News Nosh 9.10.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday September 10, 2017
 
Quote of the day:
"People don't understand how much corruption affects every one of us. Think about what could have been done with two billion euros instead of it going for a ship deal that is not needed."
--Former defense minister Moshe Yaalon called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to resign in the wake of all the criminal investigations involving him and those around him.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The bill arrived - Draft of indictment against Sara Netanyahu reveals the festival at the house on Balfour Street…chef-prepared dinners costing hundreds of thousands of shekels
  • Under his nose // Nahum Barnea
  • Yair Netanyahu and the anti-Semitic cartoon storm
  • Hope for lung cancer patients
  • The escape from Florida
  • Enormous achievement for Israeli film - Shmulik Maoz and his film, ‘Foxtrot,’ which angered (Culture Minister) Miri Regev, won the ’Silver Lion’ prize at the Venice Festival
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Winds of destruction (in Florida)
  • “Trump is pressuring Abu Mazen to make a soft speech at the UN”
  • Earth terror - Earthquake in Mexico
  • “Out of all the smirching, only the leftovers of the food trays remained” // Haim Shine on the indictment against Sara Netanyahu
  • Connection to the world: Ilan Ramon Airport will be used also for connecting flights
  • Report: “Senior Hamas officials will discuss with Egypt on renewing the talks over the missing Israelis”
  • Today: A march in Romania in memory of Elie Weisel
  • Achievement in Israeli film: Controversial ‘Foxtrot’ won the ‘Silver Lion’ in Venice

News Summary:
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took off this morning to South America, a historic first visit of an Israeli prime minister to the continent, just as the Hebrew papers landed on doorsteps announcing on the front page that 1.) the Attorney General is indicting his wife, Sara, for systematically fraudulently claiming expenses at the Prime Minister’s residence and 2.) his son, Yair, posted an anti-Semitic cartoon on Facebook. Another top story was that the Israeli film ‘Foxtrot,’ besmirched by Culture Minister Miri Regev as giving ‘support to Israel-haters,’ won second place at the prestigious Venice Film Festival.

Subject to a pre-indictment hearing, Sara Netanyahu, will be charged with aggravated fraud over ordering food from expensive restaurants to the Prime Minister’s Residence. Ezra Saidoff, who was responsible for the running of the Residence, was charged in that indictment as well as three others related to food at the residence, in which Mrs. Netanyahu was let off the hook. She was also not indicted for the recycle bottles case, the garden furniture case, the electrician case and the case involving care for her father, Yedioth noted. Maariv pointed out that very few senior Likud officials spoke in Mrs. Netanyahu’s defense, only Culture Minister Miri Regev and MK Amir Ohana.

But the anti-Semitic cartoon in her defense posted by her son, Yair, on Facebook caused an equally big storm. Yair made changes to an anti-Semitic cartoon by adding a few characters: Jewish tycoon George Soros, former prime minister Ehud Barak, leader of anti-Netanyahu protests Eldad Yaniv and the former house manager of the Residence, Meni Naftali, who sued Mrs. Netanyahu and won. Yair's post, suggesting a conspiracy in which Soros is behind his family's legal problems, won the support of ex-KKK leader David Duke.

Meanwhile, in the submarines affair, in which many of the Prime Minister’s associates have been detained as suspects, police surprised former navy chief Eliezer Marom during an interrogation, in which he refused to talk, by bringing in state witness Miki Ganor who exhorted him to reveal how Ganor gave him money. The same went for media advisor Tzachi Lieber, another suspect, who was confronted with Ganor in the interrogation room. More arrests are expected next week.

**So it was no surprise that former defense minister Moshe Yaalon said Saturday that Netanyahu must resign, Maariv reported. Yaalon went on to talk about the submarine affair. "People do not understand how much corruption affects every one of us, think about what could have been done with two billion euros instead of going for a ship deal that is not needed.”
 
Quick Hits:
  • Settlers attack Arab bus driver, transit company ceases activities - Two masked youths threaten with a gun and throw stones at an Arab bus driver who was on his normal route through Bat Ayin; following the assault, the Egged transit company no longer enters the settlement. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • 1 in 6 Women Suffer Sexual Harassment in Israeli Army, Survey Finds - Some 60% of female soldiers say there is a sexualized atmosphere in units, while 35% said they were touched or subjected to sexual gestures or leers. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Police Ask Court to Close Down Temple Mount Building 'Linked to Hamas' - Move is believed to be first time police chief has used provision in new anti-terror law to request closure of structure suspected of being used for terror activities. (Haaretz+)
  • JNF blasts 'greedy' investors who bought Jerusalem land from Greek Orthodox Church - Jewish National Fund pays 1 million shekels to investment company to settle lease dispute, but questions who actually owns the land in three upscale neighborhoods. (Haaretz+)
  • IDF intelligence chief: 'Iran helping most severe threats against Israel' - Head of IDF Military Intelligence Directorate, Maj. Gen. Halevi, speaks about dangers Israel faces and claims that Iran is an accomplice to those looking to cause Israel the most damage; that said, he adds that 'these are serious, but not existential threats'; meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Min. sends letter to UN, accusing Israel of being behind attack on its weapons center. (Ynet)
  • Northern Command seeks to prevent psychological victory for Hezbollah - In large-scale training exercise, IDF seeks to balance the need to work quickly to stop the Shiite terror group from getting a 'victory photo' of their flag waving over an Israeli home and the need to reduce danger to civilians and soldiers alike. (Ynet)
  • Vulture flies into Syria from Israel, returned by rebel fighters - One of the few remaining vultures in the Golan Heights flies over border before being returned to Israel following intervention from animal activists as expression of gratitude for Israel’s humanitarian efforts on border. (Ynet)
  • Israeli soldier seriously hurt in grenade explosion during training - Head of IDF's Ground Forces Command orders an investigation and suspends the use of live grenades in training exercises. (Haaretz)
  • Not a single Knesset discussion on disability benefits during 6 months of protest - Despite two commissions and an announcement by PM Netanyahu to raise benefits, some 224,000 Israelis living with disabilities are still waiting for the change to happen. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • New app to crack down on illegal Palestinian West Bank construction - Samaria Regional Council launches new communal watchdog app enabling settlers to report instances of illegal Palestinian construction of haphazard or permanent structures: 'We see illegal building of almost every type. Sometimes we are shocked by the audacity,' says council head Yossi Dagan. (Ynet)
  • Radio station fined NIS 10,000 for Azaria attorney Sheftel's insults against IDF chief - Following offensive remarks made by convicted killer Elor Azaria's last remaining Attorney Yoram Sheftel on his radio show, the station is fined for NIS 10,000; among other comments, Sheftel called IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot 'a lowlife' and made fun of his weight. (Ynet)
  • 'Sense of betrayal': Hundreds of U.S. rabbis write to Netanyahu expressing anger over Orthodox stranglehold - With the High Holy Days around the corner, nearly 600 rabbis in the Conservative movement call on the PM to show leadership on issue of Jewish pluralism in Israel, or else face public criticism in key prayer sermons. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Chinese investors eye massive investment in Israeli green tech - In China to promote local investment in Israeli clean tech firms, Environmental Protection Minister Zeev Elkin says Israel can become an industry leader. Elkin says visit "is a tremendous opportunity that will significantly boost Israel's economy." (Israel Hayom)
  • 'Palestinian media suffers from repressive clampdown' - NGO Freedom House ranks West Bank, Gaza Strip alongside Vietnam: not free. PA President Abbas approves law heavily fining Palestinians who criticize PA • Israel enjoys highest ranking among Middle East and North African nations, ranks 64th worldwide. (Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian Authority 'Suspending Payments' to Key Prisoners Group - Palestinian Prisoners Club says that although it hasn't been officially notified, all signs suggest funds are being frozen; PPC leads fight for prisoners' rights in Israeli jails. (Haaretz+)
  • 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)
  • Hamas leader in Cairo to discuss Gaza blockade - Newly elected Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh leaves Gaza for first time since winning elections to visit Egypt and discuss its blockade on Gaza, in return for Hamas's assistance in fighting ISIS forces in Sinai; it is yet unclear whether both sides will discuss three Israeli civilians or the remains of IDF soldiers, whom are currently being held by Hamas in Gaza. (Ynet and Maariv)
  • Syria: Satellite Images Show Destruction at Missile Factory After Alleged Israeli Strike - The images show that at least five major building were damaged in the strike, which Syria attributed to Israel. (Haaretz)
  • Lebanon to File Complaint With UN Against Alleged Israeli Strikes in Syria - Citing violation of Lebanese airspace, Lebanon will join Syria in complaint to UN Security Council. (Haaretz+)
  • Hezbollah claims finding Israeli spying equipment hidden in rock - The rock—found in the Kfarchouba village in south Lebanon—contains thermal camera capable of capturing images in both day and night conditions, Hezbollah claims; device to be dismantled by Lebanese army engineers, army source says. (Ynet)
  • Saudi Arabia suspends dialogue with Qatar following promising phone call - Saudi Crown Prince discussed the Gulf dispute with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani over the phone Friday, later accusing him of 'distorting facts’. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Report: Netanyahu met with senior Qatari official in Tel Aviv who demanded - “intervene in the Gulf crisis" - The Saudi news website reported that the prime minister met with a senior official in the rich Arab emirate and discussed the issues related to the security of the Middle East and the crisis between the emirates and Saudi Arabia. (Maariv)
  • U.S to Return Jewish Artifacts to Iraq, Despite Protests - The trove includes books, religious texts, photographs and personal documents looted during Saddam Hussein's regime, and then found by U.S. troops in 2003. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli emergency aid group races to get ahead of Hurricane Irma - ZAKA Search and Rescue Organization working with local groups to set up emergency centers in Miami, organizing generators, crucial equipment and food. ZAKA head Yehuda Meshi-Zahav: We help anyone in need, Jew, Christian or Muslim. (Israel Hayom)
  • Jews May Travel on Shabbat to Escape Hurricane Irma, Israeli Rabbi Says - Despite the ruling from an influential ultra-Orthodox rabbi from Bnei Brak, a Chabad rabbi is choosing to hunker down with his wife and five children in Miami and ride it out. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Following scathing criticism, Berlin mayor vows to fight BDS - Michael Muller had faced criticism for not publicly condemning anti-Israel movement. Head of Germany's Jewish community welcomes move, which he says "sends a positive message, not just to Germany's Jews, but to German society as a whole." (Israel Hayom)


Features:
Were Egypt’s Jews Really Expelled?
The new Israeli curriculum on Jewish communities in the Muslim world is welcome, but it highlights only the persecution. And in the case of Egypt, it’s not even clear a full-fledged expulsion happened. (Eyal Sagui Bizawe, Haaretz+)
Shimon Peres' lofty vision did not dissipate when he died
A year after his death, the Peres Center employees are implementing his vision every day with his spirit, with ongoing projects and donations that continue to flow. (Oz Rosenberg, Maariv)
The Hunt for the Nazi 'Angel of Death': How Israel Tried – and Failed – to Capture Dr. Josef Mengele
The Mossad spy agency released a report detailing how Josef Mengele, the ‘Angel of Death’ from Auschwitz, eluded Israeli spooks from Argentina to an Athens suburb and beyond. (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)
A southern Israeli village's fate: Bedouin out, Jews in
Eight months ago, Yakub Abu al-Kiyan was killed by police during a protest against the demolition of Bedouin houses to make way for Jewish ones; his widow and 10 kids are living in a tent next to the rubble of their home. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
When David Duke Agrees With Netanyahu's Son: As Probes Intensify, the Prime Minister and His Family Lose Control (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) Netanyahu, the self-proclaimed leader of the Jewish people, stays silent as his son flirts with anti-Semitic ideas.
Sarah's place: the unclear position of the prime minister's wife (Meir Uziel, Maariv) Mrs. Netanyahu is not a public servant; she has not been elected to her job by calling for the candidacy of the prime minister's wife. If so, how did she have the authority to make orders for the Residence?
With Sara Netanyahu's Indictment, Attorney General Played Dumb and Left the Job Half-done (Amir Oren, Haaretz) The attorney general cleared Netanyahu of stealing from public coffers, taking 'special circumstances' into consideration; it looks like someone upstairs doesn't want her convicted.
Historic trips and grandiose speeches won't make Netanyahu's scandals disappear (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) While Netanyahu prepares to meet with Trump and address the UN, fraud investigators are gearing toward their own sit-down with the prime minister.
Netanyahu incites against the High Court justices, the media, and even against a deceased head of the Mossad (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The great factor in the culture of dividing is the prime minister, who sends his little foxes with the large axes to undermine Israel's democratic foundations.
Why Netanyahu Hates George Soros So Much (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz) George Soros has become the main talking point ahead of the Israeli prime minister’s visit to Hungary, something Sheldon Adelson will be fully aware of.
Spectacular hypocrisy (Dror Eydar, Israel Hayom) In the leftist media, it is quite acceptable for reporters to receive sensitive information from prime ministers and never report to anyone, but when it comes to Israel Hayom, the courts become involved. How are we different?  Reflections on call logs.
Erdogan Is Here in Israel (Yossi Klein, Haaretz+) We’re all silent accomplices to a nascent Erdogan state. The schools are being taken care of, the Supreme Court’s turn will come and ultimately there will be the knock on the door at 3 A.M.
Despite the destruction: the storm surrounding Netanyahu's affairs makes it clear that no one is immune (Udi Segal, Maariv) We all get a reminder: be modest. Yes, you too, the person who thinks that because you have planes and nuclear weapons, money and influence, you control everything. The answer is no. You just think so.
176 Unnecessary Provocations (Haaretz Editorial) The prime minister should order a halt to the Nof Zion expansion before he flies to New York for the UN General Assembly.
Zionism Is the Scoundrel's Last Refuge (Uri Avnery, Haaretz+) Nowadays the Zionist brand is a false one for politicians who seek to extort money and political support from Jews around the world.
In an Israeli Elementary School, a Sign of the Times (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) By spreading lies about the teacher, such as that she ‘spits at soldiers at checkpoints,’ the parents were taking after Netanyahu’s regime of lies.
When Islamic ‘occupation of Europe’ becomes a reality (Noah Klieger, Yedioth/Ynet) If Western European countries fail to wake up soon, they may find out within several decades—or maybe even by the end of the century—that the Muslims have become a majority in the population. The jihadists' terror attacks in the continent are just the beginning.
Are Palestinians 'Lost Jews' Too? (Ori Weisberg, Haaretz) An Israeli government committee wants to ease entry requirements for non-Jews claiming descent from Jews. It's a blatant attempt by a right-wing, pro-annexation minister to tip the Jewish demographic balance - but there's a catch
A victory against Hezbollah will be achieved not only in a crushing attack but also in effective defense (Alon Ben-David, Maariv) It is not clear to what extent the Kremlin was attentive to Prime Minister’s pleas to distance Iran from us, but Assad, Russia and Hezbollah will continue to accompany us as neighbors in Syrian territory in the foreseeable future.
If Israel Did Strike Syrian Arms Facility, It May Have Shot Itself in the Foot (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz) While Thursday’s alleged attack may have seen Israel widen its definition of what it deems a threat, it may give Iran an excuse to increase its military presence and lead Russia to declare Syrian airspace a no-fly zone.
An unusual attack (Lilach Shoval, Israel Hayom) Iran crossed an Israeli red line when it built weapons factories in Syria that would allow terrorists to acquire precision missiles.
Air Strikes Are the Bomb (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) The Israeli yearning is to strike the Arabs, strike as much as possible, strike as long as it doesn’t exact a price. But this is how wars are stoked.
Syrian regime caught in catch-22 with 'Israeli' strike (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) On the one hand, the world understands Syria is a criminal country carrying out war crimes; on the other hand, the Assad regime is unable to refute the accusations on the production and use of chemical weapons in the facilities allegedly attacked by Israel, as it would have to invite inspectors to a site in which it likely has something to hide.
Why Syria Hasn't Retaliated to the Alleged Israeli Strike (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Syria and allies practice restraint after alleged Israeli attack on missile plant.
Sending a signal to major players in Syria (Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, Israel Hayom) The strike on a Syrian military site sought to send a clear message to all involved in the Syrian conflict that Israel will not hesitate to defend itself.
Exercises are important, but war is the real test (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) While Israel should definitely demonstrate its strength vis-à-vis the Lebanese government and Hezbollah, and emphasize its messages and intentions, the military exercise conducted by the IDF these days has the potential of lulling the public into a state of complacency and self-satisfaction.
Who’s Afraid of Ayelet Shaked? Meet the Secular Jewish Nationalist Who Could Be Israel’s Prime Minister (Allison Kaplan Sommer, Haaretz+) The 40-year-old, who seeks to tighten Israel’s hold on the West Bank and shake up the court system, is a secular politician highly popular with Orthodox Jews.
Israeli Minister Shaked Takes After Mussolini (Rogel Alpher, Haaretz+) Don't call the justice minister a fascist metaphorically, as hyperbole or a provocation – call her that because it's literally what she is.
The prisoner exchange imbroglio (Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom) As Israelis are held captive in Gaza, Israel faces a tough choice. Releasing another group of murderers must be resisted, but merely making speeches is also unacceptable.
'Fauda': Just Entertainment or Art Reflecting the Damage of the Occupation? (Itay Stern, Haaretz+) David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, takes a look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the eyes of the hit series
I Joked About Racism and Caused a Student to Drop My Class (Sayed Kashua, Haaretz+) Sometimes I forget that being a part of the Arab minority in America doesn't give me license to resort to offensive humor.
A Ghetto With Nuclear Bombs (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) Netanyahu's refusal to recognize that they are refugees is fundamental: Those blacks aren’t actually refugees, because they aren’t full human beings in the white sense of the term.
 
Interviews:
'Nationalist hopes drive terrorism'
Habayit Hayehudi MK Bezalel Smotrich is offering Palestinians a choice: staying in Israel and making peace, being paid to emigrate, or ultimately losing a war against the IDF • What they will never have, he says, is a state of their own in Israel. (Interviewed by Nadav Shragai in Israel Hayom)
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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