News Nosh 11.28.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday November 28, 2017
 
Quote of the day:
"You are not a victim and you are not persecuted. You are the prime minister of Israel, and there are important things on the agenda. It is impossible to take this wonderful country and turn it into the private business of one person with everything aimed to save him from his interrogators."
—Yesh Atid Chairman, MK Yair Lapid, slams Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government for passing the bill to prevent police from giving recommendations regarding investigations into public officials to the Attorney General.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
Calling Palestinian petitions to the High Court of Justice a “legal intifada,” lawmakers from the Netanyahu government moved to raise the fees so that Palestinians and those representing them must pay triple what Israelis pay to petition Israel's High Court.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • SHAMEFUL - Knesset approved the ‘Bibi Law’ to silence police recommendations
  • Shock in the dream // Nahum Barnea
  • There is no justice in Sodom // Sima Kadmon
  • They are scared // Yoaz Hendel
  • Two states // Nadav Eyal
  • 70 to ‘Yes’ at the UN - UN voted for establishment of Jewish state in 1947
  • Princess Meghan - Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle engaged
  • Updated fairy tale // Mika Almog on Markle being older, divorced, American “and worst of all - half schwartze”
  • The explosion that scared Jaffa - 3-storey building went up in flames and collapsed
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
News Summary:
The big story of today’s Hebrew newspapers was the  passing of a bill in a first reading that will protect Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the two corruption investigations he faces by banning police from publicizing their recommendations for the public.

Other top stories were the report by ‘Hahadashot’ TV News that Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Dani Dannon established a system using public funds to give jobs to Likud activists in exchange for support in the Likud primaries, the new naval Iron Dome system that went into operation, enabling greater defense of Israel’s economic sea assets, including gas rigs, and the explosion that collapsed a building in Jaffa (today it was revealed that three Palestinian laborers were killed).
 
Also today, November 29th, the Israeli delegation to the UN will celebrate the UN's 1947 Partition Plan for Palestine, which led to the creation of the State of Israel, with a renactment of the vote, some hora dancing and a singing performance by Ninet Tayeb. Israeli celebrations will be followed by the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" held every year at the UN on November 29.

*Likud MK David Amsalem said the bill he proposed to block police from making recommendations to the Attorney General “has nothing to do with Netanyahu.” Nobody seemed to believe that and even a Israel Hayom commentator said that the law, once it passes the second and third readings, will end up in the High Court, which will repeal it. The Opposition - and the analysts - were appalled by the bill and accused Netanyahu of putting his personal interests ahead of public interests. Yesh Atid Chairman, MK Yair Lapid, was most articulate: “Everything is aimed to save Netanyahu from his interrogators.”
 
Quick Hits:
  • Special Knesset panel slated to discuss bill for Jews-only communities in Israel - Committee's legal advisers say this provision violates the principle of equality: 'The proposed article has no parallel in any constitution in the world.’ (Haaretz+)
  • **Israeli Lawmakers to Fight Palestinians' 'Legal Intifada' With Higher Court Fees - Lawmaker from Netanyahu's Likud gain allies in move to triple fee for Palestinians and organizations representing them that file Israeli High Court petitions. MK Benny Begin (Likud) refused to sign the document. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu calls on president to reconsider pardoning Hebron shooter - 'Pardon for Elor Azaria,' the premier urged, calling on Rivlin to release jailed soldier who shot and killed a subdued Palestinian terrorist. (NOTE: The Palestinian was an assailant, not a terrorist. He attacked a soldier. - OH] (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Barekat: I will not support plan to cut off Arab neighborhoods from Jerusalem - Instead of cutting them off, Barkat said to deal with the demographics issue they should attract people to come settle in the city, not separate neighborhoods off from it. (JPost/Maariv)
  • Israeli-Arab towns woefully unprotected in case of missile attack, Israeli army sources say - Defense Ministry says it has a plan to resolve problem in northern Israel, which effects Jews and Arabs, but the treasury is refusing to back it. ( Haaretz+)
  • Israel to mark expulsion of Jews from Arab nations, Iran - "The story of Mizrahi Jews has been absent from the history of the Jewish people. We must correct that," says Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel, Events to be held in Europe, Latin America, North America and India next week. University of Maryland to host conference on Jewish refugees from Arab states. (Israel Hayom)
  • The Supreme Court case that could become Israel's Brown v. Board of Education - A Christian-Israeli father is demanding the right for his son to be bused into a Jewish, Hebrew-speaking school – the top court will deliver its verdict in January. (Haaretz+)
  • (Justice Minister) Shaked: Supreme Court already politicized - In response to Supreme Court President Esther Hayut's warning against political agenda trumping professional considerations, Shaked insists political contacts needn’t compromise justices’ abilities. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • IDF veterans urge Lieberman to drop co-ed service - Army’s decision to allow female soldiers to serve in tanks along Israel's borders draws ire of reservists; MK Smotrich joins call, saying Israel can’t handle kidnapping of female soldiers. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Lieberman vows his party will oppose key clause in coalition-saving compromise - Lieberman expressed some satisfaction with the agreement between Netanyahu and the ultra-Orthodox politicians after the prime minister announced he would promote laws that restricted public works and other activities on the Sabbath. (Haaretz+)
  • Conservative movement leaders tell Netanyahu 'shame on you' in video message - Also, nearly 300 rabbis from around the world have signed letter expressing 'outrage' at the treatment of non-Orthodox Jews in Israel. (Haaretz+)
  • Poll: number of Reform Jews in Israel doubles - Increasing number of Israelis support non-orthodox streams of Judaism; 63% prefer to pray in a non gender segregated synagogue; 58% believe Chief Rabbinate not contributing to State's identity; 81% of public supports equality for all denominations. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Jordan said to demand answers from Israel as Red Sea-Dead Sea project stalls - Jerusalem has threatened to ditch massive infrastructure plan unless the embassy in Amman is reopened. (Times of Israel and Maariv)
  • Dark Side of the Moon Mission Israel Turns to Crowdfunding to Keep Lunar Dream Alive - CEO of SpaceIL says if $30 million isn’t raised this year, seven years of development will be wasted and nonprofit will have to drop out of Google moon-landing competition. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel's Technion beats MIT in teaching digital skills to graduates - The Haifa-based university's nearest rivals were University College London in second place and Korea's KAIST in third. The only American university in the top 10 was MIT, in sixth place. (Haaretz+)
  • 'Huge effort' underway to include Israelis in Saudi-hosted chess tournament - If visas are issued, this would be the first time that Saudi Arabia publicly hosts Israelis. (Haaretz)
  • 6-year-old Shalev wants to live and needs your help - Shalev Bokovza was diagnosed with a rare disease as an infant; he desperately needs 6 injections of the life-saving drug Spinraza to live, with each costing NIS 350,000; please help so Shalev can recover. (Ynet)
  • Climate change makes Israel home for 500 million migrating birds - Israel is becoming the permanent wintering ground for birds, who no longer cross into Africa. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Assessments in the Gaza Strip: The internal Palestinian reconciliation has failed, and the sides are thinking about the future - Deputy leader of Hamas told a press conference that they demanded that the Egyptians "call on the PLO to calm the situation and stop the provocations they are carrying out.” (Maariv)
  • Hamas rejects disarmament, vows to move weapons to West Bank - Despite lofty statements of reconciliation agreement, talks seem to be on verge of falling apart with Egyptian delegation arriving to Gaza, West Bank to try and salvage talks; 'Arms not an organizational issue, there can be only single law, single weapon,' Fatah official says; 'Weapons of the resistance are our dignity, we will continue fighting Israel in West Bank,' Hamas official retorts. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Egypt ups pressure on PA to resume peace talks with Israel - Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf states seek to establish a united front to combat Iran and regional terror threats, senior Egyptian official tells Israel Hayom. Egypt also wants PA to fully renew security cooperation with Israel. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli Ambassador to UN Danon touts 'covert relations with a dozen Arab states' - Israel’s UN Envoy Danny Danon boasts of clandestine relations with ambassadors from 12 Arab countries that have no official ties with Israel; says while discussions generally take place in back rooms, he hopes they will soon be out in the open; ‘We were once banned from every discussion and event held by the ambassadors. Today, we cooperate with them on a weekly basis.’ (Ynet)
  • Finding Hamas tunnel near Gaza building, Israel threatened attack - but didn’t say when - Army can’t issue vague, open warnings to civilians, it has to be specific about time and place of impending attacks, says lawyer. (Haaretz)
  • 'Nasrallah Is a Target' in Next Israel-Hezbollah War, IDF Spokesperson Says - Israeli military is currently conducting psychological and media warfare against Hezbollah, spokesperson adds. (Haaretz)
  • Report: Israel and ISIS may become "allies" against Iran - According to a document compiled by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center, both sides have common interests, including harming the smuggling of arms to Hezbollah and attacks against Iranian forces. (Maariv)
  • "There is no such thing as Palestinian state“: the Kuwaiti journalist who spoke about coexistence with Israel and caused a storm - Abdullah Al-Hadlak was interviewed by the leading television channel in Kuwait and called for cooperation with Jerusalem. "There is no occupation," he said, adding: "I recognize Israel without denying my identity.” (Maariv and ‘The New Arab’)
  • Gal Gadot framed by Lebanese newspaper as 'Mossad agent' - Israeli actress Gal Gadot is accused by Lebanese daily newspaper Al Liwaa as being the 'Mossad agent' who allegedly recruited Lebanese actor and director Ziad Itani to spy for Israel. (Ynet)
  • Lebanon's Hariri Says He Will Resign if Hezbollah Continues to Meddle in Regional Affairs - 'The interference of Iran affects us all. If we want a policy that is good for the region we shouldn't be interfering,' said the Lebanese Prime Minister. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • 'Egypt's Messi' Launches Campaign to Defeat Violence Against Women - 'I understand that men and women have the same rights and responsibilities,' Liverpool soccer player Mohamed Salah says in tweet. (Haaretz)
  • Russian strikes reportedly kill 53 civilians in Syria - In another effort to secure control for its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russia's fighter jets reportedly bomb ISIS-held buildings in eastern Syria; last week, following a summit meeting between Russian Pres. Putin, Iranian PRes. Ruohani and Turkish Pres. Erdoğan, Putin announced that 98 percent of Syria has returned to Assad's control. (Ynet)

 

Commentary/Analysis:
Israel's attempts to preserve a racist heritage (Haaretz Editorial) New legislation reflects the desire to approve at the constitutional level the establishment of 'Arab-free' communities around the country.
The "Recommendations Law": History will remind (Minister Moshe) Kahlon of his collapse at the moment of truth (Ben Caspit, Maariv) At the moment when he had to get up and say "up to here," the finance minister got up and fled. The next stage will be a legal advisor who was elected by a search committee composed of (Likud MKs) Amsalem, (pro-Netanyahu journalist Shimon) Riklin and the (Netanyahu family) dog Kaya.
Israel's Finance Minister Isn't the 'Responsible Adult' - He's Party to the Crumbling of Rule of Law (Ravit Hecht, Haaretz+) Weak in the polls and with zero desire to go to elections, Kahlon is trying to play the hand he has been dealt as best he can. His Kulanu party can say that it is remaining true to its historic role: damage control.
(High Court President Esther) Chayut is waiting for them: It is doubtful whether the Recommendations Law will make it through the High Court (Attorney Yehiel Gutman, Maariv) The law proposed by MK Amsalem has been castrated and lame - and that's a good thing, but even the dwindling version is still personal, and it's hard to see the High Court judges approving it.
The Striking Parallels Between Netanyahu and Nixon (Dan Margalit, Haaretz+) Most of the prime minister’s close working environment appears to be mired in the criminal swamp. This is the basis for the glut of legislation that is currently sweeping Netanyahu’s Likud.
Recommendations bill’: Not unconstitutional but highly problematic (Tova Tzimuki, Yedioth/Ynet) A law barring police from making recommendations on indictments against public figures will put Prime Minister Netanyahu in an absurd situation, as it will increase the rumors, reports and commentaries on the police’s findings against him. As the bill heads to its final Knesset readings, its opponents are hoping the law be struck down by the High Court due to its personal and retroactive nature.
How Israel Risks Turning Itself Into a 'Terror-financing State' (Meirav Arlosoroff, Haaretz) The failure to crack down on the cash transactions favored by criminals and terrorists makes Israel vulnerable to the designation.
Israel's occupation as a provincial issue (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) The national consensus is that the Palestinians' fate under Israeli rule is an internal Israeli matter. Any involvement of non-Israelis in the issue is rude, foreign interference.
The Israeli embrace of ‘Zionist anti-Semites’ (Yossi Shain, Yedioth/Ynet) The Jewish right in America and in Israel is no longer afraid of the ‘old anti-Semitism,’ yet progressive Jews are being defined as accomplices of Israel’s haters. As a result, Israel’s relationship with America’s Jews is becoming increasingly explosive.
Is Iran Really a Threat to Israel From Syria? (Yagil Levy, Haaretz+) Nobody is asking whether Iran really has an interest in turning Syria into a base for attacking Israel, or in embroiling Lebanon in another round of violence. A new war would seriously undermine the rebuilding of Israel's enemies to the north.
Egyptians slam Sissi over Sinai attack failure - and risk jail (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Human rights organizations are preparing for a wave of arrests, which will include not only suspected terrorists, but anyone who dared publicly criticize the civil and military failures.
The fake Shabbat crisis (Yoaz Hendel, Yedioth/Ynet)  If the coalition components—including those who speak so eloquently on Shabbat’s behalf—cared about the Jewish day of rest, they would have worked to reach agreements on its actual nature in our public space. But this is a debate they are so afraid of, they won’t even touch it with a stick.
Fraud, Israeli ultra-Orthodox style (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz+) What matters to Haredi politicians isn’t Shabbat but the horn of plenty – yeshiva funding and draft deferments.
The decision is clear: regional cooperation against Iran or stagnation (Uri Savir, Maariv) Netanyahu must choose: to continue the settlement enterprise and thereby miss a one-time opportunity, or to cooperate with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan against Tehran and Hezbollah.
We U.S. Jews promised to protect Darfur's genocide survivors. Now Israel's expelling them, and we don't care (Russel Neiss, Haaretz) A decade ago U.S. Jewish groups like the ADL, Reform Judaism and the Presidents Conference rallied to 'Save Darfur'. But our silence on Israel's refugee deportations relegates 'Never Again' to an empty platitude.
The Alef-bet of Lower Wages for Women: Why Israel Needs to Kick Out Sexism From Its Kids' Story Books (Sharon Sznitman, Haaretz+) One of the West's highest pay gaps between men and women is in Israel. And it all begins with the stories we tell our children.
Drug Giant Teva Has No Choice: It Must Cut Its Ties to Israel to Survive (Yoram Gabison, Haaretz) Drug manufacturing in Israel is becoming too expensive and makes Teva uncompetitive.
 
Interviews:
The Rest of the World Loves Him, but Israel Refuses to Change Its Tune on Daniel Barenboim
As the conductor celebrated his 75th birthday recently, the Israeli establishment preferred to ignore the Argentine-Israeli maestro. He's unconcerned by that, but is worried about the lack of musical education everywhere. (Interviewed by Amir Mandel in Haaretz+)

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