News Nosh 8.8.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday August 8, 2017
Quote of the day:
"But I would like to focus here not on the details of the penal code, which the judicial system is handling, or is meant to handle; I would like to focus on behavioral norms: not what is forbidden or permitted, but what is proper or improper. The weaker the public norms are in Israel, the more public conduct is governed by legal hair-splitting. Note well that the High Court has not been strengthened; it has been weakened. The power of the law has not increased; it has been undermined. What has gotten stronger, more rooted and has spread like a weed is the foolish notion that anything that is not criminal is pure and innocent."
--Yoella Har-Shefi examines the deterioration of Israeli society in an Op-Ed in Haaretz+.

You Must Be Kidding: 
The newly appointed commander of the Golani Infantry Brigade is Col. Shai Kleper, a graduate of a yeshiva in Kiryat Arba, who was put on military disciplinary trial in 2003 because troops under his command shot live bullets at demonstrators protesting the West Bank separation barrier, and injured an Israeli and an American. The Military Police investigated the incident, but then-military advocate general Avichai Mendelblit – who is now the country’s Attorney General – decided that those involved in the shooting should face disciplinary charges rather than criminal ones, so as not to harm their military careers.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Tragedy: Pilot killed and another pilot injured in helicopter crash
  • Infuriating: “Palestinian tour guides incite aginst Israel at Yad Vashem”
  • Revolution in IDF: Get first call to the army with the whole class
  • Netanyahu: “Resigning because of investigations? That won’t happen”
  • Amazing achievement (for Israeli triple jumper) Minenko: Finished 4th place at world championship
  • Anger in Jerusalem: Central entertainment site opened with “hours for ultra-Orthodox only,” and the secular people out
  • Train of success: Israeli entrepreneurs will compete over the renovation of the subway in NY
  • In the shadow of the crash of Teva Pharmaceuticals: 8 new factories will be established in the south

News Summary:
An Israeli army helicopter crashed killing one pilot and things got worse for the Netanyahu couple making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II met in Ramallah to improve joint cooperation following the Temple Mount crisis and afterward, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat released a statement saying that Abbas and the King seek a clear position from the US about the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. Also, veteran US diplomat David Satterfield was named the US State Department Middle East Director.

And, the IDF has new plans for drafting young Israelis. Yesterday, the media reported that the IDF decided to start drafting 11th graders during military prep week, instead of sending them draft orders and plucking them out of their school year for a battery of tests ahead of their conscription. The move was meant to save students from having to travel to induction centers for the screenings and it would take advantage of their high motivation from the camp. But today, Israel Hayom reported that the new plan is for representatives from the IDF induction center to come to 11th grade classrooms and do the tests at their school.

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit is expected to announce the indictment of Sara Netanyahu for misusing state funds and the High Court has ordered Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to reveal the timing of talks he held by phone with the owner of ‘Israel Hayom’ newspaper, Sheldon Adelson, and its former editor-in-chief, Amos Regev. The court noted that the petition was filed by Channel 10 News journalist Raviv Drucker, who conducted an investigation into the relationship between the prime minister and the newspaper Israel Hayom and its owner, in which the newspaper was presented as 'a mouthpiece for promoting the prime minister's positions and interests,' and sought to deepen and corroborate the findings of their investigation." Drucker told 103FM/Maariv that now "It will be possible to cross-examine the dates of those talks with the talks with Yedioth publisher Arnon Mozes” in regards to Case 2000, in which Netanyahu is suspected of offering to weaken Israel Hayom in exchange for favorable coverage of him in Yedioth.

Meanwhile, former Netanyahu-confidante-turned-state-witness, Ari Harow, is going abroad with police permission and might return with investigative materials. Nevertheless, Netanyahu said he isn’t going to resign just because he is being investigated, Israel Hayom reported. The Arab world is following Netanyahu's investigations closely ‘with fear and joy,’ Maariv reported. The joy is to get rid of him, but the fear is that Habayit Hayehudi would take advantage of Netanyahu’s weakness for more right-wing moves: settlement expansions and another round of fighting in Gaza.

Maariv reported that Likud supporters are divided over whether to support Netanyahu or not. Some consider the investigations a ‘witch hunt’ and they will support him till proven guilt, while others say Netanyahu is simply ‘corrupt’ and “this is our darkest period.” They all agree that “the fire is burning the house.”
Quick Hits:
  • New Israeli Town Built on Ruins of Bedouin Village Trying to Bar non-Jews - However, legal precedent – and a promise from the state – makes it unlikely that Hiran's cooperative association will be able to dictate who is allocated land. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli court shortens sentence of one of three Arab citizens imprisoned without trial - The three men were arrested following the July 14 attack at the Temple Mount with a warrant signed by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. (Haaretz+)
  • Iranian journalist fails to appear for asylum flight to Israel - A day after being granted asylum in Israel by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, Turkey-based Iranian journalist Neda Amin misses her flight to Tel Aviv from Turkey; circumstances surrounding absence are being checked. (Ynet)
  • Israeli forces conduct ‘brutal’ raid against Palestinians detained in Ramon prison - The Massada and Dror special units, in addition to members of Israeli border police’s Yamas unit, stormed Section 1 of the prison and “brutally” attacked Palestinian prisoners. The Yamas unit, meanwhile, is tied to Israeli intelligence agency the Shin Bet. (Maan)
  • Israeli military prosecutor opposes (Israeli soldier’s) request to delay prison sentence - Elor Azaria is to enter prison Wednesday for the manslaughter of an incapacitated Palestinian assailant unless court approves his request to postpone while awaiting a decision on clemency. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israeli court extends Palestinian teenager’s administrative detention - An Israeli military court renewed the administrative detention of 16-year-old Nour Kayid Issa, reportedly the youngest Palestinian currently imprisoned by Israel using the controversial policy. (Maan)
  • Prime Minister's Office: Security Ties With Egypt More Important Than Cairo Embassy - Army and Foreign Ministry officials concerned over damage to relations due to Israeli embassy being empty for eight months. (Haaretz+)
  • Mother of terror victim faces down terrorist in court - Sarah Rosenfeld, mother of Malachi Rosenfeld—who was murdered in West Bank shooting attack—faced down Amjad Hamad in a military court hearing, saying, 'I was afraid Malachi's voice couldn't be heard through the earth, so I came to help make sure it was.' (Ynet)
  • HIgh Court approved some of the tenders (for homes) which Arab-Israeli residents submitted - Two years after the Nazareth District Court annulled the tender in which Arab residents won 27 plots in the “Young Afula Hills” neighborhood (after Jewish residents protested having Arabs live there - OH). The court approved most of those transactions. (Maariv)
  • German Wife of Israeli Temporarily Denied Entry to Israel, Separated From Toddlers, Despite Embassy OK - Olga Faitelson and her daughter from a previous marriage were detained at the airport; the two were allowed into the country after a day in detention. (Haaretz+)
  • Anti-Israel hackers spreading new form of malware with anti-Israel messages - Unlike regular ransomware, this malware offers no option to recover files in exchange for payment. (Haaretz)
  • Large-scale 'I ♥ JLM' statue erected in Jerusalem - On the Jewish Valentine's Day of Tu B'Av, Jerusalem joins some of the world's largest cities with public sculpture composed of the inscription 'I ♥ JLM'; sculpture designer Yarel Yair: 'All the streets in the area are historical, and now the present and future are marching through them.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Defying controversy, design firm tries to bring back the swastika - KA Designs says Nazis made ancient Hindu symbol synonymous with hatred and racist violence • Company aims to reclaim swastika by featuring it on a rainbow background with the words "love," "peace," or "zen." (Israel Hayom)
  • **Israeli army announces new commander of Golani Brigade - Shai Kleper was put on disciplinary trial in 2003 because troops under his command shot live bullets at demonstrators protesting the West Bank separation barrier. (Haaretz+)
  • Clashes break out during Israeli settler visit to Joseph’s Tomb - Hundreds of right-wing Israelis, who travled in more than 40 buses, entered Joseph's Tomb in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus before dawn on Monday, where they performed religious rituals under heavy military protection. (Maan)
  • Israeli army still not meeting its recruitment target among ultra-Orthodox - While 2016 saw the most Haredi men ever drafted in a single year, the gaps between the government-set quotas and the number of draftees are growing. (Haaretz+)
  • New at the Hebrew University: Judaism of the Orient Studies Program - The institution’s decision comes about a year and a half after the Biton Committee discussed the integration of content on the communities of Oriental Jewry into the education system. Prof. Frankel: "The subject should be given its rightful place.” (Maariv)
  • Netanyahu's Former Speech Writer: If PM Indicted, Right Should 'Crush Judicial and Media Junta' - Netanyahu reportedly recommended Erez Tadmor's book to Likud lawmakers, which ridicules right-wing leaders for not doing enough to weaken Israel's Supreme Court. (Haaretz)
  • Drip irrigation pioneer Netafim sells for $1.5 billion - Mexican plastic pipes producer Mexichem acquires 80% stake in the Israeli company, which is the world’s largest irrigation company. The company pioneered drip irrigation in the 1960s and today holds some 30% of the global market with 17 manufacturing plants, more than 4,000 employees and sales in more than 110 countries worldwide. (Ynet)
  • Jordan River drying up amid finance impasse - The Ministry of Finance and Water Authority refuse to foot the bill for a desalination project that could save the river but has swelled to NIS 100 million over budget; southern part of the Jordan already in dire straits. (Ynet)
  • Israel Scouts victims of alleged sex assault slam movement for lack of aid, support - Shunned complainants often end up leaving troops, but alleged assailants do not. Movement officials: We don't have investigatory, enforcement authority like the police. (Haaretz+)
  • In twist, Palestinians eager to see Israeli envoy return to Jordan - Hundreds of Jordanian passports being held in Israeli Embassy in Amman after staff left following deadly shooting by embassy guard • PA President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss issue in meeting with King Abdullah in Ramallah. (Israel Hayom)
  • Federation of Arab Journalists condemns Israeli campaign against Al Jazeera - The FAJ called the Israeli decision a severe violation of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, which will have a dangerous impact on the public’s right to be have access to differing points of view on the news, particularly with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Maan)
  • 6 Palestinians (in their fifties and sixties) from Gaza detained for illegally staying in Israel - The crippling decade-long Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip has also left an estimated 80 percent of Gaza’s population is dependent on humanitarian assistance. As a result, there are regular reports of residents of the Gaza Strip attempting to cross into Israel. (Maan)
  • Polish soccer club denies its fans attacked Israelis - Polish club Legia Warsaw says its fans had nothing to do with an attack by hooligans on members of an Israeli football team in central Poland. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Despite Trump claim, Hezbollah operation boosts Lebanon role - Far from being an ally in the fight against Hezbollah, the Lebanese government headed by Saad Hariri is based on a partnership with the Shiite group, whose clout and dominance in the tiny country is on the rise. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Hamas and Iran Agree to 'Turn a New Leaf', Focus on 'Shared Enemy' - Meeting between head of Hamas' West Bank terror operations and Iranian government officials discussed shared goals, joint statement said. (Haaretz and Maan)
  • Iran Ridicules Trump's Attempt to Check Suspicious Military Sites - The Trump administration is pushing for inspections of Iranian sites to test the nuclear deal's strength. Sounds like 'satire, Iranian officials respond. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran papers slam MP 'selfies of humiliation' with EU diplomat - EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini was among dozens of foreigners attending Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's inauguration, but she seemed to capture most attention, with lawmakers crowding around her • Twitter users call incident a "disgrace." (Israel Hayom)
  • Iran Nabs ISIS-linked Cell Planning Attacks on Islamic Sites - A total of 27 suspects linked to a Sunni militant group have been arrested for allegedly taking part in planning attacks on Shi'ite religious sites. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Archaeologists find possible birthplace of Jesus' disciples - Lost city of Julias was built over Jewish village Bethsaida in Galilee, believed to be the birthplace of apostles Peter, Andrew and Philip. Find expected to make waves among researchers into history of Christianity, Second Temple-era Judaism. (Israel Hayom and Haaretz)
  • Israel's beaches designated an important dolphin habitat - International nature conservation union names 26 Mediterranean sites important to marine mammal populations. Israel is a beam of light in the darkness of a lack of information about marine mammals in eastern Mediterranean, says dolphin center director. (Israel Hayom)

Shuafat refugee camp: Between a rock and a hard place
Shuafat, a Palestinian neighborhood in east Jerusalem, suffers from mounting uncollected garbage, rampant crime and a general lack of access to municipality services, as its residents—while officially part of Greater Jerusalem—are stuck between Israel and the PA. (Linda Gradstein, Media Line, Ynet)
Modern Love Stories for the Jewish Holiday of Romance
Three stories of unconventional – if not necessarily un-Orthodox – love in honor of Tu B’Av. (Debra Nussbaum Cohen, Haaretz+)
In honor of Tu B'Av: A look at marriage in Israel
Ahead of the Jewish Valentine's Day, the Central Bureau of Statistics releases data on marriage in the State of Israel; higher marriage rates than Europe, but older brides and grooms. (Asaf Zagrizak, Ynet)
As Prime Minister, Netanyahu Cannot Hide Behind a 'Presumption of Innocence' (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Right wing politicians who devote their careers to undermining the judicial system are suddenly anointing judges as supreme arbiters of what’s ethical and proper.
How long for Netanyahu? This is the opportunity to choose a leader who will not betray his mandate (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) There is no reason why the affairs against the prime minister's should take with them to the opposition the "most right-wing government." The Likud must not rely on the "mother" that stands at its head, but decide to chose now a new heir.
The Teen Who Taught Me the Truth About Israel's Expulsion of Palestinians (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) Even in New York, no one lives this land's problems more than a Palestinian exile and an ex-Israeli.
Israel’s alleged right-wing prime minister (Amihai Attali, Ynet) Netanyahu’s associates are accusing the State Attorney’s Office, the legal system and the Israel Police of ‘joining forces to bring down the right-wing government.’ But in the 10 years Netanyahu has been in power, there has hardly been any implementation of a right-wing policy.
What would Shimon Peres have said about the chaotic events in Israel and abroad? (Uri Savir, Maariv) The statesman who passed away ten months ago was horrified by Trump's conduct in the international arena, worried about what was happening in the Temple Mount and full of hope following the conduct of the heads of the security establishment in regards to the submarine affair and Elor Azaria (the ‘Shooting Soldier from Hebron’).
The Man Without a State (Haaretz Editorial) Ala'a Ziwad's citizenship was revoked because he committed an attack - an abominable crime, but like anyone else who commits a crime, he should be punished according to the law.
Mohammad Dahlan’s plan to take over Gaza—and Ramallah (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) Ten years after leaving Gaza, the former head of the Palestinian Preventive Security Force may return to the strip a leader, as part of a move being devised by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, the US and Israel. The plan, an Israeli expert says, is Dahlan’s dress rehearsal, as he strives to conquer the Muqata’a and take Abbas’s seat.
At Sheldon Adelson's Hotel (Nitzan Horowitz, Haaretz+) Nevada is the embodiment of the American dream. Everything here is free: the gambling, the prostitution, the alcohol. Above all, you’re free to lose your money
It all boils down to politics (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) Likud ministers and MKs know full well that PM Netanyahu's popularity among his base is as strong as ever. The voters will punish anyone who does not support him.
Learn From the LGBT Community (Uzi Baram, Haaretz+) When people have a clearly defined objective and view achieving it as their life's goal, they can topple strong walls and smash glass ceilings. Chronic complainers should take note.
*He's Just a Hedonist (Yoella Har-Shefi, Haaretz+) The fact that a respected commentator said on state TV that Netanyahu 'may have made mistakes in judgment, but he's not corrupt' shows how badly the moral norms have deteriorated in Israel.
Sanwar and Dahlan: An Egyptian-brokered alliance against Abbas (Ido Zelkovitz, Ynet) The renewed relationship between the Hamas leader and the former Fatah strongman, who grew up together in the Khan Younis refugee camp, proves that the key for creating change in the Palestinian society is based on strengthening the regional-geographical connection.
Ari Harow Hoped to Survive the Prime Minister's Office. He Didn't (Raviv Drucker, Haaretz+) The disturbing riddle is how someone like Harow, who is genuinely far removed from any criminal thinking, got into so much trouble?

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