News Nosh 1.1.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday January 1, 2018
 
Quote of the day:
"The Likud has completed the task of sabotaging the diplomatic peace process, which Trump began with the fake declaration of Jerusalem as capital."
--Meretz leader MK Ilan Gilon in response to Likud Central Committee vote to annex West Bank settlements.*

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “Soon you’ll see millions in the streets” - Special report: with the demonstrators in Iran by reporter for ‘Bild’
  • Rouhani against the demonstrators: Blocked the social media networks
  • The fine of the state - We escorted police who follow drivers who look away from the road to text message - and catch them
  • What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is also mine // Nahum Barnea on the Supermarkets Law
  • Good morning, 2018
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • “We will replace the rule - or we’ll die” - Iran: Special to Israel Hayom - Report from heart of demonstration against ayatollahs near Teheran University
  • Yearning for change // Eyal Zisser
  • Documents of Ritman (head of police anti-corruption unit, who was accused of sexual harassment): “They are trying to bring him down because of a sensitive investigation
  • The movement for the cheapening of the rule // Akiva Bigman
  • Welcome 2018
  • Likud Central Committee voted unanimously: sovereignty must be applied to the West Bank
  • An end to the noise on the beaches: Music will banned from the beaches of the Sea of Galilee

News Summary:
Iranian government efforts to stop spreading protests and Likud unanimous votes against a two-state solution were the top stories in the Hebrew newspapers on the first day of 2018.

Iran blocked Instagram and Telegram messaging service to stem the spreading anti-government protests against poverty and corruption, while President Hassan Rohani said people have the right to protest, just not violently. An Iranian politician reportedly accused Israel of taking advantage of anti-regime protests. for its own benefit. Maariv quoted a Kuwaiti paper who quoted a senior Israeli political source who said that the US gave a green light to the Mossad to assassinate the commander of the Al-Quds Unit of the Revolutionary Guard, Qassem Suleimani. The source said that Israel was close to assassinating Suleiman three years ago, but the United States stopped the operation: "Israel follows the general closely.” (Haaretz explains why the protests are taking place here.)

In a symbolic vote, the Likud Central Committee unanimously voted to apply Israeli sovereignty to the land of the Israelis settlements in the West Bank and not just to the Israeli citizens living in them, in essence supporting de facto annexation and opposing a two-state solution. Education Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the pro-settlement Habayit Hayehudi party, was thrilled: "We've passed another stage in disengaging from the dangerous idea of a Palestinian state, which brought with it only security damage and boycotts against Israel. I call on the Yesh Atid party to join this important initiative…” The leader of the Likud party, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who publicly expresses support for a two-state solution, was silent about the vote. Ironically, the Likud-led government just approved a deal with the European Union that excludes settlements, meaning that the Netanyahu-government just lent support to a de facto boycott of settlements.
 
Quick Hits:
  • As new year begins, Israel's population reaches 8.79 million - Israeli population grew by 1.9% in 2017, similar to previous years, says Central Bureau of Statistics. Jews comprise 74.6% of population, Arabs 20.9%. 180,000 babies born in 2017. 27,000 people made aliyah, mainly from Russia, Ukraine, France, U.S. (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel extends Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar's detention without trial to one year - Israeli army says she 'still poses a tangible risk,' but Jarrar's lawyer says move is politically motivated. (Haaretz+)
  • Settler sentenced to community service for incitement against IDF soldiers, Arabs - Otniel settler Eliraz Fein sentenced to five months of community service over plea bargain conviction of incitement against security forces, Arabs; Fein, also handed a suspended sentence, protested injustice of verdict: 'State Attorney's Office exerted ridiculous amount of effort to convict me.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • New laws should also consider settlers in West Bank, says Israeli attorney general - The Ayelet Shaked-driven directive wants regular legislation to apply to the 430,000 Israelis living beyond the Green Line, historically under different legal status. (Haaretz+)
  • Cousin of Ahed Tamimi filmed slapping soldiers indicted for assault - Nur Tamimi, 20, is being charged by the IDF with aggravated assault after she and her 16-year-old cousin Ahed were filmed slapping, kicking and pushing IDF soldiers. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israeli lawmakers to discuss case of Palestinian woman who claims officer raped her - Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh accuses police internal investigations unit of covering up the incident, while fellow MK Aida Touma-Suliman says case is nothing short of a war crime. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli police close probe into January killing of Bedouin teacher - Justice Ministry hands files to state prosecution for decision on deadly events during which officer was run over and killed. “The closure of this investigation means the Police Investigations Department continues to grant legitimacy to deadly police violence against Arab citizens of Israel,” said Adalah organization. Yaqoub Abu al-Qian, 50, from the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran, was shot dead by Israeli police in January while he was driving at night, causing him to spin out of control and crash into Israeli officers, killing one policeman. [The police originally accused Abu al-Qian of being a terrorist - OH] (Maan and Times of Israel)
  • Lawmakers vote to maintain secrecy of oil pipeline that once linked Israel with Iran - The Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Co was a joint venture between Israel and Iran in 1968. Today, releasing information about the pipeline is considered an act of espionage. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu: Israel holds Hamas responsible for any Gaza rocket fire - Netanyahu also slams teens who openly refused to enlist in the Israeli military: 'I view this marginal phenomenon with great severity.' (Haaretz)
  • Minister Galant advocates 'preventative, powerful blows' to Hamas - In exclusive interview with Ynet, Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) urges Israel to revise strategic response against Hamas, cautions against being dragged into 'ping pong game' in which Hamas launches rockets, and IDF strikes Hamas positions in Gaza; 'Only preventative and powerful action will deliver a message to Hamas.' (Ynet)
  • Jewish National Fund to Give State NIS 1 Billion in 2018, Get Tax Exemption - The terms of the agreement represent a compromise between the Finance Ministry and the opposition in the Knesset from the JNF paying a larger sum. (Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu government mulls blocking all opposition bills in response to last week’s filibuster - The month-long move would come after the opposition failed to stymie legislation on preventing the police from making recommendations to prosecutors in criminal cases. (Haaretz+)
  • Netanyahu tells police billionaire Milchan wasn't only Israeli he helped sort out U.S visa problems - PM says former National Security Adviser Uzi Arad was given the same assistance as Israeli billionaire, seemingly to show that his actions on Milchan's behalf – currently being investigated by the police – were not unusual. (Haaretz+)
  • President Rivlin's wife to provide Paddington 2 Hebrew voiceover - Nechama Rivlin, wife of President Reuven Rivlin and avowed Paddington Bear fan, will provide the voice for a character in the Hebrew version of Paddington 2, sequel to the successful first film about the English bear; Rivlin approached to play role following Facebook post memorializing author Michael Bond, who created the character. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • French children's magazine removed over 'mistake' on Israel - Editor of Youpi profusely apologizes for January edition listing Israel as among few counties in the world that 'aren't real countries'; says he never intended to challenge Israel's legitimacy, 'I'll blame myself for it all my life.' (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Egypt's Morsi sentenced to three years in prison for insulting the judiciary - Egypt's former president, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was overthrown in 2013, convicted of publicly making statements that were inciting and expressing toward the court. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Putin tells Assad: Russia will support efforts to defend Syria's sovereignty - Putin stresses in new year's greeting that Russia would 'continue to render every assistance to Syria in the protection of state sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.’ (Agencies, Haaretz)

 
Commentary/Analysis:
I didn't come to fight in God's army, I came to fight in Israel's (Julie Shamir, Haaretz+) When I immigrated from America to Israel and volunteered for the army, I was already secure in my non-Orthodox Jewish identity. I was shocked to see how the IDF is used as a tool to coercively push Orthodox Judaism.
What will improve Israel's status is a political solution to the conflict with the Palestinians (Shlomo Shamir, Maariv) In the eyes of the free world, Israel will be judged not by the number of embassies operating in Jerusalem and not by Trump's gestures, but by the degree of its efforts and successes in the breakthrough in the peace process.
Joan of Arc in a West Bank Village (Uri Avnery, Haaretz+) The Israeli army wants to punish Ahed Tamimi ‘so all should see and fear.’ Instead, Palestinian teenagers see the photos and think: I want to be like her.
IDF’s achievements in 2017 marred by political attacks (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) The past year proved the State of Israel faces no external existential threat and no real threat to its sovereignty and routine life; the Israeli army, however, was threatened by the blatant and unprecedented attempts to dictate a political agenda and a new set of moral and social values on the IDF and on its top commanders.
This year Netanyahu ditched the Jewish diaspora. The question is: Why? (Eric H. Yoffie, Haaretz+) We now know what's behind the consistently contemptuous attitude Israel's PM has demonstrated toward American Jews - and no, it's not the cold calculus of domestic political survival. It's far more delusional than that.
With Netanyahu Weakened by Investigations, Talk of Annexation Rumbles (Haaretz Editorial) Settlers and their representatives in Habayit Hayehudi and Likud are exploiting Netanyahu’s weakness to push him to the right, the threat of crumbling the coalition hovering in the background.
Trump's Tweets are not enough, the Iranians need to be helped (Ben Caspit, Maariv) Democracy lovers, who wake up as if they were bitten by a snake on any violation of human rights in the (Palestinian) territories, doze off sluggishly when it comes to Iranian demonstrators.
2017: The Year the Truth Committed Suicide (Iris Leal, Haaretz) If ‘alternative facts’ dominated 2017, in 2018 we can look forward to a year of ‘post-truth.’
Trump’s gift to Abbas (Alex Fishman, Yedioth/Ynet) After being pushed into a corner by the Americans and Saudis, the PA leadership quickly understood the advantages hidden in Trump’s Jerusalem announcement and adopted a clear Palestinian strategy: To market to the world, particularly the Muslim world, the narrative of selling Jerusalem to the Jews—and it worked.
Trump's First Year Was Good for Israel (Moshe Arens, Haaretz) With Trump’s entry into the White House the entire mood of U.S.-Israeli relations changed. Gone were the criticism, lecturing and admonitions that Israelis grew accustomed to hearing from Obama, time and again.
Welcome to the new season of the hunting campaign against the President of Israel (Ben Caspit, Maariv) The regular gang lurks at the exit of the President's Residence with pitchforks and machetes. "The president calls on the public to participate in the [anti-government] demonstrations of [Eldad] Yaniv and [Meni] Naphtali," was the news - and the rest is history.
What Could Doom Iran's Leaders to Follow Egypt Into the Abyss (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) When strong economic growth failed to trickle down to ordinary people, Egypt's regime came crashing down
American Jews: Ahed Tamimi Is Your Issue, Too (Marilyn Garson, Haaretz) Do you only feel injustice at the Western Wall, and not at the walls where Palestinians are shot and arrested? If you're proud to identify as Jewish and progressive, you can't just be a spectator to Palestinian suffering.
Iran Spends Billions on Proxy Wars Throughout the Mideast. Here's Where Its Money Is Going
(Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) The debate taking place behind closed doors in Tehran seems to have spilled out onto the streets: whether to save the money for the stagnant economy at home.
In the path that the Minister of Justice has taken, there are no red lights and no signs of arrest (Dr. Revital Amiran, Maariv) Shaked's interest in passing the Recommendations Law is consistent with her desire to weaken the rule of law and trample the rights of the minority. Preparing the way for corruption, then, is only a station on the road to the preparing the way for tyranny.
Three Reasons Israel Doesn’t Want a War in Gaza Right Now – And, Yes, Iran Is One (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The Israeli leadership is sounding bullish about its deterrence factor in Gaza but trying to maintain radio silence over events on the streets of Iran.
My Kid's a neo-Nazi. What Should I Do? (Tony McAleer, Haaretz+) I was a neo-Nazi for 15 years. I found power when I felt powerless, attention when I felt invisible. Not one factual challenge would have swayed my views. But there are still ways for parents to intervene.

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