News Nosh 4.2.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday April 2, 2017
 
Quote of the day:
"His opposition to any criticism of the occupation is so fierce that he’d rather go bankrupt (not a trivial matter, considering that his is a family business that’s been around since 1955) than donate to an organization that works to end the occupation."
--Haaretz+ commentator Rogel Alpher calls on Israelis to boycott the popular chocolate spread owned by Moshe Weidberg, because he "espouses an ideology that makes him an enemy of democracy and a supporter of a benighted ultra-nationalistic regime that squelches any criticism."**


Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
News Summary:
The uproar and street protest over Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s plan to shutdown the independent news program of the yet-to-be-launched Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation, a plan many call a ‘threat to democracy’ and a ‘government takeover,’ and the stabbing attack by a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem’s Old City, who injured three Israelis before being killed, were today’s top stories in the Hebrew newspapers. 
 
Quick Hits:
  • World slams Israeli plan for first new settlement in decades - U.N. secretary general "disappointed and alarmed" over planned new settlement • Settler council welcomes decision, says will monitor government "to ensure the plans come to fruition" • White House reportedly informed in advance of Israeli decision. (Israel Hayom)
  • UN blasts new Israeli settlement: 'There's no Plan B for Israelis and Palestinians' - Palestinians says decision to build new settlement in West Bank exposes 'systematic policies of settler colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.' (Haaretz)
  • U.S. Senator Feinstein slams Israel on new settlement: 'Netanyahu not serious about two states'  - Democrat Dianne Feinstein warns of 'grave' situation in West Bank following Israeli government's approval for the construction of a new settlement for the first time in 20 years. (Haaretz+)
  • Government to curb settlements footprint - With the new policy, the government said it would attempt to exercise some restraint in expanding the physical footprint of settlements, though it did not specify any slowdown in construction. (Agencies, Ynet
  • Hundreds of Jews and Arabs March in Jerusalem Against Israeli Occupation - Rally comes hours after stabbing attack in Jerusalem, which organizers say 'was a painful reminder of the price of the occupation.' (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • New bill to remove left-wing NGO’s tax exemptions - MK Dudi Amsalem has submitted a bill—far from this Knesset’s first—that envisages removing municipal property-tax exemptions from left-wing groups who ‘intentionally act against the State of Israel.’ (Ynet)
  • Cop who beat Arab employee in Tel Aviv to face disciplinary hearing - Investigators view demand to see worker’s ID, which sparked incident, as ethnic profiling. (Haaretz+)
  • State Vows to Cut Detention Times for Palestinians - But gap with settlers will persist, ‘for security reasons.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli Arabs, Palestinians mark 41st Land Day with demonstrations - Thousands, including Joint Arab List MKs and Arab public figures, participate in protests across country to protest state's expropriation of lands in 1970s. Hundreds attend Land Day rallies in West Bank. Gazans take to border with Israel to protest. (Israel Hayom
  • Arab leaders choose War of Independence memorial site for Nakba Day rally - In a move provoking anger among locals and relatives of Israel’s fallen soldiers, Arab organizers choose a war memorial site marking the deaths of 70 Jewish soldiers to hold this year's Nakba Day rally. (Yedioth/Ynet)  
  • Fearing violent pushback, police ban annual Passover sacrifice by Temple Mount activists - The activists, who have been conducting the ritual for 15 years, say they will appeal to the High Court. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel buys social media monitoring system that can 'plant ideas' in online discourse - Software manual suggests that main use of the system isn’t to monitor individuals but to learn about trends and public sentiment; the real question is what the government will do with it. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli settlers dismantle own structures illegally set up on Palestinian lands - At least one Israeli settler seized dozens of dunams of land and brought thousands of sheep to graze there under the protection of Israeli soldiers. Settlers received demolition warrants from Israeli authorities. The incident occurred less than a week after Israeli forces shot and injured at least 12 Palestinians during a demonstration denouncing the settlers’ illegal seizure of the lands. (Maan
  • Hesder (Army) Yeshiva Students Hand Out Leaflets in Opposition to Women Serving in IDF Combat Units - The leafleting effort in Jerusalem and Petah Tikva follows a backlash over controversial comments by Rabbi Yigal Levinstein of the yeshiva in Eli, objecting to women in combat positions. (Haaretz+) 
  • Hamas taking steps against collaborators - As a result of Hamas' investigation into Mazan Fukha's assassination, the organization is announcing that it is taking concrete steps against Palestinians collaborating with Israel. (Ynet and Haaretz+)
  • U.S., Israeli navies launch exchange program for cadets - American cadets will study at the University of Haifa, while their Israeli counterparts get a chance to show off at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. (Haaretz+) 
  • Jewish Group Releases Blacklist of U.S. Professors Who Back Academic Boycott of Israel - AMCHA's list, which includes hundreds of names, comes weeks after Israel barred entry to supporters of boycott. 'Knesset travel ban is toothless, unless there are lists,' professor says. (Haaretz
  • In Ramallah, a venture capital fund hunts for Palestinian tech returns - Sadara Ventures, founded by Palestinian-American and Israeli-American partners, has so far financed six companies • Palestinians have the drive to succeed as entrepreneurs, the biggest obstacles they face are access, exposure, Palestinian founder says. (Agencies, Israel Hayom
  • Israel to allow shipment of diesel, cooking gas into Gaza Strip - Israel had agreed to open the crossing “exceptionally” on Friday to allow a regulated amount of diesel into the besieged coastal enclave, to be used by the Gaza Electricity Company. (Maan)
  • Vice Brings Its Gritty Journalism to the Middle East With Launch of Dubai Headquarters - The media firm reckons the region's young population coupled with some of the world's highest smartphone penetration rates make it an ideal market to expand into. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • Trump Seeks to 'Reboot' U.S. Relations With Egypt at Sisi Meeting on Monday - President Donald Trump interested in rebuilding bilateral relationship with key ally that had suffered under Obama. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Trump to meet Jordan's king for second time in Washington next week - King Abdullah is the first world leader to be granted a second meeting with the president since he took office. Visit comes amidst meetings with Egyptian and Palestinian leaders. (Haaretz
  • Horrors of life under ISIS revealed as security forces continue to liberate Mosul - About 400 meters down the road from burnt pits of oil, a large sinkhole that goes deep down into the ground, was being used as an execution ground by ISIS. (Agencies, Haaretz
  • Report: ISIS develops bombs that can evade airport security - Assessment plays key role in President Donald Trump's laptop travel ban at 10 airports in eight Middle East and Africa countries • Australia joins U.S., boosts security checks on passengers from Muslim countries • Experts fear weaponized civilian drones. (Israel Hayom


Features:
'If our sons are a threat to Israel, why not arrest them? Why kill them?'
A Palestinian teen was shot dead by Israeli soldiers after he and several others allegedly threw a firebomb at a settlement. He was 'murdered in cold blood,' his father says. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) 
Fighting for Israel, reserve IDF soldiers cut the BDS
After immigrating to Israel in order to enlist in the IDF, Laura, Kayla, and Rebecca are now preparing for their next battle; all three have flown to the United States to provide Israeli ‘Hasbara’ (pro-Israel informational campaign) on campuses across the US against the BDS movement. (Isaac Dabush, Yedioth/Ynet

Commentary/Analysis:
In Israel, No Gatekeepers to Stop Netanyahu's War on Media (Gidi Weitz, Haaretz+) A prime minister who's offered a bribe by a media magnate cannot maintain his position as commissar of media affairs campaigning to eliminate the free press in Israel. 
No real alternative to current government (Yaron London, Yedioth/Ynet) A serious deterioration in the security situation, in addition to a deep economic crisis, is the only thing which may divert the Jewish public opinion from supporting Netanyahu and his ideological twins, or to be more exact—from the world of values they represent. 
Time for U.S. Pressure (Haaretz Editorial) Contrary to the initial euphoria of the Israeli right, it turns out that Trump’s policy is not fundamentally different from that of his predecessor, President Barack Obama. 
Israel must take advantage of Hamas’ weak spot (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) It’s true that Gazans hate Israel and want to see it destroyed, but they also want to live. Israel, however, is making no effort to create some kind of distinction between the leadership and the population to present an alternative to the military plan. 
Lapid Exaggerates Because the Truth Hurts More (Ido Amin, Haaretz+) Politico's interview with Yair Lapid portrayed Netanyahu as a perennial dictator endowed with magical powers. But his never-ending rule is nothing more than an alternative fact. 
**Boycott Israel's Beloved Chocolate Spread (Rogel Alpher, Haaretz+) Hashachar Ha'ole is made out of cacao, sugar and a pinch of racism.
This land is our land (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) This week marks 47 years since the death of prominent poet Nathan Alterman, who fought gallantly for the preservation of Greater Israel. He criticized his left-wing opponents and tried to show that the Jewish people must hold on to every piece of land. 
In Israel the Age of the Rabbis Is Ending (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Smartphones killed the rabbis' power and the internet swept away an entire generation of spiritual hierarchy. When communities’ leaders rely on opaqueness, online transparency kills the legends. 
The secret of the right-wing: Everyone there knows that no one can defend the occupation (Maya Bengal, Maariv) Increasing the number of political appointments is another layer in the dark legislation led by the current coalition. And yet they live there in the consciousness that something bad is about to happen. 
Face It, Israel's Best Propaganda Comes Out of Its Film Industry (Sayed Kashua, Haaretz+) Madame Culture Minister, your attacks on the feature-film institutions – as though they are liberal bodies interested in the lives of the Palestinians – only heighten their prestige internationally.
An open letter to Richard Gere (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Your activity for human rights is important, but before taking a stand, you should know the facts. Because the things you said help neither peace nor the Palestinians. All they do is perpetuate the lies and the rejectionism. 
How Israel would benefit from keeping quiet on Hamas commander's assassination (Amos Harel, Haaretz) If Israel is indeed behind the hit, this sends a message of deterrence to other Palestinian prisoners it deported to Gaza. 
Alone on the Hill: On a clear day you can see the end of the settlement enterprise (Ran Adelist, Maariv) The failure to reach an agreement regarding construction in Judea and Samaria marks a new peak in the resistance of the world and the United States to the continued construction beyond the Green Line. On the right, they have begun to realize that their time is over. 
Cheer Nikki Haley’s Lies (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Hurray for Haley. Hurray for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. You and she deserve each other.
Riding alongside the UN's new sheriff (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) When U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told the AIPAC conference this week that the days of Israel-bashing at the U.N. were over, she received a standing ovation. The new political star may become the first woman to break the highest glass ceiling.
Even Nikki Haley, the pro-Israel hero, can’t save Israel at the UN (Eli W. Kowaz, Haaretz+) Despite the stardust, America's UN ambassador can't be Israel's savior in the international community. Only Israel itself has the power to end Israel bashing at the UN. 
Women, such a big problem (Aviad Kleinberg, Yedioth/Ynet) The actual existence of women in the public domain (that is, outside the home in which they must give birth and raise children) is offensive. They hurt men’s delicate feelings, even when they are animated and lack any sexual characteristics. And if they dare choose a profession, they will no longer be able to fulfill their national religious duty. 
Israel's Most Right-wing Cabinet Ever Curbs Settlement Construction - but the Settlers Keep Mum (Barak Ravid, Haaretz+) Instead of taking to the streets and setting Twitter on fire, settlers make do with apologetics and spin. The vagueness of the new policy gives Netanyahu some leeway, but also has its hazards. 
If the world ignores its own decisions, why shouldn’t Israel? (Hagai El-Ad, Haaretz) UN resolution 2334 isn't just another piece of paper. It requires the international community itself to actively distinguish between Israel and the settlements. This time, inaction is complicity. 
The business of terrorism (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) Israel has been made to pay a hefty price for prisoner exchanges, as half of the prisoners released resume terrorist activityץ Hamas leadership, meanwhile, is committed to abducting Israelis in a bid to secure the release of more security prisoners. 
 
Interviews:
(Elor Azaria:) A model soldier
Three months after IDF combat medic Elor Azaria was convicted of manslaughter for shooting and killing a wounded terrorist, his parents, Charlie and Oshra, are still angry and in pain • In a civilian court he would have been exonerated, they insist. (Interviewed by Naama Lanski in Israel Hayom)
 
The Israeli left's politically incorrect 'cool grandpa' has a radical new vision for Zionism
Can Ilan Gilon, described by fans as the Israeli Bernie Sanders, widen the appeal of the tiny, out-of-touch left-wing Meretz party? (Interviewed by Hilo Glazer in Haaretz+) 
 
'Who is this Smurfette? Leave me alone with all that nonsense'
On the line with Yisrael Diamant, CEO of the Hutzot Zahav public relations firm. (Interviewed by Nir Gontarz
in Haaretz+)

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