News Nosh 10.30.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday October 30, 2017

Quote of the Day #1:
“Reading (Yosef) Castel’s plan raises a troubling question: Would an 'amended' version of the Balfour Declaration, which also recognized Arab national rights, have changed the Arab response to it, and thereby the bloody history of the Middle East?”
--Haaretz+’s Ofer Aderet writes about Sephardic Jews who called for the Balfour Declaration to be changed to express that Arabs also had national rights to the land.*
 
Quote of the Day #2:
“When we say to the Palestinians, ‘We are giving you a state, let’s make peace’ – it’s deceiving them. No one is going to give them a state, not the left either. I am saying: Let’s cut this problem off before it begins and stop with the lies.”
—Likud MK Miki Zohar, who said in the interview that Palestinians don’t have a right to a national identity because “They weren’t born Jews.”**

You Must Be Kidding: 
Israel's Parks and Nature Authority fudges prehistoric cave's age so as not to offend Jews who believe world is 5,778 years old.***

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • 100 years to Balfour Declaration: British Foreign Minister writes for Yedioth:
  • Here, in this room // Boris Johnson
  • Paralyzed coalition
  • The industry of corruption // Yuval Diskin
  • Compensation of 370,000 shekels - because of a slap
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links)
Israel Hayom
  • Ministers in Likud against Bitan: “He will force us to elections” - Dispute over ‘French Bill’ sparked internal clashes in Likud
  • Witness in law suit against Sara Netanyahu received job offer from PR person of the complainant
  • ‘Yedioth’s’ obsession // Dror Eydar
  • Infuriating: Immigrants from (former) Soviet Union required to again prove their Judaism
  • Toy criminality - 9-year-old and 12-year-old broke into a kindergarten to steal toys, regretted and left - but not before causing great damage
  • Exclusive: A lawyer defrauded (others) of millions - and won’t sit a day in jail
  • Murder of Reuven Shmerling was solved: “Palestinians avenged the death of their friend”
  • Senior security source: “Palestinian reconciliation - flight to nowhere”
  • Masses demonstrated in Barcelona: “We are Catalonian - but also Spanish”

News Summary:
Yesterday’s two main stories collided into one as senior members of Likud accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of intentionally creating a coalition crisis over the ‘French Bill,’ the law that, if passed, would prevent investigating a serving prime minister, in order to detract attention from the scandal over the lawsuit filed by a former employee of the Prime Minister’s Residence against Sara Netanyahu for abuse. The ex-employee claimed she was being harassed after Likud officials revealed her identity, while Netanyahu posted on his Facebook page screenshots of WhatsApp messages in which the media advisor to the complainant offered work to a different employee working at the Residence and declared it was a conspiracy to soil his family’s name. (Maariv) That and the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration on November 2 were the top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

The British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson wrote an Op-Ed in Yedioth today, defending his country for producing the Balfour Declaration. (See that and other Op-Eds and Analysis on the subject in Commentary/Analysis below.) Haaretz+ reported on the Palestinian Authority plan for a major demonstration in London against the Declaration. Morevoer, the PA will ask the British government to recognize the State of Palestine. Maariv reported that next week, the Knesset will hold a special ceremony to mark the anniversary and (not surprisingly) the Joint List faction will boycott the event. MK Yusuf Jabareen called the declaration that the Jews deserve a national home a "historical injustice”: “Britain promised a land that does not belong to it to a people who does not live in it, ignoring its original inhabitants and without asking them,” he told Maariv. More related articles in Features section below.

On Israeli-Palestinian peace:
The papers reported that Jared Kushner secretly visited Saudi Arabia to discuss the Trump Administration’s Middle East peace initiative. And US statements that an Israeli legislative bill meant to expand Jerusalem’s municipality by including more settlements (some quite a ways away) will 'unduly distract' from peace efforts, caused Israel to postpone the vote. Netanyahu said Israel should coordinate with the US on the such issues.  Coalition whip MK David Bitan said the bill was delayed because of "American pressure claiming this is annexation." And in a meeting with former Israeli lawmakers, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas criticized Netanyahu, saying the Israeli government was preventing progress on peace. Abbas also said he would not appoint Hamas figures to his cabinet if they did not openly and publicly recognize Israel.

 
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli settlers continue widespread theft of Palestinian olive harvest in northern West Bank - Over the past few days, over the past few days, dozens of Israeli settlers had stolen olives from more than 700 olive trees in the Nablus area. (Maan)
  • Israeli settlers attack Palestinians picking olives near Hebron - Settlers from the settlement of Maon, built illegally on land belonging to the nearby Yatta town, physically attacked farmers -- including a woman -- harvesting their olives in the Masafer Yatta area, “causing them cuts and bruises throughout their bodies.” (Maan)
  • Israeli forces prevent Palestinians from accessing their lands to pick olives - The farmers from the Ramallah, district had permits from Israeli authorities to enter the area, but were denied anyway. (Maan)
  • Israeli settlers attack Palestinian home in Hebron with rocks, stun grenades - Local activist Jamal Iseifan told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement attacked a house belonging to Kayid Mansour al-Jaabari, under the protection of armed Israeli forces. (Maan)
  • Settlers protest outside PM's residence, demanding funding for security - After visits of support from Education Minister Bennett and former minister Sa'ar, settlers hold rally with over 2,000 people calling on PM Netanyahu to transfer millions of shekels promised to them five years ago to bolster security. (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Trump and Netanyahu share a kiss on West Bank wall mural - Mural believed to be the work of Australian graffiti artist Lushsux; with face hidden by headdress, man identifying himself as Lushsux says he hopes his painting would draw attention to Palestinians stuck in 'an indoor prison.' (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Palestinian men who killed Israeli in Arab-Israeli town were avenging friend’s death - The body of Reuven Shmerling was found at his son's warehouse in the Israeli Arab town of Kafr Qassem early this month. The two, from Qabatiya, murdered Shmerling in revenge for the death of their friend, Ahmed Abu Al-Roub, who was killed on November 2, 2015, while attempting to carry out a stabbing attack near Jalama checkpoint, and in connection to tensions during the Temple Mount crisis. Both were employed by Shmerling illegally, as they did not have work permits. (Haaretz+, JTA and Ynet)
  • Leadership race reveals ideological cracks in Israel's West Bank settlements movement - Three candidates are vying for the leadership post in the Yesha Council, comprised of the heads of Jewish regional councils in the West Bank and senior figures in the settlement movement. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli-Arab judge sparks uproar after refusing to sing anthem - Supreme Court Justice George Karra stays silent during the singing of the anthem at swearing in of Chief Justice Esther Hayut, angering some in right-wing circles • Former judge: Arab-Israelis should not have to recite words they do not identify with. (Israel Hayom)
  • Palestinian teen (previously) accused of attempted stabbing attack released from detention - Israel’s Ofer military court decided to release wounded teen prisoner Haitham Jaradat, 14 of Sair village, after he spent 58 days in detention between the Shaare Tzedek Hospital and al-Ramla jail clinic. (Maan)
  • No Peace, No Murder: Rabin Memorial Organizers Accused of 'Whitewashing' Legacy - Invitations to the event do not acknowledge that former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, and there is no mention of the word 'peace.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Halting Precedent, Israel's Top Court Says Terrorist Can Keep His Citizenship for Now - The state has 30 days to respond to Ala’a Ziwad’s appeal, which argued that the law hasn’t been used to strip citizenship from Jews found guilty of security offenses. (Haaretz+)
  • Lieberman weighing widening criteria for home demolitions - Defense minister says he’s examining possibility of extending policy of home demolition to include terrorists who have inflicted serious injuries on Israeli citizens rather than limiting it to those whose attacks have resulted in murder; ‘There is no difference. In both cases the homes must be demolished.’ (Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • EU examines possible return of observer force to Rafah crossing - European ambassador meets with IDF, Foreign Ministry officials in Israel, as well as PA and Egyptian officials to see what it would take to return the EU's observer force to the Rafah border crossing, which connects Gaza and Sinai. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • UAE Judo Head Apologizes After Israeli's Opponent Snubs Handshake at Abu Dhabi Tournament - International Judo Federation president called the apology a 'gesture of courage,' and said he thought the Israeli team had been treated 'very well.’ (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Mateh Yehuda Regional Council head could face criminal charges - Moshe Dadon suspected of sexual offenses, bribery, fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice and witness tampering; he would be indicted pending a hearing. (Ynet)
  • Jewish world leaders to confront Israeli minister for first time since Western Wall deal scrapped - Reform leader Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Conservative leader Rabbi Steve Wernick are slated to respond in the first direct exchange since Israel suspended the planned egalitarian prayer space four months ago. (Haaretz+)
  • Bracing for Drought, Israel Asks Desalination Plants to Crank Up Production to the Max - Dysfunctioning desalination facility in Ashdod and lack of winter rains force state to tap companies for extra water. (Haaretz+)
  • The Battle of Beersheba: 'At any moment we may enter into the fury of battle against the Turks' - Those lines were written 100 years ago by a young Australian ahead of WWI's Battle of Beersheba. Now his diary is the main attraction at the new ANZAC museum in Israel. (Haaretz+)
  • ***Israel fudges prehistoric cave's age so as not to offend Jews who believe world is 5,778 years old - Israel's parks authority says it seeks to make the site 'more accessible' to all. (Haaretz)
  • #TelAvivLovesBeirut Israelis show their love for Lebanon on Twitter after Forbes travel list bust-up - An outpouring of unrequited love is taking place on Twitter after one Beirut travel firm opted for nationalism over business. (Haaretz)
  • Who is Masoud Barzani? Kurdistan's historic leader steps aside and leaves the Kurds in crisis - Pivotal figure in Kurdish history, Masoud Barzani, steps aside after Kurdish independence sparks fighting in Iraq. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Egypt's appoints new military chief of staff - The move comes a week after militants killed at least 16 security forces in an ambush during an anti-terrorist raid in restive Giza province. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:
**The Alternative Balfour Declaration The Jews in Pre-state Israel Who Called for a Binational State
Two Israeli scholars shed light on the Sephardi Jews whose perspectives were left out of the 1917 Balfour Declaration. (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)
Not just Weinstein: US Jewry is concerned about the wave of accusations
The many sexual harassment complaints against Jewish journalists, artists and intellectuals are of concern to the community's leaders, although there are many who do not belong to the chosen people. (Shmuel Rosner, Maariv
The JFK Files How Oswald’s Childhood Friend Found Himself in Israel and Ended Up 'Helping the Mossad'
Being called to testify before the Warren Commission on JFK's assassination was only one milestone in the extraordinary life of Efraim O’Sullivan. He also helped foil a plot to assassinate Nixon. (Dina Kraft, Haaretz)
Can UNESCO’s new Jewish head change agency’s anti-Israel bias?
She grew up with the sounds of muezzins, church bells and synagogue melodies. As a Jew in Paris, she first encountered anti-Semitism during university. She is fiercely protective of her privacy, and her nomination for UNESCO director-general irritated quite a few people. But does Audrey Azoulay have what it takes to appease the US and save the faltering UN agency from collapse? (Tamar Sebok, Yedioth/Ynet)
Lord Balfour's Modern-day Descendants Have a Dramatic Declaration of Their Own
Lord Balfour reflects on his great uncle's legacy - including what he really thinks of the declaration that gave way to British recognition of the State of Israel. (Danna Harman, Haaretz+)
The Battle of Beersheba: Two faded photos solve 100-year-old mystery about epic WWI battle
No one could figure out how the Turks knew that the British were planning their surprise attack, but one professor decided to dig deeper. (Nir Hasson, Haaretz+)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
To escape indictment, Netanyahu and his accomplices assault the law (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Like Trump, Netanyahu tries to undermine his investigators and, like Berlusconi, to hide behind proposed immunity.
King Bibi: The Prime Minister's environment is a royal court (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) There are growing signs that the idea that the government exists for the sake of the public interest has been pushed aside in favor of the perception that the government is intended to glorify the name of the person who holds it. The last few days have expressed this well
Everyone but Netanyahu Can See the Horror Show Playing Out at His Residence (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) The insanity at the Prime Minister’s Residence found expression on all fronts this week.
It’s not a sourpuss industry, it’s a corruption industry (Yuval Diskin, Yedioth/Ynet) If we keep letting corruption take root in the Knesset, affect the separation of powers in the State of Israel and infiltrate the legislation process, this amazing Zionist enterprise will evaporate, and we’ll all be depressed and sour, but mainly rotten.
Now it’s already a landslide: The fort built by Netanyahu is collapsing (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The Prime Minister's associates are resigning or going underground one after the other, and even radical Likudniks are beginning to understand who we are and what we are dealing with.
Who Is a Zionist? (Haaretz Editorial) Despite the challenge to its Zionist bona fides, Meretz is the only Israeli party that protects the Zionist project — by fighting for a two-state solution.
A probe is needed: The authorities are silent in the face of what is happening in the Prime Minister's Residence (Ben Caspit, Maariv) In every other state apparatus where they harassed, humiliated and abused employees, the police and the State Prosecutor's Office were already making order. Only a fraction of what really happens (in the Prime Minister’s Residence) gets out.
Please, Be Racists With a Heart (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) The education of our children has been co-opted by racists who don’t care about academic standards and are motivated not only by apartheid, but by greed.
‘Package deal’ with Putin needed against Iranian expansion (Giora Eiland, Yedioth/Ynet) A comprehensive American-Russian agreement over Syria's future, banning the presence of foreign forces, is the only way Israel can prevent Iran from realizing its intentions in the region. We must therefore stop dealing with the unchangeable nuclear agreement and focus on what is more important, as well as attainable.
Ever since he was elected president, Rivlin has been careful to annoy the public that was his home base (Dr. Haim Misgav, Maariv) For years Rivlin contributed to sharpening the political discourse, so why should he now blame anyone who contributes, in his own way, to shaping the country? And maybe it would be better, first of all, if he acted properly.
Redundant Monuments and the Contest of Victimhood (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) Canada and Britain have declared us Jews the victors of the prestigious contest of who is the greatest victim, but the really big winner is the State of Israel.
When old and new anti-Semitism come together (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Jewish communities in the US may be infinitesimal, but three recent events point to a concerning trend among too many American academics, and even Jews are adding fuel to the fire of anti-Jewish hatred.
The Jerusalem Problem (Sunday Haaretz Editorial) Three current proposals concerning the divided city ignore the fact that its problems cannot be solved without the agreement and participation of its Palestinian residents.
Gabbay’s settlement stance strips far right of its threatening weapon (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) If we want to reach a peace agreement, the forced evacuation idea must be taken off the table. Settlers don’t want to vacate? Fine. We won’t let them take us hostage, and we won’t let a radical minority force anything on the majority. More than he irritated his friends from in the Left, the Labor leader adopted a direction harming the radical right.
Did the president forget the lack of stateliness we experienced under the Left-wing? (Michael Kleiner, Maariv) Was the "politicization of everything” born during the years of Netanyahu's rule? It is absurd that those who applauded the president were the successors of those who led a one-party government.
Netanyahu's right-wing noise machine (Sima Kadmon, Yedioth/Ynet) The cabinet decision to nix talks with the Palestinian Authority following the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement wasn’t supported by an absolute majority of the ministers. If the prime minister had wanted to adopt a more moderate policy, he could have. His main concern, however, was to ensure that Bayit Yehudi leader Bennett wouldn’t be perceived as more right-wing than him.
In Israel the (Jewish) Majority Rules (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) It’s no coincidence the president is uncomfortable with what he calls the ‘chance majority.’ Reuven Rivlin supports the full annexation of the territories and equal rights for all Palestinians.
School Field Trips That Whitewash the Occupation (Or Kashti, Haaretz) School trips are advancing a political agenda. It’s time to keep the kids at home.
Trump, don't be Obama (Irina Tsukerman, Israel Hayom) It is time for the U.S. to stop blaming the Obama administration for everything wrong with U.S. foreign policy while continuing with many of the same terrible policies.
In long run, Israel favors secular Assad over Shiite Islamist regime in Syria (Dr. Yaron Friedman, Yedioth/Ynet) Russian-Iranian relations experienced many ups and downs over the years, but have been improved following the cooperation in the civil war in Syria. Will this new alliance break up once the battles in Syria are over? No one knows, but Saudi Arabia and Israel have both indicated they would rather see a Russian Syria than an Iranian Syria.
While the West Was Busy Fighting ISIS, Iran Took Hold of the Region (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) Destroying Islamic State became a primary target, while the consequences of a victory by the coalition against it were studiously ignored in Washington.

BALFOUR DECLARATION:
Britain downgrades the Balfour Declaration centennial (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) For many past and present members of the Foreign Office, Britain's commitment to the document hasn’t been a source of pride but of embarrassment.
Balfour’s Original Sin (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) British colonialism prepared the way for Israeli colonialism, even if it didn’t intend for it to continue for a 100 years and more.
The Balfour Declaration's Deep anti-Semitism and Racism - and Why It Still Matters (James Renton, Haaretz+) The British policy elite's views reflected deeply embedded notions of the 'Jewish race' and 'Jewish power', the 'impurity' of the Palestinian Arabs - and the incapability of both to ever rule themselves. Those tropes still reverberate today.
The History Behind the Balfour Declaration and the UN Partition That Birthed Israel (David B. Green, Haaretz+) The French and British envisioned retaining control over the entire region, by leading the local powers by the nose.
Why Jeremy Corbyn’s Cozy at an Iranian Revolution Rally, but Not a Balfour Dinner (Ido Vock, Haaretz+) The Labour Party leader could have challenged the Occupation. Instead, with his Balfour centenary snub, he's challenged Israel’s legitimacy - while strengthening extremists on both sides.
 
Interviews:
**The lawmaker who thinks Israel is deceiving the Palestinians: 'No one is going to give them a state'
Likud MK Miki Zohar supports the annexation of the West Bank but objects to giving Palestinians the right to vote, even if his party colleagues left-wing wife disparage the idea. (Interviewed by Ravit Hecht in Haaretz+)
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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