News Nosh 4.11.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Wednesday April 11, 2018
 
Quote of the Day #1:
“Let's face it. If being a 'central inciter' is grounds for capital punishment, Netanyahu and his cabinet would have to hold their weekly meetings on Death Row.”
—After the Israeli army cleared a sniper who shot a motionless Palestinian, saying the Palestinian was involved in leading demonstrations at the Gaza-Israel border fence, Haaretz+ commentator Bradley Burston wrote in an Op-Ed that Israeli officials cannot be believed when it comes to reasons for harming Palestinians.*

Quote of the Day #2:
"The spirit of the IDF - Purity of arms: A soldier will use his weapon and power for performing a mission, only if it is needed, and he will maintain his sense of humanity even during combat. The soldier will not use his weapon and his power in order to harm people who are not fighters nor against prisoners, and he will do all in his capability to prevent harm to their lives, their bodies, their honor and their property."
— A quarter-page ad on the front page of today's Haaretz by 'Breaking the Silence.'

You Must Be Kidding: 
Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman refuses to grant entry to 110 Palestinians seeking to attend a joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day ceremony scheduled for the eve of Memorial Day for the Fallen next week in Tel Aviv.**

Front Page:
Haaretz
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “The Holocaust was my childhood” - Special: The breathtaking text that Aharon Applefield wrote shortly before his death about his life as a child in the heart of the horrors
  • Tonight at 20:00, the events for Holocaust Memorial Day will begin
  • Facebook’s embarrassment - Mark Zuckerberg declared to Congress, “I made a mistake, the responsibility is mine”
  • High tension - Syria preparing for American attack, Israel preparing for Iranian response
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
  • Senior security establishment officials: “If Iran attacks Israel - we will take down Assad and his regime”
  • 70 years of Maariv
  • We won’t forget - Holocaust Memorial Day Eve
  • Facebook admits: “Personal information of 47,000 Israelis was leaked”
Israel Hayom
  • Israel forever - Holocaust Memorial Day
  • To remember and to remind: A special project
  • Trump prepares to attack: Damascus on standby for being attacked
  • Video clip investigation: The Palestinian was warned, shot - and injured
  • Yes, the most moral army in the world // Haim Shine
  • Netanyahu: “Expand the law (that prevents High Court from revoking laws) - not just about infiltrators”
  • Facebook admits: It’s possible that information about 47,000 Israelis was leaked

News Summary:
High alerts in Israel for a potential Iranian attack and at Syrian military bases for a possible US attack, IDF support for one of its snipers who was filmed shooting an immobile Palestinian protestor in Gaza and stories of Holocaust survivors as Holocaust Memorial Day begins tonight in Israel - all this made top news in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

The mutual threats have begun over two separate attacks in Syria, involving four countries. The Israeli military is on high alert after Iran said that the Israeli attack on an Iranian drone base in Syria under exclusive Iranian control, would not remain without response. Israeli security officials responded telling Maariv’s Ben Caspit that Israel would topple the Assad regime in Syria if Iran attacked Israel. Iran confirmed that four of its military advisers were killed in the Israeli attack, which Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he doesn’t know who made. The Russians were also furious at Israel and summoned the Israeli ambassador for a talking to, which Israel downplayed.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump’s threats of a US strike on Syria in retaliation for a Syrian gas attack on Syrian civilians have Syrian troops on alert. The Russian ambassador to Lebanon warned that any US missile fired at Syria will be shot down. Russia still insists there was no chemical attack and slammed Israel's 'hasty conclusion’ that it was chemicals. In an unusual statement, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the “attack shows clearly that Syria continues to possess lethal chemical weapons capabilities and even to manufacture new ones.”

*After the broadcast of a video clip in which Israeli soldiers are heard cheering after an Israeli sniper shot a Palestinian standing near the Gaza border fence, some Israeli right-wing ministers, including Education Minister Naftali Bennett, said it was no bigee. However, the Israel army yesterday disagreed and said the cheering soldiers would be disciplined. Nevertheless, the army cleared the sniper, saying that the young Palestinian was leading protests at the fence, which was reason to shoot him. (Links to articles from Haaretz+, Israel Hayom and Ynet.)

Today, the organization of former Israeli soldiers that gathers testimonies from Israeli soldiers about human rights violations against Palestinians, ‘Breaking the Silence,’ ran a quarter-page ad, reminding Israelis when soldiers are supposed to use their weapons and power and when they aren’t. (See Quote of the Day.)

Israel Hayom reported that “Chatter on Palestinian social media indicated that this Friday's border protest will be a ‘firebomb (Molotov Cocktail) campaign,’” for which the Israeli army is increasing its forces. According to Israel Hayom, “Hamas operatives are spotted practicing breaching the fence, rushing IDF posts and abducting soldiers.

Quick Hits:
  • **Israel refuses to let 110 Palestinians participate in Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day event - Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman says alternative event is 'not a memorial ceremony, but rather a demonstration of bad taste and insensitivity.’ (Haaretz+, Ynet and Israel Hayom)
  • Lieberman: Slain Gaza reporter was Hamas militant - Yasser Murtaja, the journalist who was killed by Israeli fire on Friday, was a member of Hamas who used a drone to collect intelligence on Israeli forces, defense minister says; Hamas, Murtaja's family deny his allegation. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • 'Arabs prohibited': Main West Bank road barred to Palestinians as army protects settlers' prayer - ‘This area under Jewish control,’ reads a sign in Arabic posted by settlers on a critical artery linking villages, now blocked for thousands of Palestinians. (Haaretz+)
  • Left-wing party's lawmakers barred from Knesset talks on Gaza border operations - Discussions will be held in Knesset subcommittees Meretz is not a member of; MKs blast that theirs is the 'only part that voiced criticism of the government's policy regarding the demonstrations of Gaza residents’. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli left-wing activists harass soldiers near Gaza border - Activists enter closed military zone, call soldiers "terrorists" in a "terrorist army" that "slaughters innocent civilians in Gaza" • Soldier: Situations like these make it hard for us to do our jobs because people are always trying to put you on trial. (Israel Hayom)
  • Slain Gaza journalist, branded Hamas militant by Israel, received U.S. grant - State Department says $11,700 USAID grant to a firm co-founded by Yaser Murtaja was vetted. Israel's defense chief says Murtaja was on the group's payroll, providing no evidence. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Netanyahu Pushing Override of Laws Nixed by Top Court: 'His Real Goal Is Early Elections' - Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon won't support general override power by Knesset, only a specific one regarding asylum seekers. (Haaretz+)
  • Israeli army fires at Hamas targets after explosive charge detonates near Gaza border - According to IDF, a military bulldozer was performing infrastructure work when it mounted the charge. No wounded or casualties have been reported. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Palestinian collaborator claims Israel's refused him residency - Forced to stay in Israel after threatened with death by terrorists, Palestinian collaborator says he feels 'abandoned' by the state, pleads with interior minister to grant him legal status in Israel; IDF says he has already been granted permit. (Ynet)
  • Israel's High Court attacks state for keeping asylum seekers jailed with no deportation deal in sight - 'There's no agreement yet you're keeping people in prison,' Supreme Court president charges; both Uganda and Rwanda repeatedly clarified they won't take asylum seekers against their will. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Multiple anti-expulsion rallies held worldwide - Hundreds of asylum seekers, activists call on Ugandan government to refuse to accept any migrants expelled from Israel in simultaneous protests in south Tel Aviv, Berlin, London and Paris; 'Israel has no refugee crisis, but it does have a leadership crisis,' says participant; South Tel Aviv Liberation Front holds Torah scroll inauguration in retort, symbolizing 'Israeli sovereignty over the African quarter.' (Ynet)
  • Israel wanted to bar entry to Dublin's mayor over BDS ties – but got his name wrong - Israel announced it would deny entry to Mícheál Mac Donncha over his ties to BDS, but his Irish name was apparently too much for Israeli officials to handle. (Haaretz ad Ynet)
  • Ethiopian captive's family attempts to fight off indifference - After three and a half years in Hamas captivity in Gaza, and 9 days in a protest tent outside the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, Avera Mengistu's family concedes race played a role in failing to secure his release, no government representatives speaking to themץ (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Netanyahu tells IDF orphans about his brother Yoni - The prime minister meets with bereaved siblings, orphans of fallen IDF soldiers ahead of Memorial Day, listening to their personal stories of loss and sharing his feelings on the loss of his brother Yoni at Entebbe: 'My brother continues to live within me.' (Ynet)
  • Number of Jews in the world still lower than before Holocaust - Figures released by Israel Central Bureau of Statistics show there are still fewer Jews living across the globe than in 1939, prior to the Nazi Holocaust; most Jews live in Israel, US. (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Yad Vashem: Syria shows mechanisms developed after Holocaust to prevent crimes against humanity are failing - Memorial center's chairman says world's indifference enables mass killing of civilians. (Haaretz)
  • For the first time in its history: The Knesset will hold a memorial event for Dr. Rudolf Israel Kastner - Sixty-one years after he was shot to death by (Israeli) assassins in Tel-Aviv in 1957, the journalist and Zionist activist, who saved the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews and was accused of collaborating with the Nazis, will be commemorated. (Maariv)
  • Israel Aerospace mulls launching satellite after Spacecom snub - Spacecom chooses U.S.-based Space Systems/Loral to build Amos-8 satellite over IAI. IAI expresses "surprise" that Spacecom opted for an American manufacturer. IAI-built Amos-6 satellite was destroyed days before being launched in September 2016. (Israel Hayom)
  • Facebook: 50,000 Israelis may have been exposed to Cambridge Analytica breach - Twenty eight Israelis installed application that made data accessible – enough to potentially affect tens of thousands of their Facebook friends. (Haaretz+)
  • Islamic Jihad leader comatose; group denies poisoning - The exact condition of Ramadan Shalah, 60, is unknown as coma is attributed to stroke, complications due to surgery, or poisoning by foreign agents. Islamic Jihad says surgery, conducted in Hezbollah stronghold, was for a "naturally occurring ailment." (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
  • Israel's Labor Party suspends ties with Jeremy Corbyn for 'enabling anti-Semitism' - Gabbay accuses Corbyn of crossing 'a dangerous line' between criticizing the Israeli government's policy and anti-Semitism. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Indian group wins license to explore for gas, oil in Israeli waters - Consortium of four leading Indian companies is awarded three-year license with option for three-year extension • Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz welcomes move, says he plans to step up efforts to attract international investors to explore Israel's waters. (Israel Hayom)


Features:
A brief history of Independence Day controversy
From the Armenian Holocaust to anti-Zionism and pro-settlement, the torchlighting ceremony has long been divisive. (Ofer Aderet, Haaretz+)
The Guerrilla Filmmaker Who Caught Israel’s Black Panthers on Tape
In 1971, American activist David Cort flew to Israel and captured rare scenes of a country presenting a triumphalist image to the world yet riven by internal strife. Nearly 50 years on, the 12 hours of footage he shot has finally been made available to the public. (Asaf Shalev, Haaretz+)
 
Commentary/Analysis:
*Gaza killings? Don't believe a word Israel says (Bradley Burston, Haaretz+) Let's face it. If being a 'central inciter' is grounds for capital punishment, Netanyahu and his cabinet would have to hold their weekly meetings on Death Row.
Yes, the most moral military in the world (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) The Left's constant attacks on IDF could potentially weaken the fighting spirit of its soldiers and commanders, just as major threats to the country's security loom.
Prepared for a conflict with Russia, Israel is pushing Trump to take action in Syria (Ron Ben-Yishai, Ynet) The Foreign Ministry’s statement that Assad did use chemical weapons against his citizens on Sunday, despite the Kremlin’s strong denial, is aimed at drawing a red line against the Russians. Israeli officials are concerned that Putin’s diplomatic backing may be interpreted by the Syrian regime as a general legitimization to use chemical weapons—possibly against Israel too.
World’s silence on Syria is a license to kill (Ben-Dror Yemini, Yedioth/Ynet) As the butcher of Damascus keeps massacring his own people, the international condemnations are directed at Israel, which has to deal with Palestinians waving the Nazi flag and screaming ‘death to the Jews.’ Meanwhile, ‘human rights organizations’ are cooperating with this great deception.
The Kremlin is no friend of Iran (Ariel Bolstein, Israel Hayom) Russia was quick to attribute the attack on an Iranian air base in Syria to Israel but stopped short of condemning it, demonstrating the depth of the understandings between Jerusalem and Moscow.
Syrian Situation Calls for Caution (Haaretz Editorial) Is Israel ready for a war on Syrian soil that includes ground forces? Can it count on U.S. involvement? The consequences are dangerous.
Israel won't tolerate Iranian presence in Syria (Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, Israel Hayom) Russia may demand due consideration but Israel has proved time and again that it will not allow Iran to tighten its grip on Syria, even if doing so stokes regional tensions.
Russia's tough rhetoric shows Israel is losing its leeway with the Kremlin (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Moscow was the first to attribute the airstrike on the Syrian military base to Israel. But its fierce criticism of Israel's policy in the territories is the true warning sign.
Jordan and Lebanon Are Going Broke and Israel Should Worry (David Rosenberg, Haaretz+) Living on heavy debt, Jordan and Lebanon face unpopular but inevitable cures like raising taxes. Wait for the 'good war' to erupt.
Safeguarding our religious rights (Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel Hayom) Jordan benefits from its relationship with Israel while stirring up Arabs in Israel. The time has come to point out to our neighbor to the east that Israel has sovereignty over east Jerusalem.
A humanitarian crisis in Israel (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) Well-meaning citizens go out and protest the deportation of 30,000 asylum seekers from Israel, but when was there a meaningful demonstration for the children of Gaza?
 
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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