News Nosh 7.31.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday, July 31, 2017
 
Quote of the day:
"..The feeling that beats among most Israelis is that a terrorist's sentence is death, period. It does not matter when, it does not matter how, it does not matter why. An Arab who stabbed a soldier should die, even if that is not exactly according to the rules, morals, or orders of the IDF...In this world, which is not perfect, a decent defense minister who raises a black flag over this deed on the moral level is erased from the political map. In this world, a prime minister who is supposed to chart the way, aligns himself with the masses and abandons the IDF, its commanders and fighters alone in the public arena."
--From the incisive Op-Ed by senior Maariv political commentator, Ben Caspit, following the rejection of the appeal of the soldier Elor Azaria, 21, who executed an incapacitated Palestinian assailant, Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif, 21.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The resounding ruling of the (military) court: “Elor Azaria prepared himself for shooting. That is the conduct character of a shooting range, and not the scene of a terror attack. The shooting at the head of a terrorist was a from a vengeful motive, and not from the sense of a real danger…this is not the way of the State of Israel, this is not the way of the IDF. This is a forbidden, serious, immoral act that is a disgrace to him and to the army.”
  • Chief of Staff: I will consider lightening his sentence
  • Azaria against himself // Nahum Barnea
  • Test of maturity // Sima Kadmon
  • Eisenkot won // Yossi Yehoshua
  • Fusing the rifts // Yoaz Hendel
  • Law vs. Justice // Shlom Pyotrokovsky
  • Polarizing and twisted // Ben-Dror Yemini
  • Eve of Tisha B’Av: Call for reconciliation of the ultra-Orthodox leadership
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
News Summary:
In a sharply-worded and damning ruling, the five-judge panel of the IDF Appellate Court rejected the appeal of Elor Azaria, the soldier who executed an incapacitated Palestinian assailant, calling his conduct immoral, yet despite their highly critical wording, the judges also rejected the appeal of the military prosecution, which sought to lengthen his 18-month prison sentence, making the top story in today’s Hebrew newspapers along with a state witness’ testimony that Netanyahu’s personal lawyer stood to gain some $10 million dollars in the submarines deal.

Also in the news, ahead of the Tisha B’Av holiday this evening, ultra-Orthodox leaders called to reconcile and end the violence toward ultra-Orthodox men who enlisted in the IDF. And, a Jordanian newspaper published the details of the Israeli embassy security guard who shot to death two Jordanians. The guard's diplomatic identity card showed his name as Ziv Chai Moyal, 28. Yedioth’s Roi Kais and Itamar Eichner wrote that this “delivered a blow to Israel, which has censored the publication of the guard’s details…To date, Jordanian media outlets have avoided publishing details and it is quite possible that the leak stems from the severe crisis between Israel and Jordan following the incident.”
 
Azaria – and his infamous, provocative and foul-mouthed lawyer, Yoram Sheftel - lost the manslaughter appeal after the judges found Azaria’s version of acting out of fear not credible. Now his family must decide whether to appeal to the High Court or not. To do that, they must provide new information, previously not presented in court. It is unlikely that he can do that. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Education Minister Naftali Bennet and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman have urged the Azaria family to request a pardonfrom the Chief of Staff instead of filing another appeal. IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot assured he would give 'serious consideration' to a request for a lighter sentence. Most of the Israeli commentators supported the military’s decision to reject Azaria’s appeal and some expressed disappointed that he wasn’t given a harsher sentence.  [See Commentary/Analysis below.] Yedioth's Yossi Yehoshua reported that two out of the five judges supported giving him a harsher sentence and writing that it was possible to indict him on murder.
 
Meanwhile, the family of the victim, Abed al Fatah al-Sharif, the 20-year-old assailant whom Azaria shot dead while he laid on the ground injured and unmoving, decried the lenient sentence. One uncle said: “Our son is dead and he won’t be coming back, even if the soldier gets a life sentence it wouldn’t help us. We want one thing—something to change the reality. We want to look ahead to our children’s future and their children. Leave the land you have occupied and there will be peace.”
 
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli Arab teen attacked in Jerusalem after being mistaken for terrorist - Karim Kitawi says a security guard in Jerusalem hit him without warning, and passersby joined in when he tried to flee. The municipality says the security guard shielded Kitawi from the passersby. (Haaretz+)
  • Jaffa youth shot dead during police chase was 'murdered in cold blood,' his father says - The 20-year-old wasn't armed when he was shot four times at close range, his father says. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian boy seriously wounded by Israeli army gunfire near separation barrier - Mohammed Qaddumi's father says his son was collecting firewood, but the army says the 13-year old threw rocks and tried to cross the border. (Haaretz+)
  • Rights group takes legal steps after reporters thrown out of Jerusalem's Old City - In a High Court petition filed Sunday, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel alleges that such limitations infringe on freedom of the press. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu addresses his handling of Temple Mount crisis - PM explains decision to place metal detectors and then remove them, saying he has a 'a broad view of the challenges and threats facing us' and noting that 'the decision we have made is not easy.' (Ynet)
  • Trump to meet Ambassador Friedman in Washington to discuss Temple Mount crisis - Trump advisers Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt will also take part in the Monday meeting. (Haaretz+)
  • Protesters in US slam Israel's Temple Mount security measures - "Muslims will never give up on Al-Aqsa mosque and we're here to salute our brothers and sisters in Palestine," says senior official with American Muslims for Palestine group • Several Neturei Karta sect Jews join protest against "aggression in Al-Aqsa." (Israel Hayom)
  • Thousands rally in Istanbul against Israel's Al-Aqsa mosque measures - The rally, called the 'Big Jerusalem Meeting,' organized by the Saadet Party and drew some five thousand people to the Yenikapi parade ground on the southern edge of Istanbul. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Israel to import black sand from Turkey to firm up coastal cliffs - Using local sand found to be ‘waste of money,’ so state buying 1 million cubic meters to spread over Ashkelon, Netanya beaches. (Haaretz+)
  • Police rabbi slams state for capitulating on Temple Mount- In memo to police cadets in program that incorporates Torah study with police training, program head Rabbi Aharon Cohen laments "enemy's laughter at our national weakness" and decries the fact that "our sanctified mount is under the control of others." (Israel Hayom)
  • Netanyahu instructed the Minister of Communications to prepare for the closure of Al-Jazeera's offices - The prime minister instructed Ayub Kara to prepare a bill to close the network’s offices in Israel. Last week, Netanyahu attacked the television station which he claimed fired up the area over the Temple Mount events. (Maariv)
  • Budget for Israel's Jewish Identity Administration steadily rising by $2 million a year - The administration’s stated purpose is 'to restore Israel’s Jewish soul.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Red Cross to Israel: Reinstate family visits for Hamas terrorists - Israel suspended visitation rights in effort to pressure Hamas to release Israeli hostages • Father of Lt. Hadar Goldin, whose body is held by Hamas, says demand demonstrates the Red Cross' "hypocrisy and inhumanity" • Israel rejects request outright. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Orthodox rabbis declare global warming a Jewish issue - Religions have 'huge resources, land holdings, media networks. They must be involved,' says Rabbi Yonatan Neril, head of an environmental NGO. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli-made 'stink bomb' not smelly enough to deter Indian protesters - Though Israeli security forces find it effective against Palestinians, Indian protesters prove more tolerant to sewage-stinking weapon nicknamed 'Skunk.' (Haaretz)
  • IDF chief rabbi opposed mixed-gender service in 2000 - A group of religious Zionist rabbis expose document signed in 2000 by current IDF Chief Rabbi Brig. Gen. Eyal Karim, in which he said mixing genders should be 'strictly and absolutely prohibited.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Netanyahu lawyer stood to earn millions from submarine deal, state's witness says - David Shimron’s cut of ThyssenKrupp’s fee to Michael Ganor would have been tens of millions of shekels, Ganor reportedly told police. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • 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)
  • Hebzollah takes journalists to former Nusra Front positions - Lebanon-based terrorist group takes reporters on tour of Juroud Arsal, scene of the most serious spillovers of the Syrian civil war into Lebanon • Area's liberation will reflect positively on the security situation in Lebanon, political analyst says. (Israel Hayom)
  • These two Muslim and Jewish U.S. comedians are standing up for peace - Dean Obeidallah and Scott Blakeman have performed together over 250 times, and they're killing it - in the best possible way. (Haaretz+)


Features:
Palestinian Jerusalemites got a taste of victory on Temple Mount, and they're hungry for more 
The Temple Mount crisis has created a sense of unity in East Jerusalem; ‘I’m 28 and I’ve never felt anything like this before, a feeling of pride,’ one resident says. (Nir Hasson, Haaretz+)
I completely fell in love with Israel, the people, the atmosphere'
Keren Hovev, 23, is making aliyah after a teaching stint in Israel as part of the Masa Israel Teaching Fellows program, which aims to connect young Jews in English-speaking countries with Israel • A further 11 of the 18 participants plan to make aliyah. (Noam Dvir, Israel Hayom)
At Palestinian assailant's village, locals lament Israeli army's nightly raids
After Omar al-Abed killed three members of the Salomon family in the West Bank, the army has conducted nightly raids: 'I was in shorts. They caught me and began beating me.’ (Amira Hass, Haaretz+)
The IDF in 2020: A ‘people’s army’ alongside a professional army
According to Chief of Staff Eisenkot’s plan, in three years from now the IDF will resemble the US Special Operations Command—a functional command training and operating ‘a different army,’ which doesn’t think and act like a conventional army. The combat system will be comprised of four different armies, and elite units will operate under the Depth Corps’ umbrella as an all-purpose professional army. (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet)

Commentary/Analysis:
Judges in Hebron shooter's appeal failed to act on their own harsh rhetoric (Amir Oren, Haaretz+) Sgt. Elor Azaria's aggressive lawyer lost the manslaughter appeal but emerged a winner nonetheless.
The media reported on what happened in the military court as if there were no more important problems (Yossi Melman, Maariv) If it depended on them, most politicians and anyone who considers himself a "public figure" - especially from the right-wing, we must continue to tell the story of Elor Azaria more and more, so that it will not end. (They believe) their mantras must not be stopped. Despite a year of court hearings, two verdicts, they do not let the facts confuse them. They continue to use Azaria...Now Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, who until now has served as a wall to preserve IDF values, is in the crosshairs of Prime Minister, Miri Regev, Knesset members, rabbis and more. They ask - in fact demand – that he pardon Azaria. We live in a crazy country, where the thirsty media is even more disturbing. All the television stations, all the radio stations and most of the news sites broadcast live for hours on end what happened inside the military court of appeals in the Kirya (IDF HQ). As if Israel had no other, more important problems.
Explained Why the Hebron shooter trial is dividing Israel (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) Elor Azaria is a household name across Israel today. But ten months ago, on the morning of March 24 2016, he was an anonymous inexperienced teenage soldier serving as a medic in the aftermath of a terror attack in the West Bank city of Hebron.
Why do we continue to apply the laws of war against the terrorists? (Meir Uziel, Maariv) Four dreams after the judgment in Elor Azaria - the first did not materialize, the second and the third did not happen, and the fourth was that the whole story never took place.
A cowardly decision in the Hebron shooter's case (Haaretz Editorial) Had a Jewish terrorist been shot in similar circumstances and such a sentence been imposed on the shooter, no Israeli would have accepted it with understanding.
They took a ride at his expense: Elazar Azaria is a victim of politicians (Attorney Yehiel Gutman, Maariv) In a few weeks, when the dust settles and the issue ceases to interest the public, the shooting soldier and his family will be left alone, far from public interest and the cynics will move on to their next project.
What it takes to be a liar (Shaul Arieli, Haaretz+) Netanyahu's conduct with regard to Western Wall worship and the conversion bill set a new record for his deceptive policies concerning both the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ties with Diaspora Jews.
It’s actually the Rabbis who preach to go up to the Temple Mount who trample its holiness (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) There is room for debate about the topicality and the timing of the battle to show Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount as a national symbol. But from the religious and halakhic point of view, it must be clear that there is no obligation or order to ascend to the Temple Mount.
Ruling on Hebron shooter's appeal shows the Israeli army hasn't lost its morals (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The judges leave no room for doubt: Sgt. Elor Azaria blatantly violated the IDF's rules of engagement when he shot dead a wounded Palestinian assailant in Hebron last year.
The attack on MK David Bitan is unjustified: It is permissible and necessary to criticize the Shin Bet (Kalman Libeskind, Maariv) The Shin Bet is not a private business, and it must be made clear to those who object to criticism of the organization by politicians that they have a problem understanding democratic processes. Criticism by journalists creates an uncomfortable feeling.
The Palestinians learn from history (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) When tens of thousands of Palestinians decide to resist peacefully, it sends an important message.
*For the benefit of all, the time has come for the Azaria family to part from the Sheftels (their aggressive defense lawyer – OH] (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The announcement of support from Gadi Eizenkot to the IDF justice system gave the soldier's family a ladder to climb down, and now it's time to let go and return sanity to the state...In a perfect world, where everything happens according to law, passions are stored and locked and the head rules, Elor Azaria was sent to a long prison term. Legally, he had no chance. Anyone who saw that video and read the testimonies understood it almost immediately. Eight judges, in two groups, reached the same conclusions, although the minority opinion in the appeal court demanded a longer prison sentence. In a perfect world, soldiers have to obey orders, no one can take the law into his own hands, the spirit of the IDF and universal and Jewish moral values ​​do not allow us to behave like the gangs that surround us...In this perfect world we are civilized. There is no situation in which a soldier initiates the killing of a terrorist lying on the ground neutralized for more than 10 minutes, without him posing any danger whatsoever. Those who come who support this situation will come to terms with our transformation into a gang. But the world we live in is not perfect. In the face of these determinations, the collective Israeli stomach stabilizes. The magical connection between the people and its soldiers. The feeling that beats among most Israelis is that a terrorist's sentence is death, period. It does not matter when, it does not matter how, it does not matter why. An Arab who stabbed a soldier should die, even if that is not exactly according to the rules, morals, or orders of the IDF ... In this world, which is not perfect, a decent defense minister who raises a black flag over this deed on the moral level is erased from the political map. In this world, a prime minister who is supposed to chart the way, aligns himself with the masses and abandons the IDF, its commanders and fighters alone in the public arena. In this world there are Internet commenters, trolls, and Sheftels [reference to Azaria's controversial defense lawyer - OH] who turn the IDF Chief of Staff, who has spent the past 35 years defending them, into a target. In this world there are other laws that are not drawn from books or values, ​​but from tribal affiliation, a sense of emergency, a primordial will to survive, and not a small bit of rage...
Netanyahu joins mob that sees Hebron shooter's judges as traitors who should stand trial (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) With undying support for Elor Azaria, who killed a wounded Palestinian assailant, the PM panders to right-wing voters despite the judges' harsh appeal ruling.
Soldier who shot terrorist at West Bank settlement doesn't deserve a medal (Israel Harel, Haaretz) Staff Sgt. A. may have saved lives that day in Halamish, but he never endangered his own life and only acted the way any soldier should have.
Netanyahu’s bold ‘fold’ on Temple Mount (Alexander J. Apfel, Ynet) It's easy to accuse the PM of capitulating to the Arab street in removing the metal detectors, but his final decision was based on long-term strategic interests which had far more to do with showing the US who sits on the other side of the table in any future negotiations.
More moral than the Shin Bet (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) A Likud legislator criticizes the security service, and people rush to defend this enabler of the tyrannical occupation.
Jordanians waiting for Netanyahu to apologize (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) The attorney general’s office in Amman has sent Jerusalem the findings of its investigation into the Israeli embassy shooting incident, and Israel has promised to speed up its own probe. Meanwhile, the family of the landlord killed in the incident has been asked not to accept any financial compensation from Israel. All Jordan wants are two words from Israel’s prime minister: ‘I’m sorry.’
With Jerusalem poised to explode, Israeli far-right - and Adelson - pour on fresh fuel (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) Casino magnate's newspaper gives center stage to prominent figure on the Israeli far-right, who urges rebuilding of the ancient Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and relocation of the Muslim shrine of the gold-clad Dome of the Rock.
Temple Mount crisis demonstrates the tragic disconnect of Israel's secular left (Ofri Ilany, Haaretz+) Nowhere else is the secular left so tragically isolated – not just from the millions of religious-nationalist Jews who wish to return to the Temple Mount, but even more so from the millions of Palestinians who swear fealty to Al-Aqsa.
Behind the scenes of a resounding Israeli failure (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) While the police considered the metal detectors a temporary solution ahead of an improved security system, the IDF objected to any change at the Temple Mount, including cameras; cabinet members were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, but an hour later, everything had already been leaked; and Israel’s main lesson from the affair is that it mustn’t rely on.
Who will help those who help Israel? (Liza Rozovsky, Haaretz+) Palestinian informants are often subjected to appalling human rights abuses. Human rights organizations need to put this issue on their agenda.
The choice is Netanyahu or Bennett (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) Netanyahu is the last speed bump before the straightaway to a new Israel run by settlers and Temple Mount extremists.
Temple Mount crisis: Moderates have the upper hand, for now (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) The interfaith dialogue has proved itself. That doesn’t mean it will last. Turkey's Erdogan, Hamas and Sheikh Raed Salah will search for any way to sabotage the agreements and renew the riots. It just means that, sometimes, it’s better to think about less political channels of dialogue.
The Jewish state's just barred a rabbi from entering. So where's the Jewish protest? (Ilana Sumka, Haaretz+) Israel’s now set a precedent for barring Jews with different political beliefs. Not protesting? Wait till you see who's deemed ‘undesirable’ next
A Pyrrhic victory (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) The demonstrators demanded and then accepted the restoration of the status quo on the Temple Mount, but they are now "hung over" after their "victory" in a reality where Israel continues to be sovereign.
Still waiting for a Palestinian Gandhi? S/he's already here (Zaha Hassan, Haaretz) Every little West Bank girl crossing a checkpoint to get to school is a Rosa Parks. Every prisoner on hunger strike is a Mandela, and every Gazan, surviving despite the dehumanizing conditions, is a Palestinian Gandhi
Events in Jordan prove the power of Israel's censor has grown (Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, Haaretz+) Israel's Military Censor, an institution that has no parallel in any other democracy in the world, must cease to exist.
The match that will ignite a third intifada in Israel is already lit (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) The stumbling Palestinian economy is exacerbating religious sensitivity. The outcome could be disastrous
Think outside the box (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) The Israel Police and Border Police have been at the forefront of recent security events while the IDF has taken a back seat. The constant effort to contain the situation is a type of avoidance.
Umm al-Fahm first (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) Mass celebrations in that Israeli Arab city accompanied the funerals of the three Temple Mount gunmen. Extremists there must be reined in before the country's fabric is damaged further.
Who controls Jerusalem? (Dr. Ephraim Herrera, Israel Hayom) Israel must act decisively to halt Muslim efforts to delegitimize Israeli control over the Temple Mount, as so far every measure to bring calm has failed.
The death penalty is human sacrifice (Rogel Alpher, Haaretz+) On the slippery slope of the death penalty for Arab terrorists lies in wait the inevitable moment when they'll be publicly executed.
 
Interviews: 
By harnessing Israeliness, WeWork joins the ranks of Uber, Airbnb
Company founder and CEO Adam Neumann says his kibbutz childhood and Israeli army service molded WeWork, nicknamed 'Kibbutz 2.0' and valued at $20 billion. It's a mission, not just a business, he explains. (Interviewed by Inbal Orpaz in Haaretz)
 
This Palestinian woman has a new, high-tech plan for forging Mideast peace
Jennifer Atala, the great-granddaughter of an Arab mukhtar, believes she can get Israelis and Palestinians together to talk technology deals – and then maybe more. (Interviewed by Judy Maltz in Haaretz+)
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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