News Nosh 8.30.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday August 30, 2017
 
Quote of the day:
“I want Israelis to see how we live, how much we love to live, to dance, to drink and more. This way they will see that we aren’t terrorists.”
--A resident of Bethlehem tells an Israeli reporter that he is pleased with the new phenomenon of Israelis going out for fun in Palestinian areas where Israel prohibits.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Lesson in the East - The education program this school year will include new material about the Jews of the East and the states of Islam
  • New obligatory terms in the education program: …The Zionist underground in Iraq, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Jews of Ethiopia, Rabbi Shalom Shabazi, development towns, expulsion of Jews of Egypt, the Holocaust of Jews of N. Africa…
  • The centers for child development are collapsing
  • Following the storm, US President Trump arrived with wife to Houston, but his wife’s high heels were the main source of attention
  • Special to Yedioth: Report from the nightlife of Beirut
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Attorney General: “No shortcuts in the investigations of the Prime Minister”
  • Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked vs. High Court: Zionism won’t continue to bend its head
  • Trump in message to N. Korea: “All the options are on the table”
  • Israeli pride: Tal Flicker won bronze medal in world judo championships
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
Aside from the US President Donald Trump’s warning to N. Korea that “all options were open,” the main news stories focused on Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s sharp criticism of the High Court, saying it harmed the Jewish majority state, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblitt’s statement on the investigations into Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s statement that “hilltop youth are idiots.”  

After the High Court ruled on Monday that unlimited detention of asylum seekers may not be used in order to force a 'consensual' deportation, the Population and Immigration Authority started formulating an amendment to the Entry into Israel Law in order to bypass the ruling. Ynet quoted one Eritrean in Israel who said, “I never came here to commit crimes. I don't know why I'm being held (in prison).” But it was Justice Minister Shaked's speech at the Israel Bar conference that made headlines. Shaked said the High Court disregarded Zionism and the Jewish majority and placed too much emphasis on individual rights. Shaked's speech was interrupted by people shouting "apartheid state.” Haaretz reported that they were lawyers, Maariv reported that they were left-wing activists.

Regarding the investigations into Netanyahu, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit said “there were no shortcuts” and State Attorney Shai Nitzan vowed that only professional considerations would determine the outcome of the two cases involving the Prime Minister. Addressing allegations that the Prime Minister received illicit gifts from wealthy donors, Judiciary Ombudsman David Rosen said that “The law is clear, the basis of the law is clear. Public servants and public representatives cannot take gifts, and this is a norm that should be binding.” The papers also reported that Israeli police are traveling to London to question a billionaire as part of the Netanyahu graft probe in Case 2000. It may then come as no surprise that today the Likud party will hold another rally in support for Netanyahu. The festive event is a toast to mark Rosh Hashana, and will be held in the presence of the Netanyahu and his wife, Maariv reported.

In diplomacy:
French President Emmanuel Macron plans a Mideast trip in spring to push the peace process.

Visiting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “There is no plan B to the two-state solution” during a meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah. But what made headlines in Maariv and Ynet was that he “met with the mother of four murderers of Israelis.” [Note: Journalists received an email from the UN spokesperson saying that the Palestinian families approached him while he was in Ramallah and quotes attributed to him were false. - OH] The families of the jailed Palestinians called on Guterres to hold Israel accountable for violations of their care in prison.

Meanwhile, to the satisfaction of both Israel and Lebanon, the UN said it would renew its peacekeepers mandate in south Lebanon. Lebanon wanted it for 'peace and stability’ and Israel received encouraging messages from France and the U.S. on Tuesday that said the UNIFIL force Interim will be required to aggressively keep Hezbollah activities in check this year.
 
Quick Hits:
  • 84 in two weeks: Sharp rise in Palestinians detained by Israel without trial - Israeli army: Uptick due to tensions in Jerusalem and West Bank following attacks against Israelis. (Haaretz+)
  • 16-year-old Palestinian held under administrative detention for 5 months - High school student Nour Kayed Faiq Issa was detained from his home in the middle of the night on April 3, 2017, when more than 40 Israeli soldiers and military vehicles stormed the town. Nour’s mother was told he was going to be accused of “incitement” on Facebook, but no evidence has been presented. (Maan)
  • Israel sentences Palestinian-French NGO worker to detention without charge or trial - Court’s initial decision reportedly had been to place Salah Hamouri, 34, under house arrest for 20 days. But when his family went to to pay the bail at Israel’s interrogation compound where Hamouri was held, they were told he would not be released. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces detain 14 Palestinians, including 3 minors in West Bank raids - In the the town of Nahhalin near Bethlehem, Israeli forces detained 16-year-old Muhammad Riziq Najajra, 16-year-old Mahmoud Talib Najajra, and 14-year-old Khalaf Shadi Najajra, according to the Palestinian Prisoner's Society. (Maan)
  • Video: Settlers hurl insults, threaten sexual violence against Palestinians in Hebron - Israeli rights group B’Tselem released a video showing a group of settlers from Israel’s illegal Kiryat Arba settlement in  district of Hebron hurling abuses through a loudspeaker at Palestinians, insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, whom they called a dog, all in the presence of Israeli soldiers and police. (Maan and YouTube)
  • Israeli settlers hurl stones at Palestinian homes in South Hebron Hills - Israeli settlers from Karmel settlement raided the Bedouin community of Umm al-Kheir on Tuesday and attacked Palestinian homes of the Hathalin family with rocks and glass bottles. Suleiman Hathalin said this occurs regularly to intimidate them to leave their lands. (Maan)
  • Palestinian children demonstrate against Israeli occupation in Hebron - Coordinator for local activist group Youth Against Settlement, Issa Amro, said campaign will protest  presence of Israeli settlers in the area and Israeli army’s restrictions on Palestinian movement and will include local activities, demonstrations, sit-ins, voluntary events, and protest tents. (Maan)
  • Israeli army shoots, injures 2 Palestinians amid settler visit to Joseph's Tomb - Two young Palestinian men were shot and injured and another was detained early Tuesday morning when clashes erupted after five busloads of Israelis under heavy military protection stormed the area to perform religious rituals at Joseph's Tomb, which is located in an area controlled by the Palestinian Authority. (Ynet)
  • Lieberman warns Regulation Law endangers settlements - Defense minister says recently ratified law to retroactively legalize government-backed West Bank outposts is not conducive to strengthening Jewish presence; '10,000 Palestinian homes will be legalized, while only 2,000 Jewish homes will be.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli defense chief blasts radical settler youth as 'disturbed idiots' - Avigdor Lieberman said he supported the issuing of restraining orders against the 'hilltop youth' without a trial; says law legalizing construction on private Palestinian land 'sabotages settlement' effort. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Jewish MKs visit Temple Mount after two-year halt - After being banned from entering the site in late 2015 as a result of a wave of terror attacks, Jewish MKs are allowed to enter the Temple Mount in a special pilot program to test the waters. Only two took up the offer. Arab MKs are boycotting the pilot, saying they will enter the site 'whenever they want, not whenever Netanyahu gives the OK.' (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Jordanian official demands Netanyahu reinstate Al-Aqsa ban on Knesset members - A Jordanian government official condemned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to lift a ban on Israeli Knesset members from visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday, calling the move “irresponsible.” (Maan)
  • Pravda: Russia to continue backing Iran despite PM's exhortations - After their meeting in Sochi last week, the Prime Minister recounts how he warned Putin Israel won't stand idly by as Iranian presence looms near Israel. A new account of the meeting released by Pravda, however, paints a different picture. 'Netanyahu was close to panic, Putin stayed cool,' reports the Russian paper. (Yedioth/Ynet and Maariv)
  • Defense officials: Assad will regain control of most of Syria within one year - Top defense officials believe that U.S. and moderate Sunni states' decision to halt aid to Syrian rebel groups and Iran's growing involvement in the war-torn country have ensured the survival of Assad's regime. Israel wary of Iran's designs for Syria. (Israel Hayom)
  • IAI delivers first Barak 8 maritime defense missile to Indian Navy - The Barak 8 defense system sports long-range surface-to-air missiles that can engage multiple targets simultaneously • Indian defense minister lauds collaboration with Israel. IAI official: Delivery of jointly produced missile is a dream come true. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Ambassador Returns to Egypt After 8-month Absence - Cairo airport officials say that the Israeli diplomatic staff, which left amidst security concerns, has returned. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has refused to comment. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • IDF's struggle against Haredi deferral seekers - The enlistment process and procedure for deferrals for yeshiva students is only getting stricter, but the ultra-Orthodox are finding some ways around it to avoid the dreaded army service. (Ynet)
  • Israeli Firm's Stock Hammered as Probe Launched Into Kamikaze Drone Scandal - Aeronautics' stock tumbled 17% after Defense Ministry halted exports if its kamikaze drones to Azerbaijan following alleged live demo on Armenian army outpost. (Haaretz)
  • Israel's Nuclear Workers Engaged in Secretive Labor Dispute - Workers have turned to the courts to declare the government in violation of a court order barring it from deducting salaries. (Haaretz)
  • Thanks to Low Airfares increase, 18% more Israelis Flying Abroad in August - Lower fares and a weak dollar have turned Israelis into very frequent fliers this summer. (Haaretz)
  • How Have Some Arab High Schools Become Israel’s Top Performers? - New research shows that Arab schools have made significant progress to close gaps with their Jewish counterparts. But some experts say that’s despite Israeli policies – not because of them. (Haaretz+ and Maariv)
  • Groundwater in Israel Contaminated by Gas Stations and Storage Tanks - Three-fourths of 236 monitored sites contained varying levels of pollution from gasoline or fuel additives. (Haaretz+)
  • In complete reversal, Israel says it no longer opposes same-sex adoption - Ministry says it accepts recommendations to allow gay and lesbian couples to adopt, but the Knesset will have to amend existing legislation. (Haaretz)
  • Drone Shows Raqqa in Ruins as Kurdish Commander Says ISIS Capital Will Fall in Two Months - The battle to oust Islamic State from its stronghold in the Syrian city of Raqqa should end within two months, a top-ranking Kurdish commander told Reuters. (Haaretz)
  • British Police Reopen Investigation Into 1987 Murder of Palestinian Cartoonist in London - Naji Salim Hussain al-Ali, whose work regularly satirized Palestinian and Arab leaders, was shot to death while walking to work in Knightsbridge. (Haaretz)


Features:
*The Israeli partiers of Ramallah
A drink in Beit Jala, swimming in the heart of Ramallah. It’s illegal and not safe, but it has become a phenomenon: Many Jews from the area go out to dance-bars, pools and pubs in ‘Area A.’ They catch rides with Palestinian acquaintances, pass (military) checkpoints and look for restaurants, pubs and clubs. One of the partiers explained: “It’s like being abroad close to home.” “One time there was someone who thought we were settlers who had come to commit a ‘price-tag’ attack. They called the Palestinian police and we spent the day there during which they gave us lots of coffee and biscuits and all I remember is that they tasted terrible.” A resident of Bethlehem, who didn’t give his name, was actually happy about the phenomenon. “I want Israelis to see how we live, how much we love to live, to dance, to drink and more. This way they will see that we aren’t terrorists.” (Natalie Novitzky, Yedioth’s Friday Jerusalem supplement, cover)
Before Islam: When Saudi Arabia Was a Jewish Kingdom
The discovery of the oldest-known pre-Islamic Arabic writing in Saudi Arabia, from ca. 470 CE, evidently caused some consternation, given its Christian and Jewish context. (Ariel David, Haaretz)
US army cadets and US Navy midshipmen take policy tour of Israel
This summer, 28 cadets embarked on a journey throughout Israel during which they visited the country's most prestigious sites and were briefed by some of the most distinguished experts in Israel's political and military sphere; in an exclusive interview, the cadets shared with Ynetnews some of their conclusions about the country; ‘It put all the media coverage into perspective.’ (Ynet)

Commentary/Analysis:
The Justice Minister Versus Democracy (Haaretz Editorial) Alarm bells ring when the minister appointed to defend Israel's courts announces that Zionism will 'no longer bow its head to a system of individual rights’.
The High Court of Justice must issue a ruling regarding the freedom to demonstrate in Israel (Adv. Yehiel Gutman, Maariv) It is not legitimate to demonstrate and apply unfair pressure on Attorney General Mendelblit, but the right to demonstrate is certainly a basic and most important right in any democratic society. A clear distinction must be made regarding its limitations.
A Dangerous 71-year-old (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The Israeli military authorities are keeping a retired Palestinian history teacher in detention without trial, and we’re not allowed to know why. Next comes the decision whether he’s healthy enough for prison.
The shifting tides of extremism (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) Islamic State's defeat means that the previous threat looming over Jordan and Israel is now being replaced by the far more significant Iranian threat.
Is Israel’s Government anti-Semitic? (Yehuda Bauer, Haaretz+) When it comes to its treatment of liberal Jews in the United States and Israel, it may well be.
Israel's 'Bottomless Wallet' of Prisoners (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) In the eyes of the man who was negotiating the release of Israelis held in Gaza, there’s nothing wrong with abducting enemy fighters and civilians for the purpose of negotiating a better deal.
The opposite, Merkel, the opposite: With Kim Jong-On, the Ayatollahs, Hezbollah, ISIS and Hamas you do not enter into a "dialogue" (Nadav Haetzni, Maariv) What Churchill cried out in the 1930s is especially true today. The only way to deter them is to make them recognize that the enlightened world is determined to strike at them.
Inconvenient but Obvious Truths About Netanyahu and the Palestinians (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) The prime minister and the right should stop pretending they want to end a conflict that is the main reason for their success.
Egypt caught off guard (Dr. Shaul Shay, Israel Hayom) Israel must help end the dispute between the U.S. and Egypt to ensure that el-Sissi regime is not destabilized and that Egypt remains a key component of the moderate Sunni coalition.
Despite New Deportation Ruling, Israel Opts to Keep Ignoring Reality (Ilan Lior, Haaretz+) The Supreme Court offered the state what aid groups have proposed for years: to disperse asylum seekers around the country. But ministers apparently prefer another round of sparring with the judiciary
 
Interviews:
The Gatekeeper
The direct threats to his life and the (private) investigators who are looking for embarrassing information about him and his wife to harm him, but he still preferred to get rid of the body guard. He is certain that the ground under Netanyahu is shaking, but he will be happy to hear that he is staying in office in the meantime. The job offers that didn’t come. The phone call from (now Justice Minister) Ayelet Shaked after the expose about Bibi Tours. He doesn’t believe the submarine corruption affair will bring down Bibi (Netanyahu). Investigative Journalist Raviv Drucker, 46, one of the most prominent journalists in Israel, speaks. (Interviewed by Yehuda Nuriel in Yedioth’s Friday ‘7 Nights’ supplement.

Drucker: “My wife, Anat, will kill me, but let me read you a text message I received, actually from a police source: ‘In the police they are following you, hoping to break your clean image. He spoke about your sexual entertainment hobbies, yours and Anat’s, as an example of the information they gathered, that didn’t help them. Just so that you know, out of great esteem for your work and (my) affection for both of you.’ [Drucker smiles.] So what do you think I’m supposed to do with this?’
Drucker: “I’d be happy if (Netanyahu) would remain in his position as Prime Minister, even if an indictment were served against him. Because if he falls due to police investigations, the judicial system, the me-di-a - we will never succeed in convincing half the nation here that it was clean. They will always say that we brought him down, and the elite, etc. I prefer that if Bibi falls one day, it happens through the ballot boxes.”

The Sensitive Novelist Whose Grandfather Was a Nazi Criminal
Benedict Wells became a successful German author well before word got out that his granddad led the Hitler Youth. He tells Haaretz about another odd influence: growing up at boarding school(Interviewed by Avner Shapira in Haaretz)

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