News Nosh 4.4.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
 
Quote of the day:
“The key danger in this documentary series isn’t a political or “anti-Zionist” message. It is the troublesome realization that even the most despicable murderers are human beings. Versus the “animals” that we read about in the papers, in Megiddo Prison we see rational people with families, ideas, ideology. These are people who would murder innocents for their faith. They are detestable, violent, sly, frustrated, angry and yes, they suffer, too.”
--Yonatan Englender writes what scares right-wing Culture Minister Miri Regev about the new TV program, ‘Megiddo,’ which portrays the lives of Palestinian security prisoners and Israeli prison wardens inside an Israeli prison.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
22.5% of the Jews think left-wing Israelis are dangerous.**


Breaking News:
Syria: Dozens Killed in Gas Attack in Idlib, Hospital Treating Victims Bombed
The gas attack, carried out by Syrian government or Russian jets, caused many to choke or faint and foam at the mouth; death toll rising. (Haaretz and Ynet)


Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • At 3PM Netanyahu attacked the media: “They see traffic jams, I see interchanges”; At 7PM: (Photo of traffic jam)
  • Recommendation: Handicapped stipend to increase to 4000 shekels
  • “The judges decided that I won’t have grandchildren from my son”
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
**Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused the media of bleak coverage and denied claims he was trying to undermine the freedom of the press through his latest deal to eliminate the independent news program from the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation, but meanwhile, the deal faced legal hurdles and a possible strike, his political foe returned to political life, and a number of Israeli leaders launched a movement to close the rift within Israeli society, which many have accused his government of stoking – making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Most Palestinian minors arrested by Israel claim physical violence during detention - 60 percent say experienced violence, only 10 percent met with a lawyer | In 2013, a UNICEF report said Israel was systematically abusing young detainees, new data shows little has changed. (Haaretz+) 
  • Policeman who assaulted Arab truck driver resigns - Following an indictment related to the assault, Moshe Cohen resigns from the Israel Police and apologizes for his conduct during a hearing at Police Headquarters. (Ynet
  • Israel dragging its feet in prosecution of rabbi who justified anti-Arab violence - Rabbi Yosef Elitzur has flouted summonses for a hearing and has called to ignore orders and laws he deems ‘cruel to compassionate Jews.’ (Haaretz
  • Israel systematically blocks rights workers' access to Gaza, Human Rights Watch says - The restrictions undermine Israel's claim that it's relying on rights organizations in its investigations into its own alleged war crimes, report says. (Haaretz and Ynet
  • New UN report attempts to equate Israeli (occupation) to slavery in the US - The yet-to-be published report is being composed by the same UN body that published another provocative report claiming that Israel established an Apartheid regime against Palestinians. (Yedioth/Ynet
  • Torn asunder: 22.5 percent of Jews think leftists are dangerous - A new study presents a grim reality regarding hatred between different groups of Israeli society; more than half of the citizens of Israel believe Israeli Arabs are dangerous, frightening and unreliable; the findings also show that 60% think the Haredim are exploiting the country. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Palestinian prisoners threaten hunger strike - Security prisoners from both Fatah and Hamas, lead by Marwan Barghouti, issue 13 demands to security officials, including access to phones and easing restrictions on family visits. (Ynet and Maariv)
  • Shin Bet says last week’s Lod stabbing was a hate crime - Initially suspecting that last week’s stabbing in a parking lot in Lod was a bungled car theft and burglary, Shin Bet says suspect’s interrogation reveals it was nationalistically motivated. (Yedioth/Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • EU Sharply Protests Israeli Demolition of Palestinian Homes in Area C, Warns It Will Lead to 'Forced Transfer'  -A routine meeting between the Foreign Ministry's director and the EU envoys last week turned into a protest by the European states against Israel's plan to demolish a Bedouin village. (Haaretz+) 
  • Now Revealed: Top Military Judge Said Ethiopians Could Live on Private Palestinian Land - Uri Shaham’s legal opinion in 1998 said mobile homes may be sited on land near Ofra in West Bank. (Haaretz+) 
  • Sarah Silverman Slams Occupation in Passover Haggadah: 'Jews Know Bitterness of Oppression' - From Trump to refugees to police brutality – how are this year's new Haggadahs different from others? In a word: politics. (Haaretz+) 
  • UN Security Council won’t focus on Israeli-Palestinian conflict under Nikki Haley presidency - Instead, the discussion will revolve around issues such as Iran’s support for terrorism, the Syrian crisis, Hezbollah and Hamas among others, Haley explained during a press briefing on Monday. (JPost/Maariv
  • Arab Mother Shot Dead in Galilee Town - Joint List MK: ‘This is the third case [of murder of an Arab woman] in less than a week.’ (Haaretz+) 
  • Ultra-Orthodox threaten to shut down Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport with protests against draft - A Haredi group warns it will hold rallies during busy Passover holiday in bid to draw foreign travelers' attention. (Haaretz
  • Palestinian woman issues multiple false terror threats in E. Jerusalem - After Israel's emergency service lines are inundated by string of phony threats warning of imminent terror attacks against security personnel, police arrest Palestinian woman in her 30s. (Ynet)
  • Father of JCC bomb hoax suspect to U.S. Jewry: 'We apologize from the bottom of our hearts' - In a TV interview, the father did not contest that his son had made the threats, but denied knowing anything about them before the teen's arrest; 'I was in total shock.' (Haaretz)
  • Attempt to smear iconic chocolate spread's reputation backfires - Sales of Israeli brand Hashachar Ha'ole soar after controversial columnist calls to boycott "racist, fascist," spread over company's support of settlement enterprise • Company's CEO says he is "flabbergasted and speechless by public's love and support." (Israel Hayom
  • Israel's Health Care System Seeks to Tackle Racial Bias for First Time - New panel is the first formal acknowledgement of such problems in Israel's public health care system. (Haaretz+)
  • The complexities of the Palestinian healthcare system - A family that came to ‘settle the score’ with doctors following the death of a young woman, the increasing number of births of conjoined twins in Hebron and Mahmoud Abbas's medical project: Much is happening in the health system in the Palestinian Authority. (Ynet
  • 80 foreign ambassadors and diplomats take part in Passover Seder - The traditional holiday feast, though a week early, was attended by foreign diplomats, heads of Israeli social organizations and celebrities; Afikoman found by Nigerian diplomat and CNN correspondent. (Yedioth/Ynet
  • From 40% to less than one: the Karaite Jews who remain - Four fifths of this remaining sect of Judaism, who do not accept the Talmud, live in Israel. ‘We are first of all Jews, and only after Karaites,’ one stresses. (Ynet
  • Jared Kushner travels to Iraq - A senior administration official says Kushner wanted to see the situation in Iraq for himself and show support for the Iraqi government; Kusher traveled with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford. (Agencies, Ynet
  • Trump Aide Sebastian Gorka Publicly Endorsed anti-Semitic Militia - Video shows Gorka explicitly stating his support for the black-vested Hungarian Guard, widely compared to Nazi-era Arrow Cross, which was later banned as threat to minorities. (Haaretz)
  • State within a state: Hezbollah policemen in the streets - A storm in Lebanon: Dozens of masked Hezbollah men are documented in nighttime operation to arrest drug dealers in Beirut; Opponents of the organization: This is what a country that has given up its authority in favor of the "tiny state" looks like'; Hezbollah: Photos are of 'the young supporters of the organization,' who were told to stop. (Ynet
  • New Pyramid Discovered in Egypt - The pyramid is believed to have been ancient Egypt's first attempt to build a smooth-sided pyramid. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
The only Israeli Knesset session that was top secret
Why was a seemingly innocuous parliamentary meeting in December 1960 held behind closed doors? A look at the classified minutes reveals a few surprises. (Ofer Aderet, 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:
I've Been Reading About the Occupation for Years. Seeing It for Myself Was a Punch in the Gut (Debra Nussbaum Cohen, Haaretz+) Reading about the West Bank is no substitute for seeing it, from the obnoxious privilege of Silwan's Jewish settlers to Palestinians who dodge questions about terror, to a small village ringed by settlements. 
Palestinian Prisoners' Hunger Strike Would Seek to Rehabilitate Barghouti (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The Fatah member held by Israel stands most to gain from the move. If the hunger strike materializes, it may lead to new wave of violence in West Bank.
Netanyahu is still looking for an excuse to go to elections (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth/Ynet) The prime minister found out that the IPBC is not a good enough excuse to call early elections, but he does have two good reasons to dissolve the government—the police investigations against him and Trump’s determination to jumpstart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. 
Construction, Not Destruction (Haaretz Editorial) While Israeli Arabs constitute 20 percent of the population, Arab communities’ jurisdictions occupy just 2.5 percent of the state’s land area, and the process of approving new construction in Arab towns takes decades. 
Instead of getting angry at guests who tell us to end the occupation, let's act (Dror Refael, Maariv) We live in a global village. The state of the glaciers is not just the personal nuisance of 30 Eskimos. Apartheid did not only make blacks feel "uncomfortable," and the civil war in Syria is not an internal problem. 
*The Real Threat of the Israeli Security-prison Documentary Series 'Megiddo’ (Yonatan Englender, Haaretz+) The key danger in this TV program isn’t a political or 'anti-Zionist' message, as some right-wing leaders and activists claim. Instead, it is the troublesome realization that even the most despicable murderers are human beings.
Israel’s new missile defense system is a clear message to Iran, but it isn’t perfect (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) New round of arms race begins as Israel forces Hezbollah and, to some extent, Hamas and Gaza groups to try to beat its latest advance.
Defend the Israeli Bedouin From Gaza Rockets? Let Them Dig Trenches (Nisreen Alyan, Haaretz+) While the government talks about 'gaps in protection' among Jewish communities near Gaza, for the Bedouin communities of the region there is no protection at all. 
Restarting the peace process by flipping the formula (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) Analyzing the Arab League summit in Jordan and all the unfolding drama that took place on the sidelines, US President Trump’s advisors would do well to recommend that their boss work towards promoting economic projects before starting peace talks when he meets with Arab leaders this week. 
Trump Gives Egypt's Leader His Finest Hour, With an Eye to 'Historic Deal' for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) President Sissi's visit to Washington marks a new beginning for U.S.-Egyptian relationship, but Trump is already demanding practical ideas and actions, including putting pressure on Abbas and tightening Arab world's embrace with Israel. 
All the Ashkenazi Tears (Rami Kimchi, Haaretz+) A quick glance at the art being produced in Israel shows that the Mizrahim have yet to seize power. 
Trump doesn’t really care about Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Sever Plocker, Yedioth/Ynet) The US president’s ‘strong desire’ to promote a peace agreement in the Middle East is intentional deception aimed at presenting him as a statesman with global aspirations. Trump won’t get his hands dirty solving our conflict—that’s our job. 
Erratic, Obsessive, Paranoid: Netanyahu's Lifelike Donald Trump Impersonation (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) While Israel's PM goes off on bizarre political crusades, the Jewish media is also being diverted by trash and gossip about 'Jared-and-Ivanka', rather than the banana republic values their White House roles promote. 
Not because of the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation: The real reason why we need to go to elections (Zalman Shoval, Maariv) Despite the compromise deal over the IPBC, there is a justification to go to early elections. Not because of the identity of the news anchor, but in order not to miss a political opportunity that may not be repeated… It seems that President Trump is not "locked" into his predecessor's suffocating approach to several key questions, such as building in [East] Jerusalem, beyond the Green Line and in the large settlement blocs, even though, like all administrations before him, he also supports the two-state formula in principle. Prime Minister Netanyahu is now leading a sober diplomatic move to ensure Israel's most important interests, including security borders, the unity of Jerusalem, construction in settlement blocs and the prevention of the creation of a sovereign Palestinian entity that would pose a security threat to the State of Israel. These moves will also prevent the existence of the nightmare vision of one state for two peoples, the real meaning of which is to drown the vision of the Jewish state in the Arabian Sea. Not to be mistaken: As we learn these days, none of these issues are guaranteed during the Trump era, but there is now a rare opportunity to advance them. But will the composition of the current government, with its contradictions and internal contradictions, make it possible, or will we really have to go to new elections? The best alternative is the establishment of a unity government of all the Zionist parties (Shas and the other ultra-Orthodox parties are practically Zionist), but the chances that the Zionist Camp, which looks more like a shack than a real camp, and Yair Lapid, who is blinded by the deceptive surveys, will do this are faint. So unless a miracle occurs and all the parts of the coalition come to their senses, Israel may really have to go to elections. 
From Israel's Point of View, It’s Morning in Washington (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) Now it seems that the U.S. and Israel will be reading from the same page when considering how to deal with the Iranian threat. What a relief! 
The lessons of the Arab summit (Zalman Shoval, Israel Hayom) The persistence of the Arab League in labeling Israel as an obstacle to peace, effectively sanctioning the Palestinians' rejection of negotiations, proves once again that the archaic body exists solely for appearances.
Cultural McCarthyism as Old as Israel Itself (Israel Harel, Haaretz+) The days of McCarthyism in literature, culture and arts are nothing new, in fact they go back to the pre-state days of the Yishuv. 
Facing a critical juncture, Assad is still putting up a fight  (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) Six years into the bloody civil war, the Syrian tyrant’s regime appears stable and Russia will do everything to keep him in power. The situation, however, remains very fragile and the rebels are just a few kilometers away from the presidential palace. And in the Middle East, as we know, anything can happen. 
In the West Bank, the Tail Wags the Dog (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) When civilian security officers are dictating policy on the ground, to whom should Palestinian farmers in Urif turn?
 
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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