News Nosh 2.13.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Quote of the day:
"It’s never obvious to receive a prize, especially such a prestigious prize, and particularly not in the atmosphere that prevails here.”
--Renowned left-wing Israeli author, David Grossman, told Yedioth after receiving the Israel Prize for Literature.

You Must Be Kidding: 
"Did he hope that the Americans would wipe the spit from their faces and move on?"
—Senior Maariv political analyst Ben Caspit examined Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s statement yesterday that Israel was in talks with the US about Israeli annexation of settlements - which the White House flatly denied as ‘false.’**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “Netanyahu’s words are false” - Trump Administration in unprecedented accusation
  • Galloping on the tiger // Nadav Eyal
  • Friend, you are lying // Orly Azoulay
  • Police recommendations (in Netanyahu cases) - today or tomorrow
  • “(My receiving) this prize is not obvious, especially not in the atmosphere that prevails here” - David Grossman, one of the greatest Israeli authors in this generation, is the Israel Prize laureate
  • David’s violin // Nahum Barnea
  • “We remained alive by a miracle” - Soldier who got caught in a lynch attempt in Jenin with another soldier and was rescued by a Palestinian policeman, is recovering from her wounds, but not from the harsh trauma
  • For the first time: Transgender in the beauty pageant
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom
  • Almost a lynch in Jenin - Soldier and soldier attacked by Palestinians; Palestinian policemen rescued them
  • Many failures - and coordination that saves lives // Yoav Limor
  • Run with him - Author David Grossman, one of the pillars of Israeli culture, is the Israel Prize for Literature laureate
  • White House: We did not speak with Netanyahu about annexation
  • Tomorrow: Knesset will discuss the interview of the Police Commissioner
  • Electrifying offer to potential immigrants from France: Come be electricians in Israel
  • (IDF) Head of Manpower, Almoz: “IDF is not a manpower company and not an institution that educates for equality”
  • Afikim: 8-year-old attacked by 10 stray dogs

News Summary:
In what the Hebrew newspapers called an “unprecedented accusation,” the White House strongly denied as ‘false' Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's declaration yesterday that he was in talks with the US about annexing West Bank settlements, while two Israeli soldiers were lightly wounded by a Palestinian mob, then rescued by Palestinian police, (Israeli security establishment said that ‘security coordination with the Palestinians prevented a disaster in Jenin,’ but the Palestinian security services preferred not to take credit, for fear they would be perceived as traitors) and esteemed left-wing author,
David Grossman, received the Israel Prize for literature - something he considered not a small thing in this period. Also in the news, the police are expected to submit their recommendations on whether to indict Netanyahu for corruption as early as today and at latest on Thursday, after the High Court summarily rejected a petition by a right-wing activist to block police from publishing its conclusions. Meanwhile, Jewish tycoon and Netanyahu-supporter, Sheldon Adelson, declined to express public support for Netanyahu in regards to the corruption investigations.  (Also Maariv)

And President Reuven Rivlin made some interesting statements in an interview he gave to journalist Amit Segal yesterday:
A smiling Rivlin hints he believes Netanyahu should resign if indicted
"I only know I have heard a lot of things. I have an opinion of my own, and I will say it in three and a half years. I just want to say that I have heard a lot of people in other affairs, which happened I don’t remember when, and they said it much better and made an impact," Rivlin said, implicitly referring to Netanyahu's comments against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert when the latter was indicted. (Ynet)
President Rivlin: Against Annexation of the West Bank to Israel
“In my opinion, the only solution is an iron wall. I believe wholeheartedly that the right wing is democratic before all else. It’s clear to everyone invested in the situation that if we annex the entire country, the Arabs living in the West Bank will need to receive full Israeli rights and citizenship.”
Rivlin: “I believe in the Greater Land. The price - Palestinian civil rights”
Said that the application of Israeli law in Judea and Samaria has serious consequences. (Maariv)
Rivlin: "I haven’t changed my opinions and I make sure to repeat it again and again," Rivlin added. "We are becoming people who only believe in their own faith and aren't even aware of the other side's fate. (Ynet)
“I was always on the right side. Not Right against Left, but right against wrong.”  (JPost)
Rivlin says Netanyahu is not his friend
“I’ve met with a few friends,” said Rivlin. “But did you meet with Netanyahu?” asked Amit Segal. “I told you, I met with friends, and he’s not a friend,” replied Rivlin. (JPost)
 
Quick Hits:
  • Israel's Creeping Annexation: Knesset Votes to Extend Israeli Law to Academic Institutions in the West Bank -  Law might break agreements Israel has made with the EU to maintain a separation between academic institutions in the West Bank and those in Israel proper. (Haaretz)
  • Justice Minister: Israel Must Keep Jewish Majority Even at the Expense of Human Rights - Minister Ayelet Shaked addressed the proposed nation-state law, contending that Israel as a Jewish state must administer equal civil but not national rights. (Haaretz and Maariv)
  • Israel's response to the lynch attempt: "Look how our soldiers treat the Palestinians” - The IDF spokesman in the Arabic language, Avihai Adrei, published a picture of IDF soldiers treating a wounded man in Hebron and added a verse from the Koran: "Whoever expects good will receive good. (Maariv)
  • "It's a miracle this did not end in a disaster": Two Israelis were hit by stone throwing in Judea and Samaria - Gabriel Shimoni, a student at Ariel University, was injured when his car windshield was smashed by a rock not far from a military checkpoint. His mother is furious: "He could have been killed." Earlier, another woman was injured in a similar incident on the road. (Maariv)
  • Gaza Hospital Postpones 200 Surgeries as Workers Strike After Months Without Pay - The Palestinian Authority's Health Ministry has failed to pay its share of their salaries for four months. (Haaretz)
  • Palestinian Teen Ahed Tamimi's Trial Begins Today - The teen arrested for slapping an Israeli soldier appears in military court for her trial which has been twice delayed. (Haaretz)
  • Rosario Dawson, Angela Davis Among 27 U.S. Figures Calling for Release of Jailed Palestinian Teen Ahed Tamimi - Actor Danny Glover and novelist Alice Walker are also among those who signed a petition comparing Tamimi to Trayvon Martin. (Haaretz+)
  • Abbas tells Putin: 'We refuse to cooperate with U.S. in any form'; Putin: Trump sends best wishes - In a meeting between the Palestinian and Russian presidents in Moscow, Putin assures Abbas that he has spoken with Trump, knows Palestinians want U.S. out of peace talks. (Haaretz)
  • Turkish law lecturer aided Hamas, deported from Israel - Cemil Tekeli, a Turkish national, suspected of helping Hamas members establish themselves in Turkey, while Dara'am Jabarin, an Israeli citizen, suspected of aiding in money laundering and transfer of funds to West Bank for terror activity. (Ynet)
  • IDF repatriates Hezbollah-sent Lebanese man who infiltrated Israel - Mentally unstable Lebanese national was under constant surveillance before entering country, detained immediately after crossing border; man claims under interrogation he was threatened with forced hospitalization if he did not check border fence's permeability. (Ynet)
  • Shin Bet: Hamas Funneling Terror Funds to West Bank, Gaza Through Turkey - Hamas is apparently trying to bolster its political presence in the West Bank in preparation for the day after Palestinian President Abbas' reign ends. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • BDS supporters: No need to boycott Israeli film festival in Paris, 'Israel is already doing it!' - BDS supporters cite Israel's culture minister, who doesn't want Paris film festival to open with 'Foxtrot,' a movie she says sullies Israel and its army. (Haaretz)
  • Despite political pressure from Jerusalem, Israeli film festival in Paris refuses to cave on 'Foxtrot' - The culture minister doesn't want the event to open with a movie she says sullies Israel and its army. (Haaretz)
  • Two days on, Israel still puzzled why Iran sent drone into its airspace - Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar speculates that it may have been intelligence-gathering or attack operation, but adds it’s important Israel find out what the mission’s objective was. (Haaretz+)
  • Life in Golan Heights Returns to Normal, After Weekend of Escalation on Israel-Syrian Border - Tensions rose following an Iranian drone infiltration and the downing of an Israeli jet. By Sunday, everyone was going about their lives as usual. (Haaretz+)
  • Police chief faces internal affairs complaint over leaks to media - Interview in which Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh admits that he gave a journalist information about the sensitive investigation into 2016 German submarine deal is in violation of his own orders and exceeded authority, attorney Pinchas Fischler says. (Israel Hayom)
  • Police officer indicted for hitting Haredi protesters - Superintendent Ido Katzir charged with two counts of assault after kicking one protester in the back as he was lying on the floor and hitting another in two separate incidents. (Ynet)
  • MK Zoabi removed from Knesset committee after calling IDF soldiers 'murderers' - During discussion on bill banning left-wing organizations from schools, Arab lawmaker says 'the army occasionally murders people'; Education Committee Chairman MK Yakov Margi replies, 'IDF soldiers are operating in an impossible reality.'  (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israelis and Poles who ‘refuse to be enemies’ launch campaign to ease tensions over Holocaust bill - After attracting over 1,000 signatures on online petition, activists to take message to political leaders: Do not tear us apart, again. (Haaretz+)
  • Jews alarmed as Poland considers limiting kosher slaughter - Days after Poland passes controversial Holocaust law, lawmakers to vote to restrict kosher slaughterhouses' operation. Bill includes ban on export of kosher meat. Head of Jewish Association of Europe: "Situation in Poland is unacceptable." (Israel Hayom)
  • Right-wing Israeli lawmaker meets member of Austrian party with Nazi roots - 'We're not an anti-Semitic party,' Freedom Party member tells Yehuda Glick ahead of latter's slated meeting with Austrian Vice Chancellor Strache. (Haaretz+)
  • Religious girls campaign for national service, against IDF service - Dozens of students photographed supporting National Service in lieu of IDF service for women, say they were pressured to enlist at school; 'Bennet is bowing to liberal groups,' should 'allow girls freedom of choice,' they say. (Ynet)
  • In first, Israeli diplomats attend UN conference in Malaysia - Foreign Ministry says team met officials during week-long visit to Kuala Lumpur, despite countries having no formal ties; delegate hails 'unique experience.’ Ambassador David Roet entered on Israeli diplomatic passport. (Maariv and Times of Israel)
  • Michael Oren admits he’d like top job at Jewish Agency, but hasn’t discussed it with Netanyahu - Former Israeli ambassador to U.S. is currently not a candidate to replace Natan Sharansky, who leaves in June, but says he would place greater focus on Jewish immigration to Israel if he got the role. (Haaretz+)
  • Israel Arrests (Jewish) Australian Principal Suspected of Abusing ultra-Orthodox Schoolgirls and Caught Faking Insanity - Police suspect the woman, who fled to Israel in 2008, pretended to be mentally ill in order to avoid extradition. (Haaretz and Ynet)


Features:
Israeli artist’s struggles with 'Mein Kampf' provide dark inspiration
Gideon Rubin couldn’t believe it when his wife presented him with a copy of Hitler’s autobiography to help him on his latest work. It’s now the ‘black heart’ at the center of his new exhibition in London. (Daniella Peled, Haaretz+)
What was the chef of the Elysee Palace doing in Israel?
Chef Guillaume Gomez commands 28 chefs who manage everything from the daily meals of President Macron to major state occasions. Last week he came to Israel to share his secrets. (Noga Tarnopolsky, Haaretz)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
Unlike Ramallah in 2000, the Palestinian security forces prevented a lynching in Jenin (Yossi Melman, Maariv) Despite the absence of a political horizon, the conduct of the Palestinian security forces proves once again how much cooperation with Israel is essential to maintaining peace and preventing deterioration.
Israel Looks at Gaza Like a Fatal Car Accident in Slow-motion (Assaf Orion, Haaretz) The risks of changing Israel's Gaza policies should be weighed against the risk of a total sanitation, water or environmental disaster.
After years of work, most of the nation supports annexation - and the prime minister knows it ((settler) Karni Eldad, Maariv) Until a few years ago, the idea of imposing sovereignty in Judea and Samaria was considered delusional, and it echoed only in the minds of a few individuals. These people believed so strongly in the idea that the fact that only they thought so did not deter them. After years of work, and the harnessing of another MK and another minister, deep convincing and sowing the seeds of the idea in their hearts, today the statistics have been reversed, and most of the people support annexation, and the prime minister knows this…Netanyahu's statement on the subject, which speaks about it openly and confidently, almost casually, is no less than a miracle.
Netanyahu tried to signal to his base - and got a cold shower from Trump (Yanir Kozin, Maariv) The first confrontation between the administrations has proved to the prime minister in Washington that they are not prepared to tolerate any thing, and the conspiracy fans already say that the entire process was staged and coordinated.
**Netanyahu knows that the siege is getting tighter, but this time it was one lie too much (Ben Caspit, Maariv) It is not clear what passed through the mind of the Prime Minister when he said his statements about the annexation of the settlements - which led to an exceptional denial by the White House. Did he hope that the Americans would wipe the spit from their faces and move on?…Binyamin Netanyahu's ability to maneuver his rivals/partners to death has long been legendary. He exhausted the former president, Barack Obama, over eight long years and made life miserable for him. Also also made Bill Clinton crazy in his first term, until the President could no longer hear his name. Netanyahu uses this ability to promise everyone at the same time contradictory promises, to spread white lies in every direction, to go without and feel without, or vice versa, in order to advance his political goals. What are his political goals? Well, it's basically one political goal: to stay in power…Netanyahu will have to try something else. And while he's licking his wounds, the High Court of Justice rejected outright the petition of attorney Yossi Fuchs (Netanyahu: "I don’t know, I’m not familiar with, I haven’t heard, the petition is not my opinion or with my knowledge") against the publication of the police recommendations. In the coming days, the liar's certificate issued by the White House yesterday to the prime minister of Israel will be his last concern.
We are in a political position to establish facts in Judea and Samaria, but Netanyahu is dragging his feet (Prof. Arieh Eldad, Maariv) For many years, Israel has been waiting for a comfortable political climate in the United States, like what is now happening, to establish facts in the heart of our country. But it is precisely at this political moment that Netanyahu is dragging his feet.
Netanyahu and Trump, 'illegals' and 'infiltrators' don't threaten us. Ethno-nationalists like you do (David Rothkopf, Haaretz+) From Moscow, Ankara and Warsaw to D.C. and New Delhi, nationalist leaders are pitting their base against their neighbors. For Israel, in particular, choosing to scapegoat minorities is beyond ironic.
Stop the hypocrisy: There’s foreign funding in the Right too (Mickey Gitzin, Yedioth/Ynet) Despite receiving massive funding from the United States, the Right keeps complaining about a ‘foreign influence’ in the Left, personally attacking left-wing activists and advancing legislation limiting the activity of civil society organizations.
Israel’s Left Can’t Win When the Shooting With Iran Starts (Nehemia Shtrasler, Haaretz+) The left is so afraid of being accused of treason that it doesn’t even try to argue that there’s a link between the never-ending conflict with the Palestinians and Iran’s and Hezbollah’s desire to destroy us.
As Syria and Iran threaten Israel, America signals its ally is on its own (Daniel B. Shapiro, Haaretz) Rex Tillerson’s Middle East tour includes Amman, Ankara, Cairo, Kuwait City, and Beirut, but not Jerusalem. That made little sense before the Iranian incursion yesterday: It would be malpractice now. He needs to come to Israel.
Iran's opening shot (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) In the past, Iran used its emissaries in the region to attack Israel. But the Iranians have now decided to act on their own and test Israel and its red lines.
After Years of Covert Proxy Wars, Iran Shifts to Direct Contact With Israel(Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz) Israel and Iran have essentially been at war since the early 1980s through proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas, but at no point has there been a direct military confrontation between the two.
With Russia's help, Arab states speeding up nuclear arms race (Itamar Eichner, Yedioth/Ynet) Using Russian knowledge and technology, more and more countries in the Middle East and North Africa are building nuclear power plants, and not just for civilian purposes; according to Dr. Shaul Shay of IDC Herzliya, this is also the Sunni Arab world's way of dealing with the Iranian nuclear program.
Investing in religious pluralism in Israel (Yizhar Hess, Yedioth/Ynet) Imagine what would've happened had the Conservative Movement, which donated billions of dollars to Israel over the years, decided to instead invest its money in promoting an alternative to the existing religious establishment in Israel.
Movie Theater of the Absurd: Regev's Boycott of 'Foxtrot' Snubs Israeli Culture(Haaretz Editorial) Culture Minister Miri Regev is often at war with cultural institutions, but boycotting the Israeli Film Festival in Paris over 'Foxtrot' is simply absurd.
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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