News Nosh 9.4.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday September 4, 2017
Quote of the day:
"As has already been said many times: If he knew, it's serious. If he did not know, it is even more serious, because it indicates a serious management failure."
--Maariv's senior political commentator, Ben Caspit, writes about Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's claim that he was not aware of any corruption in the acquisition of three submarines that the security establishment did not even want, despite the fact that the police have arrested or questioned: two of Netanyahu's former bureau chiefs, a former head of the National Security Council whom Netanyahu appointed and Netanyahu's personal lawyer and cousin.*

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • From Netanyahu’s office to the detention cell - Third associate of prime minister suspected in submarines affair
  • Among those detained: Former commander of Shayetet (navy seals)
  • The hotline - Details of phone logs between Netanyahu and ‘Israel Hayom’ editor reveal: many took place late at night, when the next day PM’s messages were published in the front page headline
  • The Editor-in-Chief // Nahum Barnea
  • The gold of the year - Static and Ben-El Tavori conquered the playlist
  • The school afternoon daycare was subsidized, the parents are paying a fortune
  • Zahavi storm (Captain of national soccer team left the team)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Submarines case: Netanyahu’s bureau chief was also detained
  • Rising from the depths // Ben Caspit
  • The blinding money // Meir Uziel
  • Dropped a bomb #1 - N. Korea held hydrogen bomb test
  • Dropped a bomb #2 - Zahavi resigned from the national soccer team: “I’ll save you the drumhead court-martial”
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
The legal troubles getting closer to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the launching of a hydrogen bomb by North Korea, and the resignation of the captain of Israel’s national soccer team were top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

There is a sense in reading the Israeli papers that the noose is getting tighter around Netanyahu. Yesterday, Police arrested Netanyahu’s former bureau chief, David Sharan, on suspicion of bribery in the submarines acquisition corruption affair, dubbed Case 3000, and detained five others, including the former commander of Israel’s navy seals (‘Shayetet’) and former commander of the navy, Eliezer Marom. Haaretz’s Amos Harel wrote that the “identities of some of the latest suspects indicate that detectives are seeking to answer the question of if and how senior politicians were involved in these transactions.”

Then there were the regular conversations Netanyahu held with the editor-in-chief of the ‘Netanyahu freebie,’ ‘Israel Hayom.’ Channel 10’s Raviv Drucker exposed the late-night phone logs that suggest that Netanyahu influenced the headlines during the 2013 election campaign. Yedioth’s Tovah Tzimuki reported that a very high ranking judicial source assessed that in light of the regularity of the calls, the State Comptroller Yosef Shapira will examine whether the relations between the sides signify a violation of the Law on Funding Political Parties.

And then Haaretz+'s Gidi Weitz revealed that Sara Netanyahu was expected to be indicted for fraud in accepting $110,000 worth of goods in the affair of the Prime Minister’s Residence. ‘Netanyahu is suspected of ordering chef’s meals at the prime minister’s official residence, which is against regulations, and concealing the fact that she did so. She and her husband have accused the former chief caretaker of the official residence, Meni Naftali, who is currently leading protests against the prime minister, of inflating the residence’s expenses,’ Weitz wrote. Yedioth reported that the Jerusalem District Prosecutor's Office now considers Naftali a state witness in the affair about Mrs. Netanyahu’s alleged misuse of state funds.
Quick Hits:
  • Israel releases Palestinian circus performer from administrative detention - Israeli forces released Palestinian circus performer Muhammad Abu Sakha, 24, after serving 20 months in administrative detention (jail without trial). Abu Sakha specialized in circus training working with children with learning difficulties. His case sparked international outcry. (Maan)
  • Israel releases Palestinian MP Hassan Yousef after 22 months in administrative detention - The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) released Hassan Yousif, a senior leader of the Hamas movement and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), from prison on Thursday, after spending nearly two years in administrative detention -- Israel’s widely condemned policy of detention without charge or trial. (Maan)
  • Palestinian Authority fumes over new plan to bolster Jewish community in Hebron - Decision to allow community's administrative council to act independently of Hebron's municipality is "dangerous," PA warns. Fatah urges global community to force Israel to reverse decision. Defense minister backs move, says it will benefit community. (Israel Hayom)
  • Gov't unveils infrastructure investment super-program - After mapping out the country's entire current infrastructure projects, a program meant to draw foreign and private capital to infrastructure investments will be implemented; Ministry of Transportation leads with field with 63 projects of the 147 on the list. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • After Decades of Darkness, Israel Gives Palestinian Village Power - Following a High Court petition, Israel takes steps to provide the West Bank village with electricity. (Haaretz+)
  • Project training women to serve as tank crew enters central phase - 15 women have been undergoing special training in the southern Shizafon base, preparing them to serve as tank crew—a first in IDF history—and carry out routine security missions in future; Despite reservations from figures such as Avigdor Kahalani, army 'cautiously optimistic' about project. (Ynet)
  • Israel Police units receive first 20 surveillance drones - Drones, operated by specially certified police officers, to assist in crime prevention, searches and surveillance • Israel Police intend to assign drones to every station, unit • To protect civilians' privacy, drone footage cannot be used as evidence. (Israel Hayom)
  • Soldier imprisoned for desertion briefly escapes Prison 4 - Detainee claims he was beaten by military police while handcuffed after they caught him four hours after his escape; he was able to climb onto the roof of the prison's synagogue and make him way from roof to roof until jumping over the fence. (Ynet)
  • Hundreds attend support rally for Mengistu in Tel Aviv - Family of Israeli citizen believed to be held by Hamas organize support rally to mark three years since he went missing in Gaza; his brothers call for his return: 'Look how many people came here to remind everyone that you are alive, and that you need to be returned home.' (Ynet)
  • F-35 jets deal: Did Israel waste $200 million by buying too soon? Critics of the follow-on order for 17 of the fighter jets, whose terms were completed last week, say the air force should have waited till the price fell and the bugs were fixed. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel to enforce work ban on African asylum seekers who refuse to leave - Prime and interior ministers carry out clandestine tour of south Tel Aviv 'to examine the illegal residents' way of life up close.’ (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • 20 Years After Infamous Military Prison Revolt, Reform Still Proves Hard Sell in Israeli Army - While things have improved for soldier inmates since 1997, some officers question why facilities at new military jail will be better than soldiers enjoy on army bases. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinians vie with Israel over Muslim pilgrims to Jerusalem - Out of some 115,000 Muslim tourists who arrived in Israel in 2016, 100,000 of them came from Turkey. With Israeli hotels enjoying most of the profits from these tourists, the PA has launched a campaign to introduce Muslim tourists to Palestinian hotels. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Palestinian Authority forces detain head of Hebron radio station days after Israel shuts it down - Al-Quds News reported the arrest of Ayman Qawasmeh came three days after he called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minster Rami Hamdallah to resign in the wake of Israel’s closure of the radio station. (Maan)
  • As Violence Intensifies, Israel Continues to Arm Myanmar’s Military Junta - Responding to a petition filed by human rights activists, Defense Ministry says matter is 'clearly diplomatic.’ (Haaretz+)
  • 'God Hates Fags' Church Member Left After She Became Friends With Jewish Blogger. Now Her Story Will Be a Movie - Nick Hornby-penned film will be based on former Westboro Baptist Church member Megan Phelps-Roper's memoir about her extended debate on Twitter and via email with David Abitbol, founder of the Jewish culture blog Jewlicious, whose name she found on a list of prominent Jewish Twitter users published by JTA in 2009. [Note: Abitbol was #2 on the list and News Nosh editor and journalist Orly Halpern was #8. - OH] (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Canada's Largest Private-sector Union, Unifor, Adopts BDS Motion - The union has over 310,000 members across Canada. (Haaretz)
  • Guam Jews Identify With Israeli Resilience Amid North Korea Hydrogen Bomb and Missile Threats - Sprinkled with Christians and Messianic Jews, Guam's fledgling Jewish community looks to Israel in the face of missile threats: 'I've visited Israel a couple of times, and what we’re experiencing in Guam is pretty similar.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Trump reportedly removed US amb. to Jordan on King Abdullah's request - US Pres. Trump reportedly decided to replace then-US amb. to Jordan Alice Wells back in March, after King Abdullah II asked that she be removed; Trump's predecessor Obama faced similar pressure from Abdullah, but refused to remove Wells; Abdullah reportedly objected to the US-led Iran deal, and saw Wells as an extension of Pres. Obama. (Ynet)
  • Next round of Syria talks in Astana set for mid-September - Russian, Turkish and Iranian delegates to meet in Kazakh capital for a two-day summit on Sept. 14-15 in an effort to end six-year civil war raging in Syria. (Israel Hayom)

1929 -2017 Izhak Parviz Nazarian, from Tehran to [Israel then back to Tehran, then to] Beverly Hills
Born in Iran, he fought in Israel’s War of Independence and went on to become a major shareholder in Qualcomm. (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)

New Arrests in Israel's Submarine Affair Signal Suspicions Against Top Politicians (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Police aim to recruit a second Netanyahu ex-chief of staff as state’s witness.
*The names of the coupons cutters from the submarine deal continue to emerge courtesy of the state (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The affair rose from the depths - other senior officials are involved, and only Netanyahu did not know. And also: the exposure of the prime minister's dates of talks with senior Israeli officials leaves no room for doubt as to who dictated the headlines there.
The submarine affair: A clueless Netanyahu is just as bad as a complicit one (Barak Ravid, Haaretz+) The deeper the investigators dig, the more suspects they find in senior positions in the security establishment, the National Security Council in the Prime Minister’s Office and in Netanyahu’s inner circle.
The prime minister needed to have real concern for the stability of his government in order to descend to the people (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) Netanyahu was welcomed in South Tel Aviv, but in a proper democratic regime, citizens are not supposed to be grateful to the ruler. In order to find a real solution to their distress, the residents of the region must recognize their political power.
Why Would the Army Spokesperson Lie? (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Every Jewish Israeli mother should know her son was drafted to ensure that only kosher Jewish sheep enjoy a free life in the Jordan Valley.
Lessons from the Syrian strike (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) What would have happened if the Syrian nuclear reactor had not been destroyed in 2007 and Syrian President Bashar Assad had access to nuclear weapons?
Judges are not saints, but discourse must be kept civil (Amnon Abramovich, Yedioth/Ynet)  Illegal aliens' affair, and High Court's ruling on the matter, bring to bear acrimonious, toxic discourse around the justice system and its role in Israel; While judges may overstep their authority occasionally, the court system is still the foundation of life in a country as divided as Israel.
The Israelis Who Push the Ultimate Conspiracy Theory (Roy Arad, Haaretz+) In their eyes, the Earth is flat as a pita and the moon landing never happened. Another sign of the post-truth era?
The difficult questions I would like to ask the prime minister (Meir Uziel, Maariv) I tried several times to reach to make a media connection with Netanyahu but without success. Unilateral withdrawals, the submarines affair, and the vision of two states. These are the things I would expect to get answers about.
Why ISIS Collapsed, but Not Terrorism (Anat Hochberg-Marom, Haaretz+) The terrorist organization continues to function and serve as a model for imitation despite its ‘manufacturing plant’ in Iraq and Syria being gravely damaged and the possibility that its leader has been killed.
The tension between the United States and Russia - very bad news for Israel (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) The heated rivalry between the White House and the Kremlin and the worsening relations between the leaders are grave developments for Israel's interests. Thus, for example, there is a difficulty in curbing Iranian expansion in Syria.
When Nasrallah strikes a deal with Syria (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) Nasrallah's deal with Syria to move 300 ISIS militants from the Syrian border with Lebanon to their border with Iraq could be another sign of Iran's attempt to establish its presence in Lebanon. This is a worrying step that could destabilize the area right before the Iraqi presidential election.
Lessons Learned From Hezbollah (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) How did successive Israeli governments allow a minor danger to northern Israel to become a major threat to the entire country?
Israel as a regional, maritime superpower, Part II (Rear Admiral Oded Gour-Lavie (Res.), Yedioth/Ynet) Israel needs an agency dedicated to the promotion of a grand maritime strategy that will enable it to reduce threats of choke holds to its sea access, promote its gas and energy interests and further other sea-linked goals.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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