News Nosh 9.28.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Thursday September 28, 2017
 
Quote of the day:
“The judicial system refrains from participating in any controversial political event, in particular when the entire stage is devoted to one side."
-Israeli Chief Justice Miriam Naor explained why she barred a judicial representative from attending a jubilee celebration of the settlement enterprise.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • (Justice Minister) Shaked to Chief Justice of High Court: “You unraveled the stateliness”
  • Judges in the cross-hairs // Ben Caspit
  • Spit in the face // Karni Eldad
  • Azaria’s next step: Petition President for pardon - Chief of Staff reduced his sentence by four months
  • The driver warned he was blinded - and (the armed vehicle) flipped killing two soldiers and injuring four
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
Top Israeli ministers slammed the Chief Justice of the High Court for barring a judge from attending an event in the West Bank celebrating 50 years of the settlement enterprise, two soldiers were killed in a training accident and the Chief of Staff shortened the short prison sentence of the ’Shooting Soldier from Hebron,’ Elor Azaria, who was convicted for shooting dead an already incapacitated Palestinian assailant, for which some cursed him because he didn’t annul it - making top news in the Hebrew newspapers. Also in the news was the Palestinian diplomatic achievement and Israeli failure: Palestine’s acceptance into the Interpol organization. Now Israel fears the Palestinian Authority will use its new status to issue arrest warrants for top Israeli officials.

*Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked accused the High Court Chief Justice Miriam Naor of ‘undoing the stateliness’ of a state ceremony. Naor wrote that a judge's attendance was 'inappropriate' due to the political nature of the event over a controversial issue: settlement in the West Bank. But Naor had the backing of the High Court justices. At the event held in Gush Etzion, Netanyahu said there would be ‘no more uprooting of Jewish or Arab towns’ in the West Bank (as if they were the same - OH). Senior Palestinian politician Hanan Ashrawi responded saying that “Netanyahu was more committed to settlement expansion than to peace.” Thousands attended the event, but only one person from the opposition, and that from the center-right-wing party of Yesh Atid.

On the same day, Netanyahu finally met with the Yesha Settlers’ Council representatives, who asked him to approve 10,000 new West Bank homes. Netanyahu told them that the day before he met for four hours with U.S. President Donald Trump's envoy, Jason Greenblatt and the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, who told him not to be a ‘gluttonous pig’ about settlements. Netanyahu boasted at the meeting that he had "convinced the Americans to take the distinction between settlement blocs and isolated settlements off the table,” Haaretz reported. Busy Netanyahu also attended a ceremony yesterday celebrating 120 years since the First Zionist Congress.
 
Quick Hits:
  • For first time, Palestinian shot by Israel recognized as victim of 'hostile acts' - Luai Abed will now be eligible for disability allowance usually reserved for victims of terrorist attacks. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli forces detain 15 Palestinians as siege on Beit Surik continues - Israeli forces detained at least 15 Palestinians in overnight raids across the occupied West Bank and continued to blockade the hometown of a Palestinian who was shot dead Tuesday morning after carrying out a deadly attack in a nearby illegal Israeli settlement. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces injure 7 Palestinians amid clashes in besieged Jerusalem-area village of Biddu - Clashes erupted between hundreds of Palestinian youths and Israeli forces in the village of Biddu, one of several Jerusalem-area villages placed under an Israeli military siege following a shooting attack carried out by a resident of the nearby Beit Surik village. (Maan)
  • 15 Palestinians in Tubas suffer tear gas inhalation after Israel suppresses protest - The Governor of Tubas Ahmad al-Assad, and four others were moved to a hospital for treatment. the protest included the participation of dozens of Palestinians, including farmers, landowners, and community activists, who waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans while marching in the area against Israeli policies. (Maan)
  • UN Sent Warning Letter to 150 Companies for Doing Business in Israeli Settlements - Israeli officials say some of the companies responded to the UN human rights commissioner by saying they won't renew their contracts in Israel. (Haaretz+)
  • 'It's cruel and inhuman': EU condemns death sentences issued in Gaza - On Tuesday, a Gaza court issued death sentences against three Palestinian residents of Khan Younis, charged with killing a resident of Deir al-Balah during a robbery on his home. (Maan)
  • 'We're part of this society too': In Israel, Arab women are joining Jewish activists in fight for peace - The message expounded by the Women Wage Peace movement is: We will not stop until there is a peace agreement. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel presents replica Arch of Titus to UNESCO (to show Jewish ties to Jerusalem) - Replica of the famous Rome landmark shows Roman soldiers carrying spoils from the Second Temple, including its Menorah, illustrating Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, which the organization failed to recognize; UNESCO Director: 'Arch proves Jewish people's link to Jerusalem.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israel to soften policies on women's exclusion in religious communities - Attorney General Mendelblit now interprets current policy less stringently as to be ‘more suited to the religious and ultra-Orthodox way of life.’ (Haaretz)
  • Let government officials participate in human rights events, instructs attorney general - Mendelblit says he sees great importance in activities of civil society groups. (Haaretz+)
  • High Court to make secret ruling on Israeli arms sales to Myanmar - UN declared Myanmar engaged in 'textbook ethnic cleansing.' Ignoring EU, U.S. embargo, Israel is only Western country selling it arms. Activists demand halt of sales. (Haaretz)
  • Israel Protests to Russia for Hosting Senior Member of Hamas Military Wing in Moscow - Saleh Arouri, who coordinated the group's terror activities in the West Bank, was part of Hamas delegation to Moscow. Israeli minister Elkin protested to Russian FM Lavrov, who opened an investigation into the matter. (Haaretz+)
  • World Economic Forum lauds Israeli competitiveness - Israel ranks 16th in World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report, the first time it ranks among index's top 20 • Israel ranks seventh on Networked Readiness Index, 11th in financial market development, 15th in terms of business sophistication. (Israel Hayom)
  • Umm al-Fahm holds service in memory of Muslim Brotherhood leader - While Arab countries barred supporters of the Islamist movement from holding events honoring Mohammed Mahdi Akef, jailed in Egypt for his involvement in killing of protesters in 2012, public ceremonies were held in only three places: Turkey, Gaza... and Israel. (Ynet)
  • Shin Bet busts Arab Israeli ISIS sympathizers planning Temple Mount shooting - Two Arab Israelis from Umm al-Fahm, who planned to join ISIS in Syria and frequently watched their videos on the internet, arrested and indicted for plotting to carry out attack against security personnel and civilians emulating deadly July shooting on Temple Mount; third suspect arrested for possession of illegal firearm. (Ynet and Maariv)
  • Israeli Intelligence Helped Thwart Dozens of Terror Attacks Worldwide - Rise in ISIS terror attacks prompted Israeli intelligence organizations to strengthen cooperation with counterparts in friendly countries. (Haaretz)
  • Israel fears Hezbollah will receive precision-guided missiles developed by Iran - Under the nuclear agreement, Tehran has been allowed to convert heavy 'dumb' rockets into precision-guided RAAD missiles, which the IDF believes will be delivered to its Shiite proxies in Syria, namely Hezbollah.  (Ynet)
  • The Wild West Bank: Israeli Web Series Follows Women Settlers Who Pack Heat - ‘Armed’ brings viewers into the lives of three women who live on West Bank settlement outposts and are never far from their guns. (Haaretz and VIDEO)
  • Disabled demonstrators clash with police in Herzliya protest - Arrests made in clashes between cops and disabled protesters in Herzliya after latter say agreement struck regarding road blockage was breached; police deny claim; ‘We'll block the entire country today, you'll see what's what,’ says protest leader. (Ynet)
  • Protests by disabled Israelis set to intensify after allowance talks hit roadblock After talks with government officials failed to result in raising the state's monthly disability allowance, the disabled rights movement vows to block more major highways. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli balloon helps secure pope's visit to Colombia - Pope Francis's security detail ditches UAV's in favor of an Israeli-made observation balloon, which proved to be more reliable and costs only a fraction of the price to operate. (Ynet)
  • Ultra-Orthodox Israeli capoeira master sparks curiosity in Brazil - Miki Hayat becomes nothing short of a sensation in Brazil, home of martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music. Hayat tours Brazil to introduce show documenting his work. Ambassador: Visit shows Brazilians a unique side of Israel. (Israel Hayom)
  • Arrest of Israeli Binary Options Executive Signals Start of Major U.S. Crackdown - Yukom CEO Lee Elbaz was not aware of criminal complaint against her when she was detained by the FBI; she could face 20 years in prison. (Haaretz)
  • President Rivlin to U.S. Jewish Groups: I Appreciate Merkel's Tough Stance Against German Far-right - Rivlin's comments are the first time an Israeli official directly addressed gains made by the AfD. Netanyahu said Tuesday he was concerned about German 'anti-Semitism from the right and the left.’ (Haaretz)
  • 'Yes' to Kurdistan: 92 Percent of Iraq's Kurds Voted for Independence, Official Results Show - Official results come in day after Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani declares victory in independence referendum. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • In Kurdistan's Erbil, the Polling Station Head Shouted Out: 'We Are the Second Israel!' - Secular, oil-rich, battle-hardened and pro-Israel: Kurdistan is Jerusalem's perfect ally. During the referendum I heard Kurds responding enthusiastically to the idea of an alliance with Israel - and little sympathy for the Palestinians. (Haaretz+)
  • Flydubai, Royal Jordanian Halt Flights to Northern Iraq After Kurdish Vote - Baghdad sends notice to foreign airlines telling them international flights to Erbil and Sulaymaniyah will be suspended on Friday. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • EU invites PFLP terrorist to speak on 'role of women in resistance' - Left-wing EU bloc hosts forum on women's role in Palestinian popular struggle, invites Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist Leila Khaled to be keynote speaker. Lawmaker: It's outrageous for EU to desecrate its halls with terrorist. (Israel Hayom)
  • Jewish Groups in D.C. to Protest Qatar's Support for Hamas - Organizers will call on Qatar to use its influence with the terror organization to push for return of bodies of Israeli soldiers held in Gaza since the 2014 war. (Haaretz+)
  • UN envoy calls for new round of Syria talks in about a month - De-escalation zones are "important next step" in efforts to reduce violence, Staffan de Mistura tells Security Council. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley: Only lasting solution in Syria … does not allow Iranian influence to replace ISIS or Assad in power. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Iran Schools Trump on Non-existent Missile Test: 'We Must Check Our Facts Before We Speak' - Iranian foreign minister rules out renegotiating or launching follow-up talks on nuclear deal. (Haaretz)
  • Insisting on Evidence, Two U.S. Lawmakers Want a Bipartisan Commission to Consider the Iranian Nuclear Deal - The representatives, a Republican and a Democrat, submit their bill while the Trump administration is considering decertifying the deal next month. (Haaretz+)


Features:
Tunisian Jews Struggle to Preserve Ancient Island Community
The remaining Jewish families feel duty-bound to stay on Djerba even though they can envisage no future there for their children. (JTA, Haaretz)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
Netanyahu Is Driving Israel Toward a Binational State (Dan Margalit, Haaretz) Netanyahu is so afraid of losing his seat, he doesn’t dare challenge the coalition.
High Court is Israel’s international fortress (Yedioth’s judicial affairs correspondent Tova Tzimuki, Yedioth/Ynet) Upon the PA’s admission into Interpol, it’s quite possible that the only thing standing between an international arrest warrant and IDF soldiers serving in the territories will be the Supreme Court justices in Jerusalem, those same judges who decided to skip the ceremony marking 50 years of Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
The goal is clear: to destroy Israeli democracy as we know it (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The intoxication of power of Netanyahu, Regev and Shaked is clouding their senses. Sometime we'll have to try to fix the wreck that this gang will leave here. Only that it won't be too late.
The IDF became a circus: the shortening of Azaria's sentence - a miserable decision by the chief of staff (Dr. Chaim Frankel, Maariv) Chief of Staff Eizenkot contributed to the judgment of the justices of the military court who sentenced the shooting soldier a sentence which was more than "ridiculous." (Now) It was that same commander of the army who gave a serious moral blow to the body he headed.
A terrible decision by a cynical world (Yaron Blum, Israel Hayom) When will enlightened countries wake up and understand the ramifications of allowing the Palestinians membership in Interpol?
Righteous Jews, Save Your Yom Kippur Masks for Purim (B. Michael, Haaretz+) Everyone puts on a disguise this holy day – the righteous man’s mask - except they never take it off.
Har Adar attack: A painful but local incident (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth/Ynet) Perpetrator of Tuesday’s attack doesn’t match profile of ‘classic’ terrorist or of lone-wolf terrorist inspired by terror organizations. He could have walked about Judea and Samaria and carried out attacks even without a work permit. Policy of distinguishing between terrorists and civil population has proven itself and must be maintained.
Justice Naor enlarged the abyss between the Court and the people (Maariv's settlers reporter, Karni Eldad, Maariv) I am a citizen of the State of Israel. Who are you, Miriam Naor, to demean the ceremony celebrating the victory of the Six Day War, the redemption, the settlement? With what right? From where did you get the chutzpah?
Israel's Celebrations of Folly (Haaretz Editorial) The real question isn't why judicial branch didn't participate in event marking 50 years of settlements, but why state wasn’t too embarrassed to hold such an event.
Courting controversy (Akiva Bigman, Israel Hayom) The judiciary defended its boycott of a state ceremony celebrating the settlements because they are "controversial," but statistics prove this is not the case at all.
Celebrating 50 Years of West Bank Settlements Is Cheap Political Theater (Ehud Barak, Haaretz+) A real state ceremony would have emphasized what we agree on and what unites us rather than what divides and separates us.
What Opposition? Ehud Barak Toes the Same Line as Netanyahu and the Settlers (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) The stalwart of Israel's 'peace camp' is proud of the number of settlements he built, an annual construction rate that Netanyahu could only dream about.
Four lessons from the Har Adar attack (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Murder of three Israelis by Palestinian laborer calls for immediate conclusions to be drawn, both because of the sensitive timing in midst of High Holy Days and because it may encourage copycat attacks. While the attack should lead to an improvement in security checks and preventive intelligence capabilities on social media, it shouldn’t have any implications on work permit system.
Target terrorism and cultivate good relations (Yaron Blum, Israel Hayom) Tuesday's terrorist attack will bring repercussions, but these should not be at the expense of the fragile tapestry of Jewish-Arab coexistence in the Har Adar area.
The Key to Peace: It's the Economy, Stupid! (Glenn Yago and James Prince, Haaretz) Development projects focusing on the Gaza Strip may be the best way to get the Palestinians behind the peace process while relieving its crippling poverty.
The Real Reason Saudi Arabia Will Let Women Drive and It's Not About Women's Rights (‘Haaretz and Reuters,’ Haaretz) Ending the driving ban for women is likely to save families billions of dollars, boost industries from car sales to insurance, and reassure investors Saudi Arabia can diversify its economy.

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