News Nosh 11.1.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday November 1, 2017
 
Quote of the day:
"It’s hard to think of any other Israeli public figure who better symbolizes moderation and Arab-Jewish coexistence than [MK Zouheir] Bahloul. So what was there in what he said to earn him the name of an extremist? It seems his crime begins and ends with the fact that he is an Israeli Arab."
--Haaretz Editorial slams new Labor party chief Avi Gabbay for calling fellow Labor party MK Zouheir Bahloul an 'extremist' for saying he would not attend the ceremony in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Terror in Manhattan - 8 murdered in truck-ramming attack
  • Revolution on the screen - Channel 2 ends, channels 12, 13, 14 go on air
  • 22 years since the murder - Facing the forgetfulness and despite the incitement: State of Israel unites today with the memory of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin
  • On the erosion // Eitan Haber
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • “The terrorist got out of the vehicle and shot some 15 times”  - Terror incident in the heart of Manhattan
  • Remembering Rabin
  • We failed // MK Yaakov Perry
  • Fake consensus // Shimon Sheves, Rabin’s former bureau chief
  • Minister Bennett vs. IDF: “Don’t apologize for killing terrorists”; MK Shelah in response: “HE is pulling a fast one on the back of the army”
  • (Former minister) Misezhnikov to jail
  • Running and traffic jams - 25,000 participants in Tel-Aviv night run
Israel Hayom
  • Attack in Manhattan - At least 6 killed
  • Lieberman: “We will respond to any provocation”
  • The natives of the land (Photo of Maori from New Zealand at ceremony in Beersheva)
  • This is how tens of thousands of infiltrators succeed in staying in the country
  • The voice is of the boycott movement, the hands are the hands of Hamas: The organization is behind an anti-Israeli rally in Britain
  • Police Commissioner revealed: Involvement of Arab Israelis in serious crime - double their part of population
  • And end of an era - new horizons: Channel 2 broadcast for the last time

News Summary:
A terror attack in Manhattan, a tiff between Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman over the IDF’s ‘apology’ for killing senior Islamic Jihad militants in the tunnel explosion, and memorial events in honor of the 22nd anniversary of the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin were top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also in the news, three controversial right-wing legislative bills faced more setbacks (see Quick Hits), Australians and New Zealanders reenacted the 1917 conquering of Beersheva and Channel 2 ended its broadcasts as it split into two channels. Barely mentioned at all, despite their significance were the news that: Iran announced it would scale back its ballistic missile program limiting it to Middle East targets, Hamas transfers today control of Gaza border crossings to the Palestinian Authority and the IDF admitted its soldiers had not shot and killed a Palestinian driving a car because of fear of a car-ramming attack, but because the driver did not stop when they asked.

The IDF’s explanation about the cause of the deaths of two senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) members in the demolition of a Gaza tunnel - and how those deaths were not the IDF’s intention - would probably not have been known to the average news consumer. But Education Minister Naftali Bennett made a fuss that the IDF shouldn’t apologize for killing terrorists” thereby turning the quote by IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis into today’s headlines. IDF Spokesperson Manelis was responding to a reporter’s question about the goal of the tunnel blast in light of the killing of senior members of Islamic Jihad in the operation. [Israel Hayom had the two fullest quotes, one in print and a slightly different one online. - OH] “Immediately after the explosion, the terrorists on the other side, including the senior ones, ran to do a rescue operation when they (realized they) had a number of diggers who were missing," Manelis said according to Israel Hayom Hebrew online. "Their arrival at the explosion area caused them to be exposed to the phenomena that exist in the (tunnel) route and caused their deaths. There was no intention at any stage to carry out an operation that could have been perceived as an attack on one senior figure or another. The operation was against the (tunnel) route.”
According to the Hebrew print version of Israel Hayom, Manelis said: "The reason for their deaths was the result of side effects such as smoke, dust, landslides and sand falling from the explosion," said Brig. Gen. Manelis, who emphasized that "we did not use any illegal means. Subterranean side effects caused death. There was no intention of harming one senior figure or another. The operation was in our territory and the people died in their territory." The Palestinians have accused the IDF of using poisonous gas. And Lieberman slammed Bennett, saying his comment about the ‘IDF apology’ was a “blatant attack on the IDF and its commanders.” Meanwhile, a senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said the detonated tunnel was intended to kidnap Israelis for a prisoner exchange. Hamas politiburo chief, Ismail Haniyeh, called on the Palestinian Authority to end security coordination with Israel following the tunnel blast. That said, the transfer of Gaza border crossings from Hamas to the Palestinian Authority is taking place today, regardless, as part of the intra-Palestinian reconciliation. Netanyahu warned Palestinian militants not to make any attacks. Speaking at ceremony to pay homage to Australian and New Zealand soldiers for their role in the 1917 battle in Beersheva, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel sought “peace with all our neighbors, but we will not tolerate any attacks on our sovereignty, on our people, on our land, whether from the air, from the sea, from the ground or below the ground.” Ynet wrote about the new technology that led to the tunnel blast.

The Israeli army admitted that its soldiers opened fire at the driver of a car because he didn’t stop when motioned to do so. The Army's Criminal Investigation Division opened an investigation and ruled out terrorism as a motive for the vehicle/ Initially, the army had said the soldiers opened fire because they thought it was an attempted car-ramming attack. Sources in the army described the event as very problematic, Haaretz+ reported. The soldiers shot both Muhammad Musa, 26, and his sister, Latifa, 33, from of Deir Ballout in the back through the car's back window, killing Muhammad. This blatantly erroneous killing made the front page of Haaretz, but it was buried in a couple paragraphs at the end of an article about the Bennet-Lieberman dispute in Maariv and it was a 2-paragraph news item on page 5 of Israel Hayom. Yedioth made no mention of it.  Ynet reported that the killing actually took place inside the village of Nabi Salih. “Hours after the shooting, the IDF announced that ‘a preliminary inquest into the event near Nabi Salih village turned up a force stationed at the village's square received a report of a vehicle driving suspiciously and was asked to detain it,’” Ynet wrote.

Haaretz+ interviewed a witness, whose testimony raised serious questions about the conduct of the soldiers at the time of the shooting and immediately afterward: Atallah Tamimi, 66, witnessed the incident and brought Latifa to a nearby hospital in Ramallah. “I was driving about 100 meters behind a white Suzuki with the brother and sister. They were driving toward Ramallah. There were no soldiers on the road and nobody said or signaled to me or to them to stop. Suddenly I see two soldiers coming out of a tent that was there and they started to shoot at the Suzuki. They fired through the back window from far off. The car stopped after a few meters when it got stuck on the shoulder. The two people who were in the car got out and started to shout that they had been shot. He had two bullets in his back and his sister had one. She was screaming hysterically…Right after the shooting they fled back to the tent and they didn’t come out to check the car or who was in it. Nobody from the army came. I took the woman to the hospital in Ramallah when I saw that 10 minutes had passed and nobody official came who could help." Maan reported that according to official Palestinian Authority Wafa news agency, Muhammad was left to bleed at the scene before being taken to an Israeli hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His sister Latifa was taken to a Palestinian hospital in Ramallah.


Quick Hits:

  • Attorney General may strongly rebuke anti-police recommendations bill - Mandelblit to review bill prohibiting police from presenting indictment recommendations, despite the fact police currently only states whether it has found sufficient evidence to justify indictment; Police Commissioner Alsheikh also objects to bill, saying, 'You cannot end an investigation without offering a summation of it.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Report: Saudi pressure led to US thwarting Greater Jerusalem Bill - The US's decision to lean on Israel over the Jerusalem expansion bill, that it said would be tantamount to annexation of settlements in the West Bank, came at the behest of Saudi pressure, according to Al-Watan newspaper; US claimed it stepped in to stop any measures that could frustrate peace efforts. (Ynet)
  • Knesset's legal advisor: PM immunity bill must be passed as Basic Law - After Coalition Chairman Bitan sought to pass the contentious legislation as a regular bill—thus bypassing objections from coalition partners—Knesset's legal advisor Eyal Yinon sets another obstacle, proffering any restrictions put on investigation of PM must be passed as amendments to Basic Law. (Ynet)
  • Ex-settler Leader to Address Annual Rabin Rally as Organizers Reach Out to Israel's Right - Under the slogan “We are one people,” memorial rally organizers have gone to great lengths to avoid conflating the event with Israel's left-wing, Rabin's political home ground. (Haaretz+)
  • Likud MK Miki Zohar: "I don’t expect Arab MKs to attend ceremony marking Balfour Declaration" - Speaking with 103FM, Knesset Members Ahmed Tibi and Miki Zohar discussed the Knesset's upcoming special session marking the anniversary of the historic event. Arab MK Tibi: "Why should the Jewish problem be solved at my expense?" MK Zohar: "We aren’t angry at MK Tibi, who is not interested in attending the ceremony, and we do understand him.” (Maariv)
  • Upsurge in nationalistic crime by settler youth from Bat Ayin [against Arabs]  - Police has noted uptick in nationalistic crime committed against Arabs by teenagers aged 14–16 from Bat Ayin settlement in Gush Etzion; in one such memorable incident, a 16-year-old attacked Arab bus driver with pepper spray, with Arab cars pelted with rocks in other incidents; police attempt to ameliorate youth's behavior by appealing to families, local leaders to no avail. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • MK Yogev threatens to break with coalition over West Bank security budget for settlers- MK Moti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) joins fellow parliamentarian Oren Hazan (Likud) in threatening to cease voting with coalition if budget is not allocated to West Bank security measures and bypass roads as early as next week; Samaria Regional Council, protesting in tent outside Prime Minister's Residence, warns protest will escalate if matter is not dealt with. (Ynet)
  • Opposition in the Foreign Ministry to withdrawal from UNESCO: "We will not remain an observer state" - A few weeks after the prime minister announced that Israel would withdraw from the international organization, professional sources in the Foreign Ministry expressed opposition to the move, and even asked the Americans to delay their withdrawal. (Maariv)
  • Special police unit to be established for Temple Mount
  • The announcement comes just a few months after a terror attack on the Temple Mount killed two policemen. (JPost and Maariv)
  • Former Israeli Minister to Get 15 Months for Corruption After Striking Plea Deal - Stas Misezhnikov to plead guilty to breach of trust and pay 70,000 shekel fine, but drug and bribery charges are dropped. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • PM said to ask Trump to allow Jonathan Pollard to immigrate to Israel - Request comes in light of economic goodwill measures Israel provided to Palestinians at White House's behest — report. (Times of Israel and Maariv)
  • Pro-boycott Arab-American activist denied entry into Israel - Raed Jarrar has long history of anti-Israel activism in various groups, supports anti-Israel boycotts. "No sane country would allow entry to boycott activists who wish to harm and isolate it," says Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel Won't Recognize an Independent Catalonia – for Now - Israel refuses Spain's request to officially reject Catalonia independence, calling crisis an 'internal European issue.’ (Haaretz)
  • Israel’s Labor Party Leader Sides With Diaspora Jewish Leaders in Western Wall Controversy - The head of the Labor party Avi Gabbay said the government knew it was never going to happen- but it should. (Haaretz)
  • Israel State Archives Suffering Mountain of Unreleased Documents - Chief archivist says a million files have not been documented, while the reasons for withholding certain material is unclear. (Haaretz+)
  • Sexual Assault Case Against Netanyahu's Former Chief of Staff Dropped Due to Insufficient Evidence - Gil Sheffer, who had been considered one of the people closest to the prime minister, is still under investigation in a case involving financial improprieties at the PM’s residences. (Haaretz+)
  • World Ort teams up with Vatican for educational conference - Teenagers from all over the world will meet in Buenos Aires next year to engage in multicultural and interreligious dialogue; 'World Ort and Scholas share a common goal that is to make the world a better place through education,' says Darío Werthein, Chairman of the Board of World Ort. (Ynet(
  • How Hard Is It to Do Business in Israel? Worse Than Kazakhstan - Israel has dropped to 54 on the World Bank's ranking of countries with the easiest environment for business, down from 26 in 2006. (Haaretz)
  • In Israel's South, Australians Ride and Remember the Path of Their Ancestors - The last successful cavalry charge in history is reenacted in Be'er Sheva as diplomats, Israelis watch. (Haaretz)
  • PM attends traditional Māori ceremony in Be'er Sheva - PM Netanyahu and wife Sara attend ceremony memorializing fallen New Zealand soldiers killed in battle of Be'er Sheva against Ottomans during World War I; Netanyahu welcomed with Māori nose-rubbing kisses, war dance; also in attendance are Australian PM Turnbull, New Zealand Governor-General Reddy. (Ynet)
  • Archaeologists Startled to Find Remains of Pregnant Woman Buried in 'King Solomon’s Mines' - Women hadn't been expected to make the arduous trek to the copper mine in the heart of the desert, but this one did, and she must have been important. (Haaretz+)
  • Roger Waters Criticizes Nick Cave for Upcoming Concert in Israel - Ex-Pink Floyd front man wonders whether Cave, Thom Yorke would still perform in Israel if they 'were to spend even a day or two' in prison without trial. (Haaretz)
  • Saudi Arabia to extract uranium for 'self-sufficient' nuclear program - Head of Saudi government agency tasked with nuclear plans does not specify whether country will also seek to enrich and reprocess uranium – especially sensitive steps in the fuel cycle as they can open up the possibility of military uses of the material. (Israel Hayom)
  • In Diplomatic First, Kurdish Syrians Invited to Moscow for Peace Talks - Russia would mediate a congress aimed at ending the 6-year Syrian conflict. (Agencies, Haaretz)


Features:

This Powerful Adelson-funded Israel Lobby Could Soon Rival AIPAC’s Influence in Washington
Thousands will descend on D.C. this weekend to mark the 10th anniversary of the Israeli-American Council. But some early supporters warn its growth comes with a price. (Amir Tibon, Haaretz+)
‘Wish You Weren’t Here': Is Roger Waters a Peace Activist or an anti-Semite?
The ex-Pink Floyd front man’s passionate calls for a cultural boycott of Israel are the subject of a new documentary. Director Ian Halperin says Waters must be held to account for his actions. (Nirit Anderman, Haaretz+)

Commentary/Analysis:
*For Israel's Labor Party Leader, an Arab Is a Problem (Haaretz Editorial) It’s now clear that in the eyes of Avi Gabbay 'Arab' and 'extremist' are synonyms.
'The criminal Balfour Declaration' (Dr. Reuven Berko, Israel Hayom) The Balfour Declaration did not mention the Palestinians because there was no such thing as Palestinian nationhood at the time. Today they are attempting to rewrite history, and extract an apology, by claiming they had national aspirations.
No True Leftists on Either Side (Salman Masalha, Haaretz+) By clinging to nationalism, both Israelis and Palestinians are dooming themselves for more terrible times ahead.
Islamic Jihad's unpredictable response (Elior Levy, Yedioth/Ynet) It's hard to predict how a radical organization like Islamic Jihad, which gets its marching orders from Tehran, would respond to the IDF's demolition of one of its tunnels, costing the terror group both a strategic asset and 2 top commanders. Hamas, meanwhile, appears to be trying to lower the flames.
Israeli Army Facing Unfriendly Fire From Right Over Gaza Tunnel Attack 'Apology' (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The IDF can be criticized for many things, but its decision to try to avoid an escalation in Gaza following its attack on a cross-border tunnel Monday is not one of them.
Tunnel explosion puts Palestinian reconciliation to the test (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) If the Islamic Jihad—which isn’t committed to the Fatah-Hamas deal in any way—decides to fire rockets at Israel in response to the tunnel bombing, Hamas won’t be able to stop it. An Israeli response would drag Hamas into the fray, jeopardizing its entire reconciliation process with Fatah.
Tunnel explosion timing affected by Gaza political situation (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) The IDF kept track of the offensive tunnel that was exploded Monday for a long time, but didn’t take any measures to destroy it before finding a suitable time, which wasn’t only the result of operational considerations. Israel likely chose to bomb the tunnel at this time as the political conditions in Gaza reduce the chance of a response through rocket fire.
A Yawn — That's How Most Israelis Respond to Land Theft (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) As long as it’s Palestinian land. They know that sooner or later they’ll be able to buy a dirt-cheap villa with a fantastic view on that land.
Netanyahu Allies Putin and Aliyev Visit Iran This Week. Here's the Message They'll Relay From Israel (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) For the sake of the economic future of Iran, the post-Soviet leaders will likely say, it may be best for that country to give up some of its Syrian ambitions.
At ANZAC Ceremony, Netanyahu's Eloquent Words Underscore His Tragic Failures (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) He could have used his God-given talent to bring people together rather than driving them apart.
Palestinian 'peace' (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) Despite the intra-Palestinian rapprochement deal, the terror tunnel Israel blew up Monday proves Israel is willing and able to handle any threat crossing our borders.
Syrian refugees in Lebanon face mounting hostility: 'Their presence is an occupation' (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) More than 1.2 million Syrian refugees now live in the country, much to the dismay of many Lebanese who hold mass rallies against 'the Syrian invasion.’
 
Interviews:
Fighting ISIS and Assad in a Secret Library Amid the Rubble
French journalist Delphine Minoui tells Haaretz how a group of young Syrians managed to put together a secret library with 15,000 books in battered and starving Daraya. (Interviewed by Gaby Levin in Haaretz+)

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