News Nosh 3.19.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday March 19, 2018
 
Quote of the day:
"Can I help?"
--A Palestinian man, who arrived at the scene of an attack moments after another Palestinian drove into Israeli soldiers killing two, was filmed offering to help the soldier who was kneeling over his wounded comrade-in-arms.*

You Must Be Kidding: 
"The High Court reduces the IDF's deterrence powers and it needs to know its place."
--MK Moti Regev (Habayit Hayehudi) said Israel's High Court of Justice was to blame for the deaths of Israeli soldiers and civilians by not immediately permitting the demolition of the homes of Palestinian assailants.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Fear in the security establishment: Wave of terror ahead of Passover
  • “A father does not need to read Kaddish (mourning prayer) over his son” - Soldiers who were murdered in attack in Samaria were buried
  • The sex video clip storm: Police will interrogate Beitar Jerusalem soccer team forward, Anthony Warren
  • The scandal of (exposing of videos of naked singer and model) Ben-Zaken and Alchimeister: Rabbi from Samaria suspected of hacking video cameras
  • Father Russia - For the fourth time: Putin won the Russian elections for president
  • Sharansky’s prize - Famous Prisoner of Zion who was a minister in four governments will receive Israel Prize
  • The prize and the cynicism // Ron Kaufman
Israel Hayom
  • One knife, four orphans - Close to midnight: Adiel Coleman, who was stabbed in the Old City, died of his wounds
  • Jews, return to Haguy Street (in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City) // Nadav Shragai
  • Hamas also fears an escalation // Prof. Eyal Zisser
  • The continuity could get out of control // Yoav Limor
  • Soon: You’ll work less and earn the same - From April: Number of weekly hours to drop from 43 to 42
  • Israel Prize to Sharansky: “I came from hell to paradise”
  • Following ‘Israel Hayom’ expose: Arab MKs oppose stopping the tender at Kfar Vradim
  • Want to win a holiday for a couple? Vote now for the 70th (songs) Countdown
News Summary:
Two Israeli soldiers and one Israeli citizen were killed in two separate attacks by Palestinians, as Israel stepped up its destruction of Hamas tunnels, and experts warned that an escalation of violence by Palestinians could blow up by the end of the month (See Commentary/Analysis below), Natan Sharansky received the Israel Prize for promotion of Immigration and the Gathering of Exiles, and police will open an investigation against an Israeli soccer player who was filmed on video making sexual acts on a naked unconscious woman - making top stories in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

Adiel Coleman, a father of four from the West Bank settlement of Kochav Hashachar, was stabbed to death Sunday in Jerusalem's Old City by a 28-year-old father of two from a village near Nablus, after he was granted another permit to work in Israel.

On the same day, two Israeli soldiers were buried after a 26-year-old Palestinian assailant from the West Bank village of Barta’a killed them Friday by ramming his car into them at a military checkpoint in the West Bank. *Interestingly, in the moments after the attack, before an Israeli response team arrived on the scene, Palestinians driving on the road stopped their cars and approached the soldiers in an effort to help, Ynet’s Elior Levy reported. A video filmed by one of them shows a man offering to help a soldier who was kneeled over his wounded friend. Noteworthy was the fact that a loaded semi-automatic weapons was laying thrown in the middle of the road and yet none of the Palestinians on the scene touched it. “In addition, an M-16 rifle was seen on the road with a cartridge inside it, and none of the Palestinians touched it or picked it up, even though in those first seconds they could do have done so unhindered,” wrote the reporter. Also of interest, the English edition of Ynet omitted translating that sentence of Elior Levy’s article that noted that none of the Palestinians touched the weapon. [NOTE: News Nosh editor Orly Halpern contacted the Editor of the English edition of Ynet by email and informed her of the egregious omission. The editor responded saying that she was the one who translated the article and left that out because she “found the sentence to be subjective and biased.”] The English version also omitted posting the photo of the rifle, which was posted in the Hebrew version.

**The assailant, Alaa Kabha, initially denied he killed them intentionally, but later admitted under interrogation to nationalistic motives. The father of one of the slain soldiers said, “Terrorists should receive the death penalty.” Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised to demolish Kabha’s house. MK Moti Yogev of Habayit Hayehudi party said Israel's High Court is to blame when Palestinians kill Israelis because it prevents the rapid demolition of terrorists’ homes. (Also, Ynet and Maariv) The Israeli army is preparing to demolish Kabha’s home in Barta’a and it is considering moving the West Bank separation barrier so that it will divide the town of Barta’a, which straddles the ’67 border.

In the south, Israel struck a Hamas target in retaliation for a Gaza border bomb,  and the army destroyed two Gaza tunnels, one by flooding it. Hamas said that one of the tunnels was old and not in use anymore. Israeli Defense minister Avigdor Lieberman accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of stirring tension between Israel and Hamas because Abbas plans to "stop the transfer of funds to Gaza entirely, including for electricity, water, health and salary payments," and then blame Israel for the resulting crisis, thereby sparking a clash between Hamas and Israel.
 
Quick Hits:
  • (State witness) Hefetz ordered Elovitch to destroy evidence in Case 4000 - 'Delete all messages to Sara Netanyahu, destroy your phones,' state's witness Hefetz told Bezeq owner Elovitch and his wife after fearing the correspondence might reveal collusion between them and the Netanyahu couple. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • How an Israeli mayor is keeping Arabs from his Utopian community to uphold its 'Zionist-Jewish nature' - A fierce online debate ensued after 58 Arab families won land bids in a northern Israeli town. The result: The mayor halted all future building tenders. [Note: The original article in ‘Israel Hayom’ was translated in Thursday’s News Nosh. - OH] (Haaretz+)
  • Petition against senior UN official who attacked settlements - Citizens from more than 30 countries across the world petitioned the UN Sec. Gen. in a letter calling on him to suspend the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein, who called the communities in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) a "war crime," in the last report he published. Behind the initiation is the Lev Haolam organization that works to advance businesses of Jews in Judea and Samaria. (Maariv, p. 5)
  • Fresh out of prison, former PM Olmert attacks Israel’s gatekeepers - Ehud Olmert, who served 16 months on corruption convictions, also blames Netanyahu and accuses the law enforcement system during his time of 'persecution.’ (Haaretz+)
  • Israel nabs rabbi's killer after six-week manhunt in West Bank - The assailant, Abed al-Hakim Asi, was apprehended in Nablus along with several other suspects. al-Hakim is an Israeli citizen who resided in Tel Aviv until recently. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Settler leader ups security after his home appears in Hamas video - Hamas propaganda video posted on social media labels as "quality targets" home of Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, as well as Shavei Shomron synagogue, clinic and community rabbi's home. Dagan: Threats and intimidation will not break us. (Israel Hayom)
  • A (rabbi and) father of six from Samaria (West Bank) is suspected of leaking the (nude) videos of model and singer - Ernan Meisels was arrested a few days ago on suspicion of breaking into security cameras at the BananaHot (bathing suit) store and stealing videos from a number of clients, including the famous singer Eden Ben-Zaken and the store owner, Neta Elchimeister. (Maariv)
  • Despite Ruling, Asylum Seekers in Israel Are Jailed Without Option to Appeal - Lawyer Michal Pomerantz says that immigration officials flout the rules of good governance; a 2015 ruling gave asylum seekers two weeks to seek recourse. (Haaretz+)
  • Prominent US Israel advocates urge PM to halt African deportation plan - Five staunch Israel supporters, including esteemed attorney Alan Dershowitz, send letter to Netanyahu imploring him to reconsider plan that will see illegal African migrants sent to Uganda or Rwanda, warning of the 'incalculable damage' it could have on Israel and Jews' 'moral standing.' (Ynet)
  • Israel is 7th largest arms exporter in the world - Almost half of Israeli weapons exported over past 5 years to India, with other main buyers being Azerbaijan and Vietnam; in imports, Israel is 17th in the world, which increased its arms purchases by 125% over the past 5 years, buying 60% of its weapons from the US. (Ynet)
  • Abbas warmly greets terrorist released from Israeli prison - Rajaei Haddad, an accomplice in the murder of yeshiva student Gabriel Hirschberg in November 1997, welcomed by hundreds of east Jerusalem upon his release from prison, including the Palestinian president, who told him: 'the prisoners' issue holds a special place in the priorities of the Palestinian leadership.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Hamas presents Gazans with underground 'liberators' - Terror group airs on TV a short clip lionizing members of the military wing who 'use primitive tools' to 'liberate Palestinian land stolen by the Zionist enemy'; clip shows terrorists sitting and praying while carrying out hazardous tasks. (Ynet)
  • Hamas shutters mobile provider after failed assassination attempt - Wataniya Mobile, a subsidiary of Qatar's Ooredoo, is being closed for "refusing to cooperate" with probe into blast aimed at PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza, Hamas says. Second bomb failed to explode, reportedly contained Wataniya SIM card. (Israel Hayom)
  • A Shot At Peace Israeli soccer star posts photo with Iranian midfielder: 'We show it can be different' - In soccer, Maor Buzaglo writes on his Facebook page, 'there is one language without prejudice and without wars.’ (Haaretz)
  • From Iraq to Yemen: Israel's Eurovision Entry Draws Unexpected Support From the Arab World - Israel's Foreign Ministry shared a video of Netta Barzilai performing 'Toy' on its Arabic-language Facebook page, and got surprisingly positive responses. (Haaretz)
  • IDC may be allowed to grant doctoral degrees - Council for Higher Education to convene this week to discuss allowing private Herzliya institution to instate doctorate programs; Education Minister Bennett: 'A great step in pushing higher education forward'; MK Yona: 'Path to a doctorate may hinge greatly on applicants' economic means.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Israeli family business empire to split assets, rather than divest them - The move may be seen by critics as exploiting a loophole in the concentration law. (Haaretz)
  • Israel Shipyards officials detained on suspicions of taking tens of millions in bribes - Bribery of a foreign public official, corporate fraud and money laundering are among the suspicions being explored. (Haaretz)
  • President Rivlin hosts Mayim Bialik ahead of anti-Semitism conference - 'I grew up with a strong Zionist identity,' U.S. Jewish actress tells Israel's president. (JTA, Haaretz)
  • IDF trains US Jews to aid Israelis in event of natural disaster - Homefront Command teaches volunteers to use household items to help themselves and others in emergency • "We learned from events around the world that 90% of people who were trapped after earthquakes were saved by their neighbors," says Lt. Inbar Levy. (Israel Hayom)
  • Report: Russian chemical weapons chief was Mossad target before dying under mysterious circumstances - Israel informed the Kremlin that Anatoly Kuntsevich was secretly selling information to Syria, according to Yedioth Ahronoth. He later died during a flight from Aleppo to Moscow, and Syria believes Israel poisoned him. (Haaretz)
  • Russia lauds 'West Jerusalem' for 'wise position' on spy poisoning - Following Foreign Affairs Ministry statement sidestepping naming Russia as culprit in poisoning of Russian double agent and his daughter, Russian embassy in Israel praises 'wise position' by 'West Jerusalem; Russian embassy further notes concern at 'attempts undertaken by UK government to draw Israel into political and propagandistic campaign.' (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Trump to meet Saudi, UAE, Qatari leaders in bid to solve Gulf dispute - Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed will each travel to Washington, but talks unlikely to resolve dispute. "They're not ready to solve this crisis," says senior official. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)


Features:
Why Did You Move to Israel? 'I Went to a Zionist School. I Bought Into the Dream'
This week at the Tel Aviv airport: An American-Israeli marketing exec describes selling the Israeli dream to investors. A scientist travels from France to Israel to be alone in the desert. (Liat Elkayam, Haaretz+)
Isaiah the Prophet, man or biblical myth: The archaeological evidence
Finding seal marks ostensibly from Isaiah the Prophet and Hezekiah within mere feet of each other in Jerusalem is intriguing; so are other seals of other non-visionary Isaiahs found in Israel from that time. (Philippe Bohstrom, Haaretz+)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
The Nation-state Bill’s Damage (Haaretz Editorial) Indeed, discussions of the “Jewish character” of Kfar Vradim are no coincidence. They are a direct result of the racist winds blowing from the cabinet.
The Palestinian fuse is getting shorter (Ronni Shaked, Ynet) With an empty diplomatic toolbox, the Palestinians feel terror is the only thing they have left. Israeli punitive measures, as harsh as they may be, won’t reduce the amount of hatred towards Israel or the motivation to carry out terror attacks, with lone-wolf terrorism becoming the leading pattern of action.
The escalation came sooner than expected: The series of attacks proved that things on the ground have rules of their own (Tal Lev-Ram, Maariv) The defense establishment thought the end of the month was the date on which the area was expected to heat up with the Palestinians, but the events are developing their own rhythm, and in Israel three murderers have already been counted.
Terror attack the direct result of incitement from Gaza (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been calling for a day of rage to mark 100 days to Trump's Jerusalem recognition. The frustrated Palestinian youth, many of them unemployed, are easy prey to this kind of incitement.
Destroyed Tunnels and Border Bombs: Hamas and Israel Dangerously Close to Another Gaza War (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) It would take only one mass-casualty incident – either a Palestinian terror attack or an Israeli operation – to spark a broader military clash.
A potentially combustible timeline (Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom) Friday's ramming attack was not unique, but its timing is critical: Israelis and Palestinians will mark several important dates in the next two months, giving a wide range of players ample opportunity to spark a conflagration.
An escalation just waiting to happen (Elior Levy, Ynet) Sunday’s deadly stabbing attack in Jerusalem, Friday’s deadly car-ramming attack in the West Bank and the recent murders of Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal and Rabbi Raziel Shevah could be just the start ahead of Nakba Day, Israel’s 70th Independence Day and the US embassy’s move to Jerusalem, and lead to a new round of escalation, which is exactly what Hamas is hoping for.
IDF vs. Hamas: A new type of war between wars (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) The latest attack on two Hamas tunnels is another manifestation of the fundamental change in the Israeli army’s strategy against the Palestinian organization: Using every event and incident on the Gaza border to destroy Hamas’ most important military abilities, primarily the tunnels, thereby weakening its military wing without getting involved in a full-scale war.
There is no limit to cynicism: what is behind the selection of Israel Prize winners (Ron Kaufman, Maariv) Netanyahu was not enthusiastic about David Levy at any stage of his career, but on Independence Day he would shake his hand warmly because they both know the rules of the political game. In the days when most of the public feels disgust with politics, in all its layers, cynicism is a necessary strategic tool. And when politics embraces and cherishes David Levy on Israel's 70th Independence Day, the move will have a long-term effect.
While Bibi attacks international aid to Gaza, Netanyahu begs to increase it (Noa Landau, Haaretz+) The prime minister assiduously seeks funding to help ease the enclave’s plight, despite his hard line against Hamas that so many Israelis enjoy hearing.
East Jerusalem Residents Deserve Better Service From the Population Authority (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) The Interior Ministry’s failure to provide decent service in East Jerusalem suggests a disregard and disrespect for the Arab residents of Israel’s capital.
A Persian riddle: When Israelis misread Iran (Dr. Raz Zimmt, Ynet) The imminent threat posed by Tehran to the countries of the Middle East shouldn’t be taken lightly, but preoccupation with the Iranian issue has become obsessive and is inspired by sheer ignorance among Israel’s leaders and the people covering the Islamic republic in Israeli media.
Celebration of Our Victimhood (B. Michael, Haaretz+) Now that we've handled marginal issues like corruption, we should focus on the real evil: Poland. After all, It is only as victim that we can do whatever we feel like without concern.
Netanyahu puts Israel’s fate in hands of U.S president dubbed ‘serious threat to national security’ (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Trump’s dismissal of Tillerson and McCabe marked by vindictive cruelty that borders on sadism.
Leaks from investigations are actually a balancing factor that prevents tricks and whitewashing (Amir Zohar, Maariv) Public relations in the investigations of public figures are an inseparable part of the strategy of both sides, as is the case with Netanyahu. It is now expected to see whether the police will decide to begin frontal confrontations.
Olmert and Netanyahu Are So Much Alike (Itay Rom, Haaretz+) Their corruption affairs, and mostly the way in which they chose to deal with them, teach us that they are much more alike than both of them would care to admit.
The expulsion of terrorist families to Gaza may well lead to a different outcome (Alon Ben David, Maariv) Instead of spreading slogans about an ineffective death penalty (which also won’t be implemented) and sending the IDF to home demolitions, it is better to focus on what will deter those individuals.
America Buying Into Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision (Dmitriy Frolovskiy, Haaretz+) Fresh from a visit to the U.K., where Prime Minister Theresa May tried to land the lucrative prize of an Aramco IPO, the Saudi royal will be equally feted during his U.S. tour this week, with multibillion-dollar deals at stake.
Is It ‘Defiant’ to Be a Female Pilot? (Gila Stopler, Haaretz+) The removal of a video empowering female soldiers proves that the religious Zionist offensive to exclude women from the public space is bearing fruit.
 
Interviews:
"Corruption in our society is more threatening than the Iranian nuclear program": Major General Uri Sagi attacks
He headed the negotiating team with Syria and specializes in the cultivation of Syrian olives. In an interview with Ma'ariv, the former head of Military Intelligence analyzes the situation on the borders and tells how peace was almost signed with Syria. (Interviewed by Yaakov Bar-On in Maariv)
Former PM Olmert's advice to Netanyahu 'go home and fast'
In interview with Ynet, the former prime minister, who served as 16-month prison sentence for corruption, says returning to politics 'is not on the agenda'; says unlike PM Netanyahu, 'I didn't attack anyone as prime minister, my criticism today is done as a private citizen.' (Interviewed by Attila Somfalvi in Ynet)

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