News Nosh 2.8.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday, February 8, 2018
 
You Must Be Kidding: 
“Music is music, what does it matter what language it’s in? We live in Israel and we hear all the languages here: Arabic, Hebrew, Russian."
--Yusuf, an Arab-Israeli from Kafr Qassem reacted to the complaints by Jewish passengers of public buses about the Arabic music the Arab bus drivers put on the radio.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
 
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “Put Netanyahu on trial” - Netanyahu expected to be recommended for indictment in Case 1000, likely for receiving bribes or at least fraud and breach of trust – Ahead of the police recommendations – Netanyahu’s unprecedented attack on Police Commissioner Alsheikh: His hints are severe, delusional and false”
  • The sand clock // Sima Kadmon
  • A moment before another investigation into him: MK Yaakov Pery resigned from the Knesset
  • Gal Gadot conquered Purim – Wonder Woman is costume most in-demand
  • India is getting closer: “Saudi Arabia approved flights over it on the way to Israel”
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • The investigators to the Police Commissioner: Charge Netanyahu with receiving bribes
  • Two more killed on the roads
  • The end of his political path (Former Shin Bet chief, MK Yaakov Pery)
  • Maariv poll: 44% of the residents of Tel-Aviv won’t vote for Huldai in the next elections in eight months
Israel Hayom
  • Special - Retired justice Eliyakim Rubinstein: “Our democracy is in danger”
  • The demonstrating Police force of Alsheikh // Haim Shine
  • Hours before another investigation: Yaakov Pery resigned from the Knesset
  • Preparing for escalation: IDF increasing forces in Judea and Samaria
  • Claims of the campaign – and the reality: High Court ruled that there is no danger to the infiltrators who are deported
News Summary:
The Uvda investigative TV program caused the Police Commissioner and the Prime Minister go head to head and former Shin Bet chief Yaakov Perry to resign from the Knesset, while Israel reportedly attacked another military facility in Syria as it deployed more forces in the West Bank following two murders of Israelis within a month and its continued manhunt for the second murderer. Also, Maariv interviewed a Syrian journalist who fled his country and is presently visiting Israel along with other Arab journalists on an Israeli-government sponsored tour.

During the day Wednesday, top police met in Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh's office to finalize their recommendations to indict Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - reportedly on bribery, fraud and breach of trust, and in the evening in an interview with investigative journalist Ilana Dayan, Alsheikh said that "powerful people" connected to Netanyahu were trying to dig up dirt on the investigators in the cases against him. Alsheikh said that “ultimately, we know who these people are. Apparently, someone needs to pay them, and therefore, this disturbs us greatly.” Netanyahu responded by attacking Alsheikh on Facebook, calling his claims "delusional and false insinuations." On the same day, in his first public appearance since release from prison, ex-prime minister Ehud Olmert said he wished Netanyahu "a swift and honorable exit" from office and added that he had turned down a deal to ransom kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas at a lower price than the one Netanyahu later paid.

Israel's former Shin Bet chief-turned-Knesset-member resigned from Israel's parliament yesterday due to investigative reports by the Uvda TV program that he lied about his military service and about whether he leaked information to another politician who was being investigated for corruption.

"The people of Syria came to the conclusion that Israel is not an enemy...I was given the opportunity to visit here, but there are many other Syrian citizens who would like the opportunity to visit Israel and to thank it for its actions in Syria,"  Abd al-Jalil al-Sa'id, a journalist from Aleppo, said from Israel. Al-Sa'id, who left his home at the outbreak of the civil war in 2011,  arrived this week with a delegation of journalists from Arab countries. "When a democratic government is elected in Damascus, the Syrian flag will fly in Jerusalem," added Al-Sa'id. Maariv reporter Yami Rot traveled with the delegation of eight, which includes journalists from Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and the Kurdish region of Iraq. They visited Yad Vashem, the holy sites in Jerusalem, the hospital in Nahariya and other sites where wounded Syrians are being treated. "This is not the first Arab delegation to come to Israel," says Hassan Ka'abiya, the Foreign Ministry's Arabic Spokesman, who initiated and organized the visit. "But this time we are talking about an extraordinary delegation in the sense that the journalists are revealing their identity."
 
Quick Hits:
  • Israeli Lightly Wounded in West Bank Stabbing Attack; Assailant Shot Dead - According to the Israeli army, the assailant, Hamzeh Youssif Zamaareh, 19, from Halhoul, approached the gate of the settlement, where he stabbed a security guard in the hand. A second security guard then shot and killed the assailant. Gush Etzion Regional Council head: The battle for the land continues. (Haaretz and Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli forces detain father of slain Palestinian teen from Halhul, clash with locals - Clashes erupted in the Hebron-area town of Halhul in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Wednesday during an Israeli raid into the town, just shortly after an Israeli security guard had shot and killed Halhul resident Hamzeh Youssif Zamaareh, 19, after he allegedly stabbed a security guard. Afterward, the forces raid Zamaareh’s house and detained his father. (Maan)
  • Palestinians: One seriously wounded by Israeli army gunfire in East Jerusalem - 16-year-old youth from Kafr Aqab transferred to hospital in Ramallah, Palestinian Health Ministry reports. (Note: Haaretz reported he was a ‘man.’ Kafr Aqab is adjacent to Ramallah.)  (Haaretz+and Maan)
  • Bennett calls for turning Har Bracha into a city after resident killed in terror attack - Habayit Hayehudi chairman, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, calls for the West Bank settlement of Har Bracha to be officially turned into a city after one of its residents was killed last week in a terror attack. “The answer is to triple the size of the village and make Har Bracha a city. That is how we will convey the message that we are here to stay,” he said. (Times of Israel)
  • Gaza Health System Collapsing: 40 Percent of Medicine Runs Out - When hospitals use up their fuel within a week, the lives of some 1,700 patients will be at immediate risk, says a WHO report. (Haaretz+)
  • Dispute between ministers prevents debate on Gaza crisis-  Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman calls Intelligence and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz's proposal to build an artificial island off Gaza's coast a "prize" for Hamas • Many agree it would provide jobs and hope, free Israel from responsibility. (Israel Hayom)
  • The new wall aimed at stopping Hezbollah fighters - Work begins on a tens-of-meters-high wall near the border town of Rosh Hanikra to prevent the Shiite terror group's elite Radwan unit from capturing an Israeli town or outpost. (Ynet)
  • Lebanon's Higher Defense Council orders army to stop Israeli border wall - Council says if Israel continues building its border wall on territory Beirut considers to be Lebanese, it would be seen as an act of aggression against Lebanon; Israeli energy minister: 'Israel seeks diplomatic solution to border disputes.' (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israel preparing for Hezbollah maritime threat on gas rigs with German ships - Navy prepares to cope with Hezbollah’s weapons arsenal posing danger to gas drilling sea rigs with purchase of 4 German Sa'ar 6-class missile corvettes to include missile defense rockets, Adir radar, cyber warfare; 3 new submarines also on the way. (Ynet)
  • Saudi Arabia Denies Report of Historic Approval of Flights to Israel Using Its Airspace - If confirmed, Saudi Arabia's move would be the first public recognition of its warming ties with Israel and would be huge blow to El Al. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Thousands Protest at Rwanda's Embassy in Israel Against Asylum-seeker Deportation Plan - Asylum seekers and Israeli protesters shouting 'Shame on you Rwanda' and holding signs saying 'Kagame, we're not for sale.' (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Israeli forces shower Palestinian school with tear gas, sending several students to hospital - Dozens of Palestinian school students in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron were exposed to high levels of tear gas on Thursday morning as Israeli forces showered their school with tear gas canisters. (Maan)
  • Israeli soldiers temporarily detain Palestinian teachers at checkpoint in Hebron - The female teachers were heading to school in Hebron’s Old City Thursday when soldiers stationed at military checkpoint on al-Shuhada Street prevented them from passing. Only after intervention from Red Cross and Palestinian liaison that soldiers allowed teachers to pass. The reason for detention, which caused delays in class schedules, remained unclear. (Maan)
  • **Protest in Petah Tikva: "We don’t want to hear Arabic on our bus" - Passengers on Afikim Co. bus lines complain of the music being played in the language that is recognized as second in importance in Israel: "It makes us anxious." The bus company: "The driver is obliged to turn off the speakers if asked to do so." Yusuf, a resident of Arab town of (nearby) Kafr Qassem, doesn’t understand what the problem is. "Music is music, what does it matter what language it’s in? We live in Israel and here we hear all the languages: Arabic, Hebrew, Russian ... I have lived in Ashdod and Lod and I’ve lived all my life with the Jews. I don’t remember anyone (in the past) complaining about the language (heard) on the bus, on the train or on any other means of transportation." (Maariv)
  • Defense Ministry's bill proposes to divert terrorist salaries to terror-victims fund - Defense Ministry proposes bill to deduct payments PA transfers to convicted terrorists and their families from tax funds collected by Israel on behalf of PA; PA pays prisoners, terrorists, their families NIS 1.2 billion annually as incentive to kill Israelis; terrorists from Jerusalem, those with wife, kids, get bonuses.(Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Bereaved (Jewish) parents: "Hold the terrorists’ bodies or throw them into the sea" -  During a heated discussion of the Knesset Interior Committee, the parents of the IDF officer, Shir Hajaj, who was murdered in an attack, said: "We don’t agree that the body of the animal that murdered our daughter be returned." (Maariv)
  • Israel detains 52-year-old Palestinian mother of prisoners following interrogation - Nuha Shawahne, 52, whose two sons Orwa and Sharhabeel are prisoners in Israel, was detained after she, along with her husband and son, answered a summons to appear before Israeli police in the illegal Ariel settlement in the central West Bank district of Salfit. (Maan)
  • Israeli bulldozers raze lands in southern Gaza - Four Israeli military bulldozers raided eastern al-Qarara Thursday, in the southern Gaza Strip district of Khan Younis, adding that forces opened fire during the incursion and military drones flew overhead. (Maan)
  • School shooting in central Israel: Two masked gunmen moderately wound teen - Eyewitnesses tell Haaretz that the men entered the school in the Israeli Arab town of Jaljulia and shot the teen in the lower body. (Haaretz)
  • Qatar Promised U.S. Jewish Leaders: Al Jazeera Documentary on D.C. 'Israel Lobby' Won't Air - The Qataris told the Jewish leaders last year they won't air the film, but last week, pro-Israel groups received letters from Al Jazeera asking to respond ahead of its release. (Haaretz+)
  • German draft coalition deal takes rare swipe at Israeli settlements -  German Chancellor Angela Merkel is struggling as poll shows most voters no longer support "grand coalition." Draft coalition deal questions Israel's settlement enterprise but stresses that strong ties with Israel remain "a pillar of German politics." (Israel Hayom)
  • Germany's next foreign minister once accused Israel of depriving Palestinians of water - Martin Schulz caused a stir in 2014 when he grilled the Knesset on the matter of Palestinian access to drinking water, triggering a walkout by right-wing legislators. (Hararetz)
  • Germany extends Israel Aerospace Industries drone contract - The German military operates the Heron 1 reconnaissance drone as part of missions in Afghanistan and Mali. Contract to run through 2019. Move is a confirmation of Heron's proven ability to support missions around the world, IAI official says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Private Event Hosting ultra-Orthodox Sex Offender and Ex-fugitive Canceled After Backlash - The Dimona venue canceled the event with the sex offender Rabbi Eliezer Berland after the mayor intervened in the affair, citing issues with business permit as cause for cancellation. (Haaretz)
  • Rabbi convicted of sexual offenses sentenced to 7 years in prison - Nazareth District Court sentences Safed Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg to seven and a half years in prison for sexual abuse of eight women who sought his spiritual guidance. Both Northern District Attorney's Office, defense attorneys say contemplating appeal. (Israel Hayom)
  • From #GermanDeathCamps to #PolishRighteous: Poland launches social media campaign to defend its controversial Holocaust law - Efforts include a viral video that sits atop the Twitter account of the Polish Prime Minister’s Office and is being run as sponsored content on Google, Facebook and Twitter. (Haaretz+)
  • Churches fume as city of Jerusalem claims $186 million in overdue tax - Earlier this week Jerusalem municipality stated that 887 properties belonging to various churches and UN institutions in the city owe municipal tax. (Haaretz+)


Features:
Historians Thought Early Christians, Muslims Coexisted Peacefully in Ancient Shivta, Archaeologists Show Otherwise
The Negev village had survived for 800 years but some time after the Byzantine era, it sank into decline and would never recover. (Miriam Feinberg Vamosh, Haaretz+)
The right-wing response to the New Israel Fund
Huge donations, aiding organizations with a distinct agenda, an attempt to change the public discourse in Israel with foreign money: The Tikvah Fund, which promotes a US Republican worldview through research institutions, seminars and media outlets with a clear right-wing ideology, is being accused by Religious Zionism circles of turning a cold shoulder to the disadvantaged, under-representing women and deepening the rift among the Jewish people. (Guy Lieberman, Yedioth/Ynet)
Everything you need to know about Israel's mass deportation of asylum seekers
The government plan to send 20,000 back to Africa by 2020 has sparked anger and controversy, raising basic questions about Israel’s duty as a nation founded by refugees. (Dina Kraft, Haaretz)
Paratroopers prepare for full self-reliance in Lebanon war scenario
Amid the rugged Mt. Carmel forests, troops learn to make use of food, fuel, medical supplies from Lebanese population, fix weapons mid-battle; Fact that Hezbollah is now a more professional, conventional, highly trained army, not militia, seen as advantage for IDF. (Yoav Zitun, Ynet)
Apocalypse now? At Armageddon, some topics are best avoided around Jews
A visit to the hot spot where evangelicals believe the end-of-days battle will play out has Trump-touting tourists in, well, raptures. (Judy Maltz, Haaretz+)

Commentary/Analysis:
Once, Israeli pop culture icons publicly criticized the occupation. What silenced them? (Louis Fishman, Haaretz+) One iconic but solitary Israeli poet celebrated Ahed Tamimi’s heroism: The backlash he endured means there'll be even less mainstream dissent in the future.
'Germany Bought Israel's Forgiveness With Money. Poland Couldn't Offer You a Thing' (Yuli Tamir, Haaretz+) The lesson that the late Polish President Lech Kaczynski taught me about the Holocaust
Those who oppose the publication of leaks are creating a new press that will not fulfill its role (Kalman Libeskind, Maariv) A high percentage of what we reveal every day comes from people who were forbidden to talk to journalists. Anyone who criticizes the reporting of information that has come in such ways creates a crippled press.
For German-Israeli Relations, New Foreign Minister Heralds Four Very Difficult Years(Kirsten Rulf, Haaretz+) Martin Schulz has made headlines for statements highly critical of Israel, but has also proven a true fighter in the war against anti-Semitism and a man dedicated to protecting Israel
The attack in Damascus: The Iran-Syria-Hizbullah axis is determined to continue (missile) development (Yossi Melman, Maariv) The publication of the bombing of the facility in Syria, which is attributed to the Israeli air force, indicates that Israel maintains almost unlimited freedom of military action in the skies of Syria. Perhaps the excellent coordination with Russia helps.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel's Ambulance (Gideon Levy, Haaretz+) Friedman has the right to donate as he wishes, but it’s clear that his choice speaks not only to his political outlook, but also to his moral makeup
The Sinister Reason Behind Qatar's Wooing of the Jews (Jonathan S. Tobin, Haaretz+) Doha wants to influence D.C. elites. But rather than targeting Congress or the media, they're lavishly, and disproportionately, focusing on right-wing, pro-Israel Jews.
The situation in Gaza is getting worse and the Knesset is busy with protests about closing shopping centers on Shabbat (Ran Adelist, Maariv) While in the Gaza Strip the humanitarian crisis is at its peak, we are talking mainly of promoting programs that will probably never be implemented. Where is the opposition when you need it?
UNRWA: The greatest obstacle to peace ( Gregg Roman, Israel Hayom) UNRWA's problematic definition of Palestinian refugeeism ensures the number of refugees will continue to grow and a solution to the conflict will remain forever elusive.
Alleged Israeli strike on Syria facility targeted Hezbollah's efforts to enhance missile capabilities (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) If confirmed, the attack was a warning from the highest levels of Israel's leadership.
Missile crisis still under control ( Amnon Lord, Israel Hayom) However, if the Iranians do not take a step back on the issue of precision missiles and their production on Lebanese soil, they will essentially leave it to Israel to choose when the next round of fighting begins.
The public will pay huge sums for securing the gas rigs without knowing why (Ron Kaufman, Maariv) No senior official explained why the state finances the enormous defense costs, and citizens who bear the burden are not even aware of a small percentage of the relevant information.
Fleeing brutality and genocide, I was sure in Israel, Anne Frank’s people wouldn’t deny us refuge (Yikealo Beyene, Haaretz+) I first met Anne Frank in a makeshift library in an Ethiopian refugee camp. When I hear how refugee friends who left Israel for Rwanda have been trafficked, enslaved or drowned, I ask: Does Israel remember her message?
Israelis, Don’t Go Like Lambs to the Slaughter (Uri Misgav, Haaretz+) If the government has already allowed Hezbollah to equip itself with 150,000 rockets, and if Hezbollah’s allies, Russia and Iran, have already entrenched themselves in the region, what’s the point of starting a war? Why not prevent it?
Jewboys, Masters and the European Right (Yossi Klein, Haaretz+) Former minister Rafi Eitan’s support for a neo-Nazi party can be ascribed to senility, but perhaps he's simply saying what everyone else is thinking.
War isn’t on our doorstep just yet (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Iran and Hezbollah are taking Israel’s threats seriously, and Hamas has no interest in escalation at this time either; despite the growing tensions on Israel’s northern and southern borders, a senior security source tells Ynet: ‘We aren’t any closer to war than we were a month or two ago.’
The Balance of Terror: Israel and Lebanon's Mutually Assured Defeat (Ronen Dangoor, Haaretz+) The two countries maintain a balance of terror, as seen during the Second Lebanon War. It’s largely up to Israel to prevent a recurrence.
Let the Israeli Army's Policy of Restraint Against Hamas Prevail (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) The more the Gaza economy improves, the more Hamas will have to lose. But to implement this view, the IDF chief must conclude that the cabinet’s current policy is likely to trigger a war against Israel.
The Achilles' heel of the war on terror (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) The blue identification cards issued to Arab Israelis not only grant them freedom of movement, but also a modicum of protection from certain measures the security agencies apply to the Palestinians.
A high-functioning illiberal democracy: Explaining Israel's ranking in the global democracy index (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) In the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, the country’s strong showing is marred by the Chief Rabbinate’s hegemony and the way Israel treats the Palestinians and other minorities.
Organized terror is back (Ron Ben Yishai, Ynet) Raziel Shevah's murder and the perpetrator's escape prove Hamas has succeeded in creating competent terror infrastructures in West Bank under the IDF's nose; IDF, Shin Bet must now focus on organized terror, much like during the second intifada, while also combating 'lone wolf' attackers inspired by social media.
Friends like Israel and the IMF can’t fix a broken Egypt (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Israel is reportedly helping in Sinai and the IMF is helping with the economy, but the fact is that Egypt looks little different than it did under Mubarak – and we know how that ended.
Trump’s embrace could lead to dangerous rift with US Jews (Yael Patir, Ynet) We can enjoy the hand extended from the White House, but we mustn’t forget that its tenants are replaced every four to eight years and that it’s our duty to be prepared for the post-Trump era.
Zeroing in on Soros, Netanyahu Stands Shoulder to Shoulder With anti-Semitic Scum (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) The prime minister of Israel is the last person on earth who should legitimize the demonic anti-Jewish stereotype of the Hungarian-born billionaire.
Israel – between the US and Russia (Zalman Shoval, Israel Hayom) The prime minister realized there is no inherent contradiction between the American interest in curbing Iran's geopolitical aspirations and the Russian interest in limiting its Iran alliance to specific goals.
Clear and Present Discrimination Against Women (Haaretz Editorial) The 'modesty protocol' sent by Modi’in Ilit to municipal employees is a dangerous deviation from the authority of a government body — which is not authorized to interfere in the lifestyle of private individuals.
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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