News Nosh 2.23.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday, February 23, 2018

You Must Be Kidding: 
An official who was in charge of legalizing Israeli West Bank outpost settlements was named a judge to the Jerusalem District Court, where Palestinians may be forced to make petitions, many about settlements and settlers, instead of to the High Court.

Front Page:
  • (Main photo: Netanyahu standing in front of a sign that reads ‘Trauma and Intensive’ in English)
  • Associates of Netanyahu demanded that the satire TV program ‘Eretz Nehederet’ stop imitating Sara and demanded to reign in Guy Peleg; At present, Netanyahu is adamant to go to the end and not to resign - even after an indictment // Yossi Verter
  • Nir Hefetz offered a media person: I’ll help you with Netanyahu - in exchange for positive coverage for my clients; Someone warned the Prime Minister: “Keep a distance from Hefetz, he will sit in jail” // Gidi Weitz
  • Palestinian killed while in (IDF) detention in Jericho; Soldiers filmed beating him while he was sprawled on the ground
  • New High Court justices: (Justice Minister) Shaked’s candidate, Alex Stein, and district court judge Ofer Grosskopf
  • #MeToo at Mecca: Hundreds of female Muslims testified that they were assaulted during the pilgrimage
  • Moshav Beit Yosef defeated the Iraqis (in ’48), but lost in the battle for being remembered (by the state)
  • 1/4 page ad: On Saturday night, we all are at the enormous demonstration Against the Expulsion and in Support of South Tel-Aviv 20:00, 24 February Levinsky St, corner of Chelnov in Tel-Aviv
  • When Golda (Meir) was a little girl: The new book by Hanoch Fiben is brilliant // Ofra Rodner
  • “That stupid and foolish holiday”: About those who boycott the joy of Purim
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Deep in the mud - The main suspects in the Bezeq-Walla affair remain behind bars over the weekend - including state witness Shlomo Filber, who incriminated Netanyahu; Nir Hefetz stayed silent in interrogation and complained about fleas biting him in the detention room; The burning recording: The recordings that Yedioth exposed, with directives to the Walla news website CEO on how to give coverage about the Netanyahu family, were what convinced the Attorney General to investigate
  • The ship is more important than the captain // Rabbi Netanel Eliyashiv - In the face of the silence of the right-wing, a rabbi from the Eli settlement pre-military yeshiva dares to present an exceptional stance about the suspicions against Netanyahu, saying that political and party considerations cannot come at the expense of fundamental values and if there is a suspicion that Netanyahu needs to be replaced, then better to prepare for that then let the whole ship sink with him
  • In the end, it’s everyone to himself // Nahum Barnea
  • And the coalition stays silent // Sima Kadmon
  • End of the days of the Messiah // Yoaz Hendel
  • Loosing the reigns // Sever Plocker
  • The man who always returns // Raanan Shaked
  • That’s it. // Hanoch Daum
  • Victory for (Justice Minister) Shaked, defeat for (Finance Minister) Kahlon: Alex Stein and Ofer Grosskopf were appointed justices to the High Court
  • Rises to attack - (Labor party chief) Avi Gabbay in his most belligerent interview: About Netanyahu, Lapid and the problems in his party
  • Big mouth - Poet Noam Fartum doesn’t apologize for her vulgar poetry
  • The Mizrachi Guard - A special police unit that followed Moroccan Israelis (who had demonstrated against discrimination)
Maariv Weekend (Hebrew links only)
  • Netanyahu will be questioned simultaneously in the Bezeq affair and the Submarines affair - Heavy pressure to recruit another state witness
  • To add insult to injury // Ben Caspit on how, despite the ‘truth coming to light, political leaders prefer to ingratiate themselves with their voters rather than do the right thing and end what needed to be ended long ago’
  • The Judging Authority // Kalman Libeskind writes that the newspapers ‘cannot be allowed to dictate the events,’ for example the dismissal of the prime minister
  • In (Police chief) Alsheikh’s field // Avi Benayahu writes that Alsheikh’s long and vast experience in investigations (in the Shin Bet) are being implemented now
  • Self-goal // Caroline Glick says the greatest threat to Israel’s democracy is not letting Netanyahu complete his term
  • Takes a leave of absence or entrenches himself // Udi Segal writes that Netanyahu knows that every diplomatic and political move he makes will be seen as a PR stunt, but that could change if Israel is pulled into a military confrontation
  • The propaganda broadcasts // Yoram Sheftel says Filber’s testimony against Netanyahu raises doubts
  • Tendentious editing // Nadav Haetzni says that in his campaign for balanced journalism, Netanyahu was willing to sacrifice his world view for his personal benefit
  • The Filber list // Amir Zohar says that in addition to positive coverage in Walla, there’s a big question about whether Netanyahu received substantive compensation from Bezeq
  • In the corrals // Adv. Yechiel Gutman writes that Netanyahu is battling in the wrong arena. He needs to understand that the judicial arena, not the media or public ones, will decide his fate
  • Flowers for the commentators // Sara Beck writes that the horrified commentators only give Netanyahu more votes
  • The gatekeepers // Alon Ben-David writes that when the depth of the corruption in the civil service is realized, it becomes apparent that the heads of the security establishment are the last island of integrity and responsibility. In the present situation, this is their hour of trial
  • The new High Court justices: Prof. Alex Stein and Ofer Grosskopf
  • Palestinian was beaten to death; IDF: He attacked soldiers
  • From Israel to Cairo: The diary of an Egyptian soldier from the Yom Kippur War was returned to his family // Jacky Khougy
  • A contender: Avi Dichter plans to be Prime Minister after Netanyahu
  • Joy and celebration: Map of the events and attractions ahead of Purim
Israel Hayom
  • Netanyahu to his associates: “The truth will win” - Effort to recruit another state witness; Suspects: Feel like ducks in a shooting range
  • Public understands what the war is about // Akiva Bigman
  • The path to a conviction is long // Adv. Ofer Barel
  • Selective (law) enforcement against the Prime Minister // Dror Eydar
  • There are conservative justices in Jerusalem
  • The counter-revolution was completed // Haim Shine
  • Palestinians: “Jericho resident was beaten to death (by IDF); IDF: “He tried to attack soldiers”
  • As part of a plea bargain: (Former police officer) Menashe Arbiv was convicted of not reporting a bribery offer from Rabbi Pinto
  • Warm home - Bat-Yam established a shelter for young LGBTs who left their families
  • Warsaw style - Shevach Weiss is disappointed with the Polish for legislating the Holocaust law and he hands out grades to the Knesset
  • The loyal confidant who changed sides and the spokesman who sparked storms: Profiles of Shlomo Filber and Nir Heftez

News Summary:
The papers had little new to share on the big story, the Netanyahu investigations, except that the police are arranging a date to question under warning the Prime Minister on both Case 4000, the Bezeq-Walla affair, and Case 3000, the submarines affair, his arrested former media advisor, Nir Hefetz, stayed silent in interrogations, but did complain of fleas in his bed, and that senior ministers in the government continue to stay silent. (Meanwhile, Israel dropped to 32 on the corruption index.)

The two other main stories were the appointment of two High Court justices, much to the satisfaction of the right-wing, and the Palestinian accusation that a Palestinian man who died in Israeli custody in Jericho was beaten to death by Israeli soldiers, as a video showed.

**The right-wing ‘judicial counter-revolution’ was completed yesterday, according to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. Her conservative candidate, Alex Stein, 60, was chosen despite criticism that he has not lived in Israel for the past 15 years. He lives in New York and is a professor at Brooklyn Law School and previously at Yeshiva University, Haaretz+ reported. Haaretz also revealed that an official who was in charge of legalizing Israeli West Bank outposts was named a Jerusalem District Court judge. Haya Sandberg heads the committee for legalizing unauthorized West Bank settlement outposts. What’s more, she was appointed to the court which Shaked wants will be responsible for hearing petitions by West Bank Palestinians instead of the High Court. A month ago, Shaked distributed circulated draft legislation that would bar the High Court from directly hearing petitions by West Bank Palestinians and instead send them to the Jerusalem District Court. Sources told Haaretz+ that for that reason Shaked specifically wanted Sandberg to be at the Jerusalem court. Also of interest, Israel now has its first female ultra-Orthodox judge and its first Arab registrar.

The other main story was the death of a Palestinian man in Israeli military custody, shortly after he was harshly beaten by soldiers Wednesday. A video shows the beating as he laid on the ground. The Israeli army claims he charged at soldiers. The Palestinians claim he was beaten to death. (Video) The story comes out a day after an Amnesty International report cited killings of Palestinians by Israelis security forces that “appeared to have been extrajudicial executions.” The organization said Israeli security forces killed at least 75 Palestinians last year, including at least 20 by riot-dispersal actions. It says some were killed while trying to commit a terror attack, while others, some of them children, were shot and killed when they did not pose a threat. The timing also coincides with the plea bargain two Israelis received after they viciously beat to death a Sudanese refugee, Babikir Ali Adham-Abdou, who tried to chat up some Israeli girls. VIDEO. According to the plea bargain, Dennis Barshovitch, 22,  will confess and be convicted of manslaughter, the other attacker, a minor, will only be convicted of committing intentional injury.

Meanwhile, Palestinians in Ramallah used some smelly civil disobedience to express their dissatisfaction with U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. A few dozen activists threw eggs and vegetables at an American delegation visiting a Palestinian research and polling center near Ramallah. Palestinian police evacuated the delegation from the city. The protesters also waved Palestinian flags and held signs reading: “The U.S. is part of the problem, not the solution.”

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