News Nosh 11.5.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Sunday November 5, 2017
 
Quote of the day:
"In the past, we've known military dangers that threatened our existence, and we withstood them with bravery. Today, Israel is stronger than any military threat. At this time, we are facing different kinds of existential threats—internal ones...They come from the dispute over the future of Judea and Samaria. This type of dispute threatens to spark a conflict among brothers."
--Commanders for Israel's Security leader Maj. Gen. (res.) Amnon Reshef, one of the organizers of Saturday night's rally in memory of Yitzhak Rabin, warned of intra-Israeli conflict and added that separation from the Palestinians was possible without compromising security.*


Front Page:
Haaretz
  • Prime Minister of Lebanon resigned and slammed Iran
  • Lebanon is on the way to a dead end // Zvi Bar’el
  • At the Rabin murder (memorial) rally, they didn’t deal with trifles, such as peace or occupation // Gideon Levy
  • Prime Minister prevented the advancement of capital punishment (legislation), and then publicly declared that he supports it
  • In the wake of collapse, (Jewish Soviet British tycoon) Blavatnik probing investing $3 billion in Teva Pharmaceuticals
  • (Ministers) Kahlon and Lieberman: We won’t sit in a government (led by Labor party chief) Gabbay
  • MK German: My gynecologist sexually harassed me
  • Residents of Lod: (Archaeological) digs in the center of the city erased its Arab past
  • This is the legacy // Amira Hass
  • A harassing hug // Itay Stern
  • You don’t need much (to be Netanyahu’s replacement) // Iris Leal
  • Israel Postal Authority CEO and the advisor of the Prime Minister offered a job to the woman who has filed a complaint against Sara Netanyahu
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Remembering - 22 years since the murder
  • (MAIN PHOTO: View of Rabin Square filled with participants attending rally in memorial of Yitzhak Rabin)
  • Ministers Kahlon and Lieberman declare: “We won’t sit in a government led by (Labor party chief) Avi Gabbay”
  • Drama in Lebanon: Al-Hariri resigned: Wherever Iran is there is war
  • Following Maariv report: Collection of (Palestinian) bodies will be delayed because of “pinpoint security justification”
  • MK Yael German reveals: I was sexually harassed by a gynecologist, I felt ashamed and humiliated
Israel Hayom
  • Crisis in Lebanon: “Wake-up call to act against Iran”
  • Remembering Rabin: “Message of reconciliation”
  • To heal the wounds // Avi Gabbay, Chairman of Labor party
  • On the way: Lowering of taxes for middle class
  • Shared fate - (Two fathers) lost their sons in two separate attacks - with the same man behind them
  • Exclusive: You don’t take promises to the kiosk - Despite Education Ministry commitments, schools still sell sugary and fatty foods
  • Following the Israel Hayom expose: Health Ministry will for the first time supervise the salaries of doctors at HMOs
  • Rabbinical court surprised: “A kiss is not infidelity”

News Summary:
Tens of thousands of Israelis attended a ‘depoliticized' rally in memory of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri resigned and blamed Iranian and Hezbollah intervention in his country’s policies (and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called the resignation ‘a wake-up call' about Iranian aggression) and Israel promised to protect a Druze village inside the Syrian Golan Heights after attack there killed nine Druze Syrians - making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Meanwhile, the papers revealed that at the behest of an advisor of Netanyahu, the CEO of the Israel Postal Authority offered a job to the former employee of the Prime Minister’s Residence who filed a complaint against Sara Netanyahu and, Israel found a legal way to prevent Palestinian Islamic Jihad members from searching for five missing militants buried under the rubble of the tunnel Israel demolished.

*Organizers of the rally in memory of Rabin tried to make it inclusive for right-wing and left-wing, despite the fact that his murder 22 years ago was a political assassination. Settlers participated and right-wing MKs attended, but politicians were not invited to speak. However, Left-wing circles criticized the organizers for ignoring the fact that Rabin was murdered and the incitement that led to it, as well as the absence of messages associated with the peace camp. The ads for the rally were later changed with the addition of the word “murder,” which had previously been omitted. The Peace Now organization said it was asked to move the stand they had set up at the edge of Rabin Square, but refused to do so. The left-wing party Meretz also claimed that organizers had tried to move their stand. Rally organizers explained in response that the stalls had no approval. Even right-wing commentator Ben Caspit of Maariv lamented the depoliticization of the event. (See Commentary/Analysis below.)

The IDF made an unprecedented declaration, after nine Syrians were killed in a suicide attack Friday in the Druze village of Khader on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Druze from the Israeli side of the border were furious because when they ran across the border to help their brethren on the Syrian side, they were stopped by the Israeli army. Moreover, pro-Syrian regime figures accused the IDF of helping rebel forces carry out the suicide attack in Khader. So the IDF declared, “We are ready and willing to assist the people of the village and will prevent Khader from being harmed or occupied out of a sense of commitment to the Druze people."

Following the Ma'ariv report Friday that Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit said international law required that Israel allow the enemy to rescue and collect its members' bodies, Israel found a way to legally circumvent that, Maariv’s Ben Caspit reported. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman had originally instructed the army not to allow the Palestinian rescue crews to operate saying that he would do so only in exchange for progress on the return of Israeli bodies held by Hamas. Mendelblit told the IDF that if there were a security reason for a specific limited amount of time that prevented Hamas and Islamic Jihad members from entering the area of Israel’s self-declared buffer zone inside the security fence of the Gaza Strip, then he would defend the government's position in the High Court of Justice. So the IDF found a specific "security justification” for which the army forbade any foreign elements to enter the area of the parameter and search for bodies there, Caspit reported. But Hamas and Islamic Jihad refused to acquiesce to the Israeli demand to return bodies of POWs, MIAs in return for allowing search efforts for the militants. Islamic Jihad declared the five missing as dead. And senior Hamas member Mahmoud A-Zahar said: “Whether the martyrs are buried in Gaza or near the border, they are buried on our land either way.”
 
Quick Hits:
  • Israel filibusters Palestinian UNESCO denouncement decision - Before Palestinian delegation can push anti-Israeli resolution on education in West Bank, Golan Heights through UNESCO, Israeli delegation utilizes 4-hour filibuster with US support that ends up scuttling vote; anti-Israeli decisions no longer as 'obvious as sun shining,' says Israeli envoy to organization. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • After heavy diplomatic pressure, Israel moves to delay demolition of Palestinian village of Sussia - Before Netanyahu’s trip, British diplomats expressed their reservations about the evacuation of the Palestinian village in southern Hebron Hills. (Haaretz)
  • Navy implements smart sonar to battle Hamas naval commando - With land and air defenses covered by Iron Dome and the Gaza underground obstacle, IDF implements special precise sonar to defend against possible Hamas commando incursion by sea. (Ynet)
  • Israeli forces suppress demonstration in Ramallah-area village - Palestinians in the village of Nilin were holding their weekly demonstration in protest of Israeli settlement and separation wall construction in the area, when Israeli forces “attacked” the protesters, Wafa reported.  (Maan)
  • Anti-Balfour Declaration March Falls Flat on Streets of London - Unlike previous anti-Israel rallies that drew thousands during wars in Gaza and Lebanon, Saturday’s event about a 100-year-old promise failed to galvanize protesters. (Haaretz+)
  • Thousands march in London against Balfour Declaration - Some 5,000 demonstrate in the British capital against Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit to the country and the 100 year anniversary celebration for the Balfour Declaration, which protesters say led to the 'Palestinian disaster.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • President Rivlin in Newsweek Op-Ed: Israel 'on the right path' in ensuring equality for Arab citizens - In an opinion piece published by Newsweek for the Balfour Declaration's centenary, the president pledges that Israel will continue to strive for a peace deal with the Palestinians. (Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu Told Bereaved Family He Favored Death Penalty for Terrorists, but Told Cabinet He Was Against - The death penalty for terrorists is part of the army’s legal code in the West Bank but requires discussion of the evidence even if the suspect confesses and a unanimous ruling by the judges in the lower and appellate court. (Haaretz+)
  • Attorney General opposes anti-police recommendations bill - Mandelblit opposes bill prohibiting police from presenting indictment recommendations, despite the fact police currently only states whether it has found sufficient evidence to justify indictment. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Attorney General: 'I'm being attacked from all directions by the government' - Attorney General Mandelblit says he's being targeted with 'asymmetrical measures that are not part of the democratic rules of the game,' criticizing recent controversial bill proposals, saying they're 'not innocent.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Palestinian informant fears for his life after Israeli security forces 'abandoned' him - S., who says shots were fired at his house and he's being followed by Palestinian intel, tells Haaretz he regrets ever 'helping the Jewish people.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian 'extrajudicially executed' by Israelis laid to rest - Palestinians on Friday evening laid to rest 26-year-old Muhammad Moussa in his home town of Deir Ballout, shortly after receiving his body from Israeli authorities. Moussa was shot and killed Tuesday morning by Israeli forces who fired on his vehicle as he was passing a flying checkpoint in the West Bank. Witnesses said Moussa was shot in the back and was left to bleed out on the street before medics arrives. (Maan)
  • Two Palestinians shot, injured by Israeli forces during Gaza border clashes - According to Wafa, two “youth” were injured in separate clashes that erupted along the northern and central areas of the Gaza border with Israel. Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian youth in Gaza regularly occur on Fridays near the highly militarized fence along Gaza’s border with Israel. (Maan)
  • In U.K., Netanyahu says he won't forget how British failed to fulfill Balfour Declaration - After meeting May and Johnson, Netanyahu tells reporters Israel is now focusing its efforts on lobbying world powers to improve nuclear deal with Iran and not see it canceled. (Ynet)
  • Netanyahu expresses hope for US peace push in Middle East - PM participates in London Q&A at British Chatham House think tank, saying he has hope for peace with Palestinians following President Trump's 'fresh approach' to negotiations; on Iran nuclear deal, Netanyahu says he wishes to correct its 'main flaws', states greatest danger lies in Iran remaining in deal and reaching nuclear bomb anyway. (Ynet)
  • Liberman, Kahlon vow not to join a coalition under Gabbay - Yisrael Beytenu leader says Zionist Union 'doesn't stand a chance,' while Kulanu head says his party won't be a 'fig leaf in a left-wing government.' (Times of Israel)
  • UN envoy, EU missions celebrate PA takeover of Gaza crossings - Numerous attempts have been made in the past to reconcile Hamas and Fatah since they came into violent conflict in 2007. (Maan)
  • U.S. welcomes Palestinian Authority control in Gaza – but urges Hamas to accept Israel - Earlier this week the Palestinian Authority retook control of Gaza's crossings, as the Palestinian unity agreement continues to hold. (Haaretz)
  • With Hamas Gone From Checkpoints, Gazans Bound for Israel Breathe Sigh of Relief - The Palestinian reconciliation is already felt at the only border crossing that allows Gazans to enter Israel by foot. Gazans said they were pleased with the change, because unlike in the past, they weren’t interrogated before even entering the crossing about whether anyone from the Mossad or Shin Bet had approached them in Israel. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli minister revealed details on Gaza tunnel strike the army wanted under wraps - After the army said the attack tunnel 'was neutralized in a controlled explosion,' Bennett revealed additional details about the strike in an interview. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian Authority is unable to fight terror tunnels, official says - The Palestinian Authority's security apparatus does not have the ability to cope with Hamas' military wing and prefers to avoid confrontation, PA official says. Jordanian-Palestinian tensions near boiling point over Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal. (Israel Hayom)
  • India Air Force in Israel for First-ever Joint Military Exercise - Israeli Air Force hosts massive international exercise. India will participate in the Blue Flag training event with a C-130J special operations aircraft and Garud commandos. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • Is Likud MK Oren Hazan on his way to the list of international terrorists? - Three weeks after he wished for the death of the Palestinian Authority chairman, senior PA officials asked to have him put on the wanted list. MK Hazan responded: "I spoke with the Knesset Officer, they will not deter me.” (Maariv)
  • Right-wing Group Offered Greek Patriarch $4.5m for Jerusalem Property - and Ended Up Paying 9 Times Less - Greek Orthodox Patriarchate appealed to the High Court that the properties' sale prices were not unreasonable and that it had not been proven that Ateret Cohanim bribed church officials to advance the deals. (Haaretz+)
  • Refusing to judge Karate match with Israeli gets two referees banned - The judges, a Syrian and Tunisian, abandoned the mat when the 14-year-old Israeli stepped up at the at junior world karate championship. (Haaretz)
  • Despite promises, gold winning Judoka representing Israel set to be deported - Gold winning Judoka Betina Temelkova is set to be deported later this month despite honorably representing Israel in multiple tournaments and receiving promises from the government she would gain citizenship. (Ynet)
  • Three Israelis featured at first Obama Foundation Summit - Among the 150 influential and promising leaders from around the world handpicked by the Obama Foundation were comedian and TV personality Lior Schleien, Peres Center for Peace Deputy Director General Yarden Leal-Yablonka, and the founder of CyberX Omer Schneider. (Ynet)
  • Son of (former High Court chief justice) Miriam Naor is fighting for his place on the Likud party list: "Family attribution is irrelevant" - Naftali Naor spoke to 103 FM about running for the Knesset: "Anyone who sees himself as a Likudnik knows very well that there is a need for separation of powers and judicial independence." About Rivlin: "I grew up on his knees.” (Maariv)
  • 'These weapons are killing our people’: Rohingya activist urges Israel to halt arms sales to Myanmar - ‘I’ve studied the history of the Jewish people, what happened to you in the 1940s,’ Tun Khin tells Haaretz, though Israel has declined to comment on a report that the U.S. has convinced it to stop the weapons sales. (Haaretz+)
  • FIDF break fundraising record with $54 million for IDF soldiers - Oracle CEO Larry Ellison gives top donation of the night, $16.6 million for the construction of well-being facilities for co-ed infantry battalions in the IDF; Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein gives $5.5 million, while Haim Saban and his wife give $5 million; 'There is no greater honor than supporting some of the bravest people in the world—IDF soldiers,' says Ellison. (Ynet)
  • Bucharest, Romania to erect statue of late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish - Daniel Tudorache, the mayor of District One in Bucharest, reportedly approved the building of a Darwish statue in the town following the request of Palestinian ambassador to Romania Fouad Kokaly. (Maan)
  • Rocket Sirens Sound in Israeli Community Near Gaza Border; Army: False Alarm - The siren went off in Kibbutz Kerem Shalom in the Eshkol region. (Haaretz)
  • Innovative Israeli technology to assist in patients' pain management - A unique system created by Israeli company Medasense Biometrics measures physiological responses of patients under anesthesia, enabling doctors to assess and monitor pain levels "in an objective manner" and give more effective pain relief, says CEO. (Israel Hayom)
  • Christian Zionists See Signs of Messiah in Major Anniversary Year for Israel - To Israel's most die-hard Christian supporters, the barrage of milestones in Israel this year is not mere coincidence. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • Ninety-five percent of Israel State Archives files concealed from the public - Chief archivist says a million files have not been documented because staffing remains low. (Haaretz+)
  • 20 Ferrari vehicles drive through Western Wall plaza - 20 Ferrari vehicles parked in Western Wall plaza as part of event commemorating brand's 70th anniversary; incident sparks outrage in worshipers, who call it 'shameful', 'sacrilegious'; Minister of Religious Services vows incident will not recur. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Swiss admit snafu over state-of-the-art Israeli drones - Swiss officials visited an airfield in the Golan Heights region on three occasions in 2012, 2013 and 2015 to monitor tests of the Israeli-built Hermes 900 aircraft that they are buying for $265 million. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Report: Swiss contributed to campaign to overturn migrant law provision - Under provision of Foreign Workers Law, illegal migrant workers must deposit 20% of income into fund, to be released when they leave Israel. Head of NGO against foreign involvement blasts "blatant anti-democratic intervention of foreign governments." (Israel Hayom)
  • Amnesty International slams Israel for denying entry of group's advocacy director - Israeli authorities on Tuesday denied the entry of Amnesty International USA staff member, Raed Jarrar, to the occupied West Bank, drawing heavy criticism from the human rights organization, which alleged that the decision was a “retaliation against the organization’s human rights work.” (Maan)
  • Reduced to Just Two Villages, Islamic State on the Verge of Final Defeat - Iraqi and Syrian officials, however, still fear ISIS will reconstitute as a guerrilla force, capable of waging attacks without territory to defend. (Haaretz)
  • Maronite Chief: Lebanese Christians May Visit Holy Land
  •  - Patriarch Bechara al-Rahi said such a visit did not signal a normalization but rather a pilgrimage. (Haaretz+)
  • Egypt's Great Pyramid: Scientists Discover Hidden Structure Thanks to Cosmic-ray Imaging -  Researchers announced the discovery on Thursday but said they did not know the purpose, contents or precise dimensions of what they are calling a 'void' or 'cavity' inside the pyramid, built as a monumental tomb around 2560 BC. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • In Move to Consolidate Crown Prince's Power, Saudi King Arrests 11 Princes and Replaces Ministers - Local media reports say that a new anti-corruption committee had already detained 11 princes, four current ministers and tens of former ministers. (Haaretz)
  • Iran-backed Yemen Rebels Fire Ballistic Missile at Saudi Capital Riyadh - A missile fired from Yemen was intercepted by Saudi air defense over Riyadh's international airport. Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have claimed the attack. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran violating 'more than just spirit' of nuclear agreement, report finds - Iran is exceeding use of uranium and heavy water allowed under the 2015 deal, Middle East Media Research Institute says. IAEA inspectors still banned from military sites. Deal created a more relaxed inspection framework for Iran, report says. (Israel Hayom)
  • 'Death to Israel' at Iranian anniversary of embassy takeover - Celebrating the anniversary of the 1979 US Embassy takeover and hostage crisis, Iran displays a surface-to-surface missile as the crowd chants 'Death to Israel,' 'Down with the US.' (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in US surge in 2017, ADL data shows - Report notes 1,299 incidents across U.S. in first nine months of 2017, up 67% from same period in 2016 • Data shows incidents spiked after Charlottesville riots, an increase in incidents in schools, colleges. ADL: We are deeply troubled by the rise. (Israel Hayom)


Features:
Gideon Levy Israeli occupation's brutal routine: Nightly raids, boys cuffed for hours and seized jewelry
There's never a dull night in the village of Beit Ummar, where the Israeli army is a regular visitor. (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+)
Fighting Israel's foes in US courts, lawyer had help from Mossad
New book details Shurat Hadin Israeli Law Center head Nitsana Darshan-Leitner's legal battles against terrorism's money masters and her cooperation with the Israeli intelligence agency's finance-tracking unit. Working with Mossad was amazing, she says. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
The Jew from Benghazi who invented Bissli, the quintessential Israeli snack
Efraim Sa’adon, who was sent to a camp in Libya during WWII, worked for Osem for 40 years after making Aliya in 1949. Only last year did he reveal the 'secret' of how he came up with the salty snack. (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)
Letters to the Editor: The Israeli Film 'Foxtrot' and a Racist State (Haaretz)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
Time to Lift the Gaza Blockade (Haaretz Editorial) If the transfer of control over the crossings attests to the seriousness of the parties’ intentions about reconciliation, it obliges Israel to revisit its policy in the territories.
The rally in memory of Rabin should be political because it is forbidden to allow the wound to heal (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Every year, one has to admit loudly that a brainwashed Jew shot the prime minister for a political reason, that rabbis had made the Jewish religion a ploy to murder him. In the same breath, it is forbidden to tarnish an entire public - the right-wing did not murder Rabin.
Blaming Rabin for His Assassination (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz+) The calls for 'unity' draw a false equivalence between right and left, as the religious right tightens its grip on Palestinian lands and moves to rebuild the Temple.
The historical lesson from the Balfour Declaration is the power of diplomacy (Udi Segal, Maariv) It took decades, historical circumstances and a tremendous disaster to turn the idea into reality. Mahmoud Abbas has many weaknesses, but he continues with a political fixation of the idea of a state.
A Law, if Passed, Made to Be Broken (Zeev Sternhell, Haaretz+) The bill to save Netanyahu’s skin and silence the police is a threat to democracy.
Fight to the end: The concern aroused by the IDF Spokesperson's announcement regarding the terror tunnel (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) The killing of terrorists from Islamic Jihad and Hamas worried some journalists and statesmen, but we must strike  terrorist organizations not only when they succeed in hurting us, but at every opportunity.
Catalans Compare Situation to Israel’s in 1948 (Asaf Ronel, Haaretz+) Nationalists see a parallel with the Jews – an oppressed nation that survived centuries without a state.
Attempts to attribute defeatism to the IDF testifies to the slippery slope to which we have found ourselves (Ben Caspit, Maariv) That's how it works today: someone hurls the first stone, and the crowd races after it. In the past two weeks Netanyahu has not shown signs of calm either. Maybe even the opposite.
Why Rightists Are Nice Today (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz) Rightists bow their heads because they don’t want to look at the reflection – perhaps ugly, radical and distorted yet still a reflection – of Yigal Amir.
Volatile underground currents (Lilach Shoval, Israel Hayom)
Israel has no interest in a security escalation with Gaza • But the destruction of an Islamic Jihad tunnel breaching Israeli territory signals to Gaza terrorist groups that Israel will not tolerate any violation of its sovereignty, above or below ground.
What Israel Wanted to Achieve With Threat of Military Intervention in Syrian Druze Village (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The Israeli army doesn't plan to enter Syria, but it had a message for the Druze - and the Nusra Front.
Hariri’s speech: An accurate description of Israel’s northern challenge (Yossi Yehoshua, Yedioth/Ynet) The Lebanese prime minister’s resignation concludes a week of turbulent events in the region, which all point to the extremely explosive situation created by the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis and, most importantly, mark the end of the civil war in Syria and its implications on Lebanon.
Although most of them support Assad, Israel has another goal - to defend the Druze in Syria (Yossi Melman, Maariv) During most of the years of the war, Israel acted mainly against the bloody regime and its allies. But after the incident in Khader, Israel announced for the first time that it would intervene in the situation.
100 Years Ago, Britain Facilitated Palestine's Ethnic Cleansing. Today, Britain's Celebrating It (Saeb Erekat, Haaretz) By marking Balfour 'with pride', Britain is disregarding its colonial guilt and Palestinian rights.
Israel's relations with the Sunni world are much more complex than Netanyahu presents them (Yossi Melman, Maariv) Without progress on the Palestinian issue, genuine cooperation will remain only at the level of slogans. Israel also decided to suspend the supply of weapons to the criminal military regime in Myanmar, but preferred to downplay this.
The Bluffer from Balfour Street: Netanyahu and his policies are being hijacked, but his arrogance is only growing (Ran Adelist, Maariv) The image of humiliation in Abu Dhabi, where Tal Flicker was an alien from Mars, demonstrates the problematic connection between the prime minister and reality. The alliance with the Arab states exists only in his imagination.
Unforgivable and Inconsolable (Friday Haaretz Editorial) Netanyahu will continue to be dogged not just by the incitement he orchestrated against Rabin then and orchestrates against the left today, but also by how far short he falls of true leadership stature.
Who controls the skies of Gaza? This is how the Israeli air force makes its trips to the Gaza Strip (Jackie Khougy, Maariv) Two or three Salafis press a button, shoot a rocket - and IDF planes are sent quickly to hurt the Salafis’ enemy: Hamas. This is the reality that has become fixed in the Gaza Strip and the joke at our expense. It is doubtful that residents of the Eshkol Regional Council (adjacent to Gaza) know that the rocket for which they were rushing to enter the security room was shot (by a Salafist) after Hamas arrested a Salafist.
Balfour Declaration Centennial Wasn't About Israel or Palestine. It Was About U.K.'s Delusions of Grandeur (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) With the Israeli-Palestinian conflict far from resolution, perhaps the Brits need to cling to the idea that Balfour really did matter.
Between Sarsour’s Israel-hate and GOP Christian Supremacists, the Political Space for U.S. Jews Is Shrinking (Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) We're being squeezed from the left and the right: Christian supremacists like Roy Moore are as much a threat to U.S. Jews as the alt-right. And Linda Sarsour's 'no to a Jewish state' troops could win over Democratic grassroots.
Britain's true motivation behind the Balfour Declaration (Shlomo Avineri, Haaretz+) Why the British thought a vaguely worded statement would galvanize American Jewish support for World War I - and how it became the engine that led to the State of Israel.
Exit of Lebanon's Hariri Increases Instability on Israel's Front With Hezbollah (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Trump's new sanctions on Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards will hurt Lebanon’s central bank and make it hard to pay the salaries of Lebanese government workers affiliated with Hezbollah.
Rabin memorial: A dialogue rather than finger-pointing (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet) A memorial day can’t be institutionalized for long if all people want is to feel that they are ‘right’ once a year. The main lesson from Rabin’s murder is to know how to argue and to remember the damaging potential of not knowing how to do that.
Why Is Reform Chief Rick Jacobs Mimicking the Lies of Birthright and Israel Detractors? (Gil Troy, Haaretz) Birthright's Gil Troy: Your cheap theatrics and demagoguery about our halting meet-ups with Israeli Arabs fed the League of Birthright and Israel Bashers. You owe us an apology.
Israel Is No Worse Off, So Why Are Voters Ditching Netanyahu? (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) With polls predicting Likud's decline, Netanyahu pleads for national unity; early elections seem to be off the table for now
As U.S. Congress Mulls Nuclear Deal, Iran Builds Up Economic Defensive Shield (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The more Tehran’s economic cooperation with Russia, China and EU expands, the greater Iran’s interest will be in implementing the nuclear agreement.
Why the Majority of Israelis Have Good Reason to Feel Sour  (Guy Rolnik, Haaretz+) Days after his “sour grapes” speech, in which the prime minister made fun of his detractors and boasted that millions of Israelis can travel to Berlin or London for the weekend, Benjamin Netanyahu flew off for a 5-day visit to London.
The tomb that became a prison (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) For nearly two millennia, the glory of Rachel's Tomb lay in its simplicity and accessibility • The security demands that followed the 1993 Oslo Accords have made the holy site a victim of landscape vandalism, surrounded by watchtowers and high walls.
Prime Minister Hariri's Resignation Threatens Iranian Grip on Lebanon (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Saad Hariri's exit reflects a Saudi ultimatum not only to stop compromising with Hezbollah, but also to resign and put the militia and Tehran in a bind.
There was no such thing as the "peace process", only naivety and stupidity (Dr. Chaim Misgav, Maariv) It's hard to say that everything collapsed after Rabin's murder. Three prime ministers later tried, and nothing succeeded because the Palestinians want what we can never give in exchange for the interim agreement they are willing to sign.
Alleged Israeli attack's target: A Syrian-Iranian industrial area (Roi Kais, Maariv) The Hisya industrial is home to joint Iranian-Syrian projects and Iranian companies, with ties to the Iranian government, such as Iranian car manufacturer Saipa. While it's yet unclear whether the attack's target had clear ties to Iran or Hezbollah, the Islamic Republic certainly has a significant presence in the area.
Balfour Is History. The Middle East’s New Imperialists Are Turkey and Iran (Simon A. Waldman, Haaretz+) The Arab Middle East is currently being carved into spheres of influence by imperial powers. This time it's not Britain and France but Iran and Turkey - but the reasons they seek to assert their domination are exactly the same.
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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