News Nosh 7.16.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday July 16, 2017
 
Quote of the day:
"We're still in shock. If we would have known, we would have immediately stopped them. It's not like we lack troubles. We're against such acts. This shooting helps with nothing but destroys everything. Now everyone will attack us."
--Relative of one of the Arab-Israeli assailants (Palestinian citizens of Israel) who killed two Israeli Border Police Friday on the Temple Mount.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
“This was the first time in my life that at my hands and before my eyes Arabs fell. In the village I killed an armed Arab man and two Arab girls of 16 or 17 who were helping the Arab who was shooting. I stood them against a wall and blasted them with two rounds from the Tommy gun.”
—From a letter written about 70 years ago by Yehuda Feder, a member of the pre-state Lehi underground, describing how he carried out the execution of the girls with a submachine gun. The letter is revealed in a new documentary, which interviews Israelis who describe the atrocities they committed or witnessed by the organization’s members in the infamous and censored massacre in the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin.**


Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
After three Israeli Arabs shot dead two Israeli Border Police at the Temple Mount Friday, Israel closed the site for two days, but worried that the situation would escalate making the top story in today's Hebrew newspapers. Also high up in the news was the participation Saturday of the new Labor Party chief, Avi Gabai, at a weekly demonstration near the Attorney General’s home calling to speed up proceedings in the corruption cases against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. 

*While it was not a big surprise that the White House condemned Friday’s attack with firearms against Israeli Border at the Temple Mount and even supported the exceptional move of closing the holy site for two days, what may be a surprise to some were the condemnations from ordinary Arab Israeli citizens, Arab Israeli MKs, (the latter also blamed the occupation), Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah of Jordan. Head of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee of Arab citizens in Israel, Muhammad Barakeh, blasted the attack and said it did not contribute to the Arab public's struggle to defend its rights and holy places. Members of Israel's Joint Arab List faction failed to agree on a joint statement so members made individual ones. MKs Ahmad Tibi and Osama Sa'adi (Joint List) jointly warned against exploiting the events for incitement against Arab Israelis and also slammed the attack. ”The position of the Arab leadership has always been that the use of weapons is not the instrument of struggle of the Arab citizens of Israel," they said. The residents of the city of Um al-Fahm, where the three assailants came from, were stunned. One family believed their relative was not involved and just killed in the crossfire. The Shin Bet forced the three families of the assailants to dismantle the mourners’ tent in their neighborhood and reached an agreement with them allowing them to receive condolences at a public building provided by the Umm al-Fahm municipality.

Both Abbas and King Abdullah called Netanyahu, condemned the attack and asked him to reopen the site. Abdullah called for calm, according to the Jerusalem Post, but a spokesman for the Jordanian government accused Israel of violating the status quo by barring Muslim worshippers from praying on the Mount. Netanyahu assured them that Israel will take all necessary measures to maintain security in Jerusalem without compromising status quo on the Temple Mount. The papers noted that Netanyahu and Abbas were acting responsibly to prevent a holy war. Israeli Police detained the top cleric of Jerusalem, Grand Mufti Mohammed Hussein, and his predecessor Ekrima Sa'id Sabri, for questioning following the attack.

Egypt and Turkey issued ‘balanced messages.' However, the Arab League accused Israel of 'continuing to harm Al-Aqsa and Hamas called on Palestinians to start an ‘intifada' targeting soldiers and settlers. Indeed, the Israeli army is bracing for unrest in the West Bank after Temple Mount shooting, fearing the attack will inspire more shootings. The victims were both Druze, one was a new father and the other a son of former lawmaker. Israel reopened the Temple Mount under heightened security today.
 
Quick Hits:
  • 18-year-old killed in clashes with security forces near Bethlehem, Palestinian Health Ministry says - According to an IDF spokesperson, a unit of the special ops Duvdevan force was conducting arrests in the refugee camp when stones and improvised explosive devices were thrown at it from rooftops. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Adelson's Testimony Reportedly Contradicts Netanyahu's Defense in Media Collusion Affair - Adelson, owner of the free daily Israel Hayom, told Israeli police that Netanyahu had discussed with him a matter of economic importance that came up in the prime minister's talks with media mogul Arnon Mozes. Adelson’s statement could constitute evidence for an indictment. (Haaretz)
  • Stun grenade thrown into Maghar mosque - The grenade was likely thrown in response to a status showing support of Friday's terror attack in Temple Mount, in which Staff Sgt. Maj. Ha'il Satawi, a resident of Maghar, was murdered; there were no injuries or damage due to the grenade. (Ynet)
  • Palestinian village resident very lightly wounded in shooting attack - Unknown assailants shoot at vehicle driving Saturday between village of Um Safa and settlement of Ateret, near Ramallah; driver alerts IDF, who are sweeping area for suspects. (Ynet)
  • Gaza electricity worsens: Only generating plant and power lines from Egypt shut down Thursday - Strip left in oppressive heat and darkness with only the 70 megawatts of power still supplied by Israel. (Haaretz)
  • Quartet 'seriously concerned' by deteriorating situation in Gaza - Enclave's power plant shuts down, prompting fears of a humanitarian and environmental crisis • U.N. humanitarian office appeals for $25 million "to prevent the collapse of vital life-saving, health, water, sanitation and municipal services" in the Strip. (Israel Hayom)
  • 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)
  • Gaza Health Ministry: Toddler Died Because PA Delayed Medical Treatment in Israel - Despite promises, the toll continues to rise in the power struggle between Hamas and Palestinian Authority. (Haaretz)
  • Rivlin: Return of Israeli soldiers' bodies is precondition for rebuilding Gaza Strip - 'We are not complacent, we know that 2014's Operation Protective Edge probably won't be the last war,' says Israeli president, blaming conflict completely on Hamas. (Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu: Two Israelis Who Jumped Border Into Gaza Cruelly Held by Hamas - Israel had never explicitly acknowledged that the two missing Israelis were held by the Gaza group. (Haaretz)
  • Israel, Palestinians announce US-brokered water-sharing deal - Deal aims to provide fresh water to Jordan, the Palestinians and Israel, revitalize Dead Sea's falling water levels • U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, in region to kick-start peace talks, hopes breakthrough is "harbinger of things to come.” (Israel Hayom)
  • Noting 'Trump effect,' former U.S. officials praise Israeli-Palestinian water deal - Experts who worked for both Republican and Democratic administration on the issue in the past say agreement shows both sides are willing to demonstrate their good intentions to Trump. (Haaretz)
  • Former intelligence chief: Israeli leadership risks missing historic opportunity - With Iran currently without a nuclear weapon, peace with Egypt and Jordan, a significantly diminished Syrian military and converging interests with the Arab world, Amos Yadlin wants the Israeli government to take advantage of the situation while it lasts. (Ynet)
  • Iran leases air, land and sea bases in Syria - The leases are part of Iranian plan to permanently base fighter aircraft and roughly 5,000 militiamen capable of striking Israel; plan part of larger Iranian strategy to forge territorial and maritime contiguity in the Middle East. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Soldier faces disciplinary action after threatening B'Tselem activist - Palestinian activist films an IDF force conducting routine security checks in Hebron when one of the soldiers, hearing she's from B'Tselem, calls her a 'slut' and threatens to come back at night and arrest her; IDF: 'Soldier's comments not in line with the IDF's values.’ (Ynet)
  • Netanyahu accuses media of falsely vilifying him in bid to unseat him - Beleaguered Prime Minister lashes out at media: 'We are in the midst of an unprecedented media campaign aimed at tarnishing me with empty accusations,' prime minister says. 'I will not turn the other cheek, I want to return a few slaps of my own.’ (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • 10 ancient jugs that predate First Temple unearthed at Shiloh - Excavation at ancient Shiloh seeks to locate site of Jewish tabernacle that dates to the time the Jewish people first arrived in the land of Israel • "This is a very exciting find," says Archaeology Coordinator in the Civil Administration Hanina Hizami. (Israel Hayom)
  • American Jews pour in money for billboard campaign backing Western Wall egalitarian prayer deal - Reform and Conservative movements: 'Free the Kotel – Enough with ultra-Orthodox domination.’ (Haaretz)
  • Canada backtracks on labeling wine made beyond Green Line - Canadian Food Inspection Agency says Israeli wines made in Judea and Samaria, east Jerusalem and Golan Heights do, in fact, adhere to criteria of Canada-Israel free trade treaty • Agency says it "regrets" previous ruling, working to correct ban directive. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • After five years in Cuban jail, Alan Gross makes aliyah to Israel - How’s his Hebrew? Not great, not as good as his Spanish, yet. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Iranian Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, First Woman to Win the Fields Medal, Dies at 40 - Mirzakhani was revered for her Fields Medal-winning work on complex geometry dynamical systems and paving an illustrious path for women in mathematics. (Haaretz)


Features:
**Testimonies From the Censored Massacre at Deir Yassin: 'They Ran Like Cats'
A young fellow tied to a tree and set on fire. A woman and an old man shot in back. Girls lined up against a wall and shot with a submachine gun. The testimonies collected by filmmaker Neta Shoshani about the massacre in Deir Yassin are difficult to process even 70 years after the fact. (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)
How Elite Billionaires Like Sheldon Adelson and Peter Thiel Are Restricting Press Freedom in America
With one vengeful tycoon in the White House, another the brains behind Hulk Hogan's $140-million lawsuit and Adelson controlling a Las Vegas newspaper, a new documentary depicts the ways U.S. journalists are increasingly being silenced. (Nettanel Slyomovics, Haaretz+)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
In Calculated Risk, Israel Shutters Jerusalem's Old City After Temple Mount Attack (Nir Hasson, Haaretz) Jerusalem becomes a ghost town after the terrorist attack at Temple Mount, and currently the decision to close the Old City has been accepted with relative quiet
Israel faces existential threats - against its democracy and its values (J-Street President, Jeremy Ben Ami, Maariv) Diaspora residents to whom Israel is dear, like me, need to deal with the urgent decisions of the present, and especially with the question: What will the state of Israel look like in the coming decades?
Israelis Killing Israelis (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) The shooting of two police officers on the Temple Mount has a motive, a reason and deep roots. But discussing them is considered treason and a justification of terror.
Following Deadly Shooting, Netanyahu Walks a Tightrope Over the Temple Mount (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Enough elements, first and foremost Hamas, are seeking to fan the flames.
Another nail in the coffin: US President Donald Trump is getting into trouble (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) The recent revelation in the Trump affair and his ties with Russia only reinforce the absurdity of the idea that the American president, who is in trouble over his head, will make peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Temple Mount attack is a nightmare for Israeli security forces, but the real test is yet to come (Amos Harel, Haaretz) What comes next depends on how Israeli police handle the situation in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
What Netanyahu needs to know before heading to Paris for Macron meeting (Dov Alfon, Haaretz+) The link between the 'Marsellaise' and the Book of Esther, and Ben-Gurion’s advice to de Gaulle. A few anecdotes in advance of a Netanyahu trip to France.
On the Kotel swindle, U.S. Jews can’t count on the Israeli Left for help (Jonathan S. Tobin, Haaretz+) The 90% of U.S. Jews who identify as Reform or Conservative are angry with Netanyahu and looking for allies. But they could be waving or drowning – Israelis simply don't care enough to find out. 
According to Trump, there's one deal more elusive than Israeli-Palestinian peace (Amir Tibon, Haaretz) Trump had described Mideast peace as 'the hardest deal to get.' Now it seems he has changed his mind.
People very close to the prime minister are immersed in interrogations up to their the necks and only Netanyahu "did not know” (Ben Caspit, Maariv) It's hard to know how this will all end, but the gift affair, called "Case 1000", is enough to bring an indictment. Those around Netanyahu made profits and he did not know anything?
Mendelblit must not drag out criminal investigations into Netanyahu (Haaretz Editorial) The present uncertainty not only harms proper governance, but creates a crisis of confidence between the public and the justice system, which is supposed to act faster and more resolutely.
Soros the scapegoat (Ronen Dorfan, Israel Hayom)
Hungarian-born Jewish billionaire George Soros was never hated in his home country until he urged Hungary to take in Muslim refugees. Now he is being vilified as an enemy of the state in posters that are strikingly similar to Nazi propaganda.
How Netanyahu went behind defense officials' backs in Israel’s submarine deals (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Shipyard mediator Michael Ganor, who has shared a lawyer with Netanyahu, has been detained this week on corruption suspicions. But the prime minister’s strange maneuvers started in 2012.
The long and winding road (to peace) (Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, Israel Hayom) A two-state solution is viable only if Israel considers significant population growth on both sides and devises an environmental master plan • Developing the necessary infrastructure, especially highways, could present great opportunities for Israel. 
The fragility of the Israeli peace camp's hope (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) A confirmed optimist would say that Labor probably needed the defeats it suffered in order to wake up; that the recovery process of Israeli society’s internal injuries took time.
Anti-Semitism and the 'moral' disguise (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) It is a grave mistake to take BDS lightly or to believe that Jews like George Soros, who attack the legitimacy of Israel, are "just" enemies of the Right • Missiles and terror are not the only tools at the disposal of those seeking to eliminate the Jews.
Temple Mount Attack Raises Tensions Between Israel's Muslim, Druze Communities (Jack Khoury, Haaretz+) Killing of two Druze police officers by three Muslim gunmen at Al-Aqsa complex could set the two Arab groups on a collision course.
AIPAC is feeling the heat to address Israel's 'Ayatollah' Judaism (Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) Israel’s staunchest defenders in America are still furious. As spokesman, advocate, champion and defender of the Jewish people, Netanyahu is finished. Forever.
 
Interviews:
Israeli envoy: Palestinians should fight for their rights - just not at UNESCO
On the line with Carmel Shama Hacohen, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO. (Interviewed by Nir Gontarz in Haaretz+)


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