News Nosh 11.15.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday November 15, 2017
 
Quote of the Day #1:
"I'm a leftist, I'm Jewish and there's nothing wrong with my memory."
--Social media post by Zionist Union MK Mickey Rosenthal following statement by faction leader Avi Gabbay that 'the Left has forgotten what it means to be Jewish.'*

Quote of the Day #2:
“Whoever thinks that 'we'll win' if we kill and destroy far more than the extent of the killing and destruction that will befall us, needs to remember all the past wars in which we "won," buried our dead and returned to the next round.”
—Maariv columnist Ran Adelist examines Israeli policies in the north and south and concludes that humiliation is preventing Israeli leaders from taking the right path to neutralize the threats to Israel.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Women are harassed more, paid less
  • Special - A year after the fire (in Haifa)
  • A blow to Israel from Putin - Russia: Iran can stay in Syria
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Disappointment in Israel - Russia: Iran’s presence in Syria - legitimate
  • Warming of relations: For the first time a Cypriot military attach was stationed in Israel
  • Likely: Netanyahu will be questioned again next week
  • “A real ambassador” - President Reuven Rivlin met with ‘Wonder Woman’ star Gal Gadot in L.A.
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
In the north, Israel received a blow when Russia said it was ‘legitimate’ for Iran to stay in Syria, in the south, Israel deployed Iron Dome anti-missile systems in Tel-Aviv area as tension simmered with Palestinian Islamic Jihad, (the IDF even closed travel sites in the Gaza vicinity out of fear of snipers and anti-tank fire, Maariv reported), and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be questioned by police for the sixth time regarding allegations he received gifts in return for favors making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers. Also, there was news about relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. In a first, Israel co-sponsored a Saudi resolution against Syria at the UN Human Rights Council. The Syrian representative said that was demonstration of a secret alliance between Jerusalem and Riyadh. And, a pro-Hezbollah newspaper, Al Akhbar, published a supposed Saudi Foreign Ministry 'secret document' that proposed the Islamic kingdom normalize relations with Jewish state in exchange for US pressure on Iran.
 
Quick Hits:
  • (Tycoon Arnon) Milchan's driver reinforces testimony of Milchan’s personal assistant: "I've supplied enormous quantities of champagne and cigars (to the Netanyahu’s)“ - The personal driver of businessman Milchan, who ostensibly provided favors to the prime minister and his wife, strengthened the testimony of Milchan’s assistant in the ‘gifts affair’ - Case 1000: "I figured that there were a lot of products and I didn't understand why they should be sent to the couple,” the driver told Channel 10 reporter. (Maariv)
  • Israel to expropriate Palestinian land for settlement expansion in northern West Bank - Israeli authorities informed the Palestinian liaison office that the state intends to use land in the village in order to open roads and build playgrounds and other recreational facilities for Avnei Hefetz. (Maan)
  • Israel Has Moved From Defense to Offense Against BDS, Minister Says - Gilad Erdan explains what's behind Israel's refusal to allow members of European delegation to enter country.  (Haaretz+)
  • Israel seizes Ali Express packages containing contraband - Border Crossings Authority, Gaza District Coordination and Liaison seize packages coming through Erez Border Crossing into Gaza containing 'bi-usage' items such as drones, night vision goggles, two-way radios that may be used for terrorism; packages shipped by online shopping sites such as Ali Express. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israeli forces punitively seal Palestinian village over stone throwing - Israeli forces closed the main entrances to the Ramallah-area village of Deir Nitham, preventing anyone from going in or out. The Israeli army said it was due to continuous rock-throwing by youths of the village at Israeli settlers' vehicles passing by on a main road. (Maan)
  • Israeli settlers throw rocks at Palestinian cars, injure 2 Palestinians - A group of settlers gathered near Huwwara checkpoint hurled stones at Palestinian license-plated vehicles, injuring two people. Other settlers attacked farmers tending their land in  village of Kufr Qalil village, near Huwwara checkpoint. No injuries were reported. (Maan)
  • Unprecedented Investment in Arab Society Suffering Slow Implementation, Official Says - Leaders in the community question whether the government really intends to reduce discrimination in the state budget and follow through on development plans. (Haaretz+)
  • *Labor party scrambles to distance itself from Labor leader's contentious remark on Judaism - "This was a very unfortunate choice of words," Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog says of Avi Gabbay's allegation that the Left "has forgotten what it means to be Jewish." MK Rosenthal: I'm a leftist, I'm Jewish and there's nothing wrong with my memory. (Israel Hayom)
  • Knesset advances controversial bill prescribing Jewish law in absence of legal precedent - Critics say the bill, which was passed its first reading 36-30, discriminates against women, non-Jews and members of the LGBT community. 'This road is leading us to a halakhic state.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Jewish Federations of North America formally slam Israel for backtracking on Western Wall deal - Few believe the resolution will have tangible effect, though senior officials in the U.S. Jewish community appreciate its declarative value. (Haaretz+)
  • Rivlin on Kotel agreement: 'Symbol of unity became symbol of division' - President attends annual JFNA conference, professes hope split between Israeli gov't, Diaspora Jews on kotel can be resolved; Rivlin dubs Diaspora Jews 'fifth tribe', says 'We are one people, Diaspora Jews keep us strong'; Rivlin later meets family of Israeli held captive in Gaza, vows to continue working until he, other missing civilians and soldiers are freed. (Ynet)
  • Israeli Kamikaze-drone Exporter Under Police Investigation Over Deal With 'Key Client' - In the past, reports said Aeronautics Defense Systems lost export license for allegedly live testing its suicide drone on Armenian forces at Azerbaijan's request. (Haaretz and Maariv)
  • Transportation Ministry eyes aerial cable cars to ease traffic woes - Months after laying cornerstone for cable car system in Haifa, Minister Yisrael Katz raves about a "revolution in public transportation." Cable cars to complement existing public transportation systems in locations across Israel. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli forces detain 4 Palestinians, husband and wife, from Hebron area - Israeli forces detained Tareq Ibrahim Awad, Adel Muhammad Abu Jheisheh and his wife Suzan from the town of Ithna, as well as Nasser Rateb Ideis from Yatta. (Maan)
  • Israel cancels permits for Gazan families to visit imprisoned relatives - The cancellation was allegedly due to reparations inside the jail and the visitors hall. Out of the 6,198 Palestinians inside Israeli prisons, some 300 are from the Gaza Strip. (Maan)
  • Halamish survivors hosted at the White House - Michal Salomon, who lost her husband and 2 other family members in a brutal terror attack, meets with Trump's Mid. East envoy Jason Greenblatt; 'Privileged to welcome Michal Salomon, her 5 children & her father to the White House.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli forces open fire on lands in southern Gaza Strip - Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces opened fire from inside the border fence towards agricultural lands in the Khan Younis district. No injuries were reported. (Maan)
  • Primary school principal in hot water over pro-refusenik stance - Iris Gur publicly praises her daughter, who spent 98 days in jail for refusing to enlist in the IDF. On Facebook, Gur shares Palestinian material accusing the IDF of "terrorism." Right-wing Zionist group Im Tirtzu: Public school educators cannot sabotage the state. (Israel Hayom)
  • Netanyahu offers to help Iraq-Iran earthquake victims - Insisting that Israel has 'no quarrel with the people of Iran', only with the regimes 'that holds them hostage,' PM says Israel's humanity is the reason he instructed the Red Cross to transfer humanitarian aid; the offer was rejected, but PMO sources say it's part of concerted strategy to differentiate between Iranian people, regime. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli firm provides surveillance to 200M shipping containers - An Israeli success story: IDF veterans founded surveillance technology company STI to monitor shipment containers by land and sea, in addition to other cutting-edge technologies for the private sector, based on national security solutions. (Ynet)
  • MK Oren Hazan: "The Bedouin thieves in the south will only understand a light finger on the trigger" - The Knesset member raised a proposal to "take off the hands" of thieves following a series of thefts from army bases. “Will you support my family while I am in jail (for murdering thieves)?” asked a reserve soldier. (Maariv)
  • Due to global warming: "Israel could become arid like the Negev" - A new study by the Weizmann Institute of Science has determined that the recent droughts are an integral part of the disruption of the climate systems experienced by the world. "It's not just a forecast, it's a phenomenon that is actually seen over recent decades,” wrote Dr. Talia Tamarin in the article in ‘Nature Geoscience.’ (Maariv and JPost)
  • Israel, US closer to signing Visa Waiver Program deal - The two countries agree in principle to sign Preventing and Combating Serious Crime agreement, allowing US to query Israeli authorities on fingerprints found at scenes of major crimes to ascertain whether they belong to Israeli citizens, and to receive said Israelis' legal status; agreement stepping stone en-route to signing Visa Waiver Program deal with US. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Direct flights between Israel and South America coming soon - LATAM Airlines announces plans to begin operating flights in 2018 between Israel and Santiago, with one stopover in Sao Paulo; Israel looks to British Airways to fill flight routes left by Monarch. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israel’s Largest Bank Named in New Candian Investigation - Canadian authority’s offshore compliance department said they are aware of Canadian taxpayers who have used Bank Hapoalim 'to conceal income and assets.’ (Haaretz)
  • US vows to fight ISIS in Syria 'as long as they want to fight' - U.S. military's longer-term objective would be to prevent the return of an "ISIS 2.0," says Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. One key aim for Washington is to limit Iranian influence in Syria and Iraq, which expanded during the war with Islamic State. (Israel Hayom)
  • Hundreds of ISIS corpses in Libya await fate in containers - Around 700 bodies lie in improvised morgues after terror group was expelled at the end of 2016 from the city of Sirte; 'We don't have enough fridges or we would have exhumed all the bodies.' (Agencies, Ynet)


Features:
Lured Into a pro-Kahane Hostel: What Happened to These Young U.S. Jews After Birthright
When a rabbi offered these young U.S. Jews a free place to stay in Jerusalem after Birthright ended, they had no idea about his radical political agenda. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)
Letters to the Editor: The Real News From the Israeli-American Council Conference
Israeli-Americans backed by Adelson talk back about Haaretz coverage of conference. (Haaretz)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
Israel's Opposition Leader Is More Like a Likudnik (Haaretz Editorial) The political opposition desperately needs a leader who refuses to talk in ultra-nationalist Netanyahu-speak.
With his last round of appointments, IDF chief cements legacy, fires opening shot in the battle for successor (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Some candidates are already out of the running, after getting on the wrong side of West Bank settlers.
When Rabin Will Rest in Peace (Shaul Arieli, Haaretz+) Israelis need to recognize three facts about why the isolated settlements in the West Bank remain a dangerous obstacle to the two-state solution.
The Zionist Organization of America Has Forgotten What It Means to Be Jewish (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) If the ZOA had any historical perspective, it would know this: Those young Jewish radicals who were protesting outside the ZOA’s Trump adoration gala were not really being radical at all. They were being Jews.
**We have been warned: Iron Dome can not prevent this disaster either (Ran Adelist, Maariv) A few days ago, three former Rafael Advanced Defense Systems executives decided to break their silence on the most sensitive issue in the State of Israel; More sensitive than submarine scandal or Sara Netanyahu’s scandals (at the Prime Minister’s Residence). We are talking about the resilience of the Israeli public during wartime, or specifically: how the Israeli public will respond if and when rocket barrages are launched into Israel. In order to make clearer the problem, the three scientists explained that even one of the rockets in Hezbollah or Syria warehouses, which hits the petrochemical plant site in Haifa, could drive half a million civilians out of their homes and other terrible hazards. The politicians often praise the strength of the Israeli home front, but it is not clear how the Israeli collective will respond when it receives a real blow. Not necessarily the incredible destruction on the Gazan scale [referring to the destruction Israel did to Gaza during the Gaza Wars -OH], in such a case the state would collapse. Rather only what was described by the three who broke the silence. In a television interview on Channel 2 News last weekend, (Dr.) Naftali Amit, (Dr.) Avi Weinreb and Shaike Schatzberger, former senior missile scientists at Rafael, explained that all the layers of anti-missile defense systems that the security establishment boasted about would not prevent catastrophic damage as described above. The reason politicians repeatedly tell us how successful ‘Iron Dome’ is, how ‘Magic Wand’ does the job and how the ‘Arrow’ controls the atmosphere - is out of fear. Not fear of enemy missiles, but fear of the public when it realizes that Israel’s aggressive games played in Syria or in the Gaza Strip could lead to an escalation and to volleys of missile. And what does the public do when it understands that a fast one was pulled on it on a subject so sensitive? Right. It blames the government and perhaps even throws it out…The most recent three who broke their silence joined the repeated warnings of Motti Shefer, a veteran rocket scientist who had worked for many years at Rafael. In their opinion, all the defense systems, which they themselves developed, won’t prevent terrible damage. From here forward, the ordinary citizen is supposed to wonder that if the situation is so problematic - how is it that the Israeli government is playing with fire in the north and south. The answer is arrogance (they can), ignorance (they don’t understand the implications) and frustration (their failure to prevent an Iranian presence in the north and signs of unity between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank). At the last cabinet meeting, Netanyahu declared: "We will act in Syria according to our security needs." The truth is that no damage to an arms depot or to the Syrian army will serve Israel's security, rather it will only increase the risk of fire. Something has to happen to prove to the government that we will not go like sheep to the next round that it is leading us to. Whoever thinks that “we will win" if we kill and destroy far more than the extent of the killing and destruction that will befall us, needs to remember all the past wars in which we "won", buried our dead and returned to the next round. The only way to neutralize the threat to us is to reach a formal ceasefire agreement with Syria, Hezbollah and Iran. The Israeli government refuses to accept any arrangement because that would be a humiliating admission of the failure of its policy towards them. It is convenient for the government to maintain a war atmosphere in the north and south, and a fragile balance of terror that could drag us to another war, and perhaps that is exactly what it wants.
Saudi Arabia: Israel's Dream State (Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz+) Israel is happy to let Riyadh lead the anti-Iranian alliance, but not so happy to pay the political price of real cooperation.
A princely agent of change (Yossi Beilin, Israel Hayom) While the jury is still out on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his chances of being the agent of change that transforms Saudi Arabia are improving daily.
Is Gaza tunnel era coming to an end? (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) Following the recent tunnel demolition, part of Gaza’s military leadership feels it would be illogical to keep investing huge sums in the tunnels now that Israel has effective ways of dealing with them, not mention the underground barrier being built along the border.
Israeli Labor leader's strange strategy includes disdain for his voters (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) It's not that leftists have forgotten what it means to be Jewish, but that Netanyahu's Israel has forgotten what it means to be liberal.
Iranian military force taking shape right under Israel’s nose (Dr. Yaron Friedman, Yedioth/Ynet) Just 30 kilometers from the Israel-Syria border, Iran is recruiting young Shiite locals to create the 313th Battalion, which is receiving equipment, training and high salaries from the Revolutionary Guards, as well as help from Hezbollah operatives.
Islamic Jihad still brandishing swords (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) Islamic Jihad is not open to any sort of dialogue or understandings with Israel and it cannot be expected to exercise logic. For this reason, the IDF believes the current calm on the border is deceptive. The next conflict is only a matter of time.
Israeli Labor Party's New Leader Drags It Out of Comfort Zone (Ran Shimoni, Haaretz+) Laborites would rather sit on the sidelines and cluck with scornful disapproval, while secretly hoping that ‘this Gabbay guy’ will bring back their glory days.
The hypocrisy of canceling Hotovely’s Princeton talk (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) JVP, the same Jewish organization that tried to cancel Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely’s speech at New York University, recently hosted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who has called for Israel’s destruction. But when it comes to right-wing speakers, silencing is apparently okay.
90% of Polish Jews Died in the Holocaust. So Why Are Poland's Nationalists Chanting 'Get the Jews Out of Power'? (Maya Vinokour, Haaretz) Poland's anti-Semitic far right marches to the tune of recent nationalist myths pushed by their government, including years of official denial of Polish complicity in the death of Jews in WWII - and with a little help from Donald Trump.
Shaked's time: The resignation of the head of the Justice Ministry department for petitions to the High Court of Justice is an opportunity for real change (Nadav Haetzni, Maariv) The justice minister has the option of fundamentally changing the representation of the state in the High Court of Justice and uprooting the absurd system of government that has been established here, and also the way to ensure that when it changes, the situation will not return to how it was.

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