News Nosh 3.9.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Friday March 9, 2018
Quote of the day:
"In 2015, the country went to elections because of the freebie ('Israel Hayom' newspaper - OH). Netanyahu denied it at the time, but now he openly admits it. In 2018, it will go, if it goes, because of the difficulty of a PR guy (state witness Nir Hefetz) to withstand the smell of prison."
--Senior Yedioth political commentator Nahum Barnea in his Friday column writes that Israel has no real reason to go to elections, except that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "deludes himself into thinking that elections will save him from the troubles he brought on himself."

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • (State witness and former Netanyahu media advisor) Hefetz agreed to a frontal confrontation with the Netanyahu couple
  • The Hefetz effect // Nahum Barnea
  • That’s how you talk to the Prime Minister? // Sima Kadmon
  • Quiet, we’re recording // Meir Shalev
  • We are like him // Prof. Yoram Yuval
  • Inside the (jail) cell - Yedioth correspondent visited the jail cell in Abu Kabir where more or less famous Israelis are detained
  • Meretz pill - Tamar Zandberg charges for the head of the left-wing party and shoots in all directions
  • Battle of the nation (‘Uma’ - name of satire show) - This is how Nir Hefetz tried to take Lior Schleien off the screen and what’s the story with Sara’s dad
  • Israel Prize - Fascinating parts of the book that Shimon Peres wrote on the eve of his death
  • A song for Shirin - The star of the ‘Fauda’ TV series reveals: “I have Jewish relatives who immigrated from Lebanon”
  • Dances trans - Today she is Belle Agam, star of Goalstars, but once, she was called Nisu Ajami

Maariv this week (Hebrew links only)

Israel Hayom
  • 57% of the public: against the Draft Law - also at the cost of elections; Political establishment waits for Netanyahu: Solution to crisis - or elections
  • With all their power - The biggest exercise of the IDF and the US Army reached its peak: 2000 Israeli soldiers and 2,500 American soldiers participating in the flagship training of the air defense
  • Poland’s President: “I ask for forgiveness from the Jews who left (in 1968 in wave of persecution)” - Historic gesture
  • Comes running: The legendary athlete, Haile Gebrselassie will participate in the Jerusalem Marathon today
  • Late justice - Alon Maori, the husband of Neta Rotman, who was killed by a construction crane, demands that those responsible pay
  • (Comedienne) Adi Ashkenazi  on the crisis after giving birth and on the sexual harassment she suffered
  • Role Model - Belaynesh Zevadia, who served as ambassador to Ethiopia, in a message to Ethiopian-Israeli women: Go in my footsteps”
  • Retired police commissioner Ilan Sardal sues Police  for Investigations of Police: “They set me up - and they sexually harassed me” (Hebrew)
  • The compass for success: Author of ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ Dan Brown, in an exclusive interview about Israel, religion, and science (Hebrew)

News Summary:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (again) frames himself as a victim of people who want him removed (“We're under attack all the time, I won't remain silent”), while Yedioth scoops with a report that a key state witness, his former media advisor Nir Hefetz, has agreed to an arranged confrontation between himself and the Netanyahu couple. Meanwhile the political establishment is waiting for Netanyahu to return today from the US to solve the coalition crisis. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) didn't wait and already ordered a vote for Sunday by the Ministerial Legislative Committee on the amended version of the Draft Law, which would give state recognition of Torah studies to being equal to military service. United Torah Judaism party demands it be passed in the Knesset and if it isn't, then his party won't vote in favor of the 2019 budget. But the leader of Yisrael Beytenu party, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, insists that "when it comes to enlistment, the defense establishment and the IDF are the ones who would determine, not the ultra-Orthodox parties.” (And then an ultra-Orthodox draft dodger was arrested last night sparking 500 ultra-Orthodox anti-draft protesters to go to the streets and block the entrance to Jerusalem, a good prep for today’s Jerusalem Marathon, during which much of the west side of the city is closed to traffic.) But the leader of the Kulanu party, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, has already given an ultimatum that his party will leave the coalition and the government (causing the government to fall) if the budget isn't passed by Wednesday, the day the Knesset goes on spring recess. (Meanwhile, analysts are still trying to figure out if Netanyahu created the crisis).

International Diplomacy and Security:
'France one day will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital'
French president tells Jewish community leaders that the French will not make the ‘error’ of recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli capital. Also says that old anti-Semitism is back, can’t be blamed on Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
Israeli, American Armies Practice Joint Response to Missile Attack on Israel
This will be the first exercise the IDF has ever conducted using David’s Sling system for intercepting medium-range missiles, which went into operation last year. (Haaretz and Ynet)
MK Mossi Raz: "I demand we cancel compulsory army service and move to a model of a paid professional army"
A Meretz MK called for a model of a professional army, and even announced that he would submit a bill on the issue. "Compulsory recruitment imposes a very restrictive framework that does not suit everyone." (Maariv)
UNIFIL: Lebanon, Israel hold daily talks about border dispute
The UN Interim Force in Lebanon says there is 'open dialogue' and 'full engagement' from all sides over recent land and naval border disputes; 'there is no appetite for instability or for war,' says UNIFIL spokesman. (Ynet)
Czech president backs embassy transfer from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
Self-styled 'defender of Israel', President Miloš Zeman makes transfer a top foreign policy priority, according to Prague newspaper, but decision likely to be thwarted by government. (Ynet)
Poland's President Apologizes for 1968 Purge of Jews
50 years ago, some 20,000 Jews were expelled or forced to flee persecution by the communist regime. 'We are sorry you're not here today,' says Andrzej Duda. (Haaretz)

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