signs of change. (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+)
Absurd but True: Jews Who Don't Support BDS Must Stand Behind Those Who Do (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) If we care about our democracy, those of us who disapprove of what the boycotters have to say must now be prepared to defend their right to say it. 
Before separating religion from state, separate religion from policy (Amnon Abramovich, Yedioth/Ynet) Rabbi Levinstein can be defined as a anomaly, but the biggest problem is how religion is taking over policy. The State of Israel was established to fulfill the national—not religious—revival of the Jewish people.
If Trump makes peace, Israeli leftists will abandon American Jewish liberals (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Netanyahu ignored U.S. anti-Semitism to advance the right's agenda but what happens when the shoe is on the other foot? 
Expanding Political Persecution With an Amendment (Haaretz Editorial) A small change in the Basic Law on the Knesset opens a wide door for candidates or even entire tickets to be disqualified from elections. 
Anti-boycotters law will only harm war on BDS (Yossi Dahan, Yedioth/Ynet) Many people who have been fighting the anti-Israel boycott movement for years, but are in favor of boycotting the settlements, will now be barred entry to Israel. This includes quite a few Jewish American liberals.
15 Years of Grief Failed to Prepare Me for One Palestinian Mother's Brave Message (Robi Damelin, Haaretz+) The brave mother of the Palestinian teen who was burned to death by Jews says women should sit at the negotiating table. 
The Costa Rica case: A demilitarized Palestinian state is a win-win for all (Gal Hacohen and Edward Edy Kaufman, Ynet) Netanyahu recently raised the possibility of using the Costa Rica model for a Palestinian state. The Central American nation, after a popular armed rebellion, decided to forego its military in favor of separate functional police forces. Since then, it has fought no wars and experienced no significant acts of domestic violence and its defense budget has been going to education. Can the Palestinians adopt this model?
Sara Netanyahu: I Believe There Is No Army More Moral Than Israel's (Rogel Alpher, Haaretz+) A TV interview with Israeli prime minister’s wife on Tuesday contained no reasoned discussion of the ethics of the Israel Defense Force, but she is happy to go on living in a fool’s paradise.
Women in combat roles: Yes, you can (Yoav Keren, Yedioth/Ynet) It’s true that not every girl is fit to be a fighter, but neither is every boy. Almost every woman soldier who has completed a physical fitness instructors’ course is likely capable of being an infantry fighter, let alone a fighter in the Armored Corps; the rabbis should focus on what they know, rather than presenting scientific research to prevent female enlistment.
Pro-Israel and anti-Semitic: Israel's Dilemma With the European Far-right (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Israel's close ties to the likes of Geert Wilders and Hungary's Orban are justified by their support of the Jewish State. But Israel is playing with fire. 
You've Got to Envy the Jews of the World (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Compared with other minorities — especially the Arab one in Israel — Jews have it so good. 
No rushing the peace process (Clifford D. May, Israel Hayom) The Palestinian-Israeli conflict cannot be resolved anytime soon. But significant changes will occur once PA President Abbas passes from the scene. American policymakers should be getting ready.
How Israel Resembles the Apartheid South African Regime I Struggled Against (Lisa Ohayon, Haaretz+) Bannings, a siege mentality, the primacy of ‘security’ over basic rights: Netanyahu, like P.W. Botha before him, has internalized his own propaganda of fear and loathing. 
Selective outrage about anti-Semitism (Jonathan S. Tobin, Israel Hayom) Where were all those people now raising hell about anti-Semitism before anti-Semitism could be blamed on Trump? 
Backlash: 'Coming Out' as Orthodox Jewish and anti-Trump (Elad Nehorai, Haaretz+) There's a growing Orthodox Jewish resistance movement to Trump. But it's quiet and very fearful - and for a good reason. 
A Warped Brand of Feminism (Kobi Niv, Haaretz+) If this is the logic of feminism in the country then we should also demand equality for women in the criminal world where they trail way behind men in committing murder, rape and robberies. 
This Is the Way Netanyahu Wants Us (Emilie Moatti, Haaretz+) This is how Netanyahu wants us – helpless, subjected to the cruel hand of fate, outcast by the world and surrounded by enemies. But we know better. 

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