News Nosh 7.13.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday July 13, 2017
You Must Be Kidding: 
"The High Court is the epitome of dictatorship, because no candidate has submitted his own nomination to the Nominations Committee. Did you see a job that nobody wants to present his candidacy? This is a dictatorship and the reign of terror, every (judge) is afraid that if he presents his candidacy he will be punished.”
—Likud MK Nurit Koren expressed opposition to the meticulously followed custom by which the eldest justice of Israel’s High Court automatically becomes Chief Justice. (The system is said to prevent harmful infighting at the court.)**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Getting into trouble - Two of the closest people to the Prime Minister are spending the last few days in the interrogation room
  • About power and greed // Nahum Barnea
  • Submarines affair: Germans claimed that Netanyahu’s envoy allowed them to sell the submarines also to Egypt, Prime Minister denied
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Associates under criticism - State Comptroller report in sharp criticism of Netanyahu: hid his connections with main shareholder of Bezeq, Shaul Elovitch…and in submarines affair: Netanyahu’s personal lawyer and cousin, David Shimron, was interrogated again
  • Elovich’s troubles // Yehuda Sharoni
  • The rotting and the apathy // Ben Caspit
  • The media trial // Adv. Yechiel Guttman
  • The scorpion plague - In two days, four bitten by the poisonous creature
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is on hot water over a false declaration not mentioning a conflict of interest with his friend Shaul Elovitch, the telecommunications mogul and primary Bezeq shareholder, and Netanyahu's personal lawyer, confidante and cousin, David Shimron was interrogated again while under house arrest over the submarines corruption affair, while former minister Yair Lapid testified that Netanyahu agreed to the sale of submarines to Egypt and said the submarine scandal was the worst graft case in Israeli history. The Police have prohibited communication between the parties over the submarine corruption case including between Shimron and the Prime Minister. Moreover, Police suspect that Attorney Ronen Shemer, who worked at Miki Ganor's office and who is currently under arrest, destroyed the documents regarding the submarines deal with the German shipyard company.

Also in the news, the government cabinet delayed the decision to allow the expansion of the Palestinian West Bank city of Qalqilya, despite the surprising support for the plan by right-wing Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. IDF officers told Ynet that the Qalqilya plan was a 'security tool’ to "create hope and provide the majority of the Palestinian population the option not to engage in terror.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned newly-elected Labor Chairman Avi Gabai to congratulate him (before even Netanyahu) and the two spoke about prospects for peace and eventual negotiations. Maariv reported that Gabai asked Abbas to “keep inciting content” out of the Palestinian education system. And ousted Labor chief, Isaac Herzog, agreed to Gabai’s request to stay on as Israeli opposition leader.

On the peace process front: US Special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt met with Netanyahu after meeting with Palestinian peace process team a day prior and said US President Donald Trump plans to relaunch Israel-Palestinian talks ‘soon.’ A White House official also defended the unusual situation in which the US Ambassador to Israel attended the talk with the Palestinian team, saying that  negotiators who are close to the U.S. president can provide the "best chance" for a peace deal. And the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office denied a report that Israel said it was committed to curbing settlement construction in the West Bank. The London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Hayat reported that US Greenblatt told a Palestinian delegation in Jerusalem Tuesday that Israel had committed to slowing down the pace of construction in the West Bank during peace negotiations.
Quick Hits:
  • Hundreds attend funerals of two Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli troops in Jenin - Soldiers returned fire after coming under attack during pre-dawn operation in Jenin refugee camp. (Haaretz+)
  • Two Israeli police officers charged for attacking handcuffed Palestinian on Temple Mount - Palestinian citizen of Israel called out 'Allahu akbar’ when he saw Jews entering the Temple Mount and then was handcuffed and kicked repeatedly by two officers. Despite charges, one of the two, Erez Tabor, remains commander of a Jerusalem police station. (Haaretz)
  • Gaza's Last Power Plant Just Shut Down, Plunging the Strip Into Darkness - Gaza's last functioning turbine has been closed, leaving the Strip without almost any power. (Haaretz)
  • Gaza power watch: How many hours of electricity did Gaza get yesterday - A severe electricity shortage in Gaza leaves residents with as little as four hours of power a day in the sweltering summer heat. Who gets electricity and when? (Haaretz)
  • Rocket sirens sound in Israeli communities near Gaza border; army: false alarm - The sirens went off in the regional councils of Hof Ashkelon and Sha'ar Hanegev. (Haaretz)
  • State Prosecutor Blocking Disciplinary Investigations Into Israeli Mossad Chief, Cabinet Secretary - Mossad head Yossi Cohen reportedly received improper gifts from billionaire close to Netanyahu. (Haaretz)
  • Palestinian burglar's family casts doubt on shooter's version - The family of Suleiman Shaluf, a father of eight from Tulkarm, claims shooter's version, that he shot thieves who broke into his home, is false; 'He supports his family by working as an electrician, not by stealing. It's all lies. The shooter murdered him in cold blood,' says mother-in-law of burglar. (Ynet)
  • IDF's new method for disarming terrorists without injury - Despite the fact that the number of attempted stabbing attacks has reached an all time high in Hebron since the wave of terror, the IDF has created a system enabling it to prevent every one without causing injury to a single Palestinian would-be terrorist or soldier; Here’s how. (Ynet)
  • Israeli Nation-state Bill Can’t Be Fast-tracked, Knesset Counsel Says - Head of special commission to promote the bill remains undeterred, says coalition will do everything to complete first stage of legislation before summer break. (Haaretz+)
  • **Likud MK Nurit Koren: "High Court is the epitome of dictatorship and the rule of fear" - The Knesset member who is a member of the Knesset Judicial Appointment Committee attacked the High Court and the seniority system: "The High Court violates the law and sets a goal for itself to take rights.” (Maariv)
  • IDF soldier indicted for raping girl from his platoon - Indictment states soldier, who insists relations were consensual, was invited to lodge in a spare room at complainant's home, where he forced himself on her despite her resisting. (Ynet)
  • Drivers who smuggled terrorists into Israel to be charged with negligent homicide - Police say 'Anyone who drives illegal aliens into Israeli territory needs to know and suspect there might be a terrorist among them seeking to carry out an attack,' vowing to ensure accomplices are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. (Ynet)
  • Israeli Ministers to Debate Bill Allowing Guard Huts in Grazing Areas - Sponsors say bill is meant to protect flocks, but greens object claiming serious harm to open areas. (Haaretz+)
  • British war surgeon Nott returns to Gaza to train doctors - In a hall at a beachfront restaurant, David Nott instructs 36 Palestinian surgeons in special techniques to deal with injuries in a war zone as internal feuds lead to electricity crisis and medicine shortages in the Strip. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Israeli parole board denies release to abused (Arab) woman who murdered husband - Dalal Daoud, serving 25 years in prison for 2002 murder, had President Rivlin’s backing for parole. (Haaretz+)
  • Hungary to Take Down Campaign Targeting George Soros Ahead of Netanyahu Visit - Announcement comes days after the Israeli ambassador and local Jewish community expressed fear the campaign could provoke anti-Semitic sentiments. Netanyahu later retracted envoy's protest, slammed George Soros. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israel's chief rabbi expresses regret for placing Nefesh B'Nefesh founder on rabbinical 'blacklist' - Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, the director of the aliyah-promotion organization, appeared on the Chief Rabbinate's list of 160 rabbis around the world whose rabbinical authority was questioned. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli special forces lead 'provocative raid' on Al-Aqsa Mosque compound - Palestinians have long feared that Israel has been attempting to shake up the status quo at the holy site, in the shape of routine Jewish incursions on the site and right-wing Israeli calls to demolish the mosque and replace it with a third Jewish temple. (Maan)
  • Israeli police detain Palestinians for shooting fireworks during Tawjihi (matriculation exam) celebrations - Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that the four were detained after being found in possession of fireworks and using the fireworks during Tawjihi celebrations. (Maan)
  • Palestinian family served punitive demolition order by Israeli army - The Israeli army delivered a punitive demolition order to the family of one of the three Palestinians from the village of Deir Abu Meshaal, who killed a Border Police soldier in Jerusalem. The other two families already received demolition orders. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces demolish Palestinian homes in Jabal al-Mukabbir, Silwan - Israel’s Jerusalem municipality enforced the demolition of three buildings, which included two homes, in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Jabal al-Mukabbir and Silwan. Amid the tense atmosphere in Silwan, Israeli forces reportedly assaulted a local youth during the demolition. (Maan)
  • Israel sentences Palestinian leader Khalida Jarrar to six months without charge or trial - An Israeli military court sentenced Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Khalida Jarrar to six months of administrative detention -- imprisonment without charge or trial -- on Wednesday, after the feminist and human rights activist was detained from her home at the start of the month during an Israeli overnight raid. (Maan)
  • Qaraqe testifies before UN commission on Palestinian prisoners' living conditions - Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs head Issa Qaraqe testified in front of a United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Wednesday over violations of international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory. The testimony took place in the Jordanian capital, Amman, after Israel denied the commission investigators entry to the occupied Palestinian territory. (Maan)
  • On 34th day, Muhammad Allan ends hunger strike in Israeli prison - Local reports said Allan ended the hunger strike after he reached a deal with the Israel Prison service (IPS) to end his strike. (Maan)
  • Report: Hamas delegation concludes visit to Cairo amid talks of prisoners exchange deal - A delegation of Hamas leaders concluded their visit to Cairo on Monday night, according to an Egyptian newspaper, where the two sides discussed a potential prisoners exchange deal between the movement and Israel, while tightening the group’s security coordination with Egypt. (Maan)
  • Rights group condemns PA decision to retire thousands of Gaza's civil servants - The Palestinian Center for Human Rights condemned the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA)’s decision earlier this month to push more than 6,000 civil servants from the besieged Gaza Strip into early retirement, amid an increasingly bitter feud between the Hamas movement and the Fatah-led PA. (Maan)
  • Fact check: Is Qatar supporting terrorism? A look at its ties to Iran, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood - Last week, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed ties with Qatar amid a slew of punitive measures after accusing it of supporting terrorism. (Haaretz)
  • Canada bans ‘Product of Israel’ labels for West Bank wines - Ruling singles out 2 settlement wineries, also blacklists Golan and East Jerusalem vintages; Jewish group calls decision ‘disturbing.’ (Times of Israel)

The De Facto Coup D’état': When Moshe Dayan Tried to Steal a Nuclear Device
A recently published book in the United States sheds light on a mysterious and dramatic incident in the history of the Israeli nuclear project, detailing how Yitzhak (Yicha) Yaakov was sent to take control of a nuclear device south of Tel Aviv. The real target, though, was much larger and even more important: the prime minister. (Adam Raz, Haaretz+)
Israel vs. boycott movement: From defense to offense
One of Israel’s most important and difficult battles is being waged from the 29th floor of a Ramat Gan tower. With a biennial budget of NIS 250 million, Ministry of Strategic Affairs now stands at forefront of the war on delegitimization, adopting methods from the fields of intelligence and technology. (Itamar Eichner, Yedioth/Ynet)
'Judaism is not a murderous religion': The Israeli group that stands up to Jewish terrorism
The extremist rabbis who incite violence against Arabs enjoy immunity that isn't even afforded to the prime minister, says the religiously observant founder of Tag Meir. (Ayelett Shani, Haaretz+)
Young Boy From 'Jewish Taliban' Reveals Psychical, Sexual Abuse: 'Hell Is Real, I Live There'
Boy, 14, tells of men in Lev Tahor cult, now in Mexico, who ‘undressed me and beat me and kicked me many times. And did bad things to me many times.’ (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+)
Israel Sides With anti-Semites (Haaretz Editorial) The more nationalistic Israel becomes, the more its affection will grow for those who promote nationalism and xenophobia, even if they are anti-Semites, as seen in Netanyahu's dealings with Hungary's government.
A former Likudnik is exactly what Labor needs (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) Meretz-style clichés like ‘the occupation’ and ‘the end of democracy’ would shrink the Labor Party to Meretz's size. If Gabbay wishes to turn it into an alternative to Netanyahu, he will have to lead it on a new path.
Synchronicity: 13 ways in which the new Trump and Netanyahu messes are eerily similar (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) From Russian intervention to German submarines, if you believe your leaders knew nothing, there are unicorns waiting just outside your door.
The State Comptroller report is a harsh indictment of Attorney General’s Mandelblit's performance (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The gatekeepers at the Justice Ministry, and especially the attorney general, have closed their eyes to the tricks of the gang that acted as if the holy of holies of Israeli statehood were its own.
How to prevent a third Lebanon war (Eran Etzion, Haaretz+) The Israeli interest and lessons of long-past wars demand serious discussion of diplomatic alternatives.
Israeli Cyber Authority Bracing for Foreign Involvement in Elections (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Plan is not aimed at a specific foe and so far no external attempts have been detected, as far as is known, to disrupt election procedures in the country.
Netanyahu's diplomatic dance (Eldad Beck, Israel Hayom) Hungary is one of Israel's biggest supporters, but the radical Right will likely use Netanyahu's upcoming visit to make Prime Minister Orban look like a puppet of the Jews.
Attacking Soros: Israel’s unholy covenant with Europe’s anti-Semitic ultra-right (Hillel Ben-Sasson, Haaretz) To crush ‘the ‘enemy within’, its leftist critics, Israel’s government will go all the way – complicity with Hungary’s anti-Soros campaign and spitting in the face of the Jewish diaspora included.
When anti-Semitism becomes ‘legitimate’ (Yossi Dahan, Yedioth/Ynet) Netanyahu likely wouldn’t have rushed to legitimize the Hungarian PM’s sophisticated use of anti-Semitic language if it were directed at a tycoon funding his media outlets and campaigns or offering his family gifts.
Religious Indoctrination Isn't the Real Threat in Israel (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) The settlers have caused Israel much more damage than the Haredim, and nationalism is a lot more dangerous than religious indoctrination
Misreading fanaticism (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) The UNESCO stance on Jewish heritage in the land of Israel is as delusional as writer Amos Oz's latest thoughts on fanaticism.
What Are You Defending in These Talkbacks (Emilie Moatti, Haaretz+) Like brothers in arms, the online trolls assaulted 'radical feminism' - that is, a woman’s basic right to live in safety. The force of their animosity was frightening.
'This Is 1940s Germany': Can Turkey's Revitalized anti-Erdogan Opposition Prevail? (Louis Fishman, Haaretz+) This week, one million people in Istanbul demanded civil rights, law and justice. As Erdogan's purges intensify, can a fragmented opposition sustain that momentum?
Brother of kidnapped soldier pushes for pressure on Hamas
Tzur Goldin gives an interview with Ynet in which he discusses the government's lack of action in securing the release of his brother's body and the other Israelis held by Hamas; advocates a more aggressive, proactive approach to pressuring Hamas. (Interviewed by Amit Cotler and Alexandra Lukash| at Ynet)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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