News Nosh 11.6.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday November 6, 2017
 
You Must Be Kidding: 
Israeli government's Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted Sunday to support an amendment to the so-called anti-boycott law, which would allow Israelis to sue and receive compensation of up to 500,000 shekels (around $143,000) from anyone who calls for a boycott of the settlements or of Israel, without the need to prove that any damage resulted.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Closest to Netanyahu - Two of Prime Minister’s confidantes were arrested and interrogated
  • High Court to discuss appeal today against hiring of Attorney Molcho as advisor to Prime Minister
  • Massacre at the church (in Texas)
  • “Alex Giladi exposed his sex organ to me and told me: Talk to it”
  • Tamir and Yuval were born to a lesbian couple. Now they are demanding: Recognize us as siblings and our mothers as parents
  • Tzufit Granit expose the ‘Stolen children of Morocco affair”
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Israel: “We have five corpses of Hamas people in our hands from the tunnel that was blown up”
  • The deal is still far // Ben Caspit
  • A murder campaign in Texas
  • The investigators raided the homes of lawyers close to Netanyahu
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
Two confidantes of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were detained and interrogated for 15 hours in the submarine scandal and although one was not identified, Yedioth intimated who it was, Israel told the High Court that allowing the Palestinians or international rescue teams to evacuate the five missing bodies from the demolished Gaza tunnel would endanger IDF forces and then revealed that the Israeli forces had collected the corpses and Israel was holding them as a bargaining chip (the family of one of the fallen soldiers, whose body Hamas is holding, appealed to the High Court against allowing the government to allow the Palestinians to have the bodies) and the a man committed a massacre at a Texas church making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

An unnamed close associate of Netanyahu, along with David Shimron, Netanyahu’s cousin, personal attorney and confidant, were detained and interrogated about involvement in the submarine acquisition scandal, and both were released on restrictive terms. Yedioth’s Itamar Eichner gave enough details to make its readers realize that the unnamed associate was attorney Yitzhak Molcho, who until a week ago was Netanyahu’s envoy for diplomatic missions. Molcho worked for free, but Yedioth wrote that the police are treating him like a public servant.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli ministers back bill seeking to ban police from recommending charges - The legislation is seen as an attempt to assist Netanyahu, who is currently at the center of several police investigations. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • **Ministers back bill awarding Israelis compensation from boycotters without proof of damage - High Court of Justice can award up to $143,000 if it determines that the boycott call is an injustice committed in an organized, systematic fashion. (Haaretz+)
  • Coalition chairman seeks alternative immunity bill - MK David Bitan wishes to roll back 2005 amendment to MK immunity law, restoring automatic immunity to all members of Knesset and requiring a supermajority at the House Committee to revoke this immunity. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Netanyahu vetoed the Bill for Disengagement from northern Samaria - The Prime Minister again decided to block the bill initiated jointly by Habayit Hayehdi party and the chairman of the coalition, Likud MK David Bitan. The bill was meant to allow settlers to return to settlements evacuated in 2005. (Maariv)
  • Israel's defense minister Lieberman calls on President Rivlin to pardon 'Hebron shooter' Elor Azaria - Avigdor Lieberman said the Israeli soldier, who was convicted of manslaughter for killing an already subdued Palestinian assailant, has already paid a heavy price. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israeli army calls for Gaza 'Marshall Plan' to thwart takeover by forces more extreme than Hamas - Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, believes persistence of the current situation there could lead to a new outbreak of violence. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli forces open fire on fishermen, raze lands in Gaza - Wafa reported that Israeli forces fired at fishermen off the northern coast of northern Gaza, forcing the fishermen to dock their boats in fear of getting shot. No injuries were reported. Israeli bulldozers razed agricultural lands adjacent to the Gaza-Israel border fence, near Khan Younis city. (Maan)
  • Israel blocks left-wing organization from hiring national service volunteers - The Authority for National Civic Service said the organization is being investigated for allegations they encourage draft-dodging. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli settlers take to Al-Aqsa Mosque under heavy police protection - Wafa reported that groups of ultra right-wing settlers entered the holy site and toured the vicinity, performing Talmudic rituals as Israeli police forces escorted them. (Maan)
  • Israeli forces detain Palestinian teachers on their way to school in Hebron hills - Wafa reported that the teachers, from the al-Masafer school, were on their way to the school, south of the town of Yatta, when Israeli forces stopped their vehicle. (Maan)
  • Druze spiritual leader: IDF must set red line to Nusra Front in Hader - Shaykh Muwaffak Tarīf tells Ynet Druze don't expect Israel to go into Syria or take over the village; 'the Nusra Front is under the watchful eye of the IDF, which could tell them: "Be careful, don't go near this village, to us this is a red line,"' he says. (Ynet)
  • Netanyahu: Iran seeks to send its submarines to Syria's Mediterranean ports - In first public mention of Israeli military concern, prime minister says Iran wants to send aerial forces, divisions and military vessels to the region. (Haaretz+)
  • Arab world reactions to Al-Hariri's resignation: "A green light for Israel to attack Lebanon" - The neighboring media has difficulty digesting the resignation of Prime Minister Hariri. There is, of course, a connection to us: "The opening shot of the Iranian and Israeli struggle for control of Lebanon." (Maariv)
  • Likud MK joins hunger strike for better settlement security - MK Oren Hazan arrives at protest tent outside Prime Minister's Residence and declares that despite his health issues, he will join bereaved families and settlement council heads in their fight to see that promises made years ago are fulfilled.(Israel Hayom)
  • Partial funding offered to disband protest over West Bank security - Samaria Regional Council head was allegedly offered partial funding for one West Bank bypass road—instead of the four demanded by bereaved families, council heads—on condition that he disband the settlers' protest. He refused. (Ynet)
  • Powerful Israeli TV exec accused of sexual harassment by 2 women - Haaretz journalist says Alex Gilady, president of Keshet and Israel's top Olympic official, exposed himself and propositioned her during a work meeting. (Times of Israel)
  • Renovation work in Jewish-Arab city threatens to erase its Arab past - Structures built after 1700 are not legally designated 'antiquities,' meaning Arab structures found near Lod's outdoor market are not eligible for protection. (Haaretz+)
  • Kotel rabbi: Ferrari event 'grave mistake', lesson learned - Western Wall Heritage Foundation holds internal inquiry into approval given to Ferrari to park 20 vehicles near Western Wall plaza in contravention of law, usual procedure; Wall rabbi says event was a 'grave mistake', stricter regulations will be put in place to bar similar incidents in future; MK Azaria to convene urgent Knesset discussion on matter. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Next year in Jerusalem: Grand Tour cyclists face political hurdles - The 2018 Giro d'Italia, one of the world's top three cycling races, to start in Jerusalem but exclude Old City. Race takes "political sensitivities" into account and route will not go through land international law considers "occupied," organizers say.  (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Natural Gas Cartel Seeking Testimony From Top Treasury Officials About Gas Deal - Noble Energy fighting class action suit over gas prices agreed between cartel and Israel Electric Corporation. (Haaretz)
  • Gala yields $17M for world's first underground blood bank, in Israel - At Los Angeles event attended by 1,000 people, Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson donate $12 million to the project. First-of-its-kind underground blood bank, designed to protect supply even in catastrophe, to use new technology in preservation and storage. (Israel Hayom)
  • German automotive giant eyes Israeli cybersecurity startup - In $450 million deal, car parts maker Continental says it plans to acquire Argus Cyber Security, which develops systems to protect car computer systems from cyberattacks, in bid to make mobility more secure. Argus has 38 patents pending. (Israel Hayom)
  • The Ticker: FIMI Fund Invests $40 Million in Israel Aerospace Unit ImageSat - Supersol credit card to switch from Leumi to Cal; Maytronics’ control of pool market is in danger; TASE ends lower, dragged down by Teva. (Haaretz)
  • Despite reconciliation, Fatah continues arresting Hamas operatives - Despite recent reconciliation agreement and several good will gestures by Hamas, Fatah seems hesitant to fully commit to deal; Fatah continues arresting Hamas operatives in West Bank, preventing any foothold for rival, hoisted by concerted Israeli efforts to do same; President Abbas yet to remove sanctions levied against Gaza. (Ynet)
  • Hezbollah's Nasrallah: Resignation of Lebanon's Hariri Was a Saudi Decision - Hezbollah chief says there was no internal Lebanese reason for Saad Hariri's decision. (Haaretz)
  • Western Intelligence Agencies Warned Lebanon's Hariri of Assassination Plot - Lebanese President Michel Aoun will not decide whether to accept or reject Hariri's resignation until he returns to Lebanon from Saudi Arabia. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Yemeni TV Shows Launch of Missile, Says Aimed at Saudi King Khaled Airport - The missile was brought down near the international airport on the northern outskirts of the capital Riyadh and did not cause any casualties. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • US ambassador to UN: Days of standing by while Israel is bashed at UN are over - At Israeli American Council conference in Washington, U.S. envoy Nikki Haley praises Israel for remaining in U.N. despite "almost constant harassment and hostility.”  IAC an "important bridge" between U.S. and Israel, says President Reuven Rivlin. (Israel Hayom)


Features:
Young Palestinians skeptical that Hamas-PA unity will help them escape Gaza
Leaving the enclave via Egypt is a labyrinthine struggle, but young Palestinians maintain hope that the reconciliation deal will help them on their way to Western universities, vacation spots and further afield. (Elisheva Goldberg, Haaretz+)
Underwater with Navy’s secret missions unit
In addition to locating missing people at sea and dealing with old naval mines and explosive devices, the men and women fighters of the Yaltam unit will soon be facing the deepest mission the Israeli Navy has ever been tasked with—defending the gas drilling rigs, 300 meters below sea level.  (Yoav Zitun, Ynet)
The Paradise Papers: Haaretz Reveals Some of the Israeli Businessmen and Firms Registered in Offshore Tax Havens
The term 'Israel' appears in more than 20,000 documents leaked from the Bermudan law firm Appleby, and they include names like Idan Ofer and Jonathan Kolber. (Uri Blau, Haaretz)

Commentary/Analysis:
Birthright's policy to meet only 'good' pro-Zionist Arabs was offensive and dishonest from the start (Anton Goodman, Haaretz+) Even before it froze all encounters with Israeli Arabs, Birthright limited meet-ups to 'positive' Arab citizens who 'accepted the Zionist narrative'. That attempt at censorship was always bound to backfire.
Birthright's Arab ban unmasks its real agenda: To erase the narrative of Palestinians like me (Zizo (Ziyad) Abul Hawa, Haaretz) As a Palestinian raised in East Jerusalem, I provided the 'the other side' for scores of Birthright groups. Now the organization has decided it shouldn't expose participants to critical Arab voices, and I'm part of what they're trying to hide.
It is doubtful whether the IDF's announcement will advance a deal between Israel and Hamas, when it is not on the horizon (Yossi Melman, Maariv) The army statement was a surprising exercise of a psychological and intel-informed announcement. This time, in exchange for the bodies of the soldiers, "the state is prepared to return only bodies, not detainees."
Yitzhak Rabin memorial 2017: War is over if you want it - just don't mention the occupation (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Anyone wanting to understand the waning of Israel's peace camp should have come to Rabin Square, where calls for peace were replaced by slogans about unity.
Rabin did what no politician wants life can not nowadays: speak the language of the left (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) Some of the masses who came to the rally marking the 22nd anniversary of Rabin's assassination are the potential voters of Labor; People who understand that the government has lost its brakes, but one who is not yet ready to move to the peace discourse.
Israeli Police Closing in on Netanyahu's Inner Circle in Submarine Graft Scandal (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Netanyahu's closest advisers had two main arguments to deflect blame off of the prime minister in Israel's submarine corruption affair. But Netanyahu's 'great wall' seems to be crumbling.
High Court likely to reject Goldin family petition against government (Tova Tzimuki and Telem Yahav, Yedioth/Ynet) Apart from very rare and unusual cases, the High Court does not interfere in government considerations, particularly when it comes to negotiations over prisoner exchanges and the return of bodies.
Ministers Are Becoming Netanyahu's Defense Team (Haaretz Editorial) Someone in the Israeli government must stand up and put the good of the country and public above the personal good of the prime minister.
Hariri ‘assassination plot’ is just an excuse (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) No one in Beirut believes the Lebanese prime minister resigned to avoid the fate of his slain father. The Saudis likely drafted his resignation speech in a bid to send Lebanon into a political tailspin that would weaken Hezbollah.
Is Saudi Arabia Pushing Israel Into War With Hezbollah and Iran? (Daniel B. Shapiro, Haaretz) What connects Lebanese PM Saad Hariri's sudden resignation and Hezbollah's assassination threat with Saudi Arabia and Israel? It's all about Iran. But Israel must not be maneuvered by an impatient Riyadh into a premature confrontation.
The delicate balance of forces between the communities has been violated and Lebanon is marching toward the unknown (Dr. Dan Naor, Maariv) The alliance with Hezbollah did indeed place al-Hariri on the throne of the government, but it became a burden on his shoulders. The leadership's incompetence led some Sunnis to seek refuge among Islamist elements.
The border conundrum (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) The challenge facing Israel is clear: protecting at all costs its deep bond with the Druze population in Israel, while also preserving the calm along the border.
The Curse of the Balfour Declaration (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) I asked a knowledgeable friend to help unravel the mystery: 'From whom were the Jews liberated in 1948, if 30 years earlier the British, their ostensible enslavers, promised them a state?' I didn't understand his learned explanation.
In protection of Druze, Israel gave up security interests in Golan (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) As the Middle East keeps producing uncertain situations with a potential for a regional crisis, Israel made a strategic decision Friday that its ‘covenant of blood’ with the Druze community is more important than its strategic support for the rebels working to drive the Syrian army away from the Golan Heights.
Setting the Record Straight on Yitzhak Rabin (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The assassination of the former prime minister in 1995 isn't the main reason a Palestinian state hasn't been established - despite what Yasser Arafat believed.
Between a rock and a hard place (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Israel is caught between supporting the Druze in Syria as part of its covenant with the community and opposing the tyrannical regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
How Erdogan's Purge Is Making Turkish Journalists Think Twice (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Turkey has made more than 150,000 political arrests since the failed coup of July 2016. The Turkish president isn’t deterred by outside criticism, but the arrests are definitely deterring internal criticism of the regime.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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