News Nosh 9.25.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday September 25, 2017
 
Quote of the day:
"It should be remembered that a party that makes PR for itself (through slogans) such as "Muslim cuisine does not suit us' can also easily adopt the slogan, 'Jewish cuisine does not suit us.'"
-Professor Moshe Zimmerman, who teaches German history, warns Israel of its connections with anti-Islam radical right-wing parties such as the 'Alternative for Germany,' which was just elected into the German Parliament. *

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Radical right-wing in German parliament
  • Complaint to police: “(Musician) Shlomo Grunich sexually harassed me when I was 17”
  • The teacher who had sex with a pupil - and continues to teach
  • (Israeli NBA basketball star) Omri Caspi in interview: “Trump is a racist, he divides the country”
  • Trump’s field // Nahum Barnea
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
The entry of the radical right-wing to the German parliament (and the Jewish Germans’ fears and Israel Hayom’s attempt to assuage them), the sexual harassment complaint against a musician set to receive a lifetime achievement award today, and the exchange of declarations between US President Donald Trump and Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif over the Iran nuclear deal were top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Also in the news, the Kurdish national referendum takes place today and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delayed cabinet discussions on settlement expansion ahead of the imminent visit of US Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt.

 *Jewish organizations around the world expressed concern that for the first time since WWII a radical right-wing party, ‘Alternative for Germany,’ was voted into parliament. the World Jewish Congress called it “a disgraceful reactionary movement which recalls the worst of Germany’s past.” The Israeli commentators agreed there was reason to worry, with one exception: Eldad Beck, the Germany-based correspondent of Israel Hayom (formerly of Yedioth) wrote that ‘Alternative’ was not a neo-Nazi or even a plain old anti-Semitic party. “It’s more complex that it appears,” Beck wrote.  An Op-Ed in yesterday’s Maariv by Fascism professor Professor Moshe Zimmerman may explain the apologism. Zimmerman noted that “Israel closes its eyes to the rise of such parties and even flirts with them: These parties, not only in Germany, portray themselves as supporting Israel in the "common struggle" against Islam, and Israel falls for  the trap. It should be remembered that a party that makes PR for itself such as "the Muslim cuisine does not suit us" can also easily adopt the slogan, "Jewish cuisine does not suit us."”

At the Security Cabinet yesterday that, following a request by Trump, Netanyahu said he decided to postpone by a week or two a meeting about settlement expansion, in order not to humiliate the Trump Administration, particularly in light of the upcoming visit to Israel by Trump’s special advisor Jason Greenblatt. The meeting was meant to advance plans for up to 2,000 new settler homes and it had already been postponed a number of times at the Trump Administration’s request, at one point to ensure that it didn’t sabotage Trump’s meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York. Netanyahu said that Trump was preparing a peace plan. Indeed, according to Egyptian daily al-Arabi al-Jadid, Trump’s peace initiative proposes to establish a Palestinian state within gradual borders that initially include only Gaza and the territories under Palestinian Authority control and the refugee issue will be postponed. Reportedly, the plan is supported by Saudi Arabia and Egypt. (Maariv) And, oddly, the plan calls for Palestinian unity ahead of Israeli-Palestinian talks. Oddly because the second Bush administration quietly opposed Hamas-Fatah unity. However, the White House rejected the report as "nonsense."

Kurdish Israelis demonstrated outside the US consulate in Jerusalem in support of the Kurdish national independence referendum taking place today (live updates here), while Turkey, Iran and Iraq warned against it. Iran held drills near the Iraqi-Kurdish border.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli settlers torch olive trees after illegal Jewish outpost evacuated south of Nablus - A spokesperson for Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights organization, said Israeli Civil Administration and Israeli army officers arrived to evacuate the small Israeli outpost near Kafr Qalil village. In response, settlers torched a number of olive trees belonging to resident of Kafr Qalil. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces seize Palestinian-owned vehicles in Tubas - Israeli soldiers seized three cars and two tractors that belong to residents of Ras al-Ahmar. Aref Daraghmeh, a monitor of Israeli settlement activities, said Israeli forces "have been seizing residents’ agricultural properties and vehicles for more than ten days." (Maan)
  • Israeli forces detain Palestinian man over 'inciting terrorism' on social media - In recent months, Israel has detained hundreds of Palestinians for social media activity, alleging that a wave of unrest that first swept the occupied Palestinian territory in October 2015 was encouraged largely by "incitement." (Maan)
  • Knesset to Supreme Court: reject petitions against outpost Regularization (legalization) law - The Knesset has called on the Israeli Supreme Court to uphold a controversial law that would retroactively legalize thousands of illegal Israeli settlement homes that have been built on Palestinian land, in response to petitions filed by human rights groups demanding the law's annulment. (Maan)
  • Women Wage Peace march to end Israeli-Palestinian conflict - Movement begins Journey of Peace, gathering participants to march across the country for a political peace agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The "journey"—a march taking participants across Israel—began in Sderot and the western Negev, and will be interposed with events throughout the country in Dimona and the Arava, in the Gaza and Ashkelon vicinity, in Tel Aviv and in Nazareth. (Ynet)
  • Bereaved families fight for harsher prison conditions for terrorists - A group of people who lost family members in recent terror attacks is establishing an advocacy group to promote harsher sanctions on terrorists on their families; 'The time has come to impose a death sentence on convicted terrorists,' says Hadas Mizrahi, who lost her husband in a shooting attack. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli military vehicles, bulldozers raid, level land in southern Gaza Strip - Israeli maintains a "security buffer zone" along Gaza's land and sea border and frequently levels land inside and close to this zone. Approximately 35 percent of Palestinian agricultural land in Gaza is inaccessible without high personal risk, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces detain two 14-year-old Palestinians in Hebron - Israeli forces detained two Palestinian teenagers on Saturday in Hebron city in the southern occupied West Bank. (Maan)
  • Clashes erupt in Aida refugee camp following Israeli raid - Clashes erupted early Saturday morning in the Aida refugee camp, located in Bethlehem, following an Israeli search and detention raid in the camp. (Maan)
  • 3 Palestinians continue hunger strikes in Israeli prison - They protest being held in prison without charges or trial. Samidoun Anas Shadid from Dura village, Ahmad Salameh al-Sawarkeh from Gaza city, and Sheikh Izzadine Amarneh, 55, from Yabad village, have all been on hunger strike for up to eight days. In addition, Anas Shadid, 21, who launched a 90-day hunger strike last year, was released only to be re-detained in June. (Maan)
  • For the first time: Gideon Sa'ar beats Benjamin Netanyahu in head to head - Panels Politics poll: Former minister puts himself as the only one who can beat the prime minister: 40%-38%.  Israelis are more optimistic and more secure than last year. 60% of Israelis thought Israel was a good place to live in and 29% thought it wasn’t. 18% said they thought of leaving the country, 79% said no. 83% were not happy with how the country cared for the weak parts of society. (Maariv)
  • Poll: Majority of Palestinian public want Abbas to resign- A recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip has revealed that an overwhelming majority have lost faith in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, with two-thirds of poll participants demanding his resignation. (Maan)
  • Israeli 'alt-right' Facebook page, which inspired Yair Netanyahu’s anti-Semitic meme, is taken down - Hebrew-language, right-wing 'CuckyHomoShit' page removed over the weekend, but has already been replaced by similar new page. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli Court Allows Upscale Country Club to Prevent Residents From Neighboring Arab Town From Joining - Kochav Ya'ir-Tzur Yigal must give 10 percent of slots to nonresidents, but club members among them – all Jews – will get preference. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Tells High Court: Bedouin in Unauthorized West Bank Village Will Be Evacuated by Mid-2018 - The Bedouin around Ma’aleh Adumim live in areas that Israel considers strategic for building and expanding settlements and establishing a territorial link between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli rights group demands Israel connect Bedouin village school to power grid - Israeli rights group Adalah has demanded in a letter to senior Israeli officials that Israel connect a school in the Bedouin village of Wadi al-Naam in the Negev of southern Israel to the national electricity grid. (Maan)
  • There’s never a dull moment: Noi Sheetrit made another U-turn (and returned to Bedouin husband) - The young woman, who just a week ago posted a video showing her returning to her original religion (Judaism) after converting to Islam, returned to her Muslim Bedouin husband from Rahat. LEHAVA leader Beni Gopstein: "We will continue to work for the daughters of Israel.” (Maariv, Nana and Channel 10 News report on Jewish Israeli reactions to couple)
  • Israel's culture minister calls to investigate actor Mohammad Bakri for incitement - Miri Regev cites media reports that Bakri, who is currently visiting Lebanon, called Arab countries' diplomatic ties with Israel 'treason.’ (Haaretz)
  • Former US ambassador Dan Shapiro said set to testify in Netanyahu graft case - PM reportedly asked envoy to intervene to help secure visa for Israeli film producer Arnon Milchan, who allegedly gave him gifts valued at hundreds of thousands of shekels. (Times of Israel and Maariv)
  • Disabled Activists in Israel Block Major Highways in Protest of Stagnant Disability Allowances - Disability allowances have remained unchanged for about 15 years at $667 a month. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed only a minor increase, which would take effect in January. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • New escape room to commemorate former Israeli leaders - Joint NIS 200,000 project funded by PMO and Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute to see transportable escape room criss-cross Israeli schools, enabling students to learn about past Israeli presidents and prime ministers by unlocking 'treasures of the State of Israel.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Ethiopian olah to serve as Israel UN rep - Daseta will be representing Israel on environmental, developmental and economic issues with the United Nations, promoting Israeli innovation; UN ambassador Danon: 'Integrating Ethiopians into Israeli hasbara is vital.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Ancient prayer book donated to National Library - The festival prayer book, created in Catalonia in the 13th century and bearing exceptional micrographic art, passed through Italy, Greece, Nazi Germany and the US before being donated to National Library in Jerusalem. (Ynet+Photos)
  • Unruly Israeli kids smoke, drink at Ukraine Breslov frenzy - As thousands of Bresolv Hasidic Israelis travel to Ukraine during the Rosh Hashanah period to celebrate near tomb of movement’s revered founder, disturbing footage emerges showing disorderly behavior with unsupervised Israeli children smoking cigarettes, consuming alcohol and adults harassing local drivers. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israel Proves Rich Pickings in Latest Season of 'Transparent,' Say Critics - Early reviews for season four of Amazon's transgender comedy praise plot that brings the Pfefferman family to Holy Land. (Haaretz)
  • Saudi Arabia opens sports stadium to women for the first time - Celebrating the 87th anniversary of Saudi Arabia's founding this weekend with concerts and performances, the country opened King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh for the first time. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Warriors' Omri Casspi: Trump Is 'Creating a Divide Between the People' - Israeli member of NBA champs takes a stance after U.S. president withdraws invitation to the White House, says it 'hurts' to see anti-Semitism, racism in U.S. (Haaretz)


Features:
Peres's book a memoir for millennials
Late President Shimon Peres's new memoir No Room for Small Dreams is made for the new generation, who has not already been inundated with his exploits over decades in politics. Glossing over the rougher patches, it offers a concise view of some of Israel's biggest milestones. (Attila Somfalvi, Ynet)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
Israel and Iraq: (Missing an opportunity?) Let's talk about it (Jacky Hugi, Maariv) The announcement from Jerusalem about support for the Kurds raised eyebrows in Baghdad. Many Iraqis are interested in contact with Israel, and do not understand why it is taking a side on the Kurdish issue. The hawks were furious at Israel's interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. The doves expressed surprise at why Jerusalem does not view Baghdad as a potential friend and harms the yet undeveloped relationship. In the Iraqi public and in political circles there is a growing lobby for contacts with Israel.
How Israel Tries to Get a Palestinian Family to Quit Their Home (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) It seems the Jabaris' land is blocking the settlement Kiryat Arba's expansion hopes, so the army — following planted rumors about weapons — is raiding the house of a family where several children have been disabled since birth.
Why face facts when it’s easier to pretend settlements don’t exist? (Avishay Ben Sasson-Gordis, Yedioth/Ynet)  It’s embarrassing to see right-wing aficionados squirm whenever they’re faced with results of investigations showing how West Bank settlements are actually a national security burden, Molad’s political analyst responds to Yoaz Hendel.
A hollow nuclear deal (Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, Israel Hayom) Iran's test of a ballistic missile capable of reaching the Middle East highlights the weakness of the 2015 deal. World powers must take decisive action to stop it.
Despite alleged Israeli strikes, Hezbollah will keep building its arsenal (Giora Eiland, Yedioth/Ynet) While our enemies are willing to occasionally sacrifice targets that are allegedly destroyed by Israel, they have found alternative ways to transfer advanced weapons from Iran through Syria to Lebanon. In addition to its efforts against Hezbollah’s precision missiles, Israel must ensure that the next war is short.
As Israel Backs Kurdish Independence, Palestinians May Reap the Benefit (Dahlia Scheindlin, Haaretz+) Israel's right-wing government might end up regretting its public support for Kurdistan. After all, if historical justice legitimates Kurdish and Jewish self-determination, it's just as applicable to the Palestinians.
Iran missile test: Nuclear deal’s rotten fruit (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) The new ballistic missile Tehran tested is one of the prices Israel is paying for its failed conduct throughout the world powers’ negotiations with Iran, which led to Israel’s exclusion and inability to influence both the open agreement and its concealed and informal clauses.
Israel's Public Security Minister Is Soft on Crimes Against Christian and Muslim Sites (Haaretz Editorial) Gilad Erdan - and his boss, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - need to push the Israel Police to forcefully investigate, and to prosecute, vandalism of churches and mosques.
Repairing the damage (Eldad Beck, Israel Hayom) To repair German-Israeli relations, Netanyahu will need to ask Chancellor Angela Merkel to act systematically against the anti-Israel actions of German officials.
'The Media Is All Garbage': Why Israelis Have Bought Netanyahu's Line on Fake News (Hagai Amit, Haaretz+) On a tour of Israeli cities, Haaretz finds a public echoing the prime minister's comment that the media needs to start looking on the bright side of life.
Not a demagogue like Netanyahu, not slippery like Lapid - give (new Labor party chief) Gabai a chance (Uri Savir, Maariv) Israel needs a leader who comes from outside the system where ‘one hand washes the other.’ You can agree or disagree with the Labor Party chairman, but he is the only one who can give us a new start.
Only the Israeli Army Will Help the Country's ultra-Orthodox (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+) Why do so many Israelis, including people of conscience whose own children are drafted, defend the ultra-Orthodox refusal to do army service?
Germany Election: What the Far-right's Meteoric Ascendance Portends for German Society (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+) It's a safe bet that Alternative for Germany will make full use of its new parliamentary platform, and state funds, to push its hateful messages.
An attempt to anchor the commitment to Judaism in legislation will create division and bitterness (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) The attempt to ban soccer games on Shabbat will not make this country more Jewish. The appeal to the High Court of Justice is just from the legal point of view, but stupid from the public aspect.
Trump's Saddam-style Bluster Scares the World as His Racial Taunts Divide America (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) From North Korea to the NBA and NFL, Trump believes that insults and intimidation can beat any adversary.
Unlike the attitude toward the Palestinians, the suppression of Kurdish national aspirations is open to all (Meir Uziel, Maariv) For years, our conscience has been crushed over the rights of the Palestinians. But where are all those intellectuals in the world and in Israel when we need to talk about the independence of the Kurds?
Where were the parents when the children learned the Jewish laws of Niddah [How Jewish women must act during menstruating, according to Jewish law - OH] (Idit Shafran-Gittleman, Haaretz Hebrew) In recent days, a storm has been raging among parts of the religious public, following diaries (that schools) distributed to children. In the diaries, there were comic strips, in which among other things, explained when a Jewish soldier can take a captured gentile woman, how to demand what belongs to us and is found among the gentiles, with a humorous ending: "Too bad we did not demand the Temple Mount." There are details of the laws of impurity and other content that is almost unbelievable that someone thought soberly that they should be placed in a diary for elementary school students. Many parents were furious, and the Education Ministry said that the distribution of the diaries would be frozen due to a lack of suitability of content to the children's age. It could have been a reasonable end to the story in which the mistake had been made and the officials or supervisors took responsibility and sought to correct it. You could say that someone smoked something, and that the system through which the madness passed through its hands without anyone raising his hand to ask if we weren’t mad, celebrated and got drunk together on the eve of it going to the printing press. It was possible, but not worthwhile. First of all, this is not a madness but a clear ideology of extremist currents in the state religious school, which seek to dominate it, to overwhelm it with religious and right-wing extremism, and to inculcate it with arrogance and xenophobia. Beyond that, the story about these diaries is much bigger than a the bad taste that managed to find his way into too many backpacks. The real story is the parents. Those that protested and said “that’s enough“ and brought about a reasonable conclusion of the affair, but more than that, (it’s about) those who thought that this is the Torah…and that if they want a religious education for their children, they must accept the price involved. These are the same parents, who, when it comes to distributing lollipops at school, they stand at the entrance to the principal's room and threaten an organized rebellion. They are the ones who raise a cry when there is no third assistant in the kindergarten or when the schnitzel is fried and not baked. But when it comes to messages that are fed to their children, they fill their mouths with water…They don’t ask themselves when it happened that nationalist religious turned into nationalist ultra-Orthodox, and how the state aspect of religious state education was abandoned. They hear those who say against them that if it is not good for them they should go to secular education, without protesting and saying that secular education is not compatible with their way of life, and that those who seek Torah education are the ones who have to make way (for them). Although they are meticulous in observing the mitzvot and their personal identity is of religious people, these parents have slowly convinced themselves that they are probably not really like that. They don’t intend to do so, but to a great extent they share in the sad process that the religious-nationalist public and religious Zionism as a whole are passing through. True. The comics in the school diaries is based on a true story - so what? No one would think that a diary would be approved that would delineate all kinds of sexual harassment mentioned in the criminal law or accompanied by graphic illustrations of the interrogations permitted to the Shin Bet. It takes a very small amount of judgment to decide what to teach, at what age and in what framework, and it is hard to decide what is more outrageous: the thought that (such judgment) was not implemented and that no one simply cared what was fed to our children or the fear that there is a guiding hand that is rocking this cradle…

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