News Nosh 12.12.17

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday December 12, 2017  

Quote of the day:
“We do ourselves a disservice, in my opinion, when some of us focus our attention – primarily, if not exclusively – on the anti-Semitism generated by the anti-Israel left, while minimizing the impact of the bigotry and xenophobia emanating from the extreme right.”
Menachem Rosensaft, the general counsel of the World Jewish Congress and an expert on genocide, said at a Tel-Aviv conference on anti-Semitism organized by a right-wing organization. He also said that “white supremacist ideology that holds African-Americans and Hispanics to be inferior to Caucasians is every bit as reprehensible as anti-Semitism.”*

You Must Be Kidding: 
Settlers say they will vacate a contested building in Hebron, which they claim they bought from Palestinians and which the settlers infiltrated again after already being expelled from it by the Israeli army, if the state agrees to demolish an adjacent Palestinian-owned storage facility and allow the settlers to station their own guards at the building until a final decision is made on the building's rightful ownership.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • The suspicion: Wedding bribe (by coalition leader MK David Bitan)
  • Escalation in south: rocket intercepted over Ashkelon
  • Night battle in Knesset in vote over Supermarkets Law
  • Operation Kahlon: The products which will be cheaper, the expected discount for every family and the criticism of ‘elections economics’
  • And nothing is left for the handicapped // Merav Betito
  • End to the strikes: Agreement reached with high school teacher
  • New section for the 70th anniversary of the country
  • World record: Israel leads in gastric bypass surgery
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
The right-wing coalition government was up past midnight trying to save itself by passing the law to bar supermarkets from opening on the Sabbath (update: It passed the first reading), Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon was accused of electioneering, when he announced his plan to lower sales and import taxes, a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip was intercepted over Ashkelon and two others fell in open fields last night, a day after Israel destroyed a Hamas tunnel, and a Bangladeshi immigrant to the US injured three people in a to botched explosives attack in New York ‘as revenge against Israel for bombing the Gaza Strip,’ making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

In diplomacy, the fallout from US President Donald Trump’s unilateral declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel continued here and around the world and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu faced cool opposition from European Union ministers to his suggestion that they, too, move their embassies to Jerusalem. In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 36 Palestinians were reported wounded on the fifth day of clashes and a senior Hamas official said that the 'popular struggle' will be contained to avert war with Israel, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said Hezbollah would focus on Jerusalem and the best response to Trump would be a third intifada, thousands attended an anti-Trump declaration rally in Lebanon, the Iranian defense minister said Trump's Jerusalem move will hasten Israel's destruction, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said the declaration made the US a partner in bloodshed, Indonesians burned US and Israeli flags, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned recent anti-Semitic incidents reported at anti-Trump declaration protest rallies in German cities. 

In Brussels, Netanyahu told European Union foreign ministers to stop pampering the Palestinians and applauded Trump for telling them the truth. But later, at a press conference, the stern-faced European Union Foreign Policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, had to keep herself from laughing aloud when 
responding to Netanyahu's
call for EU members to move their embassies to Jerusalem. In the video, Moghlerini says, "He expects others to follow Trump's decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem. He can keep his expectations for others — because from the EU member states' side this move will not come." Besides the declared intentions of the Czech Republic and the Phillipines, Netanyahu might get Guatemala, too, where 10 Congress members sent a letter to their President calling on him to move the embassy to JerusalemMeanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has headed to Cairo and afterward to Istanbul to rally the region to support him against the Jerusalem declaration (something that Saudi Arabia isn't perceived as doing - OH). 

Quick Hits:
  • Gabbay to Netanyahu: 'Time for elections' - Zionist Union Chairman Gabbay calls on Netanyahu to reach decision 'entire coalition knows you should make', announce new elections; Recommendations Bill 'terrible law', Gabbay says, 'in favor of public corruption'; Lieberman: if government falls, it will be due to Supermarket Bill. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli defense minister to Arab political party: 'You are all war criminals' - Avigdor Lieberman's comments towards the Joint List political party come during a Knesset discussion on a no-confidence motion proposed by the party, which said Israel's policy constitutes war crimes. (Haaretz)
  • Deputy minister pushes bill to shield soldiers from prosecution  - Deputy Defense Minister Eliyahu Ben-Dahan's proposal would grant soldiers immunity for actions taken before, during and after an operational incident or terrorist attack • Bill named for Elor Azaria, soldier convicted of killing a subdued terrorist. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli government approves bill advocating expulsion of asylum seekers - Among other measures, the bill would see asylum seekers imprisoned if they violate the geographical limitations imposed on them. (Haaretz+ and Israel Hayom)
  • *This Wasn't Supposed to Happen at a Conference on anti-Semitism - Jews are apathetic to suffering of other minorities, World Jewish Congress counsel tells a Tel Aviv conference, but gets lukewarm response from delegates. (Haaretz+)
  • **Israeli settlers say they will evacuate contested Hebron building if conditions are met - The Beit Hamachpela building has been at the center of a legal dispute between settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank city. (Haaretz+)
  • Ultra-Orthodox vandalized a monument in memory of the Kiriyati Brigade soldiers in Ben Shemen Forest - The field school guies at the Etzion Field School found that the stone that tells the story of one of the cruel battles of the War of Independence was shattered and destroyed. Graffiti was sprayed on it. (Maariv)
  • American Jews assimilated because they work on Shabbat, charges Israeli lawmaker - Millions of Diaspora Jews lost connection with Judaism because they were forced to work on the Sabbath after emigrating to U.S., claims ultra-Orthodox MK Israel Eichler. (Haaretz+)
  • Speaking from experience, Rivlin comments on Recommendations Bill - In a President's Residence swearing-in ceremony, President Rivlin recounts travails of investigation opened into his affairs before prospective appointment to Justice Ministry; 'I was mistreated due to personal, political reasons. I felt what it's like to be exposed, not be able to defend my good name'; on Recommendations Bill, Rivlin says unsure whether it addresses matter properly. (Ynet)
  • HaBayit HaYehudi MK demands bulletproofing for West Bank buses - MK Yogev threatens to break with coalition of budget was not allocated immediately to bulletproofing, refurbishing West Bank buses; 'We don't need to wait until someone is killed. (Break with coalition) will continue until public transportation and school buses made bulletproof,' Yogev says; MK Smotrich will assist in achieving financing through Knesset's Finance Committee, he adds. (Ynet)
  • The British conquer Jerusalem, again - Still reeling from Trump's proclamation, the city holds reenactment of General Allenby claiming it for the British Crown. (Haaretz+)
  • Lieberman: World is interested in our anti-tunnel technology - Defense minister says many countries are interested in innovative Israeli tunnel eradication technology, but Israel 'not yet ready to share our methods in combating terror.' (Ynet)
  • 2,000-year-old Tomb Door With Menorah Found in Northern Israel - Repurposed over the ages, the slab tells the story of religion in the Middle East. (Haaretz)
  • Muslim tomb found during Jerusalem roadwork deemed 'not ancient,' will be paved over - Tomb said to contain at least six skulls, large number of bones not protected by law that guards antiquities dating from before 1700. (Haaretz)
  • Tourism Is Booming in Jerusalem. But Thanks to Trump, That May Change - Many fear President Trump’s declaration may deter visitors from coming to city, already buckling from a surge in tourism and now facing renewed violence. (Haaretz+)
  • Ultra-Orthodox protesters prevent Israeli city from removing modesty signs, despite court order - Signs urge women to dress modestly, keep off of sidewalks where men congregate. Beit Shemesh says removals suspended 'due to violent public disturbances.’ (Haaretz+)
  • In Unusual Case, Liberian Business Dispute Lands in Jerusalem Court - The case offers a rare look at a major business dealing by an Israeli-owned company in the African country. (Haaretz)
  • Jewish Cemetery Attacked, in Sweden's Second anti-Semitic Incident This Week - Another anti-Semitic attack was discovered in Sweden amid protests against Trump's Jerusalem decision. Police arrest Syrians, Palestinian in connection to synagogue attack. (Haaretz)
  • Bahraini civil society group under pressure after Israel visit - Bahraini group defends Israel visit as a gesture of tolerance, coexistence prompting opponents to declare it an 'act of treason' against Palestinians, Bahrainis. )Agencies, Ynet)
  • Saudi Arabia Lifts Ban Off the Silver Screen, Will Allow Cinemas to Operate From Next Year - Cinemas to reopen in the Kingdom after they were shut down in the 1980's during a political revolt. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Iran says 'good relations' possible if Saudis change policies  - Two regional rivals could become close if the Saudis end their "misguided friendship" with Israel, halt "inhuman bombardment" of Yemen, says Iranian President Hassan Rouhani • Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran have been high since 2016. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • In Surprise Visit to Syria, Putin Announces Russia Pulling Troops From War-torn Country - Putin makes surprise visit to Latakia and will then head to Egypt, where Palestinian President Abbas is also expected. (Agencies, Haaretz)

Wadi Ara residents angered over Lieberman's call for their boycott
Following the Defense Minister's call to boycott Wadi Ara in an attempt to make its residents 'feel unwanted here' following Saturday's riots in the area, both Arab and Jewish residents of the region express their furor, urge coexistence. (Hassan Shaalan, Yedioth's Monday '24 Hours' supplement and Ynet)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Terrorist
An exhibition of works by Guantánamo Bay detainees, currently on display in Manhattan, has triggered a storm involving the Pentagon, artistic freedom and American guilt
(Tzach Yoked, Haaretz+)
On the Eight Nights of Hanukkah, Trump, These Jews Suck Up to Thee (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) They're yours, Trump. All of them. You've earned them. Every last one of them, the Jews who still adore you, defend you, serve you, bask in your reflected, well, darkness. Quite a group. You and your Axis of Arrogance.
I'm a Native Jerusalemite, and Trump's Announcement Didn't Bring Joy to My Heart (Uzi Baram, Haaretz+) Israel's problem is not Trump. Israel's problem is the way the Israeli government applauded his move.
Israeli Arabs Are Strangers in Their Own Language (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Arabs in Israel are concerned about the dilution of the Arabic language, but they’re not alone – Egypt has even proposed a law to fight the phenomenon.
Just beautiful words: Trump's statement left me with more questions than answers (Colette Avital, Maariv) Had Trump included in his speech a clue and reason for hope for the other side, or at last revealing a slice of the peace plan in question for some time, his statement might have been less harmful.
Another War in Gaza Only Helps Israel (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) It is irresponsible for some Palestinians to hallucinate about a successful struggle with inferior weapons, divided leadership and no plan against a military juggernaut.
Who Really Pushed Trump on Jerusalem: The Christians or the Jews? (Jonathan S. Tobin, Haaretz+) It seems obvious to liberal U.S. Jews that Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital to curry favor with their biggest bogeymen: Major Jewish Republican donors and his faithful evangelical base. Obvious, but wrong
Arise, go up to Zion (Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom) Jews must show their presence at the Temple Mount to ensure the Western Wall does not become a permanent stand-in. It is expected that by the end of 2017, some 25,000 Jews will have visited the Temple Mount.
Zionism Without Jerusalem (Dmitry Shumsky, Haaretz+) Israel must emulate Herzl and Jabotinsky, who were willing to cede Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem's Old City.
Putin's Syria Victory Lap Teaches Middle Eastern Leaders One Important Lesson (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Visiting Syria, Egypt and Turkey in one day, Putin establishes himself as the only world leader with real influence in the Middle East.
Jews and Palestinians are dying for an imaginary Jerusalem (Marilyn Garson, Haaretz+) The first Palestinian protestor after Trump's announcement died in Khan Younis. He'd probably never seen Jerusalem, about an hour from Gaza. He would have had his own imaginary Holy City, a promissory image that hangs on so many Gazan walls.
Czech integrity (Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) The Czechs see the Arab issue as an anti-democratic and anti-Semitic one that served the interests of the former Soviet Union, and have not succumbed to European and Palestinian propaganda.
In Israel, Punishing in Order to Silence (Haaretz Editorial) The State Prosecution requested to jail an activist for his Facebook posts. Now, every citizen will know the price of criticizing the establishment.
Former US Secretary of State: "We must stop talking about a two-state solution and learn to live together"
George Schultz, 97, one of Israel's greatest friends, presents in his interview in the upcoming Friday supplement his solution to the conflict with the Palestinians. On the security threats, especially Iran, he says: "You do not have to wait for an attack and respond after the fact.” (Interviewed by Mordechai Haimovitch in San Francisco for Maariv)

‘If there were just one more Dalia, there would be peace by now’
In her job as the Civil Administration’s health coordinator, Dalia Bassa wasn’t supposed to save the lives of hundreds of Palestinian children, visit them in hospitals, take them on trips and treat them as the children she never had. But one thing led to another, and the woman known as ‘Angel’ on the Palestinian street receives phone calls at all hours of the day and night—and always picks up. (Yifat Erlich, Yedioth/Ynet)

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