News Nosh 11.27.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday November 27, 2017
 
Quote of the day:
“Tzipi Hotovely and her ilk constantly attack progressive Jews as ‘self-hating’ for protesting Israeli policy against Palestinians, but then have no problem disseminating popular white–nationalist talking points against American Jews.”
—In a Letter to the Editor, Haaretz reader Iftach Shavit compared Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely’s controversial remarks about US Jews living convenient lives and not serving in their military with quotes by a Nazi propagandist character from a Kurt Vonnegut novel.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • New Shabbat laws
  • Against the flow [Photo of passerby thrown across street by water from police hoses used against ultra-Orthodox demonstrating against the military draft]
  • (Actor Moshe) Ivgi’s deal - Actor on way to plea bargain: Will admit to sex crimes against four women in exchange for not being charged
  • Female tank soldiers storm - Wave of responses to Yedioth report that female tank soldiers will be deployed at operational borders
  • Fleeing President of Catalonia speaks from his hideaway
  • They’re beautiful - We had the Miss Israel, Rotem Levy, meet with the Israeli candidate for the Miss Germany contest
  • Gilad Shalit and (girlfriend) Adi Sigler are no longer a couple

Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)

Israel Hayom

News Summary:
The ultra-Orthodox led the Hebrew newspapers today in their demands for forced-Shabbat-observing laws and against being drafted. Israeli ultra-Orthodox minister Yaakov Leitzman resigned as Health Minister and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to push laws to preserve Shabbat and allow Leitzman to retain his ministerial powers, thereby ending the Shabbat crisis over public works on the Jewish rest day (and even though 65% of Likud voters support rail work on Shabbat and many Likud ministers did not want to appear to be caving in to ultra-Orthodox demands). Also, Police arrested 36 ultra-Orthdoox men in Jerusalem who protested being drafted.

On Syria and Iran, Maariv reported that the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida reported that a senior Israeli source said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad passed a message to President Vladimir Putin for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in which he said that Damascus is prepared to agree to a demilitarized zone up to 40 kilometers from the border with Israel and to autonomy for Kurds and Druze in Syria as part of a comprehensive agreement that leaves Assad's regime in Syria intact, according to an Israeli official in Jerusalem. According to the report, Putin immediately telephoned international bodies including Netanyahu, and the prime minister even said that he was prepared to examine Assad's demands with Israel's security institutions, but reiterated Israel's basic demand was that Hezbollah and Iran should leave Syria altogether. The Israeli official also said that Jerusalem promised to destroy all Iranian facilities and torpedo any Tehran activity within 40 kilometers of the border. The source estimated that Syria would not be the same again, and that it would become a federal rule or confederation, with Lebanon being part of this plan, which is planned for the entire Middle East. Meanwhile, a delegation of Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee members arrived in Moscow on Sunday to speak with Russian government officials about Syria. This comes after meetings between Putin, Syrian leaders, Iran and Turkey in Sochi outlined new agreements for the future of the country. On Saturday, Iran warned Europe that Iran would extend the range of its missiles and potentially threaten Europe if the continent pressured Iran. Hossein's statement came in response to French call for an 'uncompromising' dialogue with Iran about its ballistic missile program and a possible negotiation over the issue separate from the 2015 nuclear deal.
 
Quick Hits:
  • Controversial police recommendations bill passes crucial ministerial vote - Legislation barring police from concluding investigations with advice on whether to indict seen as attempt by Likud MKs to help extricate Netanyahu from graft probes. (Times of Israel)
  • Israel to re-enact historic UN vote that led to its establishment - U.S.  Vice President Mike Pence, dozens of ambassadors, diplomats to convene Tuesday at hall where vote was originally held. At Times Square, megascreens to display clips of historic vote as dancers wearing "I love Israel" shirts wave Israeli flags. (Israel Hayom)
  • Chief of Staff will not allow officers to refuse to serve in mixed battalions - Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot met with rabbis who demanded significant changes in the Joint Service Ordinance and he met with women's organizations and MKs. He is expected to agree to minor changes without operational significance. (Maariv)
  • Rocket sirens go off in Israeli communities near Egypt border; military: false alarm - Militants attacked a crowded mosque during Friday prayers in Egypt's Sinai, killing some 305 people. (Haaretz)
  • Supreme Court president forbids judges from establishing political ties - After it was revealed last week that some judges form political contacts to lobby for their advancement, Supreme Court President Esther Hayut takes a preventative step against the politicization of the judicial system by officially banning judges from doing so. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli Minister: "Palestinian state - only in Sinai" - Last week, Minister Gila Gamliel said that a Palestinian state can only be established in Sinai, a statement that angered the Egyptian government, which demanded clarification. Foreign Ministry Spokesman: "Gamaliel's remarks do not reflect Israel's policy.” (Keshet Channel 12)
  • Minister Gila Gamliel visiting in Cairo - After years during which no Israeli minister visited Egypt, Minister for Social Equality landed yesterday to attend a regional conference on gender equality. Gamliel said she saw the "great sadness in the eyes of the people" due to the terror attack in Sinai, but that by insisting on holding the conference "it's a testimony to the resilience of the Egyptian nation..." (Maariv, p. 12)
  • PMO's expenses: Thousands of shekels for dietitian, wine - Almost two years late, PMO releases its expenses for 2016 and early 2017; Freedom of Information Movement requests documents that were witheld due to 'security concerns.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid neck and neck with Netanyahu's Likud in latest poll - The overall trend indicates a slight weakening of the right in contrast to a small gain for the center-left. (Haaretz)
  • Israel races to head off UN settlement 'blacklist' - About 100 Israeli companies operating in the West Bank, east Jerusalem receive warning letters they are expected to appear on blacklist, as well as some 50 international companies; Israel's UN envoy: UN Human Rights Council will become 'the world's biggest promoter of BDS.' (Agencies, Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Netanyahu against (Haaretz publisher) Amos Schocken: "He called me a 'murderer in a suit' and there was no response" - In the government cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu attacked: "MKs are presented as monkeys, so stop with the hypocrisy and the double standards.” (Maariv)
  • The Forgotten Clause That Automatically Grants Israeli Citizenship to Tens of Thousands of Palestinians - The Interior Ministry chooses to overlook Article 4a of the Citizenship Law, meaning Palestinians from East Jerusalem are doomed to suffer a tortuous and often humiliating procedure in order to try to obtain citizenship. (Haaretz+)
  • A unique new educational model integrates Jewish and Arab students - Meetings and joint studies between Jewish and Arab students, teachers from all sectors who plan and implement joint school education programs in schools - these are not wishful thinking or even distant vision, but rather a daily reality in [some - OH] Israeli schools. The ‘Joint Education’ project originated in Northern Ireland, and it reached Israel three years ago. Last week, President Rivlin presented the "President's Award for Partnership Education" to several institutions participating in the project. (Maariv)
  • Israeli Parliamentarian Criticizes Israeli Arms Export Policy - Tamar Zandberg, a member of the Israeli parliament, referred in a Facebook post to a July incident in which Israel-based UAV manufacturer Aeronautics had allegedly carried out a live demonstration of one of its suicide drones on an Armenian army post, at the request of its client, the Azerbaijani army. (Calcalist English)
  • Crowds rally outside Rivlin's home against incitement - President Rivlin's wife, Nechama greets 100 demonstrators showing solidarity Friday after he comes under attack following decision not to pardon Elor Azaria; 'I want to express my sincere appreciation for what you have done to show support for Ruvi.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Conservative and Reform movements petition Israeli top court demanding equal pay for rabbis - Non-Orthodox rabbis in major Israeli towns and cities do not currently receive state-funded salaries, unlike their Orthodox counterparts. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's main hiking trail to pass through Judea and Samaria (West Bank) - Tourism Minister Yariv Levin proposed extending the popular Israel National Trail so that it passes through the capital and historically and religiously significant areas beyond the Green Line. Says expanded route will increase tourism in Israel's periphery. National hiking trail stretches from Israel's border with Lebanon in the north to southernmost tip in Eilat. (Israel Hayom)
  • Plan adds NIS 1.98 billion in funding for disability pensions - Outline to increase governmental funding for disability set to be presented Monday by Minister Haim Katz, as part of the agreement reached two months ago with disability organizations. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • (Actress/Singer) Josie Katz: “(Movie producer and director) Menahem Golan undressed me by force, he took advantage of me" - The veteran actress revealed (earlier this month) in the "People" program in "Keshet 12" a difficult experience from filming a scene: "He put a shirt on me, took it off by force and threw me out of the jeep to go naked.” (Maariv+VIDEO)
  • Herzog's campaign chairman to be charged over illegal contributions in 2013 reelection run - State Prosecutor's Office says will indict Shimon Battat for accepting and not reporting a 40,000 shekel donation from a private company to fund a smear campaign. (Haaretz)
  • Security officer resigns after locking consul in embassy - Guard working for the foreign ministry's embassy in Asia who locked a consul inside building after she failed to heed his instruction to exit is forced to resign from his post. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Dances With Partial Nudity Stripped of Funding by Israel's Culture Ministry - The performances at Jerusalem International Dance Week feature exposed female breasts, but Israel's Deputy Attorney General argues Culture Minister Miri Regev has no legal authority to withhold funding due to a work's content. (Haaretz+)
  • The Woman Who Might Be Named the First Ever Jewish Miss Germany - 'I see my candidacy not only as a personal achievement but as an achievement for the State of Israel and for the Jewish people in the Diaspora,' says Tamar Morali, 21. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • German State Parliament Urges Ban on Kuwait Airways Over 'anti-Semitic Policy' - The Hesse Parliament unanimously passes resolution urging federal government to take action over airline's practice of barring Israeli citizens. (JTA, Haaretz)


Features:
Explained UN blacklist: Why Israel is 'doing everything it can' to thwart the Human Rights Council
'The council’s bias against Israel is so extreme that it has lost all relevance in the world,' wrote an Israeli CEO targeted by the UN's 'blacklist.’ (Haaretz)
*Letters to the Editor: Breaking the Silence, Hotovely, and Getting Kids to School. (Haaretz)

Commentary/Analysis:
Israel's Top Diplomat Endorsed an Old Slur against U.S. Jews: 'You Don't Serve'. Her 'Apology' Was a Further Insult (Robert Levinson, Haaretz+) I served in the U.S. Air Force in America, Panama, Korea and Saudi Arabia. That's why Tzipi Hotovely's attack on U.S. Jews' 'convenient lives' hurt.
Adding fuel to the fire (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely's disparaging comments about American Jews display a combination of ignorance and lack of judgment and are a clear indication that she is not fit for the role.
Contrary to the rumors: Religious Zionism is alive and kicking (Sarah Beck, Maariv) The heated debates among the knitted skullcaps show vitality and passion, in contrast to the indifference of the Israeli bourgeoisie. Hotovely's resolute position that Tikkun Olam begins here is part of it.
Israel's Relationship With U.S. Jewry Ebbs and Flows, but Is This a Turning Point? (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) Tzipi Hotovely's ignorant remarks have reenergized an ongoing discussions of relations between Israel and American Jewry, and whether their mutual support is weakening.
In need of some soul-searching (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) Tzipi Hotovely erred in her comments about American Jews, but her apology should not prevent profound introspection over the splintered relationship between the State of Israel and U.S. Jewry.
Violence against women is as dangerous as terrorism (MK Amir Peretz, Maariv) Media reports are being pushed to the margins of the headlines and government ministries are dealing with limited budgets, but this is not a divine decree. There are effective steps that can save lives.
The Law to Created Solely to Protect Netanyahu Undermines Legislation Itself (Haaretz Editorial) There’s no longer any doubt that the bill prohibiting police from issuing summary reports of investigation in cases concerning senior officials was tailored for the prime minister.
A Secret Message for Jason Greenblatt, Trump's Mideast Envoy (Chuck Freilich, Haaretz+) You've got to be cautious - but also forceful. If the U.S. won't crack heads for Mideast peace, if President Trump won't use real leverage, and if you really think America shouldn't 'impose a deal on anyone' – then you better stay home.
Israel's Arab Knesset List Is Too Important to Democracy to Fail (Odeh Bisharat, Haaretz+) The power of community's leaders, as wielded by 13 Knesset seats, gained Arabs in Israel the billions of shekels in the national budget that they desperately needed.
It’s time to demand recognition of Israeli sovereignty in Golan Heights (Amiram Levin, Yedioth/Ynet) In response to Trump’s Mideast peace initiative, Israel has good reason to demand a stabilization of its northern border as part of a preliminary diplomatic move. This is more urgent and important than reaching agreements and making concessions to the Palestinian Authority.
Israel Climbing Up Too High a Tree Over Iran’s Presence in Syria (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) Red lines don’t make clear what Israel is demanding; meanwhile, threats without action will look like weakness, but acting on those threats could start major war.
The hidden motive for the resignation: Litzman smells the end of the Netanyahu era (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) The ultra-Orthodox politician likes his tenure as health minister, but there are no smarts and no winks in the yard at the Gur Hasidic sect. The Rebbe commanded, and that was it. You do not like it, you can retire.
Shabbat train crisis: A reflection of Haredi sector changes (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) Ultra-Orthodox politicians like Litzman, Deri and Gafni are torn between the expectations of their elderly rabbis and the expectations of the Haredi street, which are fueled by commercial websites and Haredi radio stations. The new Haredi world is populist, demagogic and verbally aggressive, and it is dragging the rabbis along with it.
Coalition Crisis Averted: Netanyahu Felt the Heat, and Was Quick to Put Out the Flames (Yossi Verter, Haaretz) Likud has been losing seats in the polls since last month. Now it’s going head to head with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, more than enough reason for Netanyahu to end the crisis.
It's not always capitulation (Mati Tuchfeld, Israel Hayom) The opposing camp always tries to present the ultra-Orthodox as extortionists and the fulfillment of their demands as capitulation. But this fails to consider that wanting to observe Shabbat isn't exclusive to ultra-Orthodox.
Mideast Master Plan: How Israeli-Palestinian Peace Fits Trump's Economic Interests (Tzvia Greenfield, Haaretz+) Fostering an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is just one step in Trump's ultimate deal for Middle East profitability, so don't underestimate him.
ISIS is alive and well in Sinai (Oded Granot, Israel Hayom) Even though the heart of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq has stopped beating, the tentacles of the terrorist organization in the Sinai Peninsula continue to commit atrocities.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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