News Nosh 9.3.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday September 3, 2017
 
Quote of the Day #1:
"The main difference is that we are making the story about the people who live in the country and not about the country itself.”
--Shirley Ramon, head of Educational Authority in Tel-Aviv Municipality, explains why the city is rejecting the Education Ministry's 'Israeli Journey' of trips for pupils for its own secular journey.*

Quote of the Day #2:
“I recently heard that among the Likud values there is a new value called ‘loyalty to the leader.’ I hear this from the Likud leadership. I was not  aware of such a value… I think it is a very grave development, and utterly ridiculous nonsense.”
--Maverick Likud MK Benny Begin, son of legendary Likud prime minister Menahem Begin, derided what he described as a growing trend in his party in which members are expected to express personal loyalty to faction leader Benjamin Netanyahu.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
  • Commander of Lahav 433 unit, who was suspected of sexual harassment, resigning from Police
  • Leaders of Ultra-Orthodox sector to hold summit ahead of battle over Sabbath
  • US evicted Russians from consulates, Moscow threatened to responde harshly
  • High Court: Public can sue Israel Electricity Co. for excessive rates
  • The future is in fog, and also the present: Life in homes that were built on land belonging to the (Greek-Orthodox) church in Jerusalem
  • Sewage and construction threaten the green Sharon area of Israel
  • There is something to hide // Uri Misgav
  • They fell asleep on guard //  Rami Hod (Hebrew)
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Chief of Staff: Rise in salaries of combat soldiers in third year of service
  • The pride: At age 18, Linoy Ashram became the best Israeli gymnast of all ages; The shame: Third loss in a row in the World Cup qualifiers
  • Handicapped accuse: “We will intensify the struggle”
  • Changing banks in five minutes - Soon you’ll be able to without the bureaucracy
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Iran threatens: Whoever attacks us will pay a heavy price
  • Harsh consequences // Shlomo Shamir
  • Moscow furious at Washington: The searches in our closed consulates - a provocation”
  • Home loss - Israeli national soccer team lost 0-1 to Macedonia
  • “Jews also ahve human rights” - South Tel-Aviv residents’ protest in front of home o High Court Chief Justice over infiltrators issue continue
  • Impressive achievement: Linoy Ashram won the bronze medal in world gymnastics championship
Israel Hayom
  • Senior people at Clalit HMO will be interrogated on suspicion of fraud
  • Sara Netanyahu took a polygraph test at her own behest: “Found speaking truth”
  • Art of success - Linoy Ashram won the bronze medal in world gymnastics championship
  • Don’t stop disappointing - Israeli national soccer team lost 0-1 to Macedonia
  • Lebanese Prime Minister: “Israel knows very well that we don’t have any Iranian missile factories”
  • Storm in Lod: Mayor requested that muezzin in mosque preserves the quiet - and was attacked by worshipers
  • Shamed at home: Israeli national soccer team lost 0-1 to Macedonia in World Cup qualifiers

News Summary:
Weekend protests in Israel made headlines in today’s Hebrew newspapers: a couple hundred handicapped people, who demanded the government fulfill its commitment to provide them with a larger monthly stipend, about a 1000 people, who stood near the Attorney General’s home demanding faster investigations into corruption allegations against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and some 200 right-wing activists and residents of south Tel-Aviv protesting outside Chief Justice Miriam Naor’s home against the ruling prohibiting forced deportation of African migrants and asylum seekers. And then there was Yair Revivo, the Mayor of the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lod, who burst into a mosque on the Muslim high holiday of Eid al-Adha, against police warnings, demanding that the volume of the prayers over loudspeakers, which was too high, be lowered. (Haaretz reported he 'burst in' to ‘complain’ and that a ‘confrontation ensued,’ but that police arrived before things got violent. However, the right-wing Israel Hayom headline wrote that Revivo “requested to lower the volume and was beaten.” A YouTube video posted on Maan showed the mayor, wearing a kippah, arguing aggressively and trying to prevent a worshiper filming him. But the weekly protest march of Palestinian villagers of Kafr Qaddum against Israel over confiscation of their land for a settlement and the closure of one of their roads got no mention - even after Israeli soldiers shot a 14-year-old boy in the stomach while he was reportedly inside his uncles’ house in the village.

Also in the news, Iran warned it would respond harshly to any attack against it and its Defense Minister named Israel and the US as its enemies. And, Lebanese prime minister Said Hariri rejected Israel’s claims that there are Iranian missile factories in Lebanon, saying that “Israel knows that” and the story is part of an Israeli 'campaign of deception.' Israel, which is keen to have the UN force UNIFIL act against Hezbollah, also said that one of UNIFIL’s Lebanese officers was working as Hezbollah mole.

Separately, it turned out that Israelis who met with Trump peace envoy Jason Greenblatt told him (as they did to visiting UN Secretary General) that Israel has a moral obligation to help improve 'our neighbors' (i.e. Gazans’) living conditions' and urged him to help ‘ramatically improve' Gaza’s economy, Haaretz’s Amir Tibon reported. The Strip is under a paralyzing siege by Israel and Egypt, which control its entries, and also has just a few hours of electricity a day at Israel’s agreement. But Greenblatt said Friday that the answer to Gazans’ problems laid with Hamas and that Hamas should resign and transfer power to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli Cabinet Expected to Approve Renewing Work on New West Bank Settlement - Palestinians from the nearby village of Jalud who claim ownership to some of the land within the settlement’s boundaries have filed an objection against the plan. Work on home for Amona evacuees had been halted over budget dispute. (Haaretz+, JPost and Maan)
  • Sharing Rhymes, Hundreds Support Arrested Palestinian Poet Dareen Tatour in Jaffa - 'People shouldn’t go to jail in Israel because of poetry' says one attendee of a Jaffa event at the Arab-Hebrew Theater of Jaffa rallying for poet who has been under house arrest since October 2015. US literary figures renewed call for freedom of Tatour. (Haaretz+)
  • Jaffa Theatre Files Complaint After Hackers Attack Website, Accuse Group of Supporting Terrorism - The [Arab-Hebrew Theater of Jaffa] is the subject of a number of complaints by the Ministry of Culture that claim performances violate the 'Nakba law' stipulating the removal of funding for organizations that commemorate the Nakba. (Haaretz)
  • The (secular parents) chose another (educational) story - Tel-Aviv Municipality’s alternative to the Education Ministry’s trips in Israeli society: A secular journey that wiill show all of the sectors in socidety, including a trip to Jerusalem to meet ultra-Orthodox Jews and Palestinians. “In contrast to the ‘Israeli journey’ of ‘Genesis,’ our journey will take place without any connection to the Torah, and the pupils will not visit the City of David (settler enclave in E. Jerusalem) or communities (settlements) over the Green Line,” said Shirley Ramon, head of Educational Authority in Tel-Aviv Municipality. Education Ministry’s response: We see no place for an alternative activity. (Yedioth, p.10)
  • Gunmen reportedly open fire at Israeli vehicle west of Ramallah - An Israeli army spokesperson who said she was aware of reports about the incident said that "as of now, there is no evidence of a shooting." (Maan)
  • Likud Lawmaker Defends Netanyahu Over Number of Calls to Editor of Adelson-owned Paper - Coalition whip David Bitan also says Netanyahu has promised him ministerial job during this Knesset term. (Haaretz+)
  • **Likud MK derides rise of ‘ridiculous’ new value of loyalty to party leader - Benny Begin explains his absence from two faction rallies in support of Netanyahu held amid intensifying investigations against the PM. (Times of Israel, Ynet and Maariv)
  • An activist in the ‘New Likudniks’ suggested that a potential Likud voter register for the [mostly Arab] Joint List faction - Ron Ben-Nun, one of the main activists [of the group that supports criticism of Netanyahu - OH] suspended himself following an investigation that revealed that he told a potential Likud voter to register for a mostly Arab party. Ben-Nun explained and apologized: ”The person told me he wants to register, for Likud but doesn’t feel comfortable to support a party that is one of the ‘fathers of the occupation’ and [he said] that his political views were left of Meretz. My response was that he should vote for whoever he wants in the general election, and from my point of view it could be Hadash or Joint List...[But] There is no reason that someone whose views are left of Meretz registers for the Likud party. That is inappropriate.” (Maariv)
  • PM's wife takes private polygraph test - Mrs. Sara Netanyahu presented AG with results of polygraph test she took of her own accord, in which she was found to be telling the truth concerning allegations made by former PM's residence caretaker Meni Naftali; test does not include other issues that came up in investigations against her. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Golden statue of Supreme Court chief justice erected in Jerusalem - Statue depicting Miriam Naor put up outside the Supreme Court in the capital in protest of the court's recent ruling on illegal migrants; Public Security Minister Erdan criticizes police investigation into statue: 'Not every exhibit of protest art justifies investigation.' (Ynet)
  • Housing project commercial criticized for being racist, offensive - Commercial for construction firm Elad Israel's TLV Park housing project in southern Tel Aviv taken down after criticism it seemingly includes 'all stereotypes and prejudices in Israeli society.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Controversial Head of Israel Police's Anti-corruption Unit to Leave by End of 2017 - Maj. Gen. Roni Rittman reaches agreement to resign from Lahav 433, which is leading corruption probes into PM Netanyahu; a female officer who accused Rittman of sexual assault currently has petition in High Court over why he was allowed to continue in his post. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Police to launch dedicated unit to fight cyber crime - Police commissioner says emphasis will be put not just on enforcement, but also on prevention of online crime, with police monitoring social media for possible offenses. (Ynet)
  • Israel detains elderly Palestinian woman for allegedly intending to carry out attack - According to witness testimonies, Israeli soldiers had opened live ammunition on the woman, injuring her, after suspecting her of intending to carry out a stabbing attack when she walked close to where the soldiers were stationed at an Israeli checkpoint. (Maan)
  • Israel bans East Jerusalem Fatah official from entering Jerusalem for 4 months - Mahdi Abu Nijmeh, Secretary of the Fatah movement in an East Jerusalem neighborhood was banned from entering his city for four months over alleged accusations of “incitement.” (Maan)
  • Soldier accidentally shoots fellow soldier in incident kept under wraps - Krav Maga instructor at elite classified IDF unit faces aggravated battery charges after shooting another soldier in the leg during unofficial training at the gym; moderately injured soldier can face charges as well for bringing a loaded gun without trigger lock into an enclosed space. (Ynet)
  • At Venice festival, Israeli film probes family grief, trauma of war - Director Samuel Maoz's "Foxtrot" focuses on affluent Tel Aviv couple coping with losing their soldier son • Venice Film Festival critics hail Maoz's film as front-runner for Golden Lion prize. Maoz expects backlash in Israel for his depiction of the IDF. (Israel Hayom)
  • From House Baratheon to House Netanyahu: Behind the Scenes of Wikipedia - Why didn't Israel's 'crown prince' have a Hebrew Wikipedia page until this week?. (Haaretz+)
  • Pioneering Israeli app helps visually impaired find their way - RightHear mimics a venue's directory board with the aim of orienting the visually impaired through crowded indoor spaces such as malls, universities and hospitals. RightHear currently includes 200 venues and is available in Israel and the United States. (Israel Hayom)
  • Cofix expanding to Turkey - Urban Cofix, subsidiary of Israeli company coffee chain company, Cofix, has signed an agreement with an unamed third party investor to set up a chain of fixed price cafés in Turkey. (Globes English and Maariv, p. 18)
  • WATCH What It's Like Living With Only 4 Hours of Power a Day in Gaza - Mohammed Azaiza films how he and other residents struggle to deal with daily life in the darkness. (Haaretz)
  • Jewish Voice for Peace Urges Young Jews to Boycott Birthright Israel - Campaign #ReturnTheBirthright declares 'it is fundamentally unjust that we are given a free trip to Israel while Palestinian refugees are barred from returning to their homes.’ (Haaretz)
  • Advocacy group urges US cyber firm to block Hamas website - Cloudflare, which booted neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer off its servers, seems in no hurry to remove websites linked to terrorist groups • "This is not a matter of free speech. We are urging the company to comply with U.S. law," Israeli lawyers says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Climate Change Forecast for Jordan: 30% Less Rain, Triple the Droughts by 2100 - Recovery by Syrian irrigated farming could make Jordan even thirstier, warn the scientists. (Haaretz)
  • Stranded ISIS Convoy Symbolizes Militants’ Stalled Campaign - A convoy of buses carrying more than 300 retreating ISIS fighters is trapped in the Syrian desert with nowhere to go, chased at every turn by U.S. bombers determined not to let them rejoin the fight. (NYT, Haaretz)
  • Hezbollah helps hundreds of ISIS jihadists stuck in Syrian desert - Some 300 ISIS jihadists and their families have been stuck since Monday on the Syria-Lebanon border while the US-led coalition bombs the area to stop them from advancing towards the Iraqi border; Hezbollah and the Syrian regime, who reached a deal to evacuate the jihadists out of government-held territory, are looking for new routes to take the remaining fighters out of Syria. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Backed by Iran and Hezbollah, Syrian Forces Fight to Oust ISIS From Last Central Bastion - With help of Russian airstrikes, forces work to push Islamic State fighters from their last stronghold in central Syria. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • US general: Islamic State chief Baghdadi likely still alive - Commander of US-led coalition against ISIS admits he doesn't 'have a clue' where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is, but he has 'seen no convincing evidence, intelligence, or open-source or other rumor or otherwise that he's dead.’(Agencies, Ynet)
  • US says Iran shows 'true colors' by restoring Hamas ties - "Iran must decide whether it wants to be a member of the community of nations that can be expected to take its international obligations seriously or whether it wants to be the leader of a jihadist terrorist movement. It cannot be both," U.S. envoy says. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • UN nuclear agency sees 'no need' to check Iran military sites - U.S. says lack of visits to "undeclared sites" in Iran is a problem • 2015 nuclear deal requires new intelligence to emerge for extra access but no such intel has emerged, IAEA says • Officials: IAEA is a technical agency, won't send "political" signals. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • France Suggests Bolstering Iran Nuclear Deal to Tackle Ballistic Missile Use - France's president also sees the accord being 'supplemented by work for the post-2025 period.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
A Job at the Pentagon, and a Lesson on Kosher Food From a Senior Palestinian Official
Dov Schwartz met his wife Revital while serving as a diplomat in Israel: 'I'm Ashkenazi, my wife is from an Iraqi home, and a Christian Arab thought we would get along.’ (Liat Elkayam, Haaretz+)
The secular parents intend to come prepared for the school year
Kiryat Ono wants to distance a religious association, Tzur Hadassah focuses on textbooks, and in Ramat Hasharon there are first signs of the success of the struggle. Parents across the country are working against religionization in secular schools. (Or Kashti, Haaretz Hebrew 11/8/2017)
Bordering on the unknown
Israel Hayom offers an exclusive glimpse into one of the most volatile sectors on northern border, where troops and ISIS operatives come in contact nightly. The calm on the border is deceptive and the threat lurking beyond it is very real, IDF says. (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom)
From terrorist to the face of the Palestinian struggle
Convicted [in Israel - OH] terrorist Rasmea Odeh, set to be deported from the US for hiding her past from the authorities, came a long way from being a security prisoner, to becoming a prominent 'freedom fighter' in the struggle against Israel. (Amir Bogen, Yedioth/Ynet)
According to foreign reports: A decade has passed since the bombing of the Syrian reactor
Intelligence, disagreements, the decision, the implementation and the consequences. Ten years after the bombing of Assad's reactor, back to the dramatic operation that prevented Damascus from developing nuclear capability. (Yossi Melman, Maariv)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
For Israeli Coexistence: Arabic Studies (Friday Haaretz Editorial) None of the education ministers have done much to strengthen Arabic studies. None had the courage and desire to see the language as a bridge between groups.
A short story about privatization and religion, at the end of which is a call for the realization of one great opportunity (Rami Hod, Haaretz Hebrew) Since the Molad Institute published two months ago the investigation into the infiltration of the religious right-wing organizations into the state education system, the discussion about religionization is now at the heart of the public discourse. The findings of the investigation, according to which the gates of state schools are open to religious right-wing organizations, constituted a wake-up call for secular parents in Israel. Parent groups from Herzliya and Kiryat Ono, Tzur Hadassah and Kfar Sava, Ashdod and Rishon LeZion have recently been working in a variety of ways to remove the associations from state schools. But  religion and the struggle against it are much more than the story of a clash between secular and religious people. In fact, they tell the most important story of Israel's public education system. This is a story in which the prime player is the government - who in one hand promotes privatization, expands inequality, and in the other hand promotes a right-wing agenda by changing the contents of the curriculum - and the secondary player is the middle class secular parents, who out of concern for the quality of education their children accepted the privatization policy, thus opening the door to  religious indoctrination. In order to act to change the direction and strengthen the state character of the Israeli education system, one must understand how an entire generation of parents fell asleep on guard, thereby abandoning it to the privatized arrangements on which the wave of religionization was carried out.
Mr. Prime Minister, we are not against you, we are for Israel (Ben Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) You have achieved many things, Netanyahu, and you and Israel can be very proud of them, but stop attacking the media, for we cannot ignore the details emerging on a series of scandals in which you are implicated. Do not allow your long period of power to turn you into a cynic. People on the Right are also asking many questions about your integrity.
The New National Zionism (Daniel Blatman, Haaretz+) Israeli Justice Minister Shaked’s worldview recalls the racist xenophobia of the southern U.S. states during the 1930s and onward.
Netanyahu needs to be troubled, but he continues with an incitement campaign that raises real concern for his situation (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The river of materials produced by Miki Ganor is flooding and stormy, and the parade of those being investigated in the affair will begin soon. The big question is whether the prime minister will be one of them - and how will the political system respond to an indictment?
Mounting evidence of change (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) As the Palestinians continue to try and light up the Temple Mount, more and more Jewish visitors of all ages and backgrounds -- and far from right-wing extremists -- are touring the holy site, some for the first time and some for the first time in decades.
Israel Pretending to Respect Human Rights (Aeyal Gross, Haaretz+) The government treats Africans as asylum seekers who cannot be deported to their home countries, while at the same time treating them as ‘infiltrators’ who must be jailed and deported.
The civil war in Syria has proven - in our neighborhood, survival is the name of the game (Jacky Khougy, Maariv) 600,000 Syrian citizens have been killed, more than six million have been exiled and entire cities have been paralyzed, but Assad's head is still on his shoulders. And also: the connection between Da'ash and Israel according to Nasrallah.
Netanyahu Shamelessly Vilifies the Left as the Crowd Chants 'King Bibi' (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Casting the media and the left as the enemies of the people, haters of Zionism and, especially, as persecutors of Bibi and Sara, is turning out to be a political gold mine for the beleaguered leader.
The Supreme Court is losing the people's trust (Einav Schiff, Yedioth/Ynet) While the political right calls to 'raise the shovel of a D9 bulldozer against the High Court,' or at the very least calls for constitutional revolution, even the political left is growing tired of the highest court in the land. It's time for a change.
Israel's Lovesick Leader (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) Like a rock star who dives from the stage into the crowd and surfs through the masses, Netanyahu seems to let the audience carry him on their raised hands and lead him as he lies on his back.
The Likud owes fealty to no leader (Dr. Haim Shine, (Israel Hayom) MK Benny Begin's claim that Prime Minister Netanyahu enjoys blind allegiance from Likud members is false. The PM is supported because he produces results in agreement with the Likud's vision.
Class-based School Tracking (Haaretz Editorial) According to new analysis, about half of the students in areas outside of the center of the country are in vocational-technical programs as opposed to higher education.
Why shouldn't Meni Naftali be allowed to sue the prime minister? (Shahar Ginossar, Yedioth/Ynet) The current law shields elected officials from being sued for libel, in order to allow them to do their jobs. But when someone as powerful as Netanyahu feels safe in leading a smear campaign against a former maintenance man who worked at his house, the time has come to amend it.
When Gideon Levy Fell in Love With Ayelet Shaked (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) My colleague Gideon Levy prefers hard-line rightists to the left because they tell the truth; that is, they sincerely express dangerous sentiments popular among the people. The damage in Levy’s alliance with people like Shaked is his view that what Shaked and her ilk are offering is Zionism. It’s not.
The Zionist Tango (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Why the racist honesty of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is preferable to the fake views of the Israeli left.
Not mathematics: Lieberman's opposition to the Regulation Law [Law to expropriate privately-owned Palestinian land in West Bank] does not meet the test of reality (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) When the defense minister claimed that 10,000 were more than 2,000 - regarding the number of Arab homes to be saved due to the law, he chose to ignore reality and the two most influential factors: time and money.
Are Israel’s Police Really More Violent Toward the Ethiopian Community? (Nomi Levenkron , Haaretz+) Are police in Israel and the U.S. inherently racist, or are they part of a bigger problem? A series of reforms undertaken by the Israel Police indicates a desire to change.
What's new in Assadistan? (Nahuma Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) In this year's UN speech, Netanyahu will once again focus on Iran, but instead of the nuclear threat it would be Iran's entrenchment in Syria at the forefront of his mind. But the situation is more complex than what the prime minister describes, with Syria reducing the number of Iranians in its territory and Rouhani being more preoccupied with rehabilitating Iran's economy.
A Settler Farm Sows Fear Among Palestinian Shepherds, With Help From the Israeli Army (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Thirteen years ago Omer Atidiah situated his private farm on Palestinian land north of Jericho; since then his name has terrorized the area.
How to reduce terrorism (Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, Israel Hayom) ISIS is effectively defeated, but its members can now go back to their homelands, and Western nations must take drastic steps to contain terrorism.
Egypt’s 'Newspeak' Masks Public’s Perception of Israel (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) Egypt’s war on words isn’t new, but during al-Sissi's four years in power, freedom of expression has become a strategic target.
The Gulf States Have a New Political Weapon: Soccer (Adrian Hennigan, Haaretz) Cash-rich gulf states with limited political leverage have turned to the soccer field with the goal of winning hearts and minds.
 
Interviews:
'If we don't fight, Europe will become Arabia'
Geert Wilders, the head of the now second-largest Dutch political party -- Party for Freedom (PVV) -- says the rapid Islamization of Europe poses an existential threat, one that the traditional parties are ignoring • Time is running out, he warns. (Interviewed by Eldad Beck in Israel Hayom)

Meet the Palestinian Israel put on trial for her poetry
Dareen Tatour has spent over a year and a half under house arrest for publishing a poem on her Facebook page. Since then, she has lost the ability to support herself, and cannot leave the house without a ‘chaperone.’ Orly Noy spoke to Tatour about the difficulty of living under constant surveillance, her love for Hebrew and Arabic poetry, and the need for Jews and Arabs to learn each other’s language.  (Interviewed by Orly Noy in +972mag)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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